It’s 2016! PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) looks forward to this New Year with renewed energies of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). These characteristics have been our corporate prayers since we said goodbye to 2015.
PBCI is also inspired by a new national Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) movement. Last 22-26 June 2015, a group of Christian leaders who all embrace peace theology met in Tagaytay City. I represented PBCI in this gathering. We shared our hearts and minds together to listen to the inner voice of the Spirit within us, to listen to each other, and to listen to the voice of various people groups through our field experiences, organizational knowledge base, and various research output.
Technically, we have been commissioned by the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) to work with various Christian churches, denominations and organizations in promoting peace and reconciliation principles and practices throughout the Council’s constituencies. We saw our role as bridge-builders between PCEC and other church councils like the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), the Catholic Bishops Council of the Philippines (CBCP); we also saw the need to help in bridge-building between various faiths, philosophies and ideologies.
Those five days of listening brought us all to a new set of peace and reconciliation realities.
PEACE AND RECONCILIATION (PAR) REALITIES
We envision the future and we live it in the present
:: PEACE REVOLUTION. Peace revolutionaries throughout the country are exponentially growing and reproducing peacebuilders engaged in their local, national, and international contexts.
:: PAR BEYOND. PAR is integrated in various existing conflict transformation strategies and processes (traditional and institutional) across 81 provinces in the Philippines.
:: CHURCH TRANSFORMATION. The Body of Christ has become fully engaged in just peace processes in the Philippines. Churches across the country are applying transformative, radical, and redemptive strategies in responding to local, national, and international concerns.
:: ORGANIC PEACE MOVEMENTS. An organic and dynamic peace movement effectively engaging local, national, and international stakeholders towards a society where truth, mercy, justice, and peace reign.
:: EARTHNICITY. Earth. Art. Ethnic. City. Earthnicity summarizes the prayer, “Your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.” It magnifies the importance of valuing ethnicity, culture, and the arts of local contexts, whether they are from rural or urban origin. The Body of Christ is faithfully living out the Shalom of Christ by recognizing and embracing the diverse historical, social, and cultural realities of all people groups, especially among IPs and Muslim communities in the Philippines.
The people who gathered together and saw these realities are as follows:
- Dr. Mariano C. Apilado is the author of a three-volume ‘Revolutionary Spirituality’, Theology Professor, Church Historian; he organized PAR La Union, and is overseeing PAR activities in northern Luzon
- Twinkle Alngag Bautista is a Kalinga woman who is a PBCI PAR Missionary to Cordilleras
- Regina Lyn Getuiza Mondez is a Sulong CAHRIHL employee who is key to the establishment of PAR in Central Luzon
- Bryan Jay Nahag Paler works with Integral Alliance and is active in establishing PAR Communities in the National Capital Region
- Dr. Aldrin Penamora works full time as Manager of SEAsian Center for Christian-Muslim Relations and is teaching Peace Theology to PAR Facilitators
- Emil Jonathan L. Soriano is the Executive Director of Peace Assemblies Network and is applying PAR in his network of housechurches in Southern Luzon
- Kriz Cruzado works for Mennonite Central Committee and is multiplying PAR Facilitators in Eastern Visayas
- Bennette Grace Tenecio Mañulit works full time for PhilRaDS and is overseeing PAR community development in Western Visayas
- June Rojo is a full time pastor in Valencia City, Bukidnon and is working as PAR Coordinator in Eastern Mindanao
- Jay Atiolla works full time with a mission organization focused on cross cultural missions and is actively establishing PAR Communities in Western Mindanao
- Ka Boyet Ongkiko serves as PAR training and program development designer
- Lakan Sumulong articulates the theological framework in this PAR Movement.
PBCI is so blessed and privileged to work with PAR Philippines. And as a part of this team, I, along with our various teams at PBCI, affirm and support PAR Philippines’ commitment “to explore possible points of convergence with all movements with a vision to help in the genuine transformation of the Philippines.”