Ethiopian Presbyterian minister Tseganesh Ayele to speak about injustice, peace – Longmont Times

The Rev. Tseganesh Ayele, of Ethiopia, is visiting Longmont as part of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.

The Rev. Tseganesh Ayele’s visit — if you go

Dinner and presentation

When: Saturday, 5 p.m.

Where: Presbyterian Church of Broomfield, 350 Main St., Broomfield

Cost: Free

Presentation

When: Sunday, 11 a.m.

Where: Westview Presbyterian Church, 1500 Hover St., Longmont

Cost: Free

Presentation

When: Monday, 7 p.m.

Where: Loveland First Presbyterian Church, 400 E 4th St, Loveland

Cost: Free

Presentation and discussion

When: Tuesday, 1 p.m.

Where: Longmont Ending Violence Initiative building, 225 Kimbark St, Longmont

Cost: Free

An ordained minister from Ethiopia will take a whirlwind tour of the Longmont area through Tuesday, using her trip to speak about efforts she thinks can make the world more peaceful.

The Rev. Tseganesh Ayele, 50, is the daughter of a student to Dr. Thomas Lambie, one of the first Christian missionaries in Ethiopia. She is traveling the United States this month — stops include Longmont, Loveland and Broomfield — via a Presbyterian church program that allows people from all over the world to speak about injustice.

Ayele, who was named in the Ethiopian tradition with a first name followed by her father’s first name rather than a Western-style family name, is an ordained minister and mother of three, as well as the department head of the Women’s Ministry at the Makane Yesus Seminary in Ethiopia.

While here, she will speak about the situation that women face in her home country and how efforts to support the Presbyterian church can, in her opinion, fix those problems and bring about peace.

“In the Ethiopian context, women and children are the ones that really lack peace,” Ayele said, adding that domestic violence, abuse and female genital mutilation are all an accepted part of a discriminatory culture in Ethiopia. “Women are living completely a second level, like second-level citizens. They are less important to the society.”

Ayele ceded that in Western culture she might be called a Christian feminist or a Biblical feminist because she believes that religion is the most powerful tool for advocating women’s’ rights.

“God created man and women and gave both us different capacity but equal importance and equal identity.” Ayele said. “I focus on God’s purpose and God’s assignment in the Biblical context and the religious context because I think there is more power there than even political power to speak for the discriminated … . God is always for the powerless, for the voiceless and the marginalized.”

She said she hopes that by speaking and drumming up support for the Presbyterian church’s missionary efforts in Ethiopia, more women will be able to access education as was afforded to her.

Ayele holds a diploma from the seminary where she is currently employed and is working her way through a master’s program in leadership development there. She also holds an advanced diploma from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, as well as a master’s in applied theology and a bachelor’s in international and global studies from the University of Chester, also in the United Kingdom.

She started her tour of the United States with 11 other speakers on peace in Louisville, Ky., and then spoke in Virginia for five days followed by another five days in California before flying to Colorado on Thursday.

She will speak at three area Presbyterian churches and the Longmont Ending Violence Initiative building Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Contact Times-Call staff writer Karen Antonacci at 303-684-5226 or antonaccik@times-call.com. Follow her at twitter.com/ktonacci

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