General Assembly 2023

Hope for Salvation to All Mankind through Love and Unity


March 12, 2023 2238 Views

In celebration of the New Year by the sacred calendar, General Assembly was held at the New Jerusalem Pangyo Temple in the Rep. of Korea (Hereinafter Korea). The General Assembly, which was held three years after the COVID-19 pandemic, lasted for 11 days with joy and excitement. It was attended by representative pastoral staff members from 53 countries, including over 400 pastoral staff members in Korea. Starting with the General Assembly Awards Ceremony 2023 held on March 12 and the opening worship on the following day, the Preliminary General Assembly was held for 11 days. All schedules ended with the main worship and the closing worship on the 22nd.

Mother was with them throughout the General Assembly for eleven days, praising the pastoral staff and all the members for their hard work, expressing Her gratitude and how much She missed them. Mother prayed that the pastoral staff would fully realize the value of the truth of the new covenant and fulfill the mission of the firstborn of heaven. The pastoral staff from all over the world witnessed the biggest results of proclaiming God Elohim’s love and hope of salvation despite difficult situations due to the unstable international situation, economic problems which is getting worse, and various disasters that struck the global village in 2022. They were firmly determined to complete the gospel work, looking at the blueprint of the gospel in 2023.

General Assembly Awards Ceremony 2023: Running for the Eternal Awards of Heaven

About 1,700 members, including other pastoral staff members and some position holders from Seoul metropolitan area, attended the General Assembly Awards Ceremony on Sunday, March 12.

During the first part of the worship service, Mother repeatedly encouraged the churches and members around the world who preach the gospel, and enlightened to us the rewards and blessings prepared in heaven. She said, “Everyone will receive rewards in heaven. You are doing a valuable work worthy of praise. Firmly believe that God will reward you, and run diligently until you receive the eternal reward” (Mt 5:10–15; Heb 11:6–7, 24–26; Col 3:23–24; Php 3:12–14; Rev 3:11–12). General Pastor Kim Joo-cheol urged them, saying, “Let’s faithfully sow the seeds of the gospel and take care of them so that we can bear a hundred, a thousand, and ten thousand times of fruit, and receive rewards at the awards ceremony in heaven.”

In the second part of the awards ceremony, awards were presented to the churches who were excellent in preaching and education. The overseers from 37 churches that were excellent in preaching and from 17 churches that were excellent in education went up to the podium and received awards from Mother. After taking the commemorative photos, the Messiah Orchestra performed “Pilgrim’s Chorus” by Richard Wagner, and the New Jerusalem Choir sang the New Song, “Let’s Enter Heaven Together,” conveying the mission of evangelists and the desire for the gospel completion. The videos of the members’ activities, which were played before and after the awards ceremony and the videos of excellent examples from three countries showed the hard work and devotion of the members who were born again after realizing the love of Heavenly Father and Mother during the past year.

Mother praised the awardees one by one, and applauded all the members around the world who had been working hard to find our lost heavenly family members, including the overseas missionaries who went to uncultivated lands of the gospel to spread the culture of Zion and open the way to heaven to each and every soul. When Mother told them to endure and overcome all difficulties with the hope for heaven, they loudly responded with “Amen.”

Preliminary General Assembly: Enlightenment through Rich Educational Materials and True Education of Love

On March 13, the day after the awards ceremony, the full-fledged Preliminary General Assembly began with the opening service. Mother prayed for the blessing of the Holy Spirit for the completion of the gospel, and urged the pastoral staff to dedicate themselves to the gospel and serve the members before others, saying, “The true education is to sacrifice for the gospel. Just as the Bible was written by those who were moved by God, gospel work is to move the hearts of the members.” Reflecting on the result of 2022, where abundant fruits were granted through unity not only within one church, but also among churches, countries, and associations, Mother enlightened the pastoral staff to preach in unity. Mother told them to preach the new covenant with love by taking compassion for the members and neighbors. General Pastor Kim Joo-cheol suggested a clear gospel goal and vision to preach the news of salvation to eight billion people, and insisted that we should act with boldness and faith because God helps us (Mt 24:13–14; Isa 60:1–22; Isa 41:10–14).

In accordance with Mother’s will to have the mind of a prophet by realigning their faith, the General Assembly consisted of the Gospel Evaluation for 2022, Gospel Plan for 2023, and the Presentation of Excellent Examples by Country and Field. Mostly, it was about learning and sharing how the churches could grow so that all the churches could fulfill their shortcomings. The educational videos and presentation materials, which took about 60 hours, were translated and dubbed into English, Spanish, and Nepali, etc, and tablet PCs were provided for the overseas pastoral staff members. It was the result of unity between the Korean members and local members who cooperated in various fields such as planning, writing, translating, proofreading, dubbing, and simultaneous recording with the help of cutting-edge artificial intelligence translation technology and the power of the Holy Spirit. Overseas pastoral staff members who watched the videos in their native language were amazed, saying, “This interpretation system is hard to find even in the United Nations,” and gave thanks to God for allowing them to receive the same quality education as the Korean pastoral staff members.

