Colombia Speakers Bureau

The following speakers have unique experience in our work and are available to share information about their work with others in churches, on campuses and in sister organizations. All of those listed here as resources would be pleased to work with you to develop an educational event or worship service that will work well for your community.

Linda Eastwood

Linda Eastwood is the former coordinator (and current Facebook page manager) of the Colombia Accompaniment Program. Linda originally trained as an Accompanier in February 2006, and gradually increased her involvement in the Accompaniment program – including carrying out research on the history and background of the Accompaniment Program. Linda has visited all three presbyteries of the IPC many times – as accompanier, for program evaluations, and to teach at the Reformed University in Barranquilla.

Linda also has experience with mission-partnership in Cuba, and has studied at seminaries in both South Korea and Egypt. Linda emigrated from Britain to the USA 30+ years ago, and worked as research scientist and as business manager in the medical equipment industry until she quit in order to attend seminary. A graduate (MDiv and ThM) of McCormick Theological Seminary, she now teaches there and at other schools. Linda is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Contact Linda at linda@presbypeacefellowship.org

Shannan Vance-Ocampo

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 svanceocampo@gmail.com

Parrish Jones

Parrish Jones has been a Presbyterian Minister for 26 years and presently serves as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Jasper, FL. He and his wife live in St. Augustine, FL. In 2007, he served as a volunteer in mission, teaching theology at the Reformed University of Barranquilla, Colombia. Parrish also worked with a large organization of displaced persons on developing a sustainable community. He also had opportunity to visit many regions of Colombia to meet and talk with displaced persons and various development projects including African Palm plantations and Palm Oil Plants. See his blog from Colombia with diary entries, photos, and videos. Parrish has also visited Colombia on two PPF delegations in 2004 and 2007 visiting: Uraba, Medellin, Bogota, and Baranquilla. The delegations visited with and heard testimony from religious leaders, sociologists, human rights workers, embassy staff, churches, schools, and, most importantly, the displaced and threatened communities.

While living in Washington, D.C. Parrish served as a PCUSA volunteer on the Colombia Steering Committee and on the Interfaith Network for Colombia. He is also the Yahoo group moderator for the Colombia Mission Network of the PCUSA. U.S. And Mexico Border: From 1992 to the present, Parrish has been involved in the Border Ministry of the Presbyterian Church. Having been volunteers in mission with his family at Frontera de Cristo in Agua Prieta, MX and Douglas, AZ in the summer of 1992, Parrish led the Presbytery of Redstone (Pennsylvania) to enter a mission partnership with FDC. The presbytery and FDC and the church in Agua Prieta exchanged teams annually and learned about the lives and faith of one another. While living in Washington, D.C. Parrish was engaged in the comprehensive immigration reform work of the Border Working Group, an ecumenical organization focused primarily on border issues, and on the Interfaith Immigration Network.

Parrish speaks on Colombia, U.S. Mexico Border Issues, Immigration Reform, and on the history of Christian Attitudes towards War and Peace. He holds a B.A. from Carson Newman-College, a M.Div. from Southern Baptist Seminary, Louisville, KY, and a M.A. and Ph.D. Philosophy from Florida State University. Contact Parrish at parrish@parrishjones.net.