Tag Archives: Ukraine

8 May: VE Day

Sheep under cherry trees, near Faversham, Kent.

I seldom revisit reflections in Agnellus Mirror but an old friend sent a springtime video with fallen cherry petals, which reminded me of this post from two years ago.

We began with lines from Edward Thomas:

The cherry trees bend over and are shedding
On the old road where all that passed are dead,
Their petals, strewing the grass as for a wedding
This early May morn when there is none to wed.

Two years ago the weddings were put off because of covid-19. In Edward Thomas’s time it was war, and today, it is war once again that darkens the horizons of our hopes and aspirations. But there will be a May wedding at St Mildred’s, and there was one on the last day of April 2022. Kentish men are not being called on to fight, but we can see the horrors of war in Ukraine. It is hard to read Bishop Claude’s words from yesterday without asking, in bewilderment and grief, ‘What is the wise course of action?’ What does a peacemaker do in these times? Please revisit the old post by the link, and then here is Bishop Claude again.

Respect for life does not stop at protecting the unborn, but must include opposing all oppression, all forms of violence and of war. The non-violence advocated by Gandhi has its roots in the Beatitudes, is part of our Gospel heritage: Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called the children of God. No war can be counted as legitimate or justified in the name of the Gospel. Non-violence is part and parcel of the creative act of God.

Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Reflections, Christian Unity, Mission, corona virus, Justice and Peace

Psalm 94 for Ukraine

Good Evening Friends. My brother shared this post from the URC. Just the beginning here, but follow the link for the rest of it. The author is the Rev’d Andy Braunston.

Daily Devotions from the URC

Ukraine through the eyes of Psalm 94

Dear Friends,

Whilst preparing a reflection on Psalm 94 I was struck by how John Bell’s version is hauntingly evocative of the situation of Ukraine.
You can hear it here.

The opening stanza evokes images of women and children being bombed in Ukraine, babies and elderly killed, and the memorial to Jews murdered by the Nazis being desecrated by Putin’s forces.  Bell hauntingly brings out the cry of the Psalmist urging God to act as those whom God loves are being harmed.  Bell keeps up the punch with the second stanza showing how those who crush God’s people delight and think Heaven is blind to their crimes.  Despite the anger and rawness of the Psalm we still have hope – hope that God will act, hope that even if the courts don’t intervene, even if the guilty smile at their scheming, hope that God will cherish, keep and protect the faithful.  

Read the rest of this reflection here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Unity, Interruptions, Justice and Peace, Lent, Mission, PLