Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The situation in Ukraine is very deeply troubling. President Putin is leading a completely unjustified and aggressive war against Ukraine, a war which many ordinary Russians deeply deplore. Leaders from many Christian churches, including the Ukrainian Orthodox (Russian Patriarchate) Church have condemned the invasion of Ukraine. Our hearts cry out for justice and peace. We are most especially concerned for the wellbeing of those in Ukraine who are directly affected by the war. This includes particularly the members of our own congregation of Christ Church, Kyiv. The Churchwarden there, Christina, messaged us this morning saying: ‘Please pray for us as we are standing here for our land and for our roots. The battle for Kyiv has begun; it is fierce and intensive. Pray for us.’
I am therefore inviting you to join an online gathering this Tuesday 1st March at 18:00 gmt/ 19:00 cet/ 20:00 Kyiv/ 21:00 Moscow: ‘Prayers across Europe for Peace in Ukraine’. The gathering is timed for the eve of a Day of Prayer called by Pope Francis. It will be led by me, with assistance from Canon Malcolm Rogers, our chaplain in Moscow and Area Dean for Russia and Ukraine.
In the face of military action, we can easily feel powerless and fearful. But one thing we can do is pray. We can pray in solidarity with those most affected. We can pray that God will yet overrule in the hearts and minds of those with power and authority. We can pray that the victims will be few and that the innocent will be protected. We can pray that peace will come through justice and not through the infliction of the will of a stronger party on a weaker.
In this prayer gathering, we will be joined by many people from Church of England churches in England. In addition, Archbishop Justin has drawn the event to the attention of the Anglican Primates from across the world.
So please do come if you can to share with many people from across Europe and beyond in praying for peace in Ukraine and in our continent.
The Zoom link for the service for you all is:
Prayers Across Europe for Peace in Ukraine
Mar 1, 2022 18:00 London, 19:00 cet, 20:00 Kyiv, 21:00 Moscow
Meeting ID: 876 4313 0158
Zoom space may be limited but the service will also be streamed on YouTube so please share the attached flyer and information about that with your congregations and friends. This is the YouTube Link YouTube Diocese in Europe Ukraine Service
Yours in Christ,