This month Rev. Chris Hempowicz (UTS’84) and Dr. Christine Hempowicz (UTS’86) were consecrated as the new District Pastor couple for New England Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), in a January 10th service in Worcester, Massachusetts. FFWPU-USA President Dr. Michael Balcomb (UTS ’94,’09) welcomed the couple and wished them well in their new role.
The first goal of the installation ceremony was to call on and make real the presence of God. There was a ‘laying on of hands’ prayer ceremony that involved the current pastoral team and the entire congregation offering their sincere petition to God that He will guide the new pastor couple. It was a deeply moving and spiritual moment. It signified a turning point in the community’s relationship with the new couple. Once consecrated, the pastor couple stand as God's representatives in the community. They will continue to work cooperatively with the council to serve the community, and also make the vertical, spiritual connection to the National Ministry team and church president, who represent God to the nation.
The second goal of the installation ceremony was to bring all the local pastors and ministers together, including those from neighboring states. This is the team that the new District Pastor couple will work with, and it was an important opportunity to welcome their new colleagues and share briefings and other information.
“Thirdly, we ask each new pastor to make a public commitment to the ‘Unification Pastor’s Affirmation,’ a one-page document that includes basic statements of faith in God, the Holy Marriage Blessing, and the Divine Principle,” said Dr. Balcomb. “Pastors also make a solemn pledge to refrain from the misuse of public money and property; to remain faithful to one’s spouse and refrain from all improper behavior; and to deal fairly and equitably with all people and avoid as far as possible the ‘hurting of hearts.'”