Bishop’s Call to Prayer for United Methodists
In the past weeks, the world has been gripped by the news reports of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I have been in daily prayer for the situation. I urge United Methodists to join me.
However, the situation did not develop overnight. Early in 2014, armed conflict erupted as Russian troops entered Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine. According to a 2017 report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, almost 10,000 people had been killed and over 23,000 had been injured, and more than one million eastern Ukrainians sought safety in the western parts of the country or in the country of Russia.
In May 2017, Bishop Khegay hosted a Peace Dialogue for United Methodists in Ukraine and Russia. At that meeting, delegates accepted their call to serve as agents of peace and reconciliation, examine ways the church had historically contributed to the present conflict, and to combat misconceptions and misunderstandings that fueled the current conflict. The outcome of the meeting was an agreement to promote peace, reconciliation, and love.
The desired outcome of the Peace Dialogue apparently did not achieve its objectives when, in 2021, the European Central Conference received a request from the Moldova Provisional Annual Conference to withdraw from the Eurasian Episcopal Area due to the political situation between Ukraine and Russia. No action has been taken on the request, due to the pandemic.
Oklahoma United Methodists have been active in both countries. Likewise, the General Board of Global Ministries has been working closely with the European bishops and closely monitoring the situation. You may make contributions through the Conference Center or on the GBGM website to support humanitarian efforts to relieve suffering with the assurance that United Methodist leaders impacted by the crisis are collaborating on relief efforts.
Tragically, war has broken out in yet another part of the world. How should United Methodists respond? The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church say: “We deplore war and urge the peaceful settlement of all disputes among nations. From the beginning, the Christian conscience has struggled with the harsh realities of violence and war, for these evils clearly frustrate God’s loving purposes for humankind. We yearn for the day when there will be no more war and people will live together in peace and justice.”
Please join me in prayer and fasting for peace. May God have mercy upon the nations. May God have mercy on the church. May God have mercy on us.
How to assist the Ukrainian people
United Methodists and others wishing to provide humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people in the wake of the Russian invasion of their country may contribute to Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery. This fund will provide direct assistance to those in Ukraine as well as assistance to Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries.
Gifts to support the people of Ukraine can be made in the following ways:
- Online at https://umcmission.org/advance-project/982450
- By toll free telephone: 888-252-6174
- By check with “Advance #982450-Ukraine” written on the memo line, either mailed and addressed to Global Ministries/UMCOR, GPO, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY, 10087-9068 or given at or through any United Methodist church
One hundred percent of all Advance contributions go to the designated cause.