In October 2018, a group of Disciples women participated in a Woman-to-Woman Worldwide pilgrimage to Cuba, coordinated by Global Ministries and the Office of Disciples Women. The 11 women were moved by a number of ministries offered by partner churches and programs. Subsequent to each W2WW trip, upon the return to their home contexts, the participants share their experiences and promote special giving opportunities to support the life-giving ministries for women offered by partner churches. This year, the group of participants is highlighting giving opportunities for the Matanzas Seminary with a priority to support the Gender Studies program, and the Trauma Recovery and Income-Generation Project for Women of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center. In 2019 and years to follow, these ministries are promoted as giving opportunities while the delegates visit Disciples women around the United States and Canada to interpret their experiences during a special period of study, prayer, reflection, and advocacy.
Gender Studies program of Matanzas Seminary
The Matanzas Seminary provides academically challenging and innovative theological education and pastoral training for church leaders from 14 denominations and five countries. Graduates, lay leaders and those who are ordained for ministry, are helping to share the Good News of God’s abundant life with all people. Nearly all faculty members and administrative staff of Matanzas Seminary also pastor churches in addition to teaching courses. Additionally, depending on the pastoral needs of the denominations, students pastor a church or serve as an associate pastor in congregations across the country during their studies.
Students taking courses with the Gender Studies program of the seminary study the coming together of issues of gender and church and ministry. One graduate of the program shared that the program led her to discover the ways she has internalized machismo in her own life. After the program, she feels more prepared to address this in her own life and in her community.
Trauma Recovery and Income-Generation Project for Women of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center (CMMLK) is an organization of Christian inspiration in which Cuban people and their churches contribute prophetically to the solidarity of their country and communities. The Center contributes to society with a liberating and contextual theology and practice. They give hope by organizing social participation, ministering with the Cuban people, actively striving for social justice.
The Trauma Recovery and Income-Generation Project for Women of the Center is a network of emotional support, skills training, and income-generation projects for women from difficult circumstances. Using the model of popular grassroots education, many women find healing from domestic violence situations in the group, and find a network of support from women in the community. Each woman in the project learns an artistic skill and means of self-expression such as doll-making, making clothes, cooking, and more. Women in the group then use these skills to generate an income and to contribute back to the project for other women to join.
Disciples Woman-to-Woman Worldwide and Global Ministries welcome gifts to support the Gender Studies program of Matanzas Seminary and the Trauma Recovery and Income-Generation Project for Women of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center, both in Cuba.