Colombian Partners visit our presbytery

Colombian Church Leader Delegation Seeks Strengthened
Relationship with the Presbytery of the Miami Valley

Four key leaders of the Presbytery of the North Coast in Colombia are spending September 7-15 in the Miami Valley, working with representatives from our own presbytery to strengthen and deepen long-standing relationships between the two presbyteries. Rev. Cristhian Gómez (presbytery executive secretary), Rev. Vilma Yánez (presbytery moderator), Elder Gina Zabala (presbytery recording secretary), and Elder Belkys Teherán (administrative director of the Colegio Americano, a school connected to the presbytery) form the North Coast delegation. 

For 27 years, the Presbytery of the Miami Valley has developed and maintained an “hermanamiento” (partner relationship) with the Presbiterio de la Costa (Presbytery of the North Coast) in the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia (Presbyterian Church of Colombia). Over the years this mission-based connection has included support for sister church pairings between congregations in both presbyteries; delegations and individuals traveling north and south to spend time together in worship, learning, and discernment; and equitable sharing of action and prayer for each other’s mission priorities. Listening, learning, coming alongside, and mutual respect are key elements of the shared hermanamiento. 

“The goal of this week together is to imagine new ways we can do mission with mutuality and integrity, while maintaining the strong existing elements of our relationship,” said Susan Stewart, co-moderator of PMV’s Colombia Partnership Network (CPN). 

The delegation’s planned itinerary includes engaging actively in the Sept. 12 stated presbytery meeting, meeting with the presbytery Leadership Council and Network Support and Grants Committee, visiting the Dayton International Peace Museum, and learning about justice and poverty reduction activities in Dayton and Oxford. Other opportunities include meeting members of PMV churches who have been to Colombia, and sharing perspectives on Colombia’s current situation and ways the Colombian church is making a difference on peace, justice, and refugee issues in their nation. The Colombian leaders are also connecting with the four active sister churches in our presbytery: Dayton: College Hill Community, Springboro: Covenant, Dayton: Westminster, and Oxford

For  information on becoming a sister church with a congregation in the North Coast Presbytery, or to learn more about the delegation visit, contact CPN co-moderators Melanie Monzon at 937-510-8978 or Susan Stewart at 937-286-0073.

PHOTO: Representatives from the Oxford Presbyterian Church celebrate their sister church relationship with the Septima Iglesia (Seventh Presbyterian Church) during a south-bound visit to Barranquilla, Colombia in July 2022.