Notes about people

May 9, 2011

The Presbyterian Hunger Program has announced the appointment of Valéry Nodem as associate for international hunger. He has begun his new work in Louisville, succeeding Lionel Derenencourt, who retired last year.  

Nodem has served since 2003 as coordinator of the Joining Hands network, RELUFA, a network of church, ecumenical and non-profit organizations that focus on common strategies to address hunger, poverty and socio-economic and environmental injustice in Cameroon.  Under his leadership, RELUFA has been successful in working towards the food sovereignty and self-development of impoverished Cameroonians by implementing community owned and managed grain banks in drought prone areas of northern Cameroon as well as providing those populations with micro-finance opportunities through the Credit Against Poverty (CAP) initiative. 

RELUFA has also worked for equity and transparency in the extractive industries. Nodem was instrumental in RELUFA’s participation in the Publish What You Pay Coalition (PWYP) to promote transparency in the extractive industries to ensure that oil, gas and mineral wealth contributes to development and poverty alleviation.  In July 2010, Congress passed the U.S. Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which requires all U.S. and foreign companies registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to publicly report how much they pay governments for access to their oil, gas and minerals.

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The Rev. Nancy Hutchison Enderle has been named interim executive director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians.  She will begin her service in June, following the retirement of founding Executive Director Pam Byers.

A minister member of John Knox Presbytery, Enderle has chaired that presbytery’s Committee on Preparation for Ministry. A McCormick Theological Seminary graduate, she currently serves as vice-chair of McCormick’s Board of Trustees and is also a member of the Board of Directors of PresHouse Campus Ministry in Madison, Wisc.  She is actively involved in the life of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Madison.  Earlier she served as Associate Pastor at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago and at Hitchcock Presbyterian Church in Scarsdale, N.Y.

The Covenant Network of Presbyterians was founded 14 years ago to work for the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Presbyterians in the life of the church, including service as ordained officers.

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The Rev. Robert Johnson, pastor of Forest Hill Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Va., has been named executive director of Friends of Forman Christian College, the organization set up in the U.S. in support of Forman Christian College in Lahore, Pakistan.

Johnson previously lived at Forman with his wife Marianne and two sons, Nathan and Peter, from 2005-2008 where he was dean of the chapel and associate professor of religious studies. He also taught historical theology at Gujranwala Seminary during his time in Pakistan.

Suring his tenure as dean, johnson instituted a large Christian life program for Christian students, who are a small minority in Pakistan. The program included a well-attended chapel as well as weekly Bible Studies, prayer groups and leadership committees.

Johnson will begin work with Friends of Forman Christian College on June 1.

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Shirley C. Diaz, 76, a longtime member of the national staff of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and wife of denominational leader Frank Diaz, died April 21 in suburban Dallas after a lengthy struggle with cancer.

A native of Dallas, Diaz graduated from Crozier Technical High School. She was married to the Rev. Frank Diaz ― who served in a number of posts, including interim executive director of the General Assembly Council in the mid-1990s ― for 57 years. She served for 10 years as an administrative assistant in the Offices of Hispanic Ministries in Louisville.

In addition to Frank Diaz, Shirley Diaz is survived by son Frank Diaz, Jr. and his wife Terri; sons David and Larry Diaz; son James Diaz and partner Cody Kendrick; daughter Patricia Diaz; daughter Elizabeth Lara and husband Frank; grandchildren and great-grandchildren Lauren and Leah, Sara and her husband Manuel Soto, Issac, Ivan, Emily and her husband Christopher Alvey, Damien, Jacob, Joshua and Faith Diaz, Lindsay and husband Brandon Kuhlengel, Carson, Nathan, Shawn Diaz and wife Jana, Reilly, Dezerae and Danyelle.

A memorial service was held April 30 at El Divino Salvador Presbyterian Church in Dallas, where she was a member. 

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