(Originally published on the Alliance of Baptists blog on 07/23/2014)
by Sylvia Campbell
The past 16 days have been filled with excitement and energy as our congregation, Ravensworth Baptist Church, Annandale, Va., sister Alliance churches and other religious organizations were given the opportunity to get to know Livio Diaz Rodriguez.
A member of Ravensworth’s Cuba Partner, The Christian Women’s Network, Debora—and the husband of the ministry’s General Coordinator, Midiam Lobaina Gamez—Livio has been a central figure in the network’s gender equity ministry since its inception. For those who have met in Livio on trips to Cuba, you know that his visit resulted many meaningful and important encounters with our church and community.
Livio is also an ordained Baptist minister, a practicing lawyer, the founder and current vice president of the Cuban Christian Lawyers Association and an active partner in the Fraternity of Cuban Baptists.
He recently earned a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Havana. It was the first successful defense of a religious dissertation in more than 50 years. During his time here, Livio participated in worship, lead group discussions on Cuban history, the role of the Christian community in Cuban society and the impact of the current U.S. embargo on Cuba.
In addition to time spent during worship services and scheduled events with members of Ravensworth, Livio also met with a number of religious leaders in the area, visited several religious and Cuba interest organizations and participated in worship at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church.
Contacts with Alliance partner congregations and affiliates included a meeting at Calvary Baptist Church, Washington, D.C., with Edgar Palacios and an evening meal and discussion with members of Calvary’s Latino congregation. Livio also made a visit to the Centreville Labor Resource Center where he spoke with workers and staff and met Leah Grundset Davis, communications specialist with the Alliance and Meredith Higgins, a summer communities of service intern.
Livio also shared with us during worship while he was here – you can listen to the audio below: