Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) blogs

Swords into plowshares

Subscribe to this blog feed icon

About this blog

Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

Recent posts



See all PC(USA) Blogs

PC(USA) Home

Posts with tag: colombia

February 17, 2016

Presbyterian Ministry at the UN hopeful for political solution in Colombia

Map of ColombiaOn January 25, 2016, the United Nations Security Council acted to "to set up a United Nations political mission in Colombia, approving a team of international observers to monitor disarmament should the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) reach a final agreement to end Latin America’s longest armed conflict."

We welcome this step toward peace and give thanks for our partners in Colombia, particularly in the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, and the United States and elsewhere who have worked, and continue to work, for a just peace for our sisters and brothers.

Thanks ...

Read more

April 22, 2013

Advocacy Alert CORRECTION AND UPDATE: El Tamarindo, Colombia

An update from our partners in the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship:



Thank you to the many of you who have already begun reaching out in response to our urgent action this Saturday.  We wanted to provide A CORRECTED E-MAIL ADDRESS and a few critical updates based on some of the feedback we have received and some of the communications we have already seen some write:

1)  The email to the State Department as given was incorrect.  It is:   (That’s ColOmbia, not ColUmbia.  We can’t believe we passed on the wrong version!)  

2)  Please remember in ...

Read more

April 22, 2013

Urgent Action Requested from our partners in ministry of the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia: Justice for murdered land rights defender and his community

Our partners in the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship have asked that we share the information below from our partners in ministry of the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia.


Yesterday we received an urgent communication from the Rev. Jaira Barriga of the Presbytery of the North Coast in Colombia concerning the murder on April 12, 2013, of a young man, Narcisco Enrique Teheran Mejia.  His murder followed a series of death threats and paramilitary operations in an area called El Tamarindo in the municipality of Galapa, near the city of Barranquilla.  Mr. Teheran was the son of a land restitution activist and was ...

Read more

October 25, 2012

A revolutionary idea

Mamie Broadhurst and German Zarate“There is nothing more revolutionary than the idea ‘love your neighbor!’' Germán Zárate reminded the group who gathered at the Church Center for the United Nations on October 23, 2012. Germán, Director of the Diaconal of the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia and the Rev. Mamie Broadhurst, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-worker in Colombia, spoke about the ministry of the church in Colombia.

The Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia, supported by U.S.-based partners, ministers to our sisters and brothers who have been displaced in Colombia. This ministry involves working to address the human rights crisis ...

Read more

August 20, 2012

Being church together: Colombia Accompaniment Program

Would you be interested in volunteering to spend a month "being church together" with the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, in their work alongside victims of violence?  While Spanish is preferred, it is not essential. (We'll pair you with a Spanish speaker.)  Nor do you have to be Presbyterian.  The key requirements are open ears and heart, and the willingness to tell the Colombia story back in the U.S. when you return.  If you're interested, you'll want to attend one of the upcoming training / discernment sessions at Stony Point, New York - October 25-29, 2012 and March 14-18 ...

Read more

June 21, 2012

Seeking peace in Colombia

Map of ColombiaThe 219th General Assembly (2010) approved an overture “On Assisting with a Process for Negotiation of a Peace Accord in Colombia.”

The action directed “the Stated Clerk of the PC(USA) to write the administration of President Barack Obama and the Congress of the United States of America seeking the permanent suspension of the U.S. military use of seven Colombian bases initiated in 2009.”

The General Assembly further directed “appropriate offices of the General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC) to work with ecumenical partners to monitor and post periodic updates on the impact of United States military use of ...

Read more

April 11, 2012

April 12-16, 2012: Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia

This year, the Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia focus on sending a simple message: everyone deserves a place to call home.

Read more

September 9, 2011

Antonio has been found

Good news!

We have learned that Antonio Ariza has been found and is alive. We will post more information as we receive it.

Thank you so much to everyone for your outreach, advocacy and prayers.

