Joel Ortega Dopico: ‘Come together as a Cuban family’
New Presbyterian president of the Council of Churches of Cuba (CIC) committed to strengthening ecumenical relations
The Rev. Joel Ortega Dopico of the Presbyterian Reformed Church of Cuba was elected as the new president of the Council of Churches of Cuba (CIC), at the Council’s assembly held in Havana last weekend.
In his installation sermon, Ortega referred to the encounter of the rich young man with Jesus and pointed out the need for a greater commitment to the cause of the Kingdom of God.
It is a biblical narrative of hope, he said, because it allows Pentecostal and historic churches to be united, past and present generations to meet together, as well as believers and non-believers, “because God calls us to be God’s people.”
The new president of CIC called on the leaders of the churches to take advantage of the moment to think about and analyze the fundamental issues having to do with what is lacking in the building of a social, ecclesial and ecumenical community, “or what we lack so as to be able to come together as a Cuban family.”
The CIC assembly issued a statement in which it holds personal and national greed to be the greatest enemy of peace, and that that of the nations “disrespects human rights and those of other nations.” The statement continues by saying that greed “is the greatest sin of those who rebel against God’s purposes of peace and well-being for all humanity.”
The new CIC board of directors for the period 2012-2014, has as vice-presidents, Osmany La O of the Orthodox Church of God, Ernesto Bazán and Antonio de Santana of the Fraternity of Baptist Churches of Cuba, Yakelin Sánchez of the Free Evangelical Church, Bárbaro González, of the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ, and Lieutenant Pablo Vega of the Salvation Army. Pastor Arizaida Silvente of the Christian Pentecostal Church was elected as secretary, and as treasurer the Reverend Armando Rusindo, of the Moravian Church.
Present at the installation service of the new board of directors were the heads of the Office of Attention to Religious Matters of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Caridad Diego Bello and María de los Ángeles Pérez, in addition to relatives of the Cuban 5 imprisoned in the United States, accused of terrorist actions.