Andrew Doss had a leadership role in the development of the “Cuba Hoy!” conference for American and Cuban attorneys, policymakers, businesspeople and professors sponsored by At The Threshold. He used an E-21 grant to coordinate the participation of the Episcopal Diocese of Cuba in the conference, and to develop a case study for conference participants around re-establishing Camp Blankingship, the Episcopal youth camp.
The innovative evangelism anticipated from the project was bi-directional: 1) to use the gifts and skills of the conference participants to determine how to restore the camp as an institution for modern evangelism in the Episcopal Church in Cuba, and 2) to expose the conference participants to a model of Christian stewardship and an opportunity to build relationships with the Episcopal Church in Cuba.
Conference attendees participated in a series of seminars about private property and investment, issues of environmental protection, disaster management and historic preservation. For Doss’ grant work, the relevant issues involved with restoring Camp Blankingship were introduced in each seminar. Then the large group met at the Episcopal Cathedral for dialogue with church leaders, including the Rt. Rev Griselda Delgado de Carpio, Cathedral Dean the Very Rev. Jose Angel Guitierrez Ferro, and others. Their stories of the history of the Episcopal Church in Cuba and current opportunities, especially with the development of Camp Blankingship, gave the conferees a tangible application of the concepts they had been discussing.
During lunch, the conference attendees organized a spontaneous collection for Camp Blankingship. Each participant voiced a continuing commitment to Cuba and several vowed to continue to work with the Church through financial support, US policy and establishing precedent for responsible development. All left with an understanding of some of the issues of 21st century evangelism in Cuba.