COLLEGE STREET UNITED CHURCH

People helping people in the name of Jesus

CUBAN GROUP 'SOMOS' ...a spiritual support self-help group for the LGBT community in Cuba. 

In July of 2014, Chris visited the newly formed group "Somos" (means "We Are!") formed by the First Baptist Church of Matanzas ...It is a first: a group for gays and lesbians who want to express their spirituality openly.  Support from Canadians has made this group possible...click here for more information.   

Here's there most recent news:

Summer vacationing in diversity:


The project “Opening Breaches of Colors” and the group SOMOS have accomplished various activities this sum- mer of 2014, that have ranged from excursions to Varadero Beach, showing movies, and blessings of courtships to the participation in the cultural activities of our city of Matanzas.
We want to share with our friends that you continue to be close in our work, that you accompany us in your pra- yers and thoughts, that you have given strength, sustenance; that you have shared your experiences with us, that you in this island and on the other side of the sea; but that you feel part of this work of celebrating and defending life and its diversity, of defending and affirming the human dignity in an integral form, especially for the most vul- nerable groups, of accepting and respecting the way of life and expression of personal sexuality of every human being and of helping the churches and the society recognize the right of peopel to live their sexuality freely and responsibly.

The 23rd of August was a very special day, as two men (Lachy and Adiel) from our group celebrated two years of courtship and love, for which we were given the task of commemorating with a beautiful liturgical celebration in Varadero Beach. We are thus a group of friends who are accompanied in the processes of our lives; we are given strength and breath to continue celebrating the full and abundant life.

The last Saturday in August we celebrate three years of being together (Taimi and Dailenys), they also would like to celebrate it together with our community and in the style of the people of God, through a liturgy that blesses and celebrates the unions and the love of same-sex couples. Once more it was the Song of Songs that blew eros to our group.

Elaine
Musical Instruments for Cuba

In May 2013 the group CUBAbility,friends of Cuba, sponsored along with College Street United Church, the gathering and shipping of musical instruments to be used in Cuba.  In the end we sent down 3 baby garnds, 3 upright pianos, a dozen guitars and violins, horns, strings and a repair kit ...The slide show at left shows how they were all packed and sent off.  Thank you to all who helped.

In 2015 we will send another container of instruments to Cuba. Stay tuned.

We are almost there.  the container of instruments is waiting in a storage locker to be shipped to Cuba. we have our 14 pianos, but we're looking for more instrument.

A LETTER FROM WANDA ABOUT HOW THE INSTRUMENTS OF 2013 ARRIVED IN CUBA...

Dear Brother Chris :


How are you and Ellen ?
We are very well and with a great joy in my heart. It's been an amazing , wonderful and miraculous event of the container arriving in the city of Matanzas . Families crying for having the possibility that their child may have an instrument so expensive and one that they NEVER would have imagined that they would be given free, or had even if they were able to pay for it . Even the accessories for instruments, such as (secillas) things , have benefited many students , teachers and professional artists who did not have an instrument with which to offer their music. People do not know how to thank you , cannot find the words to thank you.
We learned more about music and the details of each instrument as never in our lives before.  Among the instruments that came, there were a few that they did not have in Matanzas Concert Band or Symphony Orchestra . Another instrument is to be sent to a Concert Band in Havana, where they did not have this instrument. We are delivering to these groups. Their directors  did not know what to say. How can you donate these things as valuable and not charge anything or seek any recognition ? that's what they've asked. We are doing everything to report that somehow people who have participated in this crazy project know in detail how good this has been, albeit with a simple reed used for  a clarinet. We are also making a small video with the voices of these people , talking about their experiences with music. I will translate and I'll send a copy  for you to share there.
Chris , it was very appropriate to do this project with musical instruments, It has been the dream of many young people who have not had the possibility to achieve their dreams. Now having your instruments,  this will make these persons feel a connection with Canadians who have shared with them some of what you have. I was excited because it was a crazy and ambitious project , but now it is a reality  and even essential for those guys.
Will you be coming to Cuba in October ? What date ? We want to start the concert hall in the sanctuary and we want you to be here for the occasion.
Tell us with time to prepare .
We have been seeing  Beidy and Ary , We ate together and share each week whenever we can.
Remember also that Ingrid  left a pair of shoes in Bailey House. If it is possible to bring them , I would appreciate it .
 
Well, a big hug for you, Ellen and greet especially Hazel (I think it 's spelled) and tell her that all women are happy and connected with the idea of weaving nylon crates .
 
Greetings from Orestes also ,

Wanda

Chris travels to Cuba 
April 9th to finalize plans for our 
container of musical instruments for summer of 2018.  Our prayers are with him.