Welcome to the 2020 International Peacemaker Virtual Symposium!
For 37 years the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program has brought partners from around the world to visit with our mid-councils, colleges, seminaries and congregations. Like pebbles dropped in water, these visits have rippled across the Presbyterian Church (USA) deepening our understanding of complex issues, challenging the limitations of our perspectives, building lasting relationships with global friends, and inspiring us to new initiatives.
In 2020, in light of the challenges we face, we have shifted the program from in-person visits to online conversations. We are grateful to the 16 past peacemakers from 2012-2019 who have joined us for this virtual symposium. This time together is an opportunity to catch-up with them, be updated on their work and hear from them on the challenging topics of our day.
Below are the descriptions and links to the interviews, panel discussions and presentations that comprise this Symposium. They are available for you to view at any time. They will also be released daily on our Facebook page during the dates of the Symposium, September 27-October 10, 2020.
Thank you for joining us for this experience with our International Peacemakers!
Meet the Moderator of the Council for World Mission (CWM)
In August, Lydia Neshangwe (Zimbabwe, 2019) took on a new role, serving as the first woman elected as moderator of the Council for World Mission (CWM), a worldwide partnership of 32 denominations with a combined population of 22 million Christians in about 50,000 congregations spread across 40 countries around the world.
Arda A. (Palestine, 2011, 2012 and 2016) was Project Supervisor and Media and Advocacy Coordinator at the YWCA of Palestine. She currently works as a Communications Consultant. Nora Carmi (Palestine, 2017) has held leadership positions with the YWCA of Palestine, Sabeel Liberation Theology Center, and Kairos Palestine. She has served as a community builder in Palestinian society, advocating for a just peace and empowering women and the community through skill development and spirituality. Alex Awad (Palestine, 2018) served as Dean of Students and full-time instructor at Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem where he served on the faculty for 24 years.
Jaff Bamenjo (Cameroon, 2019) is the Coordinator of RELUFA, the Network for the Fight Against Hunger, a Joining Hands partner of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Cameroon. He coordinates the advocacy campaigns on land and food justice and transparency in the extractive industries.
Nicole (Nicqi) Ashwood (Caribbean, 2013 & 2014) represents the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands as the program executive for Just Community of Women and Men. Her presentation looks at the inclusion of women in the work of Peacemaking for Just Communities and includes a brief overview of the SyroPhonecian woman’s encounter with Jesus.
Deon Snyman (South Africa, 2015) has served as a minister of rural Zulu speaking congregations of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa. For 13 years he served with the Restitution Foundation in Cape Town where he developed restitution theory and models to assist in addressing the South Africa’s colonial and apartheid legacy.
Addressing Violence Against Women in Guatemala
Delia Leal (Guatemala, 2017) is the Regional Coordinator for the Women’s Ministry of the Protestant Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America (CEDEPCA). CEDEPCA’s efforts aim to prevent and eradicate violence against women. Interpretation by Leslie Vogel (Regional Liaison, Mexico and Guatemala).
Jerome Baris (Philippines, 2017) currently serves as the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Area Bishop of the East Visayas Jurisdiction and is a highly informed advocate for justice and human rights in the Philippines.
The European Churches’ Response to Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers
Manolis Ntamparakis (Greece, 2018) is a staff member of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) based in Thessaloniki, Greece. He provides capacity building support and consultancy to the Municipalities of Central and North Greece region to support refugee integration programs in their constituencies. Arlington Trotman (United Kingdom, 2019) is the former moderator of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), an organization of churches and ecumenical councils from 18 European countries that advocates for migrants, refugees and minority groups.
Jerome Bizimana (Rwanda, 2015 and 2018) serves as the President and Legal Representative of Remera Presbytery in the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda and is committed to the church’s ongoing work to reconcile the people of Rwanda twenty-five years after the atrocities of genocide.
Erlinda Quesada (Costa Rica, 2019) cofounded the National Front of Sectors Impacted by Pineapple Production (FRENASAPP), which seeks to address the negative impacts of the expanding pineapple plantations in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica. Interpretation by Karla Koll (Mission Co-Worker for Costa Rica).
Mphatso Mary Nguluwe (Malawi, 2017) serves as a Director of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian Health Department, directing 3 major hospitals and overseeing 12 Community Health Centers, most in hard to reach areas.
Tamar Wasoian (Syria, 2015 and 2016) is an Armenian educator and theologian and a descendent of Armenian Genocide survivors.
A Prophetic Witness for Peace in Colombia
German Zárate-Durier (Colombia, 2012 and 2013) most recently served as the director of the Office of Diaconia (Mission and Service) of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia (IPC), focusing on church development and the promotion of human rights.