The Commission on Cuba Ministry
The Rev. Susan M. Moss
In 1871 Henry Benjamin Whipple, first bishop of Minnesota, and his wife Cornelia, were on their way to Haiti. But they missed their boat and their only alternative was to sail by way of Cuba. They never did get to Haiti. However, once in Havana, Bishop Whipple, stuck around, learning the needs of the people and officiating at the first Protestant service on the island.
Later that same year, The Rev. Edward Kenney was sent to Cuba as a resident missionary under Whipple’s supervision. Today, Whipple is honored in Cuba as one of the founders of The Episcopal Church.
Today the Episcopal Church in Cuba thrives under the leadership of bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio. Cuba’s 40 faith communities are led by 28 priests and dozens of lay leaders focused on serving the needs of their local communities through projects like the installation of UV water filtration systems.
For the past three years ECMN’s Cuba Commission has been in partnership with the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba and its’ Archdeacon Halbert Pons Santana. With the support of several MN Rotary Clubs we have purchased and carried these easy to maintain systems to churches in the eastern archdiocese.
Working with Archdeacon Halbert, Deacon Noel Rodriguez and many lay people, our team has installed systems in four churches providing access to clean water for entire neighborhoods and preventing disease.
In 2017, in recognition of their shared history with Bishop Whipple, Bishop Griselda gratefully received a generous gift from the Dean’s Easter Offering at The Cathedral Church of St. Mark. This gift has enabled the first phase of a complete kitchen/dining room renovation at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Havana, the location of dozens of ecumenical gatherings and on the island.
Our commission understands that we have as much to learn from our Cuban brothers and sisters as they do from us. We follow the model of Jesus—living and working together in fellowship, while opening doors of communication between us. We pledge our friendship and support knowing that through open hearts, hands and minds we will to grow as human beings with a future of hope and peace.
We are affiliated with The Friends of the Episcopal Church in Cuba, a US-based volunteer organization working with Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio to help her and her team realize their transformational vision of "creating a church that, united in diversity, celebrates, preaches, teaches, serves and shares the love of God". www.friendsofeccuba.org.
2017 Commission members:
- Bishop Brian Prior
- Hector Bruce
- Susan Hartwig
- Dean Paul Lebens-Englund
- Colin Maltbie
- Susan Moss
- Newell Searle
- Emma Senner
- Claire Turnham
- Rena Turnham