Tag: par

Feb 25 2017

WE THRIVE! WE DON’T MERELY SURVIVE.

Perhaps it’s time to review the funding sources of those who work for justice and peace in the name of Jesus.

 

We’re learning that the old notion of community-based, regenerating approaches (such as social entrepreneurship — Coffee For Peace in our case) to support our ministries are once again more sustainable than funding from governments and other institutions.

 

Monks and nuns in the past have practiced these self-regenerating ministries.

 

Now, even a mixed community of married couples, single parents, young people (PeaceBuilders Community in our case) can live with each other five days a week, eat together, pray daily together, worship weekly together, and earn our living together while serving God together in demonstrating peace and reconciliation in the historical contexts of our people and our land. And we can enjoy RestDays as families and individuals during the weekends.

 

 

Yet, we still need our global community — individuals and families — who want to invest from their own pockets in our social entrepreneurial initiatives.

 

We can also return to community-to-community partnership like what Paul of Tarsus facilitated between Macedonian communities and Jerusalem communities. So the local-global partnership (koinonia) can still be practiced and even be nurtured!

 

It is still an exciting time to be assured of the acts of the Spirit in spite of, and in the midst of, these dark days of the 21st Century Empire.

 

We thrive! We don’t merely survive.

 

 

VISION 2020

 

BY FAITH, WE SEE AT LEAST ONE PAR COMMUNITY IN EACH PROVINCE BY 2020

Imagine.  By December 31st, 2020, each of our provinces will have a circle of leaders called Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Communities!  They would serve as the catalysts to organize PAR Teams in their municipalities or cities.  These PAR Teams, in turn, would serve as radical transformation volunteers in their respective families, churches, neighbourhoods, barangays, cities or municipalities.  The PAR Teams would also get involved in PAR Programs that are relevant to their specific context.

We are operating in 33 out of 81 provinces in the Philippines as of January 2016.

20 in Mindanao. 4 in Visayas. 09 in Luzon.

 

 

A NON-VIOLENT, RADICAL TRANSFORMATION

 

God willing, the Peace and Reconciliation Communities in all the provinces of the Philippines would advance as a Peace and Reconciliation Movement with an integrated framework for peace-building, who are organized in partnership with various parts of the People of God, who are mobilized to do ministries of justice and peace in the name of Jesus, and who will lovingly serve all the peoples of our land unconditionally regardless of religion, ethnicity, or political ideology, to the end that our land will experience holistic, radical transformation!

Using an integrated framework for peace-building, PBCI will serve each PAR Community to be equipped in spiritually-energized social discernment and analysis.

1.  We will serve each PAR Community by equipping them with certain spiritual discernment skills and social analytical tools to help them understand the issues causing the crises they are facing in their particular province.  By having a clear discernment and analysis of their situation, they can make relevant and effective crisis intervention.

2.  We will encourage them to look beyond their current crises and to envision a future when there is genuine peace and reconciliation in their particular province.  This vision is characterized by the kind of social structures and relationships they would desire.  Such long term vision will help them discern the root causes of the crises they are facing and will also help them look through the taken-for-granted facades of social realities that keep the cycle or recurrence of their crises.

3.  We will walk with them, in each ‘level of response’ and through ‘the time frame of activity,’ as they move from their crises to their desired change.  We will offer how our understanding of shalom transformation (spiritual, psycho-social, socio-political, and economic-ecological) would guide their journey towards their desired future.

 

May this vision be counted as one of the many prayers for the transformation of our beloved country.  May God bring genuine peace and reconciliation among our people and in our land!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2017/02/25/we-thrive-we-dont-merely-survive/

Aug 07 2015

BANISILAN LEADERS INVITED US TO CONDUCT PAR TRAINING

banisilan2015

 

05-07 August 2015. The Municipality of Banisilan in the Province of North Cotabato invited PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) to conduct a seminar on Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) among the religious leaders in their town.

 

For the past three decades, Banisilan and the surrounding areas have been going through chronic armed conflicts due to land disputes and historical injustices. 30 people — Christian Pastors and Priest, Muslim Imam and Ustadz, and Indigenous Peoples’ Spiritual Leaders — were invited to form the Banisilan Religious Affairs Society.

 

PAR is PEACE AND RECONCILIATION.

 

PAR is the heart of our ministry. PEACE. The concept of peace — from the Hebrew term shalom and the Arabic term salaam — is understood here as:

 

  • Harmony with the Creator (spiritual transformation)
  • Harmony with our Being (psycho-social transformation)
  • Harmony with Others (socio-political transformation); and,
  • Harmony with the Creation (economic-ecological transformation).

