from Ruling Elder Marilyn Seiber, who leads our partnership with First Presbyterian Church in Havana, Cuba, part of the PCUSA Cuba Partners Network.
At a webinar on March 4 with leaders and pastors of the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba, we have learned that the economic situation in Cuba is dire and that the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba is in extreme financial straits beyond its ability to resolve.
As a result, the PCUSA’s Cuba Partners Network (CPN) has sent out an appeal to help meet the Cuban church’s $75,000 shortfall. CPN has called for an immediate response in order that funds can be transferred to Cuba by Easter Sunday, April 4.
To support our Cuban Presbyterian Church friends and partners, go to www.nyapc.org/give-now, select credit card/direct debit, and use the drop down menu to select “Cuba Appeal 2021 Fund.” In order to meet the April 4 deadline, all donations should be made no later than Wednesday, March 31.
The economic situation in Cuba is now dire—especially for the churches.
Cubans have been hit by the “perfect storm” of Covid, tightened U.S. economic sanctions, and the Cuban Government’s implementation of transitioning to a single currency. Cuban Presbyterian pastors have said that conditions are reaching the same as during the “Special Period” decades ago with shortages of food, medicines, and basic living supplies. The Cuban Government’s monetary policy has quadrupled prices, and the Government has increased subsidies for those employed by the Government and mandated an increased minimum wage for all Cubans. This has left the churches in an untenable financial situation because of increased costs, mandated salaries, and loss of income from congregations because of closed churches. Churches are “outside” the Government’s support program and are unable to pay pastors the mandated wage; pay for electricity, water, other utilities; continue with Synod printed communications; secure supplies and keep mission activities functioning.
The PC(USA) Cuba Partners Network has asked partner churches and individuals to participate in raising $75,000 for the Synod that will support:
- Pastoral staff – as church employees they dd not receive the recent national pay raise given to state employees and are now at a monthly deficit
- Printed communications – accurately sharing announcements and news as well as God’s word
- Food and supplies – the church is negotiating directly with the government
- Synod activities – children’s camps, electricity at the seminary
Please help our Presbyterian brothers and sisters in Cuba in this time of extreme need for the church!