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Mother of Peace: Lessons in Leadership and Gratitude

130 participants from as far away as Korea joined the July 1, 2020 Unification Theological Seminary webinar entitled “Mother of Peace: Lessons in Leadership and Gratitude.” The webinar explored this theme through the prism of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon’s memoir, Mother of Peace, which was published on May 25, 2020 and is now available through Amazon.

The program was well moderated by Mrs. Alexa Ward, Director of the United Nations Office New York and Chief Administrative Officer of Women’s Federation for World Peace International. Mrs. Ward is also doing graduate study at UTS.

The webinar’s first speaker, Ms. Grace Kellett, a student in the UTS Accelerated Master of Arts in Religious Studies program and Associate Director of the WFWPI office in New York, contrasted the inclusive leadership style of Mother Hak Ja Han Moon highlighted in her memoirs with the less comprehensive articulation of women’s role in modern society taken by many feminists. Ms. Kellett explained how, after her own study of feminism over several years, she found that something was lacking. She found Mother Moon’s approach to be a more constructive and forward-thinking approach where love and compassion are at the very center. She offered insights into the impact that this perspective can have in addressing gender issues.

Ms. Kellet was followed by Rev. Mari Curry, who noted that, in her memoirs, Mother Moon spoke about forgiveness and did so not just conceptually but through concrete life experiences. She shared of Dr. Moon’s time with Rev. Sun Myung Moon in Hawaii prior to visiting North Korea together in 1991. Mother Moon noted that, through prayer and reflection, she could come to see her and her husband’s one-time tormentor North Korean leader Kim Il Sung as not just a child of God but foster a parental heart towards him through her prayer.

Dr. Drissa Kone, Chair of the UTS Doctor of Ministry program, spoke of Mother Moon’s remarkable attribute of patience that he uncovered in reading Mother of Peace. Mother Moon found the greatest meaning in her life through supporting and complementing Reverend Moon in his leadership role. Nevertheless, Dr.Kone noted that Mother of peace reveals that, responding to her own sense of calling and at her husband’s behest, she quietly prepared herself attitudinally and practically to assume the even more central role that she was called to assume upon the passing of her Husband.

Dean Ute Delaney, Registrar and Lecturer, spoke of the clarity with which Dr. Moon states in her memoirs, “I know who I am.” She points out that Dr. Moon’s strength of self-understanding and her sense of calling explain her clear, decisive, and yet caring leadership.

The presentations were followed with questions and answers from the moderator and among the speakers followed by questions from members of the audience. UTS President Thomas Ward closed the evening, thanking the panelists and all who participated. He observed that this time of quarantine slows some aspects of life and fosters reflection and renewal. Mother Moon’s memoirs, he added, provide insight into the meaning of this time and can point each of us toward the path of personal renewal and rebirth. Mother of Peace is now available on Amazon.