Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. has made a plea to United Methodists in the Great Plains Conference to provide financial assistance for refugees fleeing Ukraine because of the Russian invasion into the country.The letter below shares the details of how to donate money to help refugees.
United Methodists of the Great Plains Conference,
The grace of Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
The images of women, children, and families, carrying their basic belongings in suitcases and backpacks, sheltering in subways, fleeing their homes while under attack in Ukraine have broken our hearts. The news of the last week about the invasion of Ukraine by Russia has reignited fears of world war, something many of us believed was a thing of the past.
The Feb. 24 invasion by Russia into a neighboring and sovereign nation has escalated tensions in Europe and beyond. The military actions by Russian leaders have created a humanitarian crisis, inflicting stress and anguish on innocent civilians, many with relatives in the country now invading them.
We United Methodists are people of peace. We deplore war because its evils clearly frustrate God’s loving purpose for humankind. We urge the peaceful settlement of all disputes among nations, and we pray for the day when there will be no more war and people live together in peace and justice. (BOD ¶ 164.V.I The Political Community).
Join me in prayer for the people of Ukraine and in support of the leadership of Bishop Christian Alsted of the Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area. The United Methodist Church has mission-based congregations in both Ukraine and Russia, some from the pre-Soviet period and others dating from post-Soviet years. Both countries relate to the United Methodist central conferences of Europe. Bishop Eduard Khegay, the resident episcopal leader in Eurasia, is based in Moscow and, yes, he is the bishop of both the church in Ukraine and in Russia! So let us pray in particular that he might shepherd both sides with love and grace.
Our conference is committing $25,000 to UMCOR from our disaster relief fund to alleviate the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.Great Plains Conference United Methodists also can show support immediately in two very important ways.
During this season of Lent, we contemplate the self-giving sacrifice made by Jesus on our behalf and we pray that his authority, peace, justice, and righteousness over our conflicted and war-torn world will grow continually and endlessly. (Isaiah 9:6-7)Grace and peace to you all.