WILMINGTON — Rick Polhamus’ work as a member of Christian Peacemaker Teams is a testament to how one can effect change in war-torn regions of the world through nonviolent means.
His presentation, “Loving Choices — How to Provoke,” will be featured Thursday, March 18 from 6 to 7:15 p.m., as the first presenter in Wilmington College’s Office of Campus Ministry Quaker Lecture Series for the spring semester. The event will be featured live on Wilmington College’s Campus Ministry Facebook page.
“So many situations and events in today’s world provoke us and others in ways that divide us and that challenges our faith. Hebrews 10:24 tells us we should ‘consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds,’” said Polhamus, who will share stories from his life experiences and his work in conflict areas around the world with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) — “and how the choices we make can lead to a different response.”
Polhamus’ 18 years of work with CPT span extended stays in Israel/Palestine, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Dakota and Iraq. He has served on CPT’s steering committee and was its representative to the World Council of Churches. He coordinated CPT’s “Adopt-a-Detainee” program in Iraq, which dealt with abuses of Iraqi detainees, especially at Abu Ghraib prison.
Also, he led numerous international CPT delegations that explored issues of conflict in Iraq and Israel/Palestine.
Polhamus has been active in providing a social justice perspective at churches, schools, colleges and universities. He works with Black Lives Matter to find nonviolent ways to address and transform situations of racial injustice. He has been involved with the Standing Rock resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.
His presentation topics have included Theology of Nonviolence and Peacemaking, Living in a Global Community, Humor in Peacemaking, Living a Theology of Love, Conflict Transformation and Resolution, and Undoing Racism. In 2014, the Dayton International Peace Museum presented Polhamus with its Peace Hero Award.
A member of Pleasant Hill (Ohio) Church of the Brethren, he and his wife, Margie, reside on a horse farm in Miami County.