Aric Clark is a writer, a speaker, and Presbyterian minister who lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and two gremlins pretending to be his sons. He is the co-author of Never Pray Again: Lift Your Head, Unfold Your Hands, and Get To Work, a book which challenges readers to embrace a concrete other-centered spirituality. He is also the creator of LectionARIC a youtube channel for hermeneutical vlogs. When he is not writing, preaching, or parenting, Aric can be found engaging his tabletop gaming hobby, or cooking for a crowd of random strangers he invited home without his wife’s permission. He is a pacifist and he still can’t grow a beard.
The Rev. Shannan R. Vance-Ocampo serves as the General Presbyter for the Presbytery of Southern New England. Previously she served as Transitional Presbyter for Albany Presbytery (NY), Pastor of the Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church in North Plainfield, NJ and the Associate Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Rumson, NJ. Shannan holds a bachelors degree from The College of Wooster (1998), a Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary (2001), coursework towards a Masters in Public Policy and the Certificate in Executive Leadership from McCormick Seminary (2014). She is a Fellow with GreenFaith and a Certified Christian Educator in the PC(U.S.A.). Currently, Shannan serves on the Executive Committee of PPF and as Co-Moderator of the Activist Council. She served as one of our accompaniers in November 2006. Her husband, Juan Gabriel Ocampo Valle is a native Colombian, having grown up in Bogotá. Together they are the proud parents of Sofia Elena who is a budding peacemaker. Shannan is available for speaking in the areas of Accompaniment in Colombia, political advocacy, and congregational and Presbytery educational resourcing for all ages specifically focused on the Biblical foundations of peacemaking and/or ecology. Contact Shannan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Price: $1600 includes all meals, travel within Colombia, and accommodations (does not include airfare, which we estimate to be around $800)
Application Deadline: October 31, 2018 (However, please note that we’re accepting applications on a rolling basis, so the sooner you can get your application in the better).
This delegation to Colombia has several goals:
This delegation of 12 people will visit three regions: La Costa (Barranquilla and around), Uraba, and Bogota, providing the opportunity to meet with people who are helping to implement the Peace Accords, hear from people who have been displaced by the violence of the last five decades, and see several different parts of this beautiful country. The delegation will primarily be led by Sarah Henken, PCUSA mission co-worker in Colombia, along with leaders from the IPC.
The delegation will be bilingual with interpretation from Spanish to English, so Spanish skills are not necessary, but it would be a good idea to brush up on your Spanish! The accommodations will be simple (mostly in hotels), the climate will be hot and humid at times, and the delegation will travel quite a bit, so while all efforts will be made to accommodate people’s physical needs, please consider your physical stamina and capabilities when deciding to apply for this delegation.
In the first week of November, delegates will receive a packet of information with more details about what to expect, what to pack, and how to prepare for the delegation. There will also be two opportunities to meet with other delegates and leaders by video conference before the delegation (dates TBD).
Other deadlines and dates:
We are working to be able to provide some financial assistance to delegates who need it. If you would like to apply but need financial assistance, please note that in the last question on your application. We will work with all delegates to fundraise if/as needed. Money given toward the on-the-ground expenses (the $1600) are tax deductible.
If you would like to support the delegation with a donation, please do so here.
Are you a delegate ready to make a payment? Please do so here.
Questions? Please email delegation coordinator Vimary Couvertier-Cruz (email@example.com) or call us at 845-786-6743.
On February 14, 2018, a former student entered the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida with an AR-15-style semi-automatic weapon. In 7 minutes, he killed 17 students and adults. In February of 1893, Presbyterians first participated in the Universal Day of Prayer for Students, lifting to God the lives of children, teenagers and young adults. In February of 2019, these two anniversaries coincide in a way that calls the church to take seriously the steps needed to protect students and all of us from the crisis of gun violence in our nation.
In June 2019, the 223 rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) marked 50 years of GA statements calling for practical steps to prevent gun violence in America, beginning in 1968. Over these five decades of GA statements, most of us in our local congregations have done little, if anything, to respond. We have not known how to help on this issue. Now our country faces an epidemic of gun violence with over 36,000 Americans killed by guns in the last year alone. Mass shootings claim the headlines but there is also the daily despair of murders, accidents, suicides and domestic gun violence. God calls the church to find its unique role in helping our nation both grieve and change. Dare we pray for our students and not protect them from gun violence?
There is no single solution to gun violence. But, out of the Parkland, FL shooting, a movement has arisen among students to lead us to a new consensus on a range of actions that can work
together to save lives. This new consensus requires communities that can bring together those of us who own guns and those of us who do not to find middle ground for change and to see it
through. Perhaps this task of bringing people together is the unique role that the church and other communities of faith can offer our students and our nation.
On February 14 and 17, 2019, please use the brand new Worship-Action Kit in ways that best serve your congregation. It includes prayers, scripture reflections, hymn suggestions, creative worship ideas, and several action suggestions. You are free to reproduce these materials for your worship, study and action needs.
In 2019, we gather in Washington, D.C. at a time in which people of faith and conscience are again called to stand in the prophetic stream of those who have come before us, those who were not afraid to stir up #GoodTrouble for the sake of God’s kingdom.
The history of engaging in #GoodTrouble is embedded in our faith tradition and our history as a nation and in the world. In the Bible, we read stories of the midwives who resisted Pharaoh and preserved the lives of Hebrew baby boys. We see Moses challenging the authority of Pharaoh, and Jesus overturn tables run by money changers. Throughout our U.S. history, Native peoples resisted land theft and cultural assimilation by European settlers through many forms of resistance. Colonists resisted England’s imperial overreach and enslaved Africans resisted captivity both physically and spiritually. That spiritual resistance was especially pronounced in spirituals sung by those dehumanized by slavery. “Wade in the Water,” and other spirituals were messages of lament, hope and courage. They also included instructions on how to get to freedom. Years later, leaders such as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and John Lewis drew on these same spirituals for inspiration as they stirred up #GoodTrouble in their time.
Today, we are deeply troubled by what we see in the world. The 2019 Ecumenical Advocacy Days Conference will draw on #GoodTrouble pioneers from the Civil Rights era as well as inspiration from young leaders to learn from the past, share best practices, and encourage one another for the work ahead. Through worship, educational and training workshops, and advocacy, we will beckon the Spirit to “Trouble the Waters” as depicted in John 5:1-9, calling on God to bring healing to our nation and world. Join us as we envision and train for new ways to stir up #GoodTrouble for the healing of all God’s children.
John 5:1-9 (KJV)
After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Bring forth the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears! Let all the nations gather together, and let the peoples assemble. Who among them declared this, and foretold to us the former things? Let them bring their witnesses to justify them, and let them hear and say, “It is true.”