Ten speakers available for talks at churches, presbyteries and other forums
June 1, 2018
In just a few months, Presbyterian churches across the U.S. will be hosting the 2018 International Peacemakers.
This year, 10 peacemakers are expected to take part in the annual event, sponsored by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.
“We’ve got guests who come from places that are conflict zones, places where there’s a lot of national media attention right now, hot spots around the world,” said Carl Horton, coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. “Countries like South Sudan, Palestine and Syria are among them.”
Horton says he’s connecting this year’s peacemakers with past and upcoming travel study seminars.
“Last year Presbyterians went to Madagascar, and this year we are bringing one of the leaders of the church there to speak,” he said. “As far as upcoming seminars, we are planning a trip to Rwanda next year to look at the reconciliation work that the church has been doing since the genocide in 1994. We are bringing back a previous peacemaker, Jerome Bizimana, who has been doing some very intentional reconciliation work, peacebuilding training and trauma recovery there.”
Horton says the Peacemaking Program is focusing on migration and refugees.
“We are also focusing on countries that have been perhaps mischaracterized in this country where the Presbyterian Church has an active partnership and ministry, such as Haiti and Rwanda,” he said. “We want to provide an opportunity for those stories to be told.”
Horton says the Peacemaking Program has selected speakers who can help congregations understand what it means to be a “Matthew 25 church.”
Peacemakers will visit churches, presbyteries and other community forums from Sept. 21 to Oct. 15. Individual community visits generally last three to five days, excluding travel days. Horton says that before and after their itineration, they will gather in Louisville for orientation and debriefing.
The 2018 peacemakers are:
- Fabienne Jean, Haiti (accompanied by mission co-worker Cindy Corell)
- Holiniaina (Holly) Rakotondralambo, Madagascar
- Amal Nassar, Palestine (Sept. 21—Oct. 1)
- Alex Awad, Palestine
- Roceni Bakian, Philippines
- Jerome Bizimana, Rwanda
- Michael Muot Put, South Sudan
- Zulema Garcia de Rojas, Venezuela (Sept. 21—Oct. 5)
- Mary Mikhael, Syria
- Representative of the Churches Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME)
Applications for speakers can be found here and will be accepted through July 1.
“We are encouraging people to get their applications in as early as possible because we are filling schedules as we get the requests,” said Horton. “This year we will be hosting only 10 peacemakers as opposed to 15 last year.”
The annual visits by peacemakers have taken place since 1984. Since that time, more than 300 individuals from nearly 60 countries have taken part in the program and have been hosted by 160 Presbyterian mid councils, colleges and theological institutions. Participants have included pastors, educators and community leaders.
Rick Jones, Mission Communications Strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: 2018 International Peacemakers
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
God of love, thank you for modeling true compassion and peace. Fill us with your love so that we perceive and understand others the way you do. Use us to make an impact on our communities and churches, and to achieve a world of perfect peace. We pray all of this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.