Mission is not a mere list of things to do; rather, it is something we live as followers of Jesus. Thus, our mission as people of faith in Christ is to tend to the physical needs of people just as much as the spiritual needs of people and to enter into co-creative, co-operative relationships with those on the margins of society. At Northminster, we seek to partner with organizations, churches and individuals who join us in the ongoing work of mercy, justice and love and who help us live as authentic followers of Jesus. We look for opportunities in which we can partner, collaborate and create with others the kingdom of God here on earth.
In 1994 Northminster entered into a partner church relationship with Iglesia Bautista Enmanuel (Emanuel Baptist Church) in Ciego de Avila, Cuba. This is one of about 30 such partnerships between churches of the Alliance of Baptists and churches in the Fraternity of Cuban Baptist Churches. At least annually since 1994 Northminster members have traveled to Cuba for dialogue and fellowship and to participate in worship with members of Enmanuel and its several mission congregations. On each trip our members have also carried needed medicine, clothes and other items. Northminster makes a yearly financial contribution to Enmanuel to assist in its ministries. We have also helped Enmanuel pay a short-term debt on the house which serves as their worship and educational center, have provided financial support for Enmanuel students attending the ecumenical seminary at Matanzas, and have helped support the purchase of property next door to the church and renovations and additions to the building. At Northminster’s invitation and with our support several members of Enmanuel have visited us from time to time. This is a partnership of mutual respect and support, and we are richer for our relationship with our sisters and brothers in Cuba.
Read Cuba's 2016 stories by clicking below:
DeSiard Street Shelter
The 5th Saturday of any month different groups from Northminster Church gather to cook and serve breakfast at the Desiard Street Shelter downtown. We go in teams of three. One of the three is a coordinator, who is responsible for contacting the other two members of the team, as well as facilitating the shopping, cooking, and serving. We usually meet around 8:30 a.m. at the shelter (depending on how much cooking is necessary that morning) and serve from around 9:00 - 9:30 a.m.
Please sign-up on the sheet in the narthex if you are interested in helping serve.
Missions Trunk in Narthex
Each month a new charity is represented on the Missions Trunk in the Narthex. Northminster members are very generous in providing for the needs of our various charitible orginizations.
October Missions: War Veterans Home
Needs: Soap, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, medicated powder, socks, men's t-shirts and underwear in various sizes.
DATES FOR NOVEMBER CUBA VISIT SET
The dates for our November visit to Cuba have been set for Wednesday, November 6 to Wednesday, November 13. We hope to have a good delegation from Northminster as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of our partnership with Iglesia Bautista Enmanuel in Ciego de Avila and also the 25th anniversary of the constitution of Enmanuel as a church.
We will fly from New Orleans to Miami connecting to a flight to Camaguey, Cuba on Thursday, November 7. We will return to New Orleans late on the evening of Tuesday, November 12, leaving from Camaguey and connecting in Miami. We will plan to carpool to and from New Orleans on November 6 and 13 and spend the night there on each occasion.
For anyone who has interest in this visit please talk with D. H. Clark (318-366-7519) or Craig Henry (318-372-1369) for more details. We are attempting to estimate the cost of the trip and hope to provide that figure in the near future. There is a possibility we can shorten the visit for anyone who cannot be away for the length of the entire trip. So if that interests anyone let us know that as well.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE JANUARY 2019 CUBA VISIT
This year we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of Northminster’s partnership with Iglesia Bautista Enmanuel in Ciego de Avila, Cuba. We are often asked what we “do” in Cuba. Do you build things or, DH being a doctor, do you treat people for medical issues? The simple answer is “no”. The Cuban people are very capable of building what they need, and there are more medical doctors per capita in Cuba than in the US. What we “do” is to build relationships with an amazing group of people who are a lot like Northminster folks—a lot poorer in resources, but rich in hospitality and love.
Eighty degree days and sixty degree days. A good time to be in Cuba. DH and I just returned from a week-long visit. We ate a lot, and we visited a lot, and we visited a lot while we ate. Even though our hosts typically cannot afford to eat the meals they serve us, when we are there, their hospitality and generosity knows no bounds. We also worshipped and sang (a lot) and hugged a lot. On this occasion during worship we also shared communion together.
Another highlight of our visit was a discussion we had during their Sunday Bible School with the teenagers in the church. What bright and inquisitive young people. These same young people put on a play at Christmas that our friend Jose Aurelio “Tury” Paz had written for them. They are eager to meet our Northminster young people and have given them a special invitation to visit them in Cuba!
We were also fortunate to hear two outstanding musical groups of the city during our visit. The first was a small instrumental ensemble from a larger orchestra in the city. These five outstanding musicians serenaded us and the weekly meeting of the “elderly group” of the church with a few classical pieces as well as some Cuban favorites. Absolutely first class.
The other group is the twenty-voice a capella chorale El Coro D’Avila. We were invited to sit in on their weekly rehearsal session held in the beautiful acoustics of the local Masonic lodge. Wow! They sang for us the spirituals Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel and Wade in the Water in English and then Eric Whitaker’s Lux Aeterna. They are world class! We made videos of both groups we hope to share with you soon.
Our plan is to return to Cuba in November so we can formally celebrate the 25th anniversary of our partnership together. So please stay tuned for those details and please consider being a part of our next visit. We promise you a life-giving (and perhaps life-changing) experience.