Last weekend (March 6th - March 8th) marked a historic event, as the Episcopal Church in Cuba was officially welcomed home as a Diocese of The Episcopal Church at the 111th Cuban Synod in Havana.
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church opened the celebrations with the following words: "We come together today to give thanks to God for the people and ministry of La Iglesia Episcopal en Cuba, and to celebrate their Readmission as a duly constituted Diocese in The Episcopal Church. While we lament our years of separation, we acknowledge with admiration the ongoing faithful witness to Christ displayed throughout that time by the clergy and laity in Cuba, and we look forward to our future together."
In his charismatic style Bishop Curry led the congregation in a chant of "We Love Cuba" followed by a few refrains of "We are Family" - the famous song by Sister Sledge - in what proved to be a very emotional opening service of the Cuban Synod.
Clergy and laity from all Cuban parishes were in attendance as well as visitors and Bishops from all over the US and Canada. As part of the service, Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio and clergy signed "the Oath of Conformity", a declaration of commitment to the Constitutions and Canons of The Episcopal Church.
The Weekend's meetings and celebrations culminated in the closing service, where Bishop Andrew Dietsche of New York gave a very moving sermon. He acknowledged the wrongs done by the House of Bishops in 1967, apologized for those actions, and commended the Cuban Church for surviving and thriving despite the US Church's abandonment. He and his fellow Bishops praised Bishop Griselda's single-minded focus on the reunification of the Episcopal Church in Cuba with The Episcopal Church.
What a positive, optimistic and joyful occasion! March 6th, 2020 will most certainly go down as a high point in the history of both the Episcopal Church in Cuba and The Episcopal Church.