I thought it might be helpful to pass on two things I have read this week- there is a huge amount out there, of course, but these are both from within the context of the Church of England.
This is an address to Ely Diocesan Synod by the Bishop of Huntingdon giving some of the historic tensions and connections of Russia and Ukraine, of religion and state, and some thoughts for now- it is a week old-
Also, this information was sent out by the Diocese of Oxford this week in their mailing: (the links are highlighted in blue but that might not be visible in the email itself, so it might be easiest to go on the Parish website and follow all of the links from there, where they will be more readily visible).
We can do something
we can pray You can pray using Christian Aid’s resources, the prayer for peace from +Steven, or use these liturgical resources.
The Come and See materials for the Lord’s Prayer are proving helpful for many at this time. Read today’s reflection here. Scroll down for a moving recording of a choir singing the Lord’s Prayer in Ukrainian. – we can act Christian Aid are encouraging people to sign a change.org petition launched by Together With Refugees member, Freedom From Torture. It’s calling on the government to provide humanitarian support to the people of Ukraine, and asking for urgent concessions on the Nationality and Borders Bill.
Consider how your church community could support a refugee family here in the UK. Scroll down for a brand-new film showing you how. – we can give Cash donations to a registered and regulated charity are best at this time. You can donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee Appeal here: DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
If you want to donate items, be sure to check what is needed and what can be transported first. For those who live in Oxford: the Ukrainian Society is collecting specific items that volunteers in Ukraine have identified as essential on 10 and 11 March. Collection at Clarendon Centre Oxford
Alternatively, if you cannot find any local collections to donate to an alternative option is to buy “survival items” from the online aid shop of the charity RefugEase. It sells food parcels, hygiene packs and medical packs. – and we don’t look away. The Ukrainian Institute has an excellent web pages with further information.
The diocese also has a webpage dedicated to a Christian response to the war, which will keep updated over the coming weeks.
Ukrainian arrangement of the Lord’s Prayer
Earley St Peter’s listened to this Ukrainian arrangement of the Lord’s Prayer at the Come and See small groups. “We felt we were sharing in the words of the prayer as it will be being prayed in bunkers and trenches and homes there.” Our thanks to Revd Graham Stevenson, the college chaplain, for this recording of Otche Nash by Kyrylo Stetsenko, arr. Catherine Groom, sung by the Choir of Fitzwilliam College Cambridge
Letter to The Times FAILURE OF THE RUSSIAN CHURCH
Sir, Last weekend Orthodox Christians in many countries celebrated “Forgiveness Sunday”, the day before Great Lent begins. Many will have hoped to hear from the Orthodox Church in Russia some acknowledgement of the shocking — not to say blasphemous — absurdity of Orthodox Christians engaging, at this season of all seasons, in indiscriminate killing of the innocent, insanely reckless attacks on nuclear facilities (endangering their own homeland as well as the wider environment), the unashamed breach of ceasefire agreements, and an attack on one of the most significant Holocaust memorials in Europe.
It is not too late for the leadership of the Church in Russia to call for (at the very least) a credible ceasefire as Lent begins. Those of us who owe a lasting debt to the thought and witness of Christian Russia through the centuries find it hard to believe that all the moral norms of warfare painstakingly explored by Christians in both East and West from the earliest ages onwards have been forgotten.
The Right Rev Lord Williams of Oystermouth
Archbishop of Canterbury 2002-12; Cardiff
And an extra article, about a topic we don’t think about enough in churches, around disability and leadership: Embracing a valuable talent pool: the barriers and gifts of living with a disability – Theos Think Tank – Understanding faith. Enriching society.
Thank you- and please do keep praying, of course, it goes without saying- the special Prayer Service for Ukraine we had last Sunday went very well and was very powerful (at Woosehill) and we are praying for the people of Ukraine and longing for peace at every service we hold throughout the week. People are also coming into Church to light candles, and using the prayer cards placed at the front of the North Aisle in St Paul’s.
Richard and the Clergy Team