The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship

Please continue to pray and act for God's children who have been disappeared in Colombia and around the world.

Read more

September 7, 2011

Act for Antonio

Image of AntonioI did not sleep well last night. Of course I rarely sleep well, but last night I knew why.

It is hard to sleep, at least for me, when my heart aches even more than usual.

I learned on Monday night that Antonia Ariza went missing on September 1, 2011 in Colombia. The information came from our partners in the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia. Antonio has been working with the church for a number of years in their ministry of accompaniment with people who have been displaced in Colombia.

Despite the ongoing and repeated threats to his life, Antonio has ...

Read more

September 5, 2011

Praying for Antonio

Photo of a manI pray with many others tonight for our friend Antonio in Colombia. I had the privilege to meet Antonio during Easter week of 2010. He is a leader of an organization of people who have been internally displaced within Colombia. The oganization seeks to return people to land they can work for their living. His is risky work. He has received threats before.

Four days ago, Antonio disappeared.

Too many have been disappeared in too many places around the world. On August 30, the International Day of the Disappeared, I prayed for sisters and brothers unknown.

Tonight, I pray with ...

Read more

July 11, 2011

Supporting Human Rights in Colombia

Presbyterian efforts to support our sisters and brothers in Colombia in their efforts to protect human rights continue.

The Presbyterian Church of Colombia has stated its opposition to the Colombia Free Trade Agreement and has called the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to join in advocacy against its passage.

Presbyterians have called President Obama. The Office of Public Witness helped organize and plan an interfaith prayer breakfast.

On July 11, four members of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship were arrested during a peaceful, nonviolent witness.

Now you can call your member of Congress to vote no on the Colombia Free Trade ...

Read more

June 21, 2011

Ask your representative to sign letter on Colombia Free Trade Act

From our partners in the Presbyterian Hunger Program:

The Obama Administration has announced that it wants to push the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) through Congress before August, so we’re getting down to the wire. Our allies in Congress are stepping up their efforts to stop this trade agreement, but they need your help.

Click here to ask your representative to sign the congressional letter against the FTA!

Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) has written a strong letter to President Obama explaining how devastating the Free Trade Agreement would be for Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities already at risk ...

Read more

June 3, 2011

Accompaniment in Colombia and Jamaica

Banner of accompaniment program

Accompaniment is the great theme of the Bible. It is the window through which we should see the whole of the Gospel and the entire meaning of our faith. Accompaniment is what it is all about.

With those words, Tom Driver began a sermon for Maundy Thursday, 2010. Tom was in Colombia for a time of reflection and evaluation of the Colombia Accompaniment Program. The program had begun in 2004 when

The Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia (IPC) sent a message to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). We are being threatened, they said. If you sent some people here to ...

Read more

May 16, 2011

It Costs Too Much! The Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Presbyterians Speak Up

Join us for a Webinar on May 27 Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar Seat Now The Obama Administration is pushing to pass the three Free Trade Agreements – Korea, Colombia and Panama – by summer. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)...

Read more

May 14, 2011

Victims of violence await justice in Colombia

Global Policy Forum has posted an article about justice for people impacted by violence in Colombia. The Colombian armed conflict waged since the 1960s between the government, guerrillas and paramilitaries has claimed tens of thousands of civilian lives and displaced...

Read more

April 18, 2011

Blessed are the peacemakers

How does the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations equip and inspire Presbyterians to make peace following Jesus? The Presbyterian Women of Monmouth Presbytery explored that question when then met on April 16 at the Presbyterian Church at Shrewsbury for...

Read more

April 14, 2011

Skyping the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

This evening brought a milestone on my technological journey. I had Skyped before . . . in fact there were several Skype conversations today alone. But at about 8:20 Eastern time, as had been carefully prearranged, my Skype came to...

Read more

April 11, 2011

Building Sustainable Communities of Peace in Colombia

For over fifty years, the people of Colombia have endured violence that has displaced more than five million Colombians and driven another 500,000 from their country. Thousands more have died. Since 2000, the United States has provided Colombia over $7...

