(OGA) As cities across the U.S. continue to deal with demonstrations stemming from the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, the Presbyterian Reformed Church in Cuba (IPRC) has weighed in on the matter. In a letter to the Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), church Moderator, the Reverend Dora Arce-Valentín, and General Secretary, the Reverend Edelberto Valdés Fleites, thanked the denomination for its continued support over the years.

“We are also thankful for your prophetic voice raised committedly during these years of partnership condemning the isolation imposed on our nation by the government of the United States, and the unjust economic and financial blockade to which we have been subjected to,” the letter states. “You have also successfully lobbied in every possible venue through your ministries in Washington, D.C., and in the United Nations in New York City. We elevate a sincere prayer of gratitude for your commitment to justice and with the church in Cuba.”

The letter condemned the “assassination of George Floyd” as another black life offered to the false gods of racism, intolerance, white supremacy, injustice, and violence.

“The commitment of both of our churches to a shared prophetic vocation is demonstrated in the adoption to our Books of Confessions of the Barmen Declaration, the Confession of 1967, and the Confession of Belhar,” the letter reads. “These also confirm our shared adherence to the Liberating Gospel of justice that a mestizo, poor, combative Nazarene embodied to the last consequence as the Son of God.”

Nelson says he was blessed by the letter and calls the IPRC a beloved partner in seeking equal rights and fair treatment for all.

“I am grateful to our siblings in Cuba who have faced their own struggles, compounded by the laws and policies of the U.S. government,” he said. “If we are truly to see reform in this country and beyond, we must be a united front and place God front and center.”

The IPRC was formed in Havana in 1890 with the help of a missionary from the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. It currently has a membership of more than 15,000.

The entire letter is below.

by Rick Jones, Office of the General Assembly

iprc letterhead

June 2, 2020.

Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson
Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Esteemed brother:

Grace and peace of God our Father, and of our Lord Jesus Christ!

The General Council, on behalf of the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba (IPRC), expresses its solidarity with our sister church, its congregations, presbyteries, synods and General Assembly, and especially to every members and their families, and to the people of the United States. We regret having to share our voice through a letter. We had hoped for our Moderator to be with you as an Ecumenical Delegate to your General Assembly. Circumstances, however, forces us to send this heartfelt message we hope will arrive to each commissioner through your office.

Our Church thanks God for the accompaniment gifted to us by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) through your prayers, presence in our communities, and generous financial support. We are also thankful for your prophetic voice raised committedly during these years of partnership condemning the isolation imposed on our nation by the government of the United States, and the unjust economic and financial blockade to which we have been subjected to. You have also successfully lobbied in every possible venue through your ministries in Washington, D.C. and in the United Nations in New York City. We elevate a sincere prayer of gratitude for your commitment to justice and with the church in Cuba.

It is our turn now to raise our voice, as the IPRC, together with yours to unequivocally condemn the assassination of George Floyd, another Black life offered to the false gods of racism, intolerance, White Supremacy, injustice and violence. The commitment of both of our churches to a shared prophetic vocation is demonstrated in the adoption to our Books of Confession of the Barmen Declaration, the Confession of 1967, and the Confession of Belhar. These also confirm our shared adherence to the Liberating Gospel of justice that a mestizo, poor, combative Nazarene embodied to the last consequence as the Son of God.

Receive from this small, blocked, poor, humble and generous island an immense and healing embrace as strong as the breath of the Spirit even in the midst of a pandemic that forces distancing from that which we consider routine, and observing social isolation to preserve our health. That Spirit reminded us in Pentecost that we are one, dispersed, diverse, multiethnic, beautiful people sustained by the powerful love of God which calls us to seek God’s kingdom and its righteousness as the foundation of our mission.

Happy are people who grieve, because they will be comforted… Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for justice, because they will be fed until they are full… Happy are people who work for peace, because they will be called God’s children. Happy are people whose lives are harassed for the cause of righteous, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. (Matthew 5.4, 6, 9–10)

 

Iglesia Presbiteriana Reformada en Cuba seal

In the love of Jesus, our Older Brother,

Signature

P.P. Dora Arce ValentIn
Moderator

signature

P.P. Edelberto Valdés
Fleites General Secretary