Tag: peace and reconciliation

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/

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/

Oct 14 2013

45 CHRISTIAN LEADERS IN ZAMBOANGA FINISHED BASIC PAR TRAINING

zambo-par-2013

Graduates of the Zamboanga City Peace and Reconciliation Training pose for a group picture after a three day seminar and workshop. This training event was prompted after Zamboanga City suffered a 25-day armed clashes between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Photo by Dawn Pates.

07-13 October 2013. Pastors, theological educators, civil society leaders, and mission executives finished the Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) training in Zamboanga City. They are part of the forty-five Christian leaders who requested PBCI PAR Seminar as part of their preparation and equipping for a united evangelical body who will seek to actively participate in the rehabilitation of their war-torn city. This training event was organized and sponsored by Open Doors Philippines.

Zamboanga City suffered a 25-day war between government forces and the Misuari faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). More than 25,000 families or 135,000 people were affected by this human-induced disaster.

Faced with this enormous challenge, the evangelical leaders in Zamboanga realized that they need to join together as one body in order to effectively and efficiently assist in responding to the disaster in their city.

Meanwhile, Bishop Efraim Tendero sent a disaster response team to represent the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) in Zamboanga City. The team immediately met with the evangelical leaders in Zamboanga and presented the need to organize and offer a ‘smart and organized disaster response’ from Zamboanga’s evangelical community to both the local and national government.

We learned from the local pastors themselves that there were three evangelical ministerial organizations in Zamboanga and they were somehow in-conflict with each other. Two of these pastoral organizations agreed to join hands for the purpose of disaster response. Immediately, the Zamboanga Evangelical Disaster Response Network was organized.

However, Joy Dimerin, the Mindanao leader of Open Doors Philippines, felt the burden to facilitate the conversation among the three pastoral groups beyond disaster response. Joy was a participant in a PAR seminar conducted by PBCI in Davao City in partnership with a Mindanao-wide ministry network. Right after her PAR training, Joy made an arrangement with PBCI to bring PAR to Zamboanga in 2014.

But because of the Zamboanga Crisis, we were prompted to implement the plan immediately. 75 pastors and Christian leaders pre-registered for this PAR seminar in Zamboanga. But because of the heavy rain and flooding that happened right after the 25-day war, only 45 leaders were able to participate.

Now, a new city-wide evangelical fellowship, made up of pastors, theological educators, mission directors, and civil society leaders are organizing themselves as one Christian body committed to peace theology. Open Doors Philippines will continue to facilitate the conversation among local leaders. Ebenezer Bible College and Seminary will help in the continuing propagation of peace theology as a framework to help in the transformation of Zamboanga. The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches will oversee the process of solidarity. PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. will continue to be a support consulting group.

See Facebook photo album by Dawn Albert Pates

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2013/10/14/45-christian-leaders-in-zamboanga-finished-basic-par-training/

Sep 20 2011

WE SIGNED A MEMO OF UNDERSTANDING WITH UNIFRUTTI GROUP AND HINELEBAN FOUNDATION

In joyful response to God’s initiative and provision, PeaceBuilders Community Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee For Peace (CFP) have agreed to work together in a joint ministry with the Unifrutti Group of Companies (UGC), along with their foundations — Unifrutti Foundation Inc. and Hineleban Foundation Inc. (HFI)– to advance Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) initiatives in the Province of Bukidnon. This was documented through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the leaders of both groups last 20 September 2011 at the PeaceBuilders Community office in Davao City, Philippines.

Unifrutti is one of the Philippine’s biggest producers and exporters of Cavendish bananas and pineapples and operates in Bukidnon, Lanao del Sur and Davao del Sur.  Unifrutti is the mother company of Mount Kitanglad Agricultural Development Corp., Mt. Kitanglad Agri-Venture Corp., Wao Development Corp. and Prinetines Meadows Development Inc.

The dreams of PBCI-CFP resonates with the vision and mission of UGC and HFI.

UGC-HFI Vision states:

We are stewards of God, involved in efficiently producing quality fresh fruits & vegetables.  We share the fruits of our lands with our communities.  We provide a better quality of life. We contribute to the peace and development of our brother Muslims, Cultural Communities & Christians in Mindanao.

