First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo had the pleasure of hosting Rev. Thang Van Lian from Oct 1-6 through the PCUSA’s International Peacemaker program. Rev. Thang, originally from Myanmar spoke about peace and reconciliation, particularly around the crisis in his home country.
Rev. Thang had a very busy week visiting Presbyterian congregations in Williamsville, Lewiston, Jamestown and right here at First Church!
On Wednesday October 2nd, First Church held a public forum to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar and the challenges facing Burmese refugees living in Buffalo. The event started with a cultural hour with tables of information from local organizations, henna painters and a food truck. The panel then took place with representatives from community organizations. Joining Rev. Thang were representatives from Journey’s End Refugee Services, UB School of Social Work and Burmese Community Services.
On October 6th, World Communion Sunday, First Church held a joint worship with Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church. Rev. Thang gave a sermon about global peace, harmony and goodwill. He spoke about his life in Myanmar, growing up in a rural village experiencing significant challenges, racial and religious discrimination and life threatening situations. We were all inspired by his message of peace and reconciliation.
Throughout the week Rev. Thang got to see and experience new things in Buffalo, including a tour of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. We thank Rev. Thang for his visit and all of the memories and powerful messages we gathered throughout the week!