The Rev. Adelaida Jiménez to aid discussions between the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army
by Scott O’Neill | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE — Presbyterian World Mission staff are hailing the announcement that the Rev. Adelaida Jiménez of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia has been named part of a peace process negotiating team tasked with brokering a peace agreement between the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army.
Presbyterian activism to promote peace in Colombia goes back more than 100 years. Colombian President Gustavo Petro has promised to bring peace to Colombia after nearly 60 years of war.
According to World Mission staff, naming Jiménez to the national government’s negotiating team “expands participation of women in the country’s peace process.”
A letter from IPC, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, sent to sister churches and national and international ecumenical organizations, invites people to support and pray for Jiménez so that God can guide her in the reconciliation and peace process.
The Rev. Dr. Valdir França, World Mission’s area coordinator for Latin America & the Caribbean, had this reaction to the announcement:
“This is great news; I recognize the work of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia in striving for peace and we all know the talents and gifts that Rev. Adelaida Jiménez brings to the table. I pray her contributions will be meaningful to the children of God and peace efforts in Colombia”.
The Rev. Sarah Henken, mission co-worker in Colombia, says that Jiménez’ appointment to the negotiating team is a hopeful sign.
“In addition to pastor, theologian, and educator, Adelaida is a poet with deep love for her country. She has been an advocate denouncing gender-based violence at the local and national level and has accompanied victims of Colombia’s armed conflict,” Henken said. “She preaches dialogical messages in the small rural church she pastors, and her appointment brings true parity in the balance of men and women who are part of the government’s team seeking a way forward that meets the needs of all Colombians and leaves violence behind. May God’s wisdom guide and illuminate Rev. Adelaida and all who participate in these negotiations.”
A translation of the IPC’s letter
Bogota, November 27, 2022
Brothers and Sisters
Sister churches and national and international ecumenical organizations
Receive greetings with our wishes that God is guiding you in the announcement and testimony of the good news of peace.
The Council of the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia has received with much joy and celebrates the announcement of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace, on 25 November 2022, to incorporate the Rev. Adelaida Jiménez as part of the negotiating team of the national government to expand the participation of women in this peace process.
Knowing the trajectory and commitment of Rev. Jiménez in the IPC, in her pastoral work in various communities, in her educational role at the Colegio Americano of Barranquilla and in the Unireformada, and in her work with women and ecumenical organizations in the construction of peace in the Presbytery of the Coast and at the national level, we know that she will make an outstanding contribution from the Protestant and Reformed identity and as a woman in this process of dialogue that allows a new agreement that makes the yearned for peace in our country a reality. We also consider that her inclusion at this Dialogue Table is a recognition of the work for peace of the Presbyterian Church for more than 165 years of presence in Colombia, of the Reformed family and the international ecumenical movement that in its history has been committed to peace and reconciliation processes in Colombia and various places of our planet.
For this reason, the Synod Council invites IPC membership, churches sisters and national and international ecumenical organizations to support and pray for Rev. Adelaida Jiménez, so that God guides her in this endeavor and allows her to contribute to reconciliation and to a peace that is the fruit of justice in Colombia.
The Rev. Isay Pérez, Moderator, and the Rev. Milton Mejía, Secretary
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