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Swords into plowshares

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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.

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Posts with category: International Peacemakers

August 7, 2013

Several International Peacemakers Are Still Available

Each year The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program invites leaders from our partner churches around the world to come to the PC(USA) to share their experiences as peacemakers in their own lands.  This year they will be here visiting the churches of our mid-councils between September 27-October 21.

There are still some peacemakers with available times on their itineraries.  Please consider hosting a peacemaker in your presbytery or synod.  The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program covers the cost of all air travel.   Often funds to host the peacemaker are available from the congregation’s or mid-council’s Peacemaking Offering funds.

Download a flyer ...

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July 1, 2013

Applications to Host International Peacemakers Extended Through July 15

Some of the 2012 International Peacemakers

 There is still time to submit an application to host one of the international peacemakers coming this Fall to itinerate across the PCUSA.  It is a great opportunity learn about efforts in places all over the world to prevent violence, transform conflict, address poverty and work for justice and peace for all of God's people.  The following peacemakers still have available dates:


IRAN - Mansour Khajehpour, contact the Peacemaking Program

NORTHERN IRELAND - Rev. Wilfred Orr, available October 16-21

BOLIVIA - Wilhelm Piérola Iturralde, available October 15-21

CARIBBEAN/JAMAICA -Rev. Nicole Ashwood (CANACOM), several dates ...

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November 26, 2012

The Spirit Moving During International Peacemaker Visits

2012 International Peacemakers DebriefThe Peacemaking Program sent out surveys to hosts, International Peacemakers, and participants.  As the staff sifts through the results, we are seeing common themes. We are hearing of experiences that touched people’s souls—experiences that clearly reflect the workings of the Spirit, that inspire and energize peacemaking.

Many of the International Peacemakers shared that some of their most rewarding experiences were of times with small groups. These moments led to deep and meaningful conversations where the International Peacemakers could share about their work and lives, but also where they could learn of life in the United States. Many International ...

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November 19, 2012

Insights of American Brokenness from an International Peacemaker

2012 International Peacemaker Aghazarian

 Arda Aghazarian, one of the International Peacemakers from Palestine, told a story about traveling to the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Orange County, California.  Crystal Cathedral is a church building made of glass panes, all orchestrated by the Reformed Church of America.  An 18 million dollar project, the Reformed Church of America designed the building to house the Crystal Cathedral Ministries.  However, the upkeep of the building proved to be too much a burden for the ministry, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange Crystal Cathedral later bought Crystal Cathedral.

Arda observed the beauty and awe of the cathedral, yet ...

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November 13, 2012

All in this Together

2012 International PeacemakersJust as the International Peacemakers arrived into Louisville, KY for their orientation, I began my work in the Peacemaking Program as part-time staff.  Before I fully understood the nature of the program, I was helping with preparations—arranging meals, arranging worship, and learning about the many people who have dedicated themselves to hosting and organizing a rich experience for the International Peacemakers, and also the communities in which they traveled. Logically, I saw the importance of the program, but it was not until sitting with the International Peacemakers, hearing stories of why each individual was called to travel and share ...

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