They just came from the 14-day UEM Summer School for Human Rights ("Together towards Peace and Justice") in Hofgeismar, Germany. At the beginning of the service in Wuppertal-Unterbarmen Main Church, they tell about it:
Prof. Dr. Kambale Kahongya and Irma Simanjuntak, Advocacy Advisors in the UEM regions Africa and Asia. "This was already the 5th Summer School, and with it our network of peace professionals in the churches of our regions has grown again by 20 people," explains Irma Simanjuntak. And Kambale Kahongya adds: "Shaping peace work is a great challenge in situations of civil war, violence and oppression. The international network of experts strengthens us all and brings forth new ideas through international exchange."
Peace is the theme of the entire service, which they conduct at the beginning of September together with Angelika Veddeler, UEM Regional Service. In his sermon, Kahongya points out that "Peace be with you" appears very often in the Bible. "This shows us that peace cannot be taken for granted," he emphasised. It has to be promoted, implemented, made - and Jesus praises those blessed who do just that: Make peace!
The advocacy officers advise the churches in their regions on peacebuilding issues. "Often churches are the only ones who can overcome the feelings of mistrust and rejection that are prevalent in a society - through international partnerships and cooperation." Debby Manalu from the communion of churches in Indonesia described her work.
"It was good to hear from other regions of the world" said one participant in the service as she left. "Promoting peace in our societies is a goal of the churches' work all over the world! It is good to be in conversation about this, even across the borders of our continents!"
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