Presbyterian Peacemaking Program hopes to receive 40-50 hosting invitations from mid councils and others
by Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE — Mid councils, churches and other institutions will have a chance to receive in-person visits from International Peacemakers again this fall.
Up to 10 peacemakers will travel to the United States to lift up issues of peace and justice that are facing their countries, according to the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, which sponsors them. These siblings in Christ will be representing Cuba, El Salvador, Greece, Indonesia, Liberia, Nigeria, Palestine, Poland, South Sudan and Ukraine.
While visiting the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Peacemakers will share their stories and help build a culture of peace and nonviolence within the church and the communities they visit. Educational institutions also can host peacemakers.
“This program is about relationship-building and being in each other’s presence,” said the Rev. Carl Horton, coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. “These peacemakers have all been invited from our partner churches and organizations after consultation with our colleagues in Presbyterian World Mission. We have also worked with our colleagues in the Joining Hands network to identify potential peacemakers.”
The program, which has welcomed more than 350 peacemakers since 1984, switched to a virtual format during the pandemic but was able to return to in-person visits last year. “Not all mid councils were ready for in-person visits in 2022,” Horton said, “but we hope more of our hosts will be ready to welcome an international peacemaker into their midst.”
One of the goals this year is to help the church live into the Matthew 25 invitation, which seeks to dismantle structural racism, eradicate systemic poverty, build congregational vitality and address intersectional issues, such as climate change, militarism and heteropatriarchy/gender justice.
As part of their activities, the peacemakers will be “sharing unique experiences and stories from their work in the following areas,” Horton said.
- Hunger Ministries: “I was hungry and you gave me food.”
- Clean Water/Environmental Justice: “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.”
- Immigration/Migration/Refugee Welcome: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
- Poverty Alleviation: “I was naked and you gave me clothing.”
- Health and Wellness: “I was sick and you took care of me.”
- Racism/Systems of Oppression and Violence: “I was in prison and you visited me.”
The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program wants “as many people as possible to experience peacemaker visits,” Horton said. “In most cases peacemakers are hosted by mid councils or clusters of congregations, not by individual congregations,” he noted. “If the presbytery or synod cannot organize to host a peacemaker, a group of nearby congregations can work together to apply to host.”
Here are this year’s Peacemakers. The list could change, depending on various factors, including the travel visa process:
Alison Infante Zamora (Cuba) is moderator of the Synod of the Presbytery of Matanzas.
Ingrid Rubi Amaya de Posada (El Salvador) is a deacon in the Reformed Calvinist Church of El Salvador.
Efi Latsoudi (Greece) is a psychologist and human rights activist who co-founded Lesvos Solidarity.
Angie Wuysang (Indonesia) is an ordained minister of Gereja Masehi Injili di Minahasa (GMIM), the Christian Evangelical Church in Minahasa.
Matilda Parker (Liberia) is a ruling elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia and a real estate and business executive.
Peter Egwudah (Nigeria) is program coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition for Poverty Eradication (CISCOPE).
Amira Barham (Palestine) is a Palestinian Christian who supports marginalized children, such as those in refugee camps.
Magdalena Luczak (Poland) is a humanitarian activist who’s professionally associated with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.
Peter Yien (South Sudan) works with the South Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church (SSEPC) as its director and trauma healing facilitator.
Yuriy Lifanse (Ukraine) is a professor of the Italian language and leader in the Community of Sant’Egidio in Ukraine.
To learn more about the Peacemakers and to fill out a hosting application, go here.
The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is one of the Compassion, Peace and Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. The International Peacemakers Program is made possible by your generous gifts to the Peace & Global Witness Offering.
You may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.
Categories: Peace & Justice, Special Offerings
Tags: 2023 international peacemakers, eradicating systemic poverty, matthew 25 invitation, peace & global witness offering, Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, rev. carl horton
Tags: carl horton, church, councils, el salvador, horton, human rights, in-person visits, international, international peacemakers, mission agency, peace and justice, peacemakers, peacemaking, peacemaking program, presbyterian, presbyterian church, presbyterian peacemaking, presbyterian peacemaking program, program, south sudan
Ministries: Matthew 25 in the PC(USA): Join the Movement, Compassion, Peace and Justice, Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, Special Offerings