Mrs. Denneze Nelson is the full-time mother of four children, 2 boys and 2 girls, ranging in age from 10 to 18 years old. She is also a full-time employee of the US Department of Veteran Affairs in New Jersey. She is the Medical Foster Home Program Manager that places veterans into homes to be cared for, instead of going into a nursing home. The slogan of the program is: Where Heroes Meet Angels.
Before her present employment, she worked in the field of domestic violence for seven years as a counselor for victims of domestic abuse. Having worked for that long with victims, she has acquired unique insight and understanding of people in pain, both emotional and physical. Denneze said that it is in this job she could deeply understand the status of women in the world and the need for women to come into a true understanding of themselves.
She holds a Masters of Religious Education (MRE) and another in Social Work (MSW) is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), and is a marriage and family therapist.
When WFWP was founded in 1992 on April 10, Denneze was living in her native country, Guyana, where as a founding member she was actively involved in the registration and growth of WFWP. After she moved to the US in 1995, she lived in New York and New Jersey with her husband. She attended the WFWP Bridges of Peace ceremonies, crossed the bridge numerous times, and experienced the healing and reconciliatory effects of these events.
Then in 2000, under the former president WFWP USA, Mrs. Alexa Ward, interested and capable ladies were encouraged to establish local chapters where they lived. Women were invited to meetings and encouraged to take up the position of a local chairwoman. Denneze went to the meeting and brought back information to her community in New Jersey. At that time there was no one besides Denneze who was inspired to become the local chairwoman; so she was asked to help launch the New Jersey chapter. She agreed because she saw and understood the mission and vision of WFWP as spoken by the co-founders, Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon in their founding address.
She began to create meetings and found like-minded women in New Jersey. This team of "remarkable women" as Denneze describes them, took time to study the speeches of the founders to internalize the true purpose and mission of WFWP. They began the New Jersey chapter that has continued on up to the present day. No matter what challenges and misunderstandings Denneze and her core team encountered, she continued on to create a solid foundation of substance in New Jersey. From service projects to high level conferences and seminars, Denneze, together with the New Jersey ladies who were inspired to follow her direction and vision for the New Jersey Chapter, established a most active and vibrant chapter with the largest membership and outstanding activities.
Whatever Denneze and her core team decide to do, is based on the foundation of prayer, reflection, study, and seeking to comfort God’s heart through their actions and words, to bring the message of the WFWP founders to all women and to bring God joy and comfort. Even though New Jersey is a small state, the ladies who were investing their time and effort into WFWP were spread out all over the state. So November 8, 2014, WFWP New Jersey took a bold leap to expand. Women from around the state gathered in Elizabeth, New Jersey, as four satellite chapters were inaugurated. President Angelika Selle and Vice President Juanita Pierre-Louis attended and spoke at the event. It was a momentous day for New Jersey. The satellite chapters are in Hackensack, Clifton, Newark, and Elizabeth. There was already an active chapter in Paterson, New Jersey at that time. You will continue to see many activities written up in past and in future newsletters as New Jersey is on the move.
In 2016 it was decided to hold the 24th Annual National Assembly in New Jersey beginning on Veterans Day, November 11. As Denneze’s work involves veterans, she is in a position to find veterans to award for their service to the nation. One story she told me follows.
A very highly decorated Marine Corps veteran attended the WFWP Assembly. He is a veteran of the Korean War, was a POW, and Purple Heart recipient. Yet, he never liked to be honored for his service because he was being honored for killing people. America sells going to war as protecting democracy. But he said, “What democracy?” It seemed to him like a lie. When he found out that Rev. Moon has been in a communist concentration hard-labor camp and was freed by his being in Korea, he could receive that honor and award. Because for the first time since coming back from war, he felt there was a real purpose to what he had done and suffered.
His wife was really surprised seeing him smiling in the photos. She knew his heart and felt his liberation through seeing that this man, Sun Myung Moon was creating peaceful organizations around the world and that his actions had allowed this man to live to accomplish all that he had in his life.
Denneze lives her life with intention. She has seen what happens when people are mistreated and disrespected. She is an advocate for those who cannot speak or stand up for themselves. However, she seeks not to judge, she just speaks her mind and acts to bring joy and comfort to our Creator and Heavenly Parent. Most of all, Denneze has a passionate love for God and for peace. Inspired and trained by the teachings of Rev. and Mrs. Moon, WFWP founders, she is a strong believer that we all can be one family under God and truly live in peace. She believes that women are at the forefront of establishing homes, communities, and eventually a world of peace.
There is so much more to Rev. Denneze Nelson, WFWP Chairwoman in New Jersey! I could go on and on. She has a bee in her bonnet about being an instrument of peace between North and South Korea, and so New Jersey has had a very successful Bridge of Peace event to being North and South Koreans living in America together over the bridge. Last year they held a think tank on the issues surrounding possible unification. And she works behind the scenes as a catalyst for reconciliation and having people get to know each other and talk together.
She says loving one another, getting to know who each other is and caring deeply for each other’s situations is the real way to bring lasting peace and brother/sisterhood among diverse people. Keep your eye on New Jersey! That state will continue to thrive as a dynamic living organization. Thank you Denneze, and the amazing New Jersey women, for your service to WFWP all these years. Let’s continue to work together, no matter who we are, and learn to love ourselves by loving each other -- as you say, by loving a sister, we are loving and healing ourselves. That’s something we all need.