Read more

April 10, 2011

Pray for the people of Colombia

We pray for the peacemakers in Colombia, the churches, and all people who in countless ways seek to right the wrongs, heal the wounded and sick, speak the truth, and protect the vulnerable. We give thanks for those who are...

Read more

March 29, 2011

Peacemaking in Colombia: Event at Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

For those in New York City: Building Sustainable Communities of Peace in Colombia A Conversation and Brown Bag Lunch with The Rev. Adelaida Jiménez Cortes and The Rev. Gloria Ulloa Tuesday, April 5, 2011 Noon – 1:00 PM Church Center...

Read more

March 28, 2011

Colombia Days of Prayer and Action Resources

This originally appeared on Called to Colombia by Richard Williams and Mamie Broadhurst. The resources are out! Please take time to participate in the National Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia this year on April 8th -11th. This is...

Read more

March 18, 2011

Libya, Madagascar, Colombia, Japan

The UN Security Council has acted on Libya: Security Council authorizes ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians in Libya Madagascar remains plagued by political uncertainty: Madagascar still mired in crisis 2 years after coup Violence continues to displace people in...

Read more

February 19, 2011

Prayers for a Saturday morning . . .

and other times . . . Pray for the people of . . . Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Libya and other countries who call for change . . . Uganda who are vote . . . Palestine and Israel who stand...

Read more

January 24, 2011

Colombia Accompaniment Program seeking volunteers

Can you give a month to accompany our Colombian sisters and brothers in the midst of violence? Consider participating in the Colombia Accompaniment Program. Leaders in the Presbyterian Church of Colombia are taking great risks in their human rights work...

Read more

December 19, 2010

Flooding, disappearances, and hope: Colombia updates

The people of Colombia face floods: Colombia: Floods 2010 - Situation Report #10 UN agencies in Colombia allocate funds for flood emergency response The people of Colombia have endured numerous disappearances: Disappearances in Colombia on a Scale Never Imagined Breaking...

Read more

November 12, 2010

Peacemakers visit Colombia

Check out the Presbyterian News Service story about a visit to Colombia by the Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, director of Colombia Programs for the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. Shannan the group she was with saw firsthand some of the effects of U.S.-operated...

Read more

August 20, 2010

La Macarena – Stories, Signs, and Smoke

Here's a piece written by Richard Williams, PC(USA) Mission Co-worker, wrote on a very troubling situation in Colombia - the fosa común, or mass grave, of La Macarena...he recently visited the site...give it a read... La Macarena – Stories, Signs,...

Read more

August 19, 2010

Report: Military Assistance and Human Rights: Colombia, U.S. Accountability, and Global Implications | The Fellowship of Reconciliation

Report: Military Assistance and Human Rights: Colombia, U.S. Accountability, and Global Implications | The Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Read more

July 23, 2010

I pray for peace . . . Triennium Day 4

Today marked the final day in the exhibit hall at the Presbyterian Youth Triennium. Participants stopped by the booth of the Presbyterian United Nations Ministry, the Office on Child Advocacy, and the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and added their prayers to...

Read more

July 23, 2010

I pray for peace (Triennium, Day 3)

There was a steady flow of people in the exhibit hall of the Presbyterian Youth Triennium today. Many participants stopped by the booth of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, the Office on Child Advocacy, and the Presbyterian Peacemaking...

Read more

July 20, 2010

I pray for peace in . . .

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, the Child Advocacy Office, and the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program invited participants at the Presbyterian Youth Triennium to finish that simple statement by writing on a ribbon about eight inches in length and 5/8...

Read more

June 20, 2010

Election Day: Colombia

Pray for the people of Colombia as the second round of elections takes place today.

Read more

June 11, 2010

Oracion de esperanza por la paz de colombia

Oh Dios, ¿Hasta cuándo los que hacen la guerra gobernarán nuestros países? Oh Dios, ¿Hasta cuándo los que roban, matan y destruyen tendrán tanto poder? Oh Dios, ¿Hasta cuándo la seguridad será como una larga noche de terror? Oh Dios,...

