For over 25 years, churches in the Fraternity of Baptist Churches in Cuba have been partnering with churches in the Alliance of Baptists in the US.
When the Alliance of Baptists and La Fraternidad deIglesias Bautistas de Cuba (the Fraternity) discovered each other over 20 years ago, it was like being reunited with a long lost twin, after being separated at birth.Alliance and Fraternity members met and realized their experiences had been virtually synchronous.
Churches had been kicked out of their respective conventions over issues of women’s ordination, ecumenism, and social justice work. At the same time the Alliance was being formed, three churches in Cuba banded together to form the Fraternity of Baptists. Now, over 20 years later, the Fraternity has grown from 3 churches to 45, with many more missions, and there are over 20 partnerships between Alliance and Fraternity Churches. These partnerships have become a model for a new way to approach mission and ministry across borders. In place of the paternalistic and dependency-creating traditional model of mission fields getting help from mission agencies, the Alliance-Fraternity partnerships are based on mutuality and relationship-building, with each church recognizing it has both resources and needs, wealth and poverty, and through relationship building, there is mutual support designed to promote sustainability. The Cuban churches, while relatively poor in material goods, are rich in many other areas,including culture, theological education, and community outreach.
Contemplative Meditation in solidarity with our Cuban friends meets Wednesdays, May 1, May 15, and May 29, 10:00-11:30 am in the Parlor.