One of the most moving moments of General Convention 2018 was the readmittance of the Diocese of Cuba to The Episcopal Church. This led the Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, former Presiding Bishop and current Assisting Bishop in the Diocese of San Diego, to challenge the House of Bishops to help fund the pension gap for clergy who have served the Diocese of Cuba since they were pushed out of this Church.
Bishop Katharine writes,
Clergy in Cuba have no access to state pensions or any equivalent of social security, for their service to the church is not recognized as employment, which is a function of the Cuban government. Their ‘retirement’ requires enormous creativity and often means penury beyond what most Cubans already endure…The pension gap is approximately $800,000. Given the current census of Episcopalians, the need amounts to about $0.50 per member of this Church. I write to ask you to offer a “mite” to aid the aged and aging clergy of the church in Cuba.
Bishop Michael has decided that the offering collected during the Holy Eucharist at our diocesan Convention will be given toward the retirement fund set up specifically for clergy in Cuba, to support closing this pension gap for those who have served so long and faithfully.