PAR is PEACE AND RECONCILIATION.
PAR is the heart of our ministry.
PEACE. The concept of peace — from the Hebrew term shalom and the Arabic term salaam — is understood here 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).
RECONCILIATION. This is focused on 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.
PAR MOVEMENT. Through the eyes of faith, we envision a PAR Movement based on salam-shalom. We see our land enjoying a God-initiated wave towards a taste of salam-globalization. We see various peoples’ initiatives toward making our land and people harmonious in all their relationships. We see our local communities influenced by a culture of peace.
This PAR Movement starts with a nationwide education, organization, and mobilization plan.
1. We’ll discern a PAR Leader in every province who practice a set of biblical leadership ethics. PAR Leaders are respected women- and men-of-peace. This principle is from Jesus’ instruction to the seventy people he sent out:
“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.”(Luke 10:5-7 NIV)
A person of peace must be discerned and would have the following characteristics:
- Prioritizes Kingdom values in her or his life. Righteousness, justice, peace, and mercy are very important to this person.
- Earns the respect of people. This person’s family and community regard him or her as trustworthy.
- Accepts and welcomes strangers. This person is hospitable.
- Cares about your safety and security. This person becomes your protector.
- Expands your connections to a network of key leaders. This person serves as your ‘public relations officer’.
This person of peace must also be discerned communally. The discernment process will be done in consultation with each province’s fellowship of pastors and Christian leaders. PAR Leaders are respected women- and men-of-peace who are actively modelling a person who demonstrates
- a heart of a servant;
- a soul of a teacher;
- a mind of a manager; and,
- the strength of a leader.
2. We will facilitate the organization of PAR Communities in every province under the leadership of the PAR Leader. These PAR Communities are groups of community leaders—church leaders, local government leaders, civil society organization leaders, academic leaders, business leaders, or any mix of these—
- who have expressed interest to have a working relationship with us as a consulting and training team focused on Peace and Reconciliation, or as a training arm of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches’ PAR Commission (PCEC-PARCom);
- who have made a commitment to embrace Peace Theology;
- who have invited us to teach them our PAR Seminar Series;
- who have a vision to work with us in developing a PAR Program needed in their area; and,
- who have organized themselves as a catalyst group to organize PAR Teams in their particular province.
3. We’ll help organize PAR Teams. PAR Teams are composed of local volunteers from various communities who are trained for 8 months to be an on-going, rapidly-mobilized teams who will implement their PAR Communities’ programs. The general objectives of PAR Teams are:
- to promote peace and reconciliation in our land by giving skilled, courageous support to communities experiencing various conflicts
- to inspire various parties-in-conflict to discard violence in favor of nonviolent action as a means of settling differences
- to provide various communities with first-hand information and resources for responding to situations of conflict, and to urge their active involvement
- to interpret a nonviolent perspective to the media and to our nation as a whole
4. We’ll facilitate the development of PAR Programs. PAR Programs are peace-building action plans that are discerned by the PAR Communities as they get immersed in the challenges and opportunities in their local contexts. These programs include:
- Community Organization
- Peace Education
- Armed Conflict Area Survival Training
- Fact-Finding Missions
- Conflict Transformation
- Disaster Preparedness
- Trauma Healing
- Inter-Faith Dialogue
- Cross-Cultural Communications
- Fair Trade Initiatives
Imagine. By December 31st, 2020, each of our 80 provinces will have a circle of God-fearing, justice-and-peace-oriented leaders called PAR Communities, who will organize, nurture, and oversee various PAR Teams, who will, in turn, implement just-peace oriented PAR Programs in their local contexts. This five-year plan governs all the current activities of PeaceBuilders Community as indicated in our Field Operations Map.
Because we see through the eyes of faith, we see a higher reality. We see so much hope! And we are motivated to work with love and joy to help transform our land and people towards justice and peace!