The World Council of Churches (WCC) has welcomed the historic announcement made by the Colombian government and the FARC revolutionary force agreeing to a framework for ending 50 years of internal conflict in the nation and addressing issues of justice and reparations to the victims.Read more
After weeks of uncertainty about the coming peace talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the latter ordered all of their combatants to cease offensive action from Monday, July 20th, as had been announced on July 8th, 2015. The rebel group stated that the order of unilateral ceasefire is “due to the call of the guarantor countries, Cuba and Norway, and companions, Venezuela and Chile, of the peace talks” as well as a letter signed by 150 ecumenical leaders from the US, Latin America and Europe requesting the end of aggression for the well-being of Colombia.Read more
I almost missed it... My wife had just dozed off and the recorded sitcom we had been watching had just ended. I decided to flip through the channels one more time to see if anything interesting was on. And there it was… there were about 5 minutes left in the Miss Universe Pageant.Read more
Rev. Gloria Ulloa, the World Council of Churches (WCC) President for Latin America and the Caribbean, has participated at the 35th Assembly of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF). Ulloa addressed the women’s pre-assembly gathering and brought greetings on behalf of the WCC. The event is currently underway in Bogotá, Colombia, until 5 March.Read more
He just took on the Colombian Armed Forces and won. He used only nonviolence grounded in faith. He didn't seek to take on the Colombian Army - they picked a fight with him. He just sought to keep the faith. He had right on his side and he knew it.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Exodus 20:1–4, 7–9, 12–20
Prayers for Colombia:
Loving God, today we pray for Colombia, we pray for our neighbors, our brothers and sisters to the south. You freed the Israelites from the land of Egypt and from the bonds of slavery. Today Colombians are working hard to free their country from the bonds of war, drug-trafficking and violence.
- We lift up the peace talks between the warring factions who are negotiating in Havana, Cuba. May they turn their swords into plowshares.
- We lift up the leaders of the church’s Peace Commission. May they know peace.
- We lift up the youth who at great personal risk refuse to fight in their country’s war. May they be set free.
- We lift up all Colombians. May they one day sit under vine and fig tree with no fear.
Liberating God, thank you for the example of our Colombian sisters and brothers who hold steadfast to the promise of your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven. Bless them today as they seek to follow you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Colombia:
Jhonatan Vargas is a youth leader at the Foursquare Church in the sweltering oil-town of Barrancabermeja in central Colombia. Jhonatan is an honors student majoring in engineering at the Industrial University of Santander. And as I write this, Jhonatan sits in a military jail cell because Jhonatan refused to go to war.
When Jhonatan was recruited against his will and they tried to train him he said that he wouldn’t learn how to kill or shoot a gun because it went against his Christian beliefs. This right to conscientious objection and religious freedom are enshrined in the Colombian Constitution, but the Colombian military doesn’t like it and fights against it. Many young C.O´s have been forced to join the army against their will.
Luckily for Jhonatan he found the support of Global Ministries partners, the Peace Commission of the Evangelical Council of Colombia and Justapaz, who provided him with pastoral care and a lawyer to fight his case. Jhonatan’s case went all the way to Colombia’s Constitutional Court, who ruled two weeks ago that the army must let Jhonatan go free. As a follower of the Prince of Peace he has the right to not go to war.
Lift up Jhonatan and other peacemakers in Colombia and around the globe and as we break bread on this World Communion Sunday pray faithfully for peace.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Michael Joseph)
Mission Partners in Colombia:
More information on Colombia:
Global Ministries Missionary in Colombia:
Michael Joseph, a member of First Congregational Church, Washington, D.C., serves the Peace Commission of the Evangelical Council of Colombia (CEDECOL). He provides pastoral critical presence to church leaders and lay people who are living in life-threatening situations. His appointment is supported by Week of Compassion, Our Churches Wider Mission, Disciples Mission Fund and your special gifts.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry. Psalm 34:15 (NRSV) We write you today to request your prayers for the community of El Guayabo. El Guayabo is a rural community of approximately sixty families in the municipality of Puerto Wilches, Santander. These families settled the land now known as El Guayabo and have lived and farmed there since 1986. The community is currently facing legal proceedingsRead more
At its most basic, peacemaking is about relationship-making among individuals and communities whether they are strangers, enemies, or friends. Peacemaking as relationship-making has its roots in the Hebrew and Christian Testaments. Perhaps even more significantly, peacemaking as relationship-making has been evidenced in my life in concrete, embodied experiences with women, children, and men in the communities where I have been in ministry with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)*.Read more