 

RECONCILIATION. This is focused on building relationships between antagonists. The primary goal is to seek innovative ways to create a time and a place

  • to address,
  • to integrate, and
  • to embrace

the painful past and the necessary shared future as a means of dealing with the present.

 

The PBCI team members who facilitated the 2-day Basic PAR Seminar were Queenilyn Liwat, June Rojo, Clay Rojo, Joji Felicitas Bautista Pantoja, and Dann Pantoja.

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2015/08/07/banisilan-leaders-invited-us-to-conduct-par-training/

Jun 30 2015

PCEC PEACE AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION IS RE-ORGANIZED

See Photo Album

The Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Commission of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) had their strategic planning last June 23-26, 2015, at the Center for Christian Development, Tagaytay City.

As a result of this four-day workshop, we came up with a Peace and Reconciliation Vision for 2020, stated in the present tense:

  • Peace Revolution. Peace revolutionaries throughout the country are exponentially growing and reproducing peacebuilders engaged in their local, national, and international contexts.
  • PAR Beyond. PAR is integrated in various existing conflict transformation strategies and processes (traditional and institutional) across 81 provinces in the Philippines.
  • Church Transformation. The Body of Christ has become fully engaged in just peace processes in the Philippines. Churches across the country are applying transformative, radical, and redemptive strategies in responding to local, national, and international concerns.
  • Organic Peace Movements. An organic and dynamic peace movement effectively engaging local, national, and international stakeholders towards a society where truth, mercy, justice, and peace reign.
  • ‘Earthnicity.’ Earth. Art. Ethnic. City. Earthnicity summarizes the prayer, “Your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.” It magnifies the importance of valuing ethnicity, culture, and the arts of local contexts, whether they are from rural or urban origin. The Body of Christ is faithfully living out the Shalom of Christ by recognizing and embracing the diverse historical, social, and cultural realities of all people groups, especially among IPs and Muslim communities in the Philippines.

In our hearts and minds, these are present realities. They govern our actions as members of the PCEC PAR Commission.

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2015/06/30/pcec-peace-and-reconciliation-commission-is-re-organized/

Apr 20 2013

THE DREAM OF PAR COMMUNITY MULTIPLICATION IS BEING REALIZED

coffee-seminar-joji

Joji Pantoja leads a Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) coffee farming workshop in an armed-conflicted area in Mindanao. A livelihood program is a critical component of PAR Seminar. In this case, Peacebuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) trains the farmers on how to grow and care for their coffee trees, how to process their coffee beans in accordance with global quality standards, how to market their products with justice and dignity, and how to develop themselves as coffee entrepreneurs. PBCI’s sister organization, Coffee For Peace, buys their Arabica coffee beans at fair prices.

Our dream is to see one Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Community in each of the 80 provinces in the Philippines by the year 2020. This dream is spiritually motivated and is technically planned. We call this dream Vision 2020.

The dream was borne out of a spiritual realization that the church can, and must, be an effective agent of peace in the face of a post-911 global realities. This prompted my husband, Dann, to reflect on a biblical peace theology that can be applied in the historical context of the Philippines.

In January 2006, the Peace Mennonite Church in Richmond, British Columbia commissioned us as peacebuilding missionaries to Mindanao, Philippines. We were sent with their love for God and for the people in this land, along with their prayers, pastoral care, and finances.

After several years of working in the field as conflict transformation missionaries, the local leaders began asking us to train them to form local community-based peace teams that would help in the on-going work of reconciliation within their respective areas of responsibilities. Out of necessity, a local peace team started organizing another peace team in the next village or in the next municipality. Thus, we thought of forming a province-wide leadership community who would coordinate the organization of local teams. We started referring to this provincial group as Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Community.

par-growth

Here’s an example of PAR growth in one of the provinces in Mindanao: In the early months of 2011, a group of bishops, pastors, business executives, academicians, and local government administrators invited us to conduct a series of PAR Seminars among them. After three consecutive months of training, the Region 10 PAR Community was organized. One of the graduates invited us to train the members of the Council of Evangelical Churches in Bukidnon (CECB). CECB in turn shared the PAR principles among the members of the Valencia City Evangelical Ministerial Association, Inc. (VCEMAI). Both CECB and VCEMAI decided to make PAR to be a major component of their ministry in the province. In partnership with PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee For Peace (CFP), they have started organizing PAR Teams in several municipalities and villages in Bukidnon like Dominorog and Manalog. They also helped PBCI to organize PAR Communities in the provinces of Maguindanao and Davao del Sur.