Read more

June 11, 2010

A prayer of hope for peace in Colombia

O God, how long will those who make war govern our countries? O God, how long will those who steal, kill and destroy have so much power? O God, how long will security be like a long night of terror?...

Read more

June 2, 2010

We do believe in life

Presbyterian Mission Co-worker Richard Williams spent time in late May in San Onofre. He traveled there with two pastors from La Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia. They went to stand in solidarity with Rogelio Martínez Mercado’s family and community as they...

Read more

May 30, 2010

Pray for the people of Colombia

Pray for the people of Colombia as they participate in a presidential election today. May this election move the country and the people closer to the time when justice is done, violence ceases, and peace prevails.

Read more

May 25, 2010

A prayer for those who seek human rights in Colombia

God of justice, God of compassion, God of peace, we pray for those who work for human rights in Colombia. We give thanks for their commitment to the well-being of all the people. We give thanks for their faithful witness....

Read more

May 24, 2010

Pray for Colombia at the time of presidential election

Reprinted with permission from Called to Colombia. As Colombia moves toward presidential elections, please: Pray for candidates, for honesty, integrity, and an openness to the Spirit in their quest to gain the power to govern. Pray for the judges and...

Read more

May 24, 2010

The horserace - presidential election in Colombia

Reprinted with permission from Called to Colombia: Santos was the strong front runner early in the campaign. Colombia held congressional elections in March, and the conservative parties did very well, taking a majority of seats. (The Congressional elections have also...

Read more

May 24, 2010

Colombia - the candidates for president

Reprinted with permission from Called to Colombia: John Manuel Santos was the early front-runner to succeed Uribe. Santos is running as a part of the newly formed Partido de la U - literally, the party of Uribe. Santos served as...

Read more

May 24, 2010

Colombia presidential election

Reprinted with permission from Called to Colombia: Colombia will be holding a presidential election on May 30th, and it will be a significant day for this violence-torn country. It will mark the end of the Uribe presidency after 8 years....

Read more

May 2, 2010

Thank you from Colombia

Our partners in the churches, communities of displaced persons, educational institutions and other social organizations concerned with justice and human rights, have sent a word of thanks. To the Churches, Ecumenical Organizations, and Human Rights Groups in Solidarity with Colombia...

Read more

April 18, 2010

The people refuse to give up hope

On Maundy Thursday (April 1), participants in the evaluation of the Colombia Accompaniment Program visited Via Blanca outside Galapa. The following reflection was written about the event. This morning we visited a rural displaced community of people who are farming...

Read more

April 13, 2010

Act and pray for Colombia

Find four ways to can get involved in the movement to stand with those working for peace in Colombia. The suggestions come from Mamie Broadhurst and Richard Williams. Mamie and Richard, Presbyterian Mission Co-workers in Colombia have been working with...

Read more

April 13, 2010

Via Blanca

Via Blanca is a community of displaced persons in Colombia who are framing on land given to them by the mayor. In this pilot project, they are growing tomatoes, melons, and peppers. Members of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia and...

Read more

April 13, 2010

Pray for Peace - April 18

This week, Spiritual Nurture for Peacemakers includes a prayer for Colombia (remember to participate in the Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia), Earth Day (find more resources) and for health and healing. Use or adapt these prayers in private...

Read more

April 4, 2010

Peacemaking Offering

I spotted this poster on a door in Pital Presbyterian Church. Pital is the one rural church in the Presbytery of the North Coast in Colombia. The Peacemaking Offering supports the work of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and peacemaking efforts...

Read more

March 30, 2010

Face the displaced: Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia

Barranquilla, Colombia Here's the ask: Participate in the Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia. This year's focus is on Colombians who are internally displaced. Here's the background: Those of us who have gathered to discuss the Colombia Accompaniment Program,...

