Anne Barstow and Tom Driver Honored at Un-Gala

The vanquished know war, began Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and war correspondent turned Presbyterian minister Chris Hedges in an hour-long major address to friends and admirers of the peacemaking activities of Anne Barstow and Tom Driver. Seventy-two peace activists gathered at Stony Point Center on October 18, 2014 for the First Un-Gala of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, where the inaugural Anne Barstow and Tom Driver Award for Excellence in Nonviolent Activism in Retirement was presented to the couple for whom it is named.

The celebrators came from far and near; from Wisconsin, Florida, Kansas, Alabama, Illinois, Arkansas, several from Maryland and Virginia in the DC area, as well as Colombia in South America. They included PPF members, family and friends, former Colombia accompaniers and Colombia delegation members, and former students of the two professors.

Two representatives came from the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia, presenting Anne and Tom with a framed Certificate of Appreciation in Spanish and English for all that they have done for the people of Colombia and the peacemaking work of the IPC. German Zarate, Director of the Office of Diaconia (Mission and Service) of the IPC, presented the certificate with the love and gratitude of the church with whom the PPF and the PC(USA) have been in accompanying partnership for ten years. [Read German's report on the Un-Gala.] Yasmin Mosquera, from the Uraba Presbytery, gave a beautiful blessing in Spanish at the end of the evening, translated by PPF Executive Director Rick Ufford-Chase. Alice Winters, our long-time Presbyterian mission co-worker in Colombia, now retired in Florida and unable to travel for health reasons, sent her love and best wishes to Tom and Anne. Alice was the catalyst for bringing PPF into partnership with the IPC, when Anne Barstow stepped out of retirement to organize and form the Colombia Accompaniment Program with Milton Mejia, then General Secretary of the IPC.

Shannan Vance-Ocampo, PPF National Committee member and Director of its Colombia Program, organized the Un-Gala and along with Rick Ufford-Chase presented the award to Tom and Anne. They each responded with their own stories of how their peacemaking actions developed and grew with Witness for Peace in Nicaragua and Haiti and with the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship in Colombia and at the vigils held at the School of the Americas, and much more.

Contributions to PPF in honor of Anne and Tom will continue to be received through the the end of the year. Donate now.