The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), presented the following resolution during a gathering in Matanzas, Cuba of the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba.
January 30, 2015
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
It is with great joy and deep gratitude to God that I greet you in the name of your sisters and brothers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
As you gather for your first National Synod since the governments of Cuba and the United States began to ease the restrictions under which we have labored for the last 55 years, I give thanks for your amazing perseverance and courage during this time.
You have been a beacon of hope to your people in the face of numerous challenges over these last decades, and you have never flagged in your welcoming hospitality to those of us who have been able to come and share in your witness. The lives of the members of our Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have been changed for good by our encounters with your people through congregational partnerships, study seminars and missions of support for theological education. Your ability to support and strengthen your own church in the face of limited resources has challenged us to make fuller use of the resources we have at our disposal; moreover, you have maintained a strong international witness in the councils of the worldwide Christian community.
Most importantly, we rejoice that this partnership, which began very modestly some 125 years ago, has been truly blessed by God and has had a profound impact on both of our churches and on our nations.
We cannot guess, at this point, what the future of our ministry and witness together holds. We are well aware that significant barriers remain, held in place by our governments-barriers which we are working to see removed in due time.
For now, we can rejoice that there is new freedom in the air and that we are free to gather and work together in new ways for the sake of the outreach of the Gospel and for the strengthening of the lives of our people and our nations. Be assured of our love for you and of our continuing support for our partnership with you in Christ.
May God’s richest blessing rest upon you, your leaders, the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba and your nation as you move into a new and exciting future, confident in the promises of the God whom we all worship and serve.
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)