Mother carefully checked whether the food was palatable for them and whether the accommodation was comfortable for them. Mother also blessed the members who worked hard behind the scenes. Under Mother’s consideration, the whole schedule proceeded graciously. The vivid examples of the churches in France, Angola, and Bangladesh broadened the perspective of the pastoral staff members. The examples had in common that their preaching and pastoral ministry were done on the bases of love and unity. Just as a mother raises her child by considering the child’s health and growth, they respected the members’ culture, disposition, and way of thinking with Mother’s love, and preached the gospel in unity with the members. In addition, the videos of the churches in Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and the United States proved how the seeds of the gospel sown by one person who has faith can make a great difference and lead to a profound result.

During the meeting by division, the pastoral staff reported the present status of the gospel in each country to Mother, and gospel plans and proposals for the New Year. The pastoral staff witnessed the love of Heavenly Mother who lavished Her encouragement and consolation upon them, listening to their difficulties and earnest desires all over the world despite Her tight schedule. They expressed their deep gratitude to Mother, saying, “I learned what the new covenant and the pastoral ministry are once again.”

Pastor Lee Bong-geon from the Buk-gu Church in Pohang, Korea, said, “Through the excellent examples, I realized that Mother’s words are the key and eternal life. I repented, reflecting upon whether I had fully obeyed each word of Mother and delivered Mother’s words to the members. Seeing Mother having audience with many members to take care of them on the Sabbath day even though She was so busy and exhausted, I reflected upon myself as a pastoral staff member.” Pastor Tejendra Gautam from the Kathmandu Church in Nepal said, “Many members have been found in Nepal, a Hindu country, and churches have been established even on the mountain village like Sertung. These were all thanks to God, and the members who were born again through God’s words and made good influence in the communities. I was greatly moved by the examples of the pastoral staff who bore fruits by being united before others.” He showed his determination, saying, “We, as pastoral staff, will set good examples through unity and complete the gospel in Nepal by preaching even to the place where the gospel has not been preached yet.” Pastor Yoon Dae-won from the San Diego Church in CA, U.S. said, “I reflected upon whether I carried out the gospel work by walking with God or being based solely on my experiences. Now, I will walk with God to accomplish His great plan, not as much as I can, but as much as God can.”

Main Worship of the General Assembly: Obey the Word of God, Starting with the Smallest Thing by Practicing Love

After the ten-day schedule which was held before the General Assembly, where the grace of the Holy Spirit was overflowing, the main worship of the General Assembly was held on March 22, the first day of the New Year by the sacred calendar. About 1,600 members, including the pastoral staff in Seoul and other regions and position holders, attended the worship around 10 a.m.

At the main worship, Mother prayed for the blessings of the New Year by the sacred calendar and gave thanks to Father for enlightening the pastoral staff through the General Assembly. Mother prayed that they would fully realize God’s love, awaken the members, and devote themselves to preaching and serving, and complete the gospel mission. Mother taught that they should practice good deeds to their neighbors, share the love of the Passover which gives eternal life, and take care of the members by having compassion for them just as the Good Samaritan put effort into saving the dying soul by having compassion for him (Lk 10:25–37; 1 Co 13 1–13; Hos 6:6; 2 Tim 3:1–5; 1 Tim 6:3–6; Eph 6:10–17; 1 Co 9:23–25).

At the closing worship in the afternoon, General Pastor Kim Joo-cheol delivered a sermon titled “Start with the Smallest Things.” He said, “When we are faithful in a very little thing, God will repay us with tremendous blessings. What we have done to the least of us is what we have done to God. So let’s fulfill the world mission by starting with the smallest thing, that is, serving members like we are serving God.” Hearing this, the pastoral staff renewed their mindset on how to treat the members and carry out the gospel work (Lk 16:10–11; 19:12–17; Mt 25:31–46).

After the General Assembly was ended, all the pastoral staff gave all thanks and glory to Mother for filling their thirsty souls with the Holy Spirit, and for granting them boldness and faith just before entering the heavenly Canaan. Through the events and education which lasted for eleven days, the pastoral staff were fully armored with the Holy Spirit and made a resolution to run for the completion of the gospel with love and unity by practicing what they had learned at the General Assembly.