A Message from Bishop Mark
In the face of the ongoing horror and tragedy unfolding in Ukraine, as we witness the continuing invasion by Russian armed forces and the displacement of Ukraine’s people, we might feel helpless and powerless to do anything.
Yet the Scriptures tell us time and time again that God can be at work through our weakness and in our helplessness.
I have been struck by the words of The Revd Canon Malcolm, Chaplain of St Andrew's Anglican Church in Moscow, who recently wrote ‘We’re at the centre of power and yet we are powerless’. He writes about what they can do as the people of God in their unique situation in this conflict. I am also moved by the speedy responses to the crisis already across our diocese, as we respond to our brothers and sisters in such need.
There are three main ways we can respond, and in which God is working through the Church:
As God’s peacemakers let’s pray for the people and leaders of Ukraine, and for the people and leaders of Russia, praying above all for peace. There are a growing number of resources available to us, including those from the Diocese in Europe, The Church of England and The Wild Goose Resource Group
As God’s generous people let’s give generously to those in desperate need. The Diocese in Europe has joined with USPG to launch an emergency appeal for the people of Ukraine and you can donate here. There is also the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal which you can give to here.
As God’s gracious people, some of us might have capacity to offer accommodation to Ukrainian refugees arriving in the UK, while others of us may be able to befriend and support those arriving.
We know that some people have already registered with Christian Charity ‘Sanctuary Foundation’ to offer accommodation or support, and the government scheme Homes for Ukraine is also now available. It would be very helpful to be kept aware of offers made to The Sanctuary Foundation or Homes for Ukraine in Newcastle Diocese so that we can work together to welcome Ukrainians among us. Please inform Bishop’s House so that a list can be kept (Admin.BishopofNewcastle@newcastle.anglican.org).
Whatever way you feel moved to respond to what is happening in Ukraine, know that God uses us in our weakness and helplessness: ‘But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.’ (1 Corinthians 1.27)
A Prayer for Ukraine
God our deliverer,
when the foundations are shaken
and justice has departed,
defend the poor and needy
and give your people strength to fight all wrong
in the name of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.