The mission statement of UGC-HFI excites us:

We are a God-centered organization, united as One Family.  We uphold God’s values of Love, Truthfulness, Trustworthiness, Discipline & Perseverance.  We want to be the preferred supplier of best quality fruits & vegetables farm produce to the markets that we serve, adding value to our customers at a reasonable cost.  We are committed to improve the quality of life of our brother Muslims, Cultural Communities, and Christians by pursuing agricultural activities in our lowland & highland farms.  We will expand our investment presence in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to support our country’s aspiration for lasting peace through economic development.  We will safeguard the interest of our shareholders by providing fair returns for their investments.  We will preserve and restore the environment by implementing reforestation and other enhancement measures to maintain the ideal micro-climates conducive for sustainable agricultural production.  We preserve and restore the environment.

Both PBCI-CFP and UGC-HFI believe that God is the One opening this door for our groups to do PAR ministry together. John Perrine, Chairman and CEO of Unifrutti Group of Companies, expressed this in his own words: “I believe that the goals of our respective groups are very much aligned and that our strengths are truly complimentary.”

PBCI-CFP and UGC-HFI will work together in sending a total of 12 teams of PAR community organizers to three verified armed-conflict zones between October 2011 and October 2012.  Each team will be made up of three full-time personnel —  the lead PAR community organizer, an administrative assistant, and a local guide. This partnership is planning to send three teams per quarter between October 2011 and October 2012.  Dann and John Perrine, along with their respective staff, will coordinate in this aspect of the partnership.

PBCI-CFP and UGC-HFI will also work together in developing Coffee Farming Technology in these zones in accordance with Fair Trade Principles. Joji and Renee Araneta-Perrine will coordinate in this aspect of the partnership, with the assistance of their respective staff. Renee is the Marketing Director of Hineleban Foundation. She is John’s wife.

This joint ministry of peace and reconciliation (PAR) is based on a faith-perspective that God is already at work among the people of our land even before we plan and act.

We understand peace as enjoying harmony in our basic human relationships through the transforming power of God: 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.

We understand reconciliation as 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.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/09/20/we-signed-a-memo-of-understanding-with-unifrutti-group-and-hineleban-foundation/

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/

May 23 2011

PAR COMMUNITY IS FORMALLY ORGANIZED IN LA UNION

Pastors and bishops from both the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) met to formally organize the Peace and Reconciliation Community of La Union Province (PAR La Union). They are joined by a number of academic leaders, Christian NGO leaders, local government officials, police officers, and youth leaders.

This organizational meeting is the culmination of a series of consultation and seminar sessions on Peace and Reconciliation which were facilitated by PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI).

Dr. Mariano Apilado, a native of Caba Municipality, La Union Province, and Bishop Jun Tarlit of Christian Leaders’ Alliance In Ministering La Union (CLAIM LU), guided the process of organization.

Union Christian College hosted the meeting and some of their senior staff serve as secretariat.

PBCI serves as peace education consultants and technical support team.

19 May 2011. San Fernando City, La Union Province.


 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/05/23/par-la-union-formally-organized/

Feb 25 2011

MENNONITES LEARNS ABOUT COMMUNITY IMPACT OF PAR IN NUEVA ECIJA

Reported by
REGINA MONDEZ, Development Communication Specialist, PeaceBuilders Community

On December 2009, Peacebuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) started a project on Disaster Risk Management. After a year, we have already trained one PAR community, consisting of 30 members, in the Province of Nueva Ecija.
They were trained for one year in Peace and Reconciliation Seminars 1-3, and Disaster Risk Management. (See stories on: PAR 1 SeminarPAR 2 Seminar, PAR 3 Seminar, CBDRM trainingCommunity risk Assessment, TOT and GraduationOfficers’ meetingConsultation)

On February 21, 2011, all the members of PAR NE were very excited for their reunion. They all shared stories and updated each other upon their arrival. It was the first time they met PBCI Director of Field Operations – Kriz Cruzado, who facilitated their impact assessment and Focused Group Discussion.

They were all active and participative, given the lively approach of the facilitator. They also felt happy with the presence of Bruce and Helen Glick from the Mennonite Central Committee.

They gave positive comments and feedbacks about the training on Disaster Risk Management, although some of them were not able to attend the PAR trainings. Because of this, they requested to conduct PAR 1-3 seminar again, so they could also invite more people from the 4th District of Nueva Ecija.

During their timeline making, some of them had a hard time recalling what happened during a certain month, and yet they were very eager to share and help each other recall what they have done. They told stories with much excitement as they recall their experiences. In fact, one of the most exciting experience that the pastors recalled was the Armed-Conflict Area Survival Training (ACAST) that they held on May 2010. They were very happy recalling how they crawled and rolled and carried each other.

Overall, they gave a positive feedback about the training and would want to share this to more people in their province.

See Facebook story

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/02/25/pbci-assesses-community-impact-of-par-ne/

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/