Read more

March 30, 2010

Why we are in Colombia

A post by Elizabeth Palmberg today on the Sojourners blog underscores why our current delegation is in Colombia and why the Presbyterian Church in Colombia, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship are engaged in the Colombia Accompaniment...

Read more

March 28, 2010

Learn about Colombia

Here are some links to get a quick idea of what Presbyterians are doing in Colombia and why I am part of a group that is going there. In partnership with our sisters and brothers in Christ who are the...

Read more

March 28, 2010

On the road to Colombia

In the morning, I depart for Colombia. This involves waking up at 4:00 or so in the blessed a.m. But I will be strong. And I can sleep on airplanes. I will be part of a group of Presbyterians, many...

Read more

January 29, 2010

Cries of Anguish, Stories of Hope

During Lent, a series of study resources will help congregations and individuals work to end violence against women. Featuring films and stories from places as diverse as Colombia, India, the Democratic Republic of Congo and New Zealand, the WCC Decade...

Read more

December 22, 2009

International Religious Freedom Reports

Each year the State Department of the United States issues a report on International Religious Freedom. This annual report is submitted to Congress in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. It provides information with...

Read more

November 23, 2009

Support human rights in Colombia

Through November 24, a letter calling for change in U.S. policy towards Colombia will be circulating through the House of Representatives. This letter calls for a decrease in U.S. aid for Colombia's military and an increase in support for human...

Read more

September 10, 2009

Pray for peace September 13

Find a prayer for those who weep at night and a prayer to pray with and for the people of Colombia on Spiritual Nurture for Peacemakers. Use these prayers in individual devotions or corporate worship.

Read more

September 2, 2009

This Thursday evening, every Thursday evening . . .

. . . pray with and for the people of Colombia. Our sisters and brothers in Christ in Colombia have invited us to join with faithful people in Colombia's ecumenical community and around the world in praying for peace, justice,...

Read more

August 18, 2009

Peace Notes Summer 2009

The Summer 2009 issue of Peace Notes, the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program's print newsletter, is available for download. It will come out in print later this month. But you can download it from this blog. Download Peace Notes Summer 2009 [PDF]...

Read more

July 25, 2009

To see and to be seen

Can you give a month to stand with our sisters and brothers in Colombia? Consider taking part in the next Colombia Accompaniment training - September 17 to 21, 2009 at Stony Point Center. The Colombia Accompaniment Program, now in its...

Read more

July 11, 2009

The Reckoning

Mark your calendar (and set your Tivo) for Tuesday, July 14th so you can watch PBS's new documentary on the International Criminal Court (ICC): "The Reckoning." The film should air at 10 pm in most areas, but check here to...

Read more

March 2, 2009

National Geographic Channel story on 2008 hostage rescue in Colombia

The National Geographic Channel (check your local listings) will air a story on the rescue by the Colombian military of 15 hostages held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on March 4, 2009 at 8:00 PM. National Geographic...

Read more

February 25, 2009

To See and Be Seen in Colombia

The Colombia Accompaniment Program, a partnership of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, is entering its fifth year. The program arose from a request by our partner church, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia. Colombia has suffered four...

Read more

September 27, 2008

Diego in Greensboro

The Rev. Diego Higuita-Arango, International Peacemaker from Colombia, will be in Greensboro, North Carolina this weekend. Check out where he will appear.

Read more

July 2, 2008

Standing with Our Sisters and Brothers

Is God calling you to nonviolent action following Jesus Christ? Consider serving in the Colombia Accompaniment Program. The people of Colombia have endured over forty years of violence and warfare. A variety of "armed actors" are present in the country:...

Read more

May 31, 2008

International Peacemaker from Colombia

The Rev. Diego Higuita-Arango Unfortunately, when many Americans think of Colombia (PDF), two things come instantly to mind: coffee and cocaine. But Colombians would like Americans and the rest of the world to know that there is much, much more...

Read more