PAR Community  is an initiative to organize a group of local leaders—church leaders, local government leaders, non-government organization leaders, business leaders, academic leaders, or any mix of these—

  • who have expressed interest to have a working relationship with us, who have made a commitment to embrace our Peace Theology;
  • who have invited us to teach them our PAR Seminar Series;
  • who have a vision to work with us in developing a PAR Program needed in their area; and,
  • who have organized themselves as PAR catalyst group in their particular province in accordance with our Dreams, Values, and Team organizational standards.

Today, PAR Communities have been established in 19 out of 80 provinces in the Philippines. But we still have to nurture, stabilize, strengthen and facilitate the sustainability of these PAR Communities. A few weeks ago, PBCI appointed Tala Bautista, one of our newly-trained field workers, to be the PAR Mobilization Coordinator. Her overall job objectives are:

  • to coordinate, monitor, and evaluate all activities and resource appropriation to reach the monthly, quarterly, and yearly objectives that would lead towards the realization of Vision 2020; and,
  • to assist PBCI in establishing one PAR Community in each of the 80 provinces by 31 December 2020.

par-map-vision2020

Imagine.  By December 31st, 2020, each of our 80 provinces will have a circle of leaders called Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Communities!  They would serve as the catalysts to organize PAR Teams in their municipalities or cities.  These PAR Teams, in turn, would serve as conflict transformation volunteers in their respective families, churches, neighbourhoods, barangays, cities or municipalities.  The PAR Teams would also get involved in PAR Programs that are relevant to their specific context.

God willing, by January 01, 2021, the 80 PAR Communities in the Philippines would advance as a Peace and Reconciliation Movement with an integrated framework for peace-building, who are organized in partnership with various parts of the People of God, who are mobilized to do ministries of justice and peace in the name of Jesus, and who will lovingly serve all the peoples of our land unconditionally regardless of religion, ethnicity, or political ideology, to the end that our land will experience holistic transformation!

With the power of the Holy Spirit, Dann and I are more energized and motivated to surf God’s waves of peace and reconciliation in this beautiful land.

Thank you, our partners, for being with us through your prayers and support.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2013/04/20/the-dream-of-par-community-multiplication-is-being-realized/

Jun 14 2011

STATE OF THE PHILIPPINE EVANGELICAL CHURCH TODAY: A POSITIVE RESPONSE

These are some of the pastors and Christian leaders who participated in the global prayer day gathered by Davao City Ministerial Fellowship last Monday, June 13, 2011.

Rev. Johnny Dalisay, President of Davao City Ministerial Fellowship, invited me to lead a prayer for the Philippines during our meeting last Monday.

Before I prayed, he showed a slide presentation entitled A Description of the Evangelical Church Today. Dr. Cesar Vicente P. Punzalan, Deputy National Director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), prepared the presentation.

I was glad when I saw the report of our growth as a segment of the Body of Christ in this land:

  • In 1975, there were 4,900 PCEC-based churches, but some were not counted in.
  • Today, there are 77,000 evangelical and full-gospel churches connected with PCEC.
  • PCEC-based churches are now 12% of the total Philippine population

12% of 90,000,000 is 10,800,000. That’s how many born-again Christians who are connected with church groups affiliated with PCEC. There should be more if we’ll include those who claim to have accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord but are not affiliated with PCEC-based denominations.

So, we have grown quantitatively as evangelical or full-gospel Christians! Praise God for this. We thank God for the church planters and evangelistic efforts of our congregations across the land!

Rev. Dalisay made a comment that despite the growing numbers of evangelical Christians in our land, the Philippines has become one of the most corrupt countries in Asia.

What he said was so true.

Here are the reports:

  • In 2007, the Philippines was perceived to be the most corrupt in the Asia-Pacific Region according to the annual corruption survey conducted by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, based in Hong Kong.
  • As of Monday, June 06, 2011, we were ranked as the 4th most corrupt country according to a similar survey by the same consulting group.

The Born-Again Christians increased in number, but their influence as salt and light of the world did not seem to be felt by the society-at-large! Why?

Dr. Punzalan explains:

We do not fully understand nor attempted to recognize and deal with structural evil:

  • the lack of national righteousness,
  • the lack of social peace,
  • the lack of public justice, and
  • the lack of economic sufficiency

as the whole body of Christ.

This theological inadequacy of the church affected the methodological aspects of its ministries.

Here’s how Dr. Punzalan sees the big picture in our public ministry today.

86% of our churches do not have enough resources, organizational sustainability, or community impact

13% are healthy having the capacity to engage in impact-driven ministry

1% have more capacity for impact to transform the nation and engage in international missions.

So, how should we then respond?

What if we start with a practical articulation of  a biblical-theological framework that encapsulates all aspects of life and ministry which the Bible calls Shalom?

Shalom is understood as harmony with the Creator (spiritual transformation), harmony with our Being (psycho-social transformation), harmony with Others (socio-political transformation), and harmony with the Creation (economic-ecological transformation).

This theological framework can be adopted as one of the many models on how to develop a discipleship approach that would meet the current needs of our churches today:

  • a biblical commitment to national righteousness;
  • a biblical commitment to social peace;
  • a biblical commitment to public justice; and,
  • a biblical commitment to economic sufficiency.

We can respond positively to the 86% of our churches who want to develop indigenous resources and organizational sustainability in order to have positive impact in their respective communities.

May I share a vision called PAR 80 BY 2015 (PDF format). Dream with me for a moment: By December 31st, 2015, each of our 80 provinces will have a circle of God-fearing, ethical leaders called Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Communities!  They would serve as the catalysts to organize PAR Teams in their municipalities or cities.  These PAR Teams, in turn, would serve as conflict transformation volunteers and church-based advocates who will engage the local government units (LGUs) and other civil society organizations (CSOs) to initiate programs or to implement existing laws and government policies that are consistent with–

  • the church’s biblical commitment to national righteousness;
  • the church’s commitment to social peace;
  • the church’s commitment to public justice; and,
  • the church’s commitment to economic sufficiency.

These church-based PAR Teams would also initiate or get involved as volunteers in various community activities that will result to  —

  • spiritual transformation;
  • psycho-social transformation;
  • socio-political transformation; and,
  • economic-ecological transformation

of our beautiful land!

God willing, by January 01, 2016, the 80 PAR Communities in the Philippines would advance as a Peace and Reconciliation Movement with an integrated framework for peace-building, who are organized in partnership with various parts of the People of God, who are mobilized to do ministries of justice and peace in the name of Jesus, and who will lovingly serve all the peoples of our land unconditionally regardless of religion, ethnicity, or political ideology, to the end that our land will experience holistic transformation!

Peace and blessings to all!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/06/14/description-of-the-evangelical-church-today/

Nov 10 2010

COTABATO CHRISTIAN LEADERS EMBRACE PAR MINISTRY

Reported by
MS REGINA MONDEZ, Development Communication Specialist, PeaceBuilders Community

On November 8, 2010, PeaceBuilders Community Inc (PBCI) Field Operations Team traveled to Cotabato City to explore the possibility of organizing a Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Community in this area. The team met with 15 participants from various Churches and Christian organizations to discuss and reflect on PAR ministries.

The meeting began with a presentation of PBCI’s vision to establish at least one PAR Community in each of the 81 provinces in the Philippines.  Rev. L. Daniel Pantoja, Founding President of PBCI, shared the sad realities we are currently facing: “Unjust Globalism—poor countries are oppressed and suppressed by powerful nations and multinational corporations.  Conflicted Land—our government is wasting huge amounts from our scarce resources due to armed conflicts against our own people.  Violence of Injustice—our people are enslaved in poverty while warlords run many of our local governments.”

But he also emphasized the fact that God is at work in our land and we are in a crucial time when God’s waves of grace and mercy are sweeping our land towards a taste of God’s shalom: “This is a kairos-moment for the Church in the Philippines.  We, at PeaceBuilders Community, sense that the Spirit of God is prompting the Body of Christ to be a mediator among various conflicting groups in our land.  What would be your response as Christian leaders in Cotabato City?”

An open forum followed.

During the forum the pastors expressed their reactions about PAR ministry. They confirmed that PAR ministry is needed in the area both within the church and with the greater community. Generally, the participants felt that PAR is both important and time sensitive for the area. They acknowledged their need to come together to have a voice in the conflict situation in their province.

It was also mentioned that getting involved in PAR ministries will require a change of mindset among the Christian community regarding their Muslim neighbors. They are aware of the gap between these two communities due to Christian prejudice against Muslim, and the need for efforts to be made to overcome this.

During our time together, we observed that the Christian community is confused about what some Muslim groups are fighting for in terms of territory and how that would affect their lives. Therefore, more dialogue between the Muslims and the Christians  is required to build mutual understanding.

The pastors in Cotabato City and surrounding areas embraced the idea of peace building and PAR ministry during this exploratory meeting. As one participant put it, “I am so happy!  With all my heart, this is the kind of peace building that I long for. This is concrete.”

The participants have confirmed, through the chairman of Cotabato City Ministerial Fellowship, Pastor Valentin Juan, that they are interested in training and will begin PAR Seminar Series in January of 2011.

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2010/11/10/1142/