Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness is a 501(c)(3) organization supervised by a Board made up of 12-16 members drawn from churches of Lancaster County.

The Officers consist of a president, vice president, and treasurer.

A public annual meeting is held in January.

Our Current Board Members

Bob Birch, President

Bob Birch is pastor at Leacock Presbyterian Church, Paradise, Pa. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York, Bob serves as the Chair of Peace, Justice and Care of Creation Committee, Donegal Presbytery, Pa.; and was a member of Presbyterian Church USA, delegation to the Middle East in 2014. He was formerly Director of Sales at Greenwood Publishing Group.

Sue Heilman, Vice President

Sue Heilman is a long-time member of St. John’s Episcopal Church on West Chestnut Street in Lancaster where she serves on the Vestry, is a Lay Eucharistic Visitor, and volunteers with many Jubilee Ministries including the Global Partnership Committee which helps support Rafiki Africa in Alendu, Kenya. Sue works as a full-time night shift RN at Landis Homes Retirement Community on the Rehab Floor. Her passion for peace and justice was inspired by her faith In Jesus and nurtured by Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement. She is also active locally in ADVOZ in their Making Peace program with teens and she loves befriending refugee families and their children. Sue is blessed with 3 awesome adult children.

Charles G. Denlinger, Ph.D, Treasurer

Charles G. Denlinger, Ph.D., Mathematics, is a member of Lancaster Church of the Brethren, past member of the Lancaster Friends Meeting. Graduated from Elizabethtown College (A.B., 1961); University of Illinois (M.S., 1963); Michigan State University (Ph.D., Mathematics, 1971). Retired 2005 from Millersville University Mathematics Department after 41 years of service, including 11 years as department chair. Previously served on boards of Lancaster Church of the Brethren, United Campus Ministry at Millersville University, Lancaster Community Concert Association, and Alpha and Omega (Hispanic) Family Life Center, Lancaster. Husband of Gloria Meyers Denlinger, two children, and four grandchildren. Special interests include classical music, adult Christian education, travel, and model railroading. Active on the Education Ministry Team at Lancaster Church of the Brethren.

Robert Lowing, Secretary

Robert Lowing rejoined the LIPW Board in the winter of 2017 after a hiatus of three years to document the natural gas boom in the gas fields of Tioga and Bradford Counties.  In 2014 he started to photograph the Atlantic Sunrise Project in Lancaster County.  His documentation led to the photography exhibition, “Contested Space: Witness to Place” in the winter of 2015 at F and M and the publication of a privately printed book by the same name in the fall of 2017.  The Dogstar Books Gallery is currently showing his exhibition, “Machine in the Garden”, a series of photographs on the construction of the natural gas pipeline in Lancaster County.  Robert became a member of LIPW in 2004 and served as Secretary until 2013.  He retired from the Art Department at Millersville University in 2000.  He and his wife, Cynthia moved to Lancaster in 1967.  They are members of Lancaster Friends Meeting.

Charlie Bonner

Charlie Bonner is a member of Lancaster Friends Meeting,Religious Society of Friends  (Quakers) He is a member of their Youth Services Program and Healing Racism Group.Charie is a Philadelphia native who who served as a U.S.Marine in Vietnam for twelve months in 1965-1966. Charlie is a past National President and board member of Veterans for Peace. In 2012 he returned to Vietnam with a Veterans for Peace peace and reconciliation tour. The task of the tour was to donate funds to victims of Agent Orange defoliant and unexploded ordnance and to increase public awareness of the damage that continues to be  done to the people of Vietnam more than forty years after the war ended. Charlie is a retired LPN who worked with homeless Veterans at the Coatesville VA Medical Center.

Patrick Brady

Patrick Brady is a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Landisville, where he has served as youth ministry advisor since and Church council member/president. Patrick works as the Reactor Engineering Manager at Three Mile Island Nuclear Station for Exelon Corporation. He and his wife Judy (a teacher at Hempfield High School) have three children: Meghan (Teacher – Lancaster), Kyle (Marine Biologist/Casino Dealer – Baltimore), and Duncan (Student – Temple U.). Patrick notes that as a Lancaster County native, he has embraced a faith that is grounded and focused on the peace and justice teachings of Jesus. In addition to his involvements with several local and national peace groups, Patrick served as coordinator for two mission trips to Mississippi for Hurricane Katrina relief through Lutheran Disaster Relief, and to North Carolina with YouthWorks. He has been a long-time advocate and supporter of LIPW, particularly in the Middle East Interest Group. Relatedly, he will be joining a tour to Iran (Hikmat International Institute for Religious and Cultural Studies) in April 2018 to promote peace, fellowship and understanding between cultures.

John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens

John-Michael originally hails from Grayson, Kentucky and also spent the first ten years of his life as a missionary kid in Cote d’ Ivoire and Kenya, but now lives with his wife, Heather, and his two dogs, Rachel and Quinn in Harrisburg. He graduated from Messiah College with a degree in Theology and Peace and Conflict Studies in 2009 and would go onto graduate from Lancaster Theological Seminary with a Master’s in Divinity (M.Div) degree in 2016. His passion for peacemaking developed out of his time at Messiah, and that passion inspired him to do a year of voluntary service with Brethren Volunteer Service (B.V.S.). He served as the Peace Retreat Coordinator for the Brethren non-profit, On Earth Peace. John-Michael organized and led retreats that emphasized themes that focused on peacemaking and social justice. He also worked in the human services field for about 3 years before serving as the Youth Coordinator (Youth Minister) for four and a half years at Mechanicsburg Church of the Brethren. His 3 years in human services found him serving individuals who had dual diagnoses (mental illness & addiction), intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities. He currently works as the Advocacy Programs Coordinator at the Pennsylvania Council of Churches. He does advocacy and educational work around the issues of immigration, gun violence, education reform and criminal justice reform.

Sandy Strauss

Sandy Strauss is Director of Advocacy and Ecumenical Outreach for the Pennsylvania Council of Churches, where she has worked since 2004. Her responsibilities are to inform, educate, and empower people of faith on significant public issues, facilitate the work of common ministry and ecumenical relationships, manage external communications, and organize and manage Council events. Sandy received her M.Div. from Lancaster Theological Seminary and is ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She also holds an MA in Public Policy Studies from Duke University, and a BA in Journalism and Music from the Lindenwood Colleges (St. Charles, MO). She lives in Harrisburg with her husband, David Arnold, a handyman and clockmaker who does many things, but especially miraculous things with wood. Together they have reclaimed a city property on the block behind them for Dave’s clock and watch repair shop, a woodshop, a prolific garden, and a home for tens of thousands of bees.