Pennsylvania

 

Pennsylvania

Pam Arndt, Abbottstown, PA

Max Cooper, Philadelphia, PA

The Rev. Sandra Mackie, Gettysburg, PA

Edward Martin, Akron, PA

David Robinson, Union City, PA

Lily Yeh, Philadelphia, PA

 

 

Edward Martin, Akron, PA

I worked for 23 years with the Mennonite Central Committee—first five years in Nepal and then 18 years in headquarters.  Three years I was the area director for Middle East and South Asia and 15 years Area Director for Central and Southern Asia.  In 1990, following a disastrous earthquake in northwest Iran, MCC began a relief program in Iran, and I gave leadership to that from then until September 2007.  During that time, I visited Iran more than 20 times.  We also began an interfaith student exchange program with an institute in Qom and sponsored several Iranians to attend peace building courses in Canada and United States.  Some of the relationships developed led ot a request to set up a meeting for President Ahmadinejad with American Christian leaders.  Three such meetings have taken place—two in New York City and one in Tehran. 

 

Max Cooper (Philadelphia, PA)

Max Cooper’s first experience with cross-cultural communication came when he was selected to participate in Operation Understanding, a group dedicated to fostering connections between African-American and Jewish high school students.  Each Summer, Operation Understanding sends 12 students, 6 African-Americans and 6 Jews, on a trip abroad or across the United States to explore each other’s roots and cultures.  After the students return, they run workshops and give talks to local schools, houses of worship, and other groups on the historcial connection between the African-American and Jewish communities, racial stereotypes and combating racism, and leadership.  After participating in this trip 10 years ago, Max has been closely involved in the selection of students to participate in the trip as well as helping to organize the Young Alumni Fundraiser to raise money for travel costs of future groups.  Along with this trip, Max’s attendance at a Quaker high school was an influence on his personal philosphies on peace and the non-violence movement.  Max has worked towards Middle East peace with several groups, including student groups at Columbia University, Tikkun, and synagogue groups.  He teaches the United States citizenship exam to prospective citizens at the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia.  Max Cooper is a native of Philadelphia, PA and lives there with his wife Sarah.

Pam Arndt

I  work as a plant production supervisor (night shift) for the R.H. Sheppard Company in Hanover, PA. I’ve been employed there for 26 years. I love being outdoors and being part of all that nature has to offer.  Other interests include philosophy, world religions, and history. When I was very young I read a book that had a section on Persepolis and I became very interested in that region of the world. The more I learned the more I became drawn to it.I am a part-time non-typical student working toward a degree in philosophy and a minor in religion. I have been involved with various social issues since the early seventies when I went with my sister to a rally at Shippensburg University to halt a dam project that would impact the ecosystem of a local creek. It was there I realized I had a voice, and a responsibility, to what happens in the world, locally and globally. 

Reverend Sandra Mackie

The Reverend Sandra R Mackie of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, worked for more than 20 years as a Registered Nurse in intensive care and as a psychiatric nurse.  She is a master level counselor, an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is trained to name and resolve congregational conflicts, and serves as a Spiritual Director. She is also trained to work with survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Sandra chairs the Middle East Justice and Peace Group of South Central Pennsylvania and is a member of various NGO’s including the Lutheran Peace Fellowship. Her passion is peacemaking in the tradition of the teachings of Jesus and other great religious leaders. She traveled to Israel in 1996, participated in a Fellowship of Reconciliation Civilian Diplomacy Delegation to Iran 2007, and the InterFaith Peace-Builders Olive Harvest Delegation to Israel/Palestine in 2009. Sandra advocates for a just foreign policy.