El Buen Pastor Episcopal Church
Güira de Macurijes, Cuba
Located in the town of Güira de Macurijes in the zone south of Matanzas Province. Güira is rural, with a population of no more than 3900 people. It has an agricultural economy, with the exception of some small private craft businesses (weaving) and even small cafeterias. Among its social challenges are the deterioration of public Institutions, alcoholism, unemployment, suicide, and depression.
The community began in 1904, when parishioners gathered in the wooden house on their way to the neighborhood that today they call “the fortunate.” Since then the community has given uninterrupted witness to God's love for the People.
Thanks to the support and fellowship of Christ Church, in Ponte Vedra, FL., today the community has several social support projects, among which are: a purified water system that serves around 100 families, the village polyclinic, and the home of Pedro Betancourt. Also, a Village Men's Community Breakfast program featuring civic-pastoral talks, Weekly Bible Studies, Children’s Catechesis, and a group of teenagers who meet every Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
Average attendance per Sunday is 32 (excluding children). Total membership is 57 - including teenagers and children. At this time the mission has a well-renovated church, and courtyard for outdoor events.
For the near future, the church hopes to acquire a rectory; open a daycare center that is needed by the community; and initiate a program to assist the elderly.