Bridging Religious and Cultural Divides

david kim 100This Saturday Robert and Laura Brooks held a lunch in memory and celebration of David S.C. Kim; often remembered from his roles as president of the One World Crusade and president emeritus of UTS. While it was the fourth anniversary of his ascension (November 8, 2011), the event also looked forward to his 100th birthday (November 9) and the positive impact he left on the community. About 25 people attended; including Rev. Gavin Hamnett (UTS’91), Robin Graham (UTS’80) Director of Advancement and Communications at UTS, and many other notable guests.

“His eternal spirit and presence remains with us today. When he was here with us and among us, he instilled in each of us the same trademark indefatigable spirit, which for the sake of Heaven’s Will, he enjoyed,” Rob and Laura shared with me after the event. The two, who shared a deep connection with President Kim, said that it was his wish, and his guidance that brought them to bring everyone together with the same love that he so often expressed. The two know just how to pull off a brunch in President Kim’s style.

In his opening remarks, Rob invited the ancestors to join us, gave a toast of tea to the good ancestors, and a toast of water to all ancestors just as President Kim would do for any such gathering he called. Even the food was just like what he would select to share at the table of his favorite Chinese buffet. While the lunch itself was great, it was the testimonies and video presentation (brought to us by Jennifer and Yuichi Tanabe) that gave life to the real meaning of the event; which was that we’re not mourning a loss, but remembering and keeping alive the love that he showed to the community.

There were planned testimonies from Rev. Gavin, Laura Brooks, John Raucci, Tony Ferrantello (UTS’83), Donna Ferrantello Ph.D. (UTS’82), Robin Graham, and Professor Kevin Brabazon, including a video presentation brought by Jennifer and Yuichi Tanabe. At first we remembered, with testimonies like Laura’s, the deep personal impact beloved David Kim had on everyone he encountered. She reflected on how hard it was to believe that he was gone when he ascended four years ago, but also on the signs of his farewell afterward. The rainbow after his Seong Hwa, and the song choice (“He’s Gone”) at the concert for which Laura and Rob had pre-purchased tickets, before his passing, gave the type of sincere farewell that David Kim would give. But no testimony was solely reflective of the past as a loss. As more spontaneous testimonies were given, the gathering continued to laugh and remember the love, energy, and conviction he always had.

The sentiment of celebration was punctuated throughout; with the cutting of his 100th birthday cake; opening fortune cookies (another tradition of Dr. Kim’s lunches); and forward-looking parts of everyone’s testimonies. Andrew Wilson Ph.D. (UTS’78), professor of Scriptural Studies, expressed the essence of the afternoon in his short, spontaneous testimony: “President Kim created a space that is broad and creative” he reminded us that “this isn’t about remembering him; this is about what we can do.” I think everyone in attendance wished to express to each other, the community, and President David S.C. Kim, as Dr. Wilson did in these few short words, that his love remains in each one of us, and that we will continue to express it in a living way.

Donations to the David SC Kim Foundation of any amount are welcome. Donations help us preserve the collected 50 years of Unification Movement materials stored in David and Mrs. Kim's residence. Larger donations help the foundation become an owner of the Kim's former Poughkeepsie residence. All gifts are gratefully accepted. They are tax deductible and will be recognized with a gift of a poster, a photograph or a book written by David Kim. A catalog of gifts for donors is in the works.

The David SC Kim Foundation has a vested interest in HK House, Inc., a small group of like- minded people who are currently in negotiation with Unification Theological Seminary to purchase President and Mrs. Kim's former Poughkeepsie, NY residence. We are very close to completing the entire down payment amount, however we need a caretaker tenant who shares our vision and is willing to pay suitable rent and work with us to preserve the materials that David Kim collected and saved. Write to us for more details.

Contact information for the David SC Kim Foundation is:

Rob and Laura Brooks
620 Ulster Landing Road, Saugerties, NY 12477

(914) 475 - 1903 - Rob
(914) 204 - 2547 - Laura
(845) 336 - 2084 - Fax

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