2012 International Peacemaking speakers list
September 21 - October 15, 2012
In an increasingly conflict-ridden and fragmented world, the God who grants peace and wholeness calls Christians to understand and address the root causes of violence and injustice so that we may share in mending the brokenness that exists in our world. Peacemaking is the human response to God’s gift of peace giving. The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program invites leaders from our partner churches around the world to share their experiences as peacemakers in their own lands.
As these International Peacemakers share their healing stories, they help us to understand the peace and justice concerns of others around the world while giving us insights into those in our own communities. Moreover, they broaden our sense of God’s inclusive family and so better equip us to build a culture of peace and nonviolence for all God’s children.
2012 International Peacemaking brochure
HOW DO YOU REQUEST VISITS?
International Peacemakers are available to mid-councils*, Presbyterian colleges and seminaries for itineration through the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. Requests for International Peacemakers should be made through your mid-council’s peacemaking or mission committee using the enclosed form and indicating your choices of speakers and dates. Requests will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis and should be made in writing, though preference will be given to first-time requests and those who have not hosted an International Peacemaker in recent years. Please submit your request by May 15. You will receive confirmation by mid-June.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
Hosts of International Peacemakers are asked to pay $400 to help with travel costs within this country, and to provide room, board and ground transportation within your local area. The Peacemaking Program will cover international travel and part of the domestic travel costs and will make travel arrangements, purchase tickets, provide honoraria and health insurance, and inform hosts of travel schedules. As soon as your peacemaker’s visit has been confirmed, instructions for the payment of the $400 will be sent to you.
INTERNATIONAL PEACEMAKERS / MISSION CONNECTIONS LIVE! PARTNERSHIP
Thanks to a collaborative effort between the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and World Mission, the International Peacemakers from Honduras and Russia will be accompanied by PC(USA) mission workers. Together they will share stories of how churches in Honduras and Russia live out the gospel. Our hope is that this will deepen and broaden the faith life of the Presbyterians who hear these stories.
*Mid-council is the new term for presbyteries and synods.
German is director of the Office of Diaconia (Mission and Service) of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, which focuses on church development and the promotion of human rights. He works with social justice organizations, especially those devoted to victims of violence, and with the Presbyterian Accompaniment Program for Peace. Based on his experience in community organizing, he believes profoundly in peace based on justice to resolve political, social and economic conflicts.
Gloria Mejia Wheeler
Gloria is from Honduras and serves as a mission co-worker in her country coordinating study tours and mission teams in a PC(USA) / Heifer Project International program that reaches rural villages and some urban neighborhoods. Gloria uses a practical approach for individual and community improvement based on values and self-esteem. She is interested in community and individual peace issues especially focused on women, indigenous people and those who have been marginalized. Her husband, Tim, accompanies her in some of her work in Honduras, and they have three grown daughters living and studying in the United States.
Rev. Made (Kade) Gunaraksawati Mastra Ten Veen
Kade is pastor of the Christian Protestant Church in Bali, Indonesia, and is president of the Bali chapter of the Association of Women with Theological Education. She organized an interfaith Art Festival for Peace in Indonesia in 2002. Bali is predominately Hindu, with Christians making up only one percent of the population. Kade has been involved in ministry with people who have HIV, prison ministry and a mobile learning center for children. She will speak about peace and justice issues with particular attention to ecumenical relations, women and child trafficking, ecology, and centering prayer. She is married.
Dr. Mazen Asaqa
Mazen was born in Mosul, Iraq (old Nineveh), where he served in the Presbyterian Church in Mosul as youth leader, assistant lay pastor and doctor in the church clinic. Following the kidnapping and murder of his father, Mazen fled to Jordan. In 2009 he was granted refugee status, and he currently resides in Michigan, where he is studying to practice medicine in the United States. He is interested in the meaning of being Christian and the effects of persecution on faith and church.
Arda is an Armenian Palestinian Christian, born and raised in the Old City of Jerusalem. She studied at Birzeit University in the West Bank after the Second Uprising “Intifada,” a phase which brought forth difficult questions and an interest in human rights and conflict resolution. She has taken various courses in media and film, and worked as a producer and presenter for a radio station that aimed to build bridges between Palestinians and Israelis. She is the media and advocacy coordinator at the YWCA of Palestine. Arda is available September 30 – October 15.
Linda Macktaby is a member of the National Protestant Church in Beirut, Lebanon. She works as youth program coordinator for the Forum for Development, Culture and Dialogue (FDCD). In 2009, she earned her master of divinity degree from the Near East School of Theology. As time allows, she preaches at the Evangelical Church in Kfarshima, Lebanon. Linda will speak about the Christian presence in the Middle East and the role of youth in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
Rev. Hubert Rakotoarivoniy
A minister ordained in the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM), Hubert leads his denomination’s Commission on the Life of the Country and at the same time works as resource person at the Christian Council in Madagascar on the forgiveness, peace, justice and reconciliation process program.
Rev. Wilfred Orr
In 2012, Wilfred was presented with an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s honors list for “Service to Community Relations.” Throughout his time in Newtownbreda he has been a leading figure in the Ballynafeigh Clergy Fellowship and has worked tirelessly to promote both stronger ties between churches of all traditions in the district and between those from different cultural, social and political backgrounds. The proactive role played by the Ballynafeigh Clergy Fellowship is viewed as significant in contributing to this district remaining one of the areas in Northern Ireland most balanced between Protestant/Unionist and Catholic/Nationalist populations in spite of the polarizing impact of “The Troubles.” Wilfred is available October 4 – 29.
Rev. Homar Roca Distajo
Homar is conference minister, United Metropolis Conference of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and ecumenical leader around issues of justice and peace. He is a Peace Articulator with Pilgrims for Peace and a leader of the UCCP Human Rights Response Team to Free the Morong 43 Health Workers. Homar served as the UCCP representative to the National Council of Churches in the Philippines: Churches as Havens and Sanctuaries. He is a contributing writer for the UCCP Bible studies and liturgical materials on peace and human rights.
Andrey is the only Roma (Gypsy) pastor serving in the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians – Baptists. He has his own congregation in the city of Kursk in southwestern Russia and is also very active in organizing mission outreach to Roma people all over central Russia.
Alan Smith, Mission Co-Worker
Alan has been a PC(USA) mission co-worker since 2001. He and his wife, Ellen, served in Moscow, Russia, until the summer of 2010. Then, after a year’s interpretation assignment, the family moved to Berlin, Germany. They continue to be actively involved in ministry in Russia, both with the Roma people and with congregational twinning relationships.
Rev. Peter Tibi
Peter is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Africa Inland Church-Sudan. He was the former general secretary of both the New Sudan Council of Churches and the Sudan Council of Churches. He is executive director of RECONCILE, through which he is deeply involved in making peace among different groups and tribes inside South Sudan. Peter is married and has three sons and two daughters.
A member of the Greek Orthodox Church in Damascus, Majd works with the program for Iraqi refugees with International Orthodox Christian Charities, providing education, vocational training, community service projects, relief items, and psychosocial support. He looks forward to speaking about relief work for displaced Syrians, Christian presence in the Middle East, and his work in outreach and relief to Iraqi refugees in Syria.