It’s a mysterious and magical place, Cuba, where an atmosphere of hope gives “new life” to faith. The Rt. Rev. Griselda Delgado del Carpio and the Episcopal Diocese of Cuba welcomed a mission group from St. Anne’s, Reston, for 10 days. The group felt a buzz of energy around a church that is growing and reaching out to its wider communities through outreach and community development projects.
Exploring Havana enlightened the group not only on the stunning architecture but also on the beautiful people and culture.
Members of La Resurreción in Havana worshipped in a small living room for 13 years before building a church. Now they’ve opened their doors to the elderly in the community by offering arts and crafts and other community-building activities.
The Christ of Havana overlooks the bay of Havana from atop a hill. It represents Jesus of Nazareth, as well as the Christian roots imbedded in the Cuban culture.
The group of 13 from St. Anne’s, Reston, consisted of people from a variety of backgrounds, mission experiences and ages, including one Methodist and a diocesan representative. There is not one type of person for mission trips.
The chapel at the Seminario Evangelico Teologia (Evangelical Theology Seminary) was constructed in December 1956 by the Domestic Foreign Missionary Society in partnership with Bishop Blankenship. Today, three faith traditions – Baptist, Presbyterian and Episcopalian – worship there.
St. Anne’s assisted in funding the roof on the new church building for La Trinidad, which collapsed a couple years earlier. The group spent a day painting to help get the church ready for the re-consecration the following Sunday morning.
The most powerful part of the trip was celebrating the re-consecration of La Trinidad. People were spilling out of the church into the streets as part of this momentous occasion for the community.
Despite her busy schedule, the Rt. Rev. Griselda Delgado del Carpio makes time to develop personal relationships with visitors from around the Anglican Communion.
Guira de Macurijes
El Buen Pastor has become an integral part of the community by providing clean water through its water filtration system. The St. Anne’s group brought additional filtration systems to be installed in two more churches. These will make a large impact on the communities at large.
Photos: Ashley Cameron