European churches invite us to a service for peace in Ukraine

The Church of Scotland is joining churches across Europe and around the world in inviting people to join a special prayer service for peace in Ukraine from 4-5 pm GMT on Ash Wednesday, March 2, the first day of Lent 2022.

ukraine-woman

Everyone is invited to register to join the online service, which will include voices from Ukraine.

The Conference of European Churches (CEC) supported by the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the World Methodist Council CEC is calling for prayers of peace for the people of Ukraine and an end to the conflict.

Rev. Christian Krieger, the CEC's president, condemned the Russian invasion and renewed the call for everyone with influence on the situation to work for peace.

"The Gospel of Jesus Christ carries a message of peace for all humankind together with deep respect for the dignity of every human being," he said.

"This call is rooted in God's mercy, the forgiveness he offers to anyone who comes to him. We are required to be the artisans of peace and reconciliation."

"We therefore strongly condemn the act of war the Russian armed forces have committed in Ukraine. This act violates the sanctity of borders, people's right to determination and stability in the region."

Meanwhile, Rev Dan Harper of Bridge of Allan Parish Church has thanked people for the amazing community response to an appeal to help the besieged people of Ukraine.

People have been dropping off essential goods at the church which have been sorted by volunteers before being passed on to a Denny-based charity called The Hope Hub, which is organising for them to be transported to the Ukraine border with Poland.

The Church of Scotland has been in regular contact with our partner churches, including the Reformed Church in Hungary and the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia, Ukraine ((Egyházkerület Kárpátaljai Református).

Rev. Balázs Ódor, ecumenical officer for the Reformed Church in Hungary, said the Churches' responsibility is to come together and pray jointly for peace as different denominations in the region are now doing.

"It is crucially important to demonstrate in the society that Christians from different ethnic backgrounds, representing both minorities and the majority express their wish for peaceful solution to the crisis using diplomacy instead of weapons."

As well as reaching out to partner churches, the Moderator and other Scottish faith leaders are urging our government to welcome refugees from the conflict and to reconsider the controversial Nationality and Borders Bill, that will criminalise those who reach the UK without prior permission.

You can donate to the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid emergency response.

You can also donate through the Church of Scotland - Royal Bank of Scotland Church of Scotland. Account Number: 00134859, Sort code: 83 06 08. Reference RCHA donation and the donor's name. If eligible, please also complete the Gift Aid Declaration form by following this link to the HMRC gift aid form, ensuring the Charity Name is completed as "The Church of Scotland". The completed form can be returned to the Church of Scotland by email to sfadmin@churchofscotland.org.uk. Alternatively a cheque can be sent payable to The Church of Scotland with an accompanying letter and completed gift aid form.