People in Partnership is pleased to announce that two Companions in Mission have been appointed to Cuba.

Photo of Samia Saad
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Samia Saad
Samia Saad will facilitate workshops on strengthening leadership skills and interpersonal relationships among clergy. Her training will take place as part of the annual meeting of Matanzas Presbytery of the Presbyterian-Reformed Church of Cuba (IPRC).

Samia is a registered psychotherapist and Program Director at The Lighthouse Centre, where she has worked for almost 30 years. Her work focuses on the psychosocial impact of precarious migration status, recovery from trauma, and creating and coordinating culturally appropriate programs to empower immigrants, refugees, families, and communities. Samia is a published author and teaches leadership-training courses and workshops among culturally diverse groups in Canada and other parts of the Global South. She is currently finishing her PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University.

The Presbyterian Church of Cuba (IPRC) has a long reputation for its social commitment, strong lay participation, encouragement of women’s leadership, and ecumenical orientation. Initially constituted as a presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in the United States in 1890, it achieved its autonomy from the U.S. church in 1967. IPRC is an important place for Cubans who are searching for meaning and spirituality.

The partnership between IPRC and the United Church began in 1985.

Photo of Dr. Nestor Medina
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Dr. Néstor Medina
Dr. Néstor Medina is serving the Evangelical Seminary of Theology (SET). He will teach the course “The Historical Roots and Developments of Pentecostalism in Canada and the USA” along with making presentations May 20‒24, 2019. Dr. Medina will also engage conversations concerning the 100th anniversary of the arrival of Pentecostalism in Cuba.

Dr. Medina is an Assistant Professor of Religious Ethics, tenure stream, at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto. He teaches courses in religious ethics, theology and culture, and post-Decolonial approaches, rooted in ethical standpoints of the Global South.

The Evangelical Seminary of Theology in Matanzas, Cuba, is an ecumenical institution for basic and advanced theological training of pastors and leaders of Cuban and Latin American churches. It was founded in October 1946 as a result of ecumenical efforts by the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Episcopal churches. Since its foundation, SET has functioned as a key reference point for biblical and theological life in Cuba, and every year it is the scene of important national and international conferences.

The partnership between SET and the United Church began in 1988.