Sunday – Church reaching outside the walls
PWRDF sent a delegation of diocesan representatives, Youth Council members, a local farmer and PWRDF staff to Cuba in mid-March. They blogged while they were there, and now that they’re home, we will be posting their adventures in their own words. Today’s instalment comes from Frances Stewart, Diocesan Representative from Brandon.
A wonderful day. A leisurely start with breakfast at 8:30 and church at 10am. We are staying next to the church in a well-designed, second-floor dormitory described as perfect by all six dorm-mates.
Bishop Griselda, the leaders of the Episcopal Church St. Mary the Virgin, in Itabo, and the people of this vibrant parish have made us truly welcome. Worship was a joy. We followed the Cuban prayer book, sang hymns, and were enveloped in community, worship and sacrament.
The Rev. Greg Smith, PWRDF Rep for the Diocese of Huron co-officiated with Bishop Griselda and gave the sermon. PWRDF staff person Suzanne Rumsey translated the sermon and all the day’s presentations and discussions. Staff member Sheilagh McGlynn went to Varadero to collect Chris Pharo who was delayed in Costa Rico by a volcanic eruption.
Our surroundings tell the story of unused land being transformed into raised vegetable beds, flowers, fruit trees, seed generation, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, bee hives. Adjoining land, now owned by the church is a productive, chemical-free farm. We harvested guavas – a wheelbarrow full.
The water filtration system provides potable water. A tiled area just inside the property provides a public access tap for the community. This church has intentionally reached out beyond its walls. This approach has been taken up by individuals and parishes. Networks and possibilities abound. We have seen and learned a great deal.
Diocese of Brandon