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Cuban Council of Churches Delegation Visits U.S. Oct. 10-20 

            October 6, 2000, NEW YORK CITY – A high-level delegation from the Cuban Council of Churches (Consejo de Iglesias de Cuba - CIC) will be visiting U.S. churches Oct. 10-20.  This “return visit” to the National Council of Churches’ delegation visit to Cuba Sept. 2-7 will give opportunity for encounters between the CIC’s newly elected leadership team and U.S. denominational and ecumenical leaders. 

            Heading the religious mission will be the Rev. Dr. Reinerio Arce Valentin of the Presbyterian Reformed Church, the CIC’s President.  He will be joined by CIC Vice President Ormara Noya, a Baptist, and the CIC’s Executive Secretary, the Rev. Marcial Miguel Hernandez, who also is President of the Evangelical Free Church in Cuba. 

            “This visit is part of the current exchange between the National Council of Churches and the Cuban Council of Churches,” Dr. Arce said.  “It will give continuity to recent contacts between both organizations last September, when we welcomed the visit to Cuba of the NCC, headed by its General Secretary, the Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar.” 

            The Cuban religious leaders will visit the New York City offices of the National Council of Churches and its humanitarian response ministry, Church World Service.  In New York, they also will meet with the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Global Ministries; United Church of Christ/Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and The Episcopal Church, and with directors of religious liaison offices with the United Nations. 

            Their itinerary also will take them to Louisville, Ky., for meetings with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); Indianapolis, Ind., to meet with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Chicago, Ill., to meet with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Elgin, Ill., for meetings with the Church of the Brethren. 

            The Cuban Council of Churches was founded May 28, 1941, at Havana’s First Presbyterian Church.   There are 50 Protestant denominations in Cuba, 26 of which are CIC members, along with a number of ecumenical centers and organizations. 

            The CIC’s departments, committees and commissions include the Studies Center, Youth Department, Women’s Department and Medical Commission – the latter with 15 years of working experience.  Other departments include Assistance to Disabled Persons, Communications, and commissions working on finance, ecumenicity, ecclesiastical renovation and Christian education.  The Projects Department is charged with developing social programs in such fields as agriculture and energy. 

            The CIC Executive Committee is made up of pastors, lay persons, theologians and professors of different Christian traditions.  The General Assembly is the Council’s highest authority, and meets every two years. 

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