A Reflection on Cuba
By Jack Watson, St. James Episcopal Church, Hendersonville
A group from St. James, Hendersonville has made two trips to Cuba in the past three years and has found the Episcopal Church there to be vibrant and very much alive. As a result of these visits, St. James has established a relationship of prayer and support with nine congregations in the eastern end of the Island -- all Faith Communities which otherwise have very little companionship support from parishes outside Cuba. One of these nine churches is mentioned each Sunday in the Prayers of Intercession of the Eucharist.
While the Episcopal Church in Cuba is rich in faith, it is severely lacking in financial resources and over the past three years St. James has funded the renovation of a badly deteriorated house into a House of Worship for San Joaquin, Bayamo; assisted with the replacement of a roof for Transfiguration, Tabor; funded the replacement of a roof of the rectory of San Lucas, Santiago (which was badly damaged by Hurricane Matthew); and, through a generous anonymous gift, purchased a house to be used for a House of Worship for San Pedro, Jiqui -- a mission congregation whose building was destroyed by a hurricane 33 years ago.
The Cuban Church is indeed poor in material things; however, it is a faith-filled community which is manifested by the vibrancy of its worship, its outreach, and its growth. St. James is the richer for participating in this fellowship.