Cuba Church Partnership Mission Group
Circle of Mercy is living our commitment to a church-partner relationship with Iglésia Bautista Getsémani (Gethsemane Baptist Church), a congregation in Camagüey, Cuba. Our Cuba Church Partnership Mission Group formed around the idea of becoming a partner church, then organized a delegation to visit Cuba in hopes of discovering a match. Their findings and experiences led our congregation to invite the Getsémani congregation to form a partner relationship with us. Each year, one or more delegations of Circle of Mercy members visit Camagüey to spend time with Getsémani pastor Angela “Pastora Angelita” María Hernandez and members of the congregation. Many fruitful and moving experiences have punctuated this relationship.
Circle of Mercy members Mark Siler, Kiran Sigmon, and their daughters, Joy and Leigh, lived in Matanzas, Cuba, for a year during which Mark taught in the ecumenical seminary and helped build the country’s first prison chaplaincy program. They have introduced the richness of Cuban "Semana Santa" Holy Week observances, awareness of Cuban culture, and much beautiful music in Spanish to our congregation.
The Mission Group also participates in cooperative Bible studies with our Cuban counterparts. Our congregations take turns suggesting texts for study, then we exchange notes on our discussions and reflections afterwards. We see this practice as a way to deepen our spiritual friendship despite the distances that separate us.