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PC(USA)’s ‘Connecting the Dots’ webinar registration now open

Can Colombia find peace?

by Scott O’Neill | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — The Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Militarism Working Group’s newest Connecting the Dots webinar is scheduled for noon Eastern Time on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

The topic is “Hope for Peace in Colombia?”

Participants will have the opportunity during the 90-minute Zoom session to hear from U.S. and Colombian Presbyterians engaged in peace work in the South American country, learn more about its current context, catch glimpses of community life, and reflect on the ongoing challenges that militarism poses for the prospects of a just and lasting peace in Colombia.

The webinar is open to all, but participants must register here. Real-time Spanish translation of the webinar will be available.

Colombia is taking steps to build a lasting peace after more than six decades of internal armed conflict. The Presbyterian Church of Colombia (IPC) is a historic partner of the PC(USA). Joint efforts have included actively seeking peace with justice by accompanying those most impacted by the violence and advocating for political solutions to the conflict. Presbyterian activism to promote peace in the country dates back more than a century.

A 2016 peace accord signed by the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group faced opposition by some and has yet to be fully implemented. The current administration has begun dialogues with other armed actors, including drug-trafficking organizations, looking for avenues to end the violence, which deprives many communities of their fundamental right to life.

The Rev. Sarah Henken, mission co-worker serving in Colombia

“We will highlight the impacts of militarism on Colombia, including the impacts on local communities that have been affected and what Presbyterians have been doing as part of the peace process,” said the Rev. Sarah Henken, PC(USA) mission co-worker serving in Colombia. “There are unique opportunities — and challenges — available to transform the current militarized culture into something new.”

Joining Henken on the webinar panel will be the Presbyterian World Mission’s area coordinator for Latin America & the Caribbean, the Rev. Dr. Valdir França; Sue Rheem, representative to the United Nations for the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations; and the Rev. Adelaida Jiménez, a Presbyterian minister with IPC who serves on the government’s team responsible for dialogue with the National Liberation Army rebel group. Rheem will speak about UN involvement supporting Colombia’s peace process and Franca will share stories about his work with PC(USA)’s partner, IPC.

Connecting the Dots webinars examine militarism from a variety of perspectives through a lens of Christian faith. Prior webinars have covered topics such as national security in Colombia and Korea, gun violence, violent conflict, climate change, how to become a peace church, and militarism and moral injury. Previously recorded sessions can be viewed on the webinar’s web page. Visit to register for the Sept. 6 webinar.

To learn more about Colombia and Henken’s work there, visit her Mission Connections page outlining the Total Peace Initiative.

The PMA’s Militarism Working Group includes the Compassion, Peace & Justice and World Mission ministries and the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.

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