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Chicago Presbytery - Cuba Trip 2012
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Chicago Presbytery - Cuba Trip 2012

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Several congregations sent a delegation to Havana Presbytery in November 2012. They were: Clarendon Hills Community Presbyterian Church, St. Luke in Downers Grove, Oak Park United, the Presbyterian …

Several congregations sent a delegation to Havana Presbytery in November 2012. They were: Clarendon Hills Community Presbyterian Church, St. Luke in Downers Grove, Oak Park United, the Presbyterian Church of Western Springs, and Hope Presbyterian Church in Wheaton. This presentation was created by participants from Hope Presbyterian Church in Wheaton.


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  • San Nicholas, Kevin preaching, Dargel y Yailen, student interim pastor (November 17) were married at Guanabacoa, is
  • Transcript

    • 1. Cuba 101November 11-19, 2012
    • 2. The Cuba delegation The whole group withHopers Pastor Muriel Miller
    • 3. Hope Church participants• Pastor Kevin Holley• Lee and Merikay Huszagh• Kurt Parent• Carol Urban
    • 4. Presbyterians in Cuba• In 1890, a Cuban couple (Evaristo and Magdalena Collazo) began a school in their home. Bible was taught daily; there was Sunday school on Sunday mornings and preaching on Sunday evenings. They contacted the Presbyterian Church U.S., and thus began the relationship between Cuban and U.S. Presbyterians.• The Presbytery of Cuba was part of the Synod of New Jersey for many years until the church became autonomous in 1967.
    • 5. History• The Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba has maintained a visible presence and a strong witness throughout its history. It suffered loss and hardship for over thirty years as roughly half of the pastors and lay leaders emigrated and the Marxist government stigmatized religious practice.• Since 1990 the government has become more tolerant of religion, and all the Christian churches have been growing.
    • 6. • Currently there are 9 churches in the Havana Presbytery and 37 Presbyterian churches in all of Cuba. Both the heritage and the current practice of Presbyterianism in Cuba reflect a strong ecumenical commitment. A whole new generation of seminary students and recently-ordained pastors, both men and women, has arisen.• The Evangelical Theological Seminary of Matanzas, where all the Presbyterian pastors are trained is jointly owned and operated by the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches in Cuba.
    • 7. • U.S. Presbyterians were instrumental in the establishment of numerous Presbyterian schools in Cuba. These schools were nationalized in 1961.• One mission worker of the United Presbyterian Church, Lois Kroehler, chose to stay in Cuba and served Cuba from 1949 until her retirement in 1992.• In 1985 the Presbyterian Reformed Church in Cuba and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted a Mutual Mission Agreement. The two churches work together in mission in many ways, including:
    • 8. Mutual Mission Agreement• Presbytery and congregational partnerships• International Peacemaking Program• Seminary exchanges• Mission to the U.S.A. Program• Cuba travel-study seminars• Caribbean and North American Council for Mission• Seeking normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations• Prayer, study, and dialogue
    • 9. Mission Statement• “We affirm that we share in one mission of Jesus Christ in Cuba, the U.S.A., and the world. That we are called to be peacemakers, creating bonds of friendship and understanding between our peoples.”
    • 10. U.S./Cuba Relations: A Timeline• 1950’s -- U.S. interests owned an estimated 68 percent of Cuba’s land.• 1960 -- Cuba nationalized U.S. corporate assets. Sanctions and a partial embargo were imposed on Cuba.• 1961 -- The Kennedy administration ordered an invasion of Cuba by CIA- trained Cuban exiles. The Bay of Pigs fiasco was followed by a total embargo of Cuba. Castro announced that the revolution would be founded on Marxist- Leninist principles.• 1962 -- Cuban missile crisis ensued when Kennedy announced that the Soviet Union had placed missiles in Cuba.• 1980 -- Cuba eased emigration restrictions, resulting in a massive migration of 125,0000 Cubans to the United States.• 1992 -- The Torricelli Bill (Cuban Democracy Act) prohibited transactions between U.S. foreign subsidiaries and Cuba.• 1996 -- The Cuba Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act (Helms-Burton Act) imposed penalties on foreign companies doing business in Cuba, permitted U.S. citizens to sue foreign investors making use of American-owned property seized by the Cuban government, and denied entry into the U.S. to such foreign investors.
    • 11. U.S./Cuba Relations• 2002 -- President Bush announced an “Initiative for a New Cuba,” increasing economic pressure on the island nation.• 2003 -- Both houses of Congress voted to end enforcement of travel restrictions but removed the provision from an appropriations bill after Mr. Bush threatened to veto it. For the 12th consecutive year, the U.N. General Assembly called on the United States to end its embargo on Cuba.• 2004 -- The Bush administration announced a comprehensive new Cuba policy to undermine the survival strategies of the Castro regime and contribute to conditions that will help the Cuban people hasten the dictatorship’s end.” As a result, increased restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba were implemented.• Current -- President Obama has relaxed restrictions on travel to Cuba and the Cuban government has recently allowed Cubans (including doctors) to travel abroad and subsequently to return to Cuba. Fidel Castro’s health has been deteriorating and his brother, Raul Castro, is in charge. The embargo continues.
    • 12. Presbyterian-Reformed Church, Luyano Pastor Daniel Izquierdo
    • 13. Permanent Presbytery of Havana Office, Luyano, Marlen Donado Cruz (front center) is Presbytery administrative assistant
    • 14. These two individuals made our delicious meals and made our stay comfortableSylvia Yalelley
    • 15. Our accommodationsThe women’s dormitory The cabana in Luyano’s courtyard
    • 16. Our bus
    • 17. First Presbyterian-Reformed Church, Havana Sanctuary, flags of partnershipFront of building churches
    • 18. First Church, HavanaPastor Hector Mendez Prayer Group meets weekly
    • 19. Presbyterian-Reformed Church, La Fernanda Church Pastor Alberto PadinThe church Pastor Holley and Pastor Padin
    • 20. La FernandaThe English learners’ choir The youth choir
    • 21. La Fernanda Presbyterian-Reformed Church Pastor Holley preached with translator NancyPastor Padin welcomes us Palacio, Havana University professor
    • 22. Pepe and Charity, two members of La Fernanda we visited in their homes
    • 23. Old Havana
    • 24. Revolution Square
    • 25. Old Havana, in very good Havana residential area, in verycondition poor condition
    • 26. Cars in Cuba
    • 27. Catholic ChurchesNow a museum, St Francis of Assisi
    • 28. Matanzas Theological Seminary
    • 29. Church at Matanzas Seminary and the town of Matanzas
    • 30. Veradero Beach
    • 31. Veradero Beach Oil well on the way to Veradero
    • 32. Three beach bums with theirCuban cigars Tony, our bus driver, and wife
    • 33. Presbyterian-Reformed Church, Guines Pastor Abel Mirabel
    • 34. Pastor Ismael Madruga and friendsPastor Ismael Madruga, Pastor Padin, and Pepitawho kept the La Fernanda Church going during andafter the revolution Ismael and his wife, Isabel
    • 35. Plaque honoring Pastor IsmaelPastor Ismael’s home in Guines
    • 36. Guines, farming community
    • 37. Apartment building Bus
    • 38. Presbyterian-Reformed Church, Guanabacoa Seminarian Yoelkis Sierra Christian Rock Band with Pastor Abel Mirabal (current Guines pastor) playing electric guitar
    • 39. Presbyterian-Reformed Church, San NicolasPastor Holley preaching with Seminarian Dargel y Yailen and hisPastor Magruda translating wife
    • 40. Presbyterian-Reformed Church, San Antonio de BanosSan Antonio de Banos Church Living Water ceremony
    • 41. Presbyterian-Reformed Church, Los Palos Pastor Isset Sama
    • 42. One pastor’s car
    • 43. Presbyterian-Reformed Church, Nueva Paz Pastor Maricela GonzalesYouth conference in session The church
    • 44. Join us!