“We’ve invited Mexican food restaurants in Simi Valley for the salsa-tasting contest, which is open to the public, with awards for the best salsa and hottest salsa,” Hoover said. “Last year we had over 500 people attending, and this year think we will attract 1,000 people.” The event is free and open to the public. There will be drawings with gifts offered by local businesses. Last year, the prizes included 39 gift baskets and a diamond ring. The restaurants are given tables to market their restaurants and offer their salsa, Driver said. “It’s a fun event, and it’s all for charity,” she said. “The Town Center has been wonderful on supporting us.” [email protected] (805) 583-7602160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SIMI VALLEY – The second annual Cinco de Mayo Salsa Festival is scheduled for May 5 at the Simi Valley Town Center, featuring a salsa-tasting contest and mariachi music. “It’s an important cultural festival and it also supports juvenile diabetes research, which is very important,” said Ray Cruz, executive director of the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center. The festival is being sponsored by the Simi Valley (Noontime) Rotary Club. Cheryl Hoover and her mother, Jody Driver, are organizing the event, which is scheduled to run from noon to 4 p.m. in the Simi Valley Town Center Community Room above the mall’s center court.
By FFWPU USA: A tribal messiahship event was held at the Unification Theological Seminary on Sunday, December 20, 2015, for young Unificationists and their families.The program was designed to encourage Unificationist-born young people to understand their value and their relationship to True Parents and to become involved in activities supporting Vision 2020.UTS graduates Dr. Rollain Muanda, co-pastor of the Kingston (New York) Family Church, and Rev. Denneze Nelson, chair of Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) New Jersey, organized the one-day seminar, which took place at the Massena House at the Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown, New York.The day started at 7 a.m. as the participants listened to the “Holy Marriage Blessing” radio program (www.holymarriageblessing.org). This weekly program is broadcast by Kingston radio station WKNY-AM and is hosted by Evangelist Ruth Muanda and Dr. Tyler Hendricks, the former president of the Unification Church U.S.A. and of the Unification Theological Seminary. The episode was the 152nd broadcast in which Ruth and Dr. Hendricks boldly proclaimed True Parents’ Messiahship and the Holy Marriage Blessing. They also gave an insightful explanation of the circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus and how those circumstances defined the identity of Christianity. This moving broadcast set the perfect tone for the seminar that took place later in the day.The gathered young Unificationists explored the words of True Parents in order to understand their true identity. Dr. Rollain Muanda presented compelling reflections on True Father’s speech “Myself” (January 13, 1980, Tarrytown, New York).As an exercise, each participant answered six questions about their identity: 1) Who are you? 2) How do you want people to talk about you? 3) How do you want people to identify you? 4) What do you want people to say about you? 5) Would you choose to be isolated and independent or to represent many more people than just yourself? 6) Do you tend to think of yourself as the center of everything surrounding you?Then Dr. Muanda presented True Father’s view on our identity. “Myself is never just myself,” he said. “Based on these words of True Father, we are representing all our ancestors going back to God; we are representing our family now, and we are standing as a foundation for our future generations. Therefore, whatever choices we make now have a historical, immediate and far-reaching impact.”Rev. Nelson discussed ways in which young people can improve the status of their communities and families in the context of living for the sake of others. A wide range of ideas emerged from the participants, including: solidifying one’s identity; organizing Divine Principle seminars for friends and colleagues; helping Africa and countries in need with a different mindset; and getting more involved with True Parents’ directives and tribal messiahship activities.The final and most vibrant session was “Views of Marriage and Family.” Rev. Nelson gave a thought-provoking presentation on the course to the Marriage Blessing of earlier Unificationists as well as the meaning of that type of Marriage Blessing as a preparation for the birth and future Marriage Blessing of those who were born into Unificationism. Rev. Nelson said: “We walked a course of absolute faith in Heavenly Parent and True Parents’ choice about who our spouses would be. This is because we believed that our children would be those who would usher in a world of peace together with us. In many cases it was marrying your enemy and learning to love that enemy unconditionally. True Father said it was the shortest course. The preparation for the Blessing was stringent and required absolute purity of mind and body, and we did the best we could. … We believed that our children were not so much our children as they were God’s children. We did not decide whom we would marry, and we had no idea what our children would be like. You young people were created directly by Heavenly Parent and True Parents; that’s how precious you are.”The group discussion that followed was profound, with varying views of marriage and family freely expressed. The one consensus in the room was that everyone wanted to receive the Holy Marriage Blessing.This workshop kept two main goals in mind: first, to continue to solidify the identity in True Parents of Unificationists who have received the Holy Marriage Blessing; and second, to expand the Blessed Bridge of Love via service and interaction from our own families to the larger community.Many participants said they are inspired to organize their own workshops and service projects for their friends, testifying to True Parents and Heavenly Parent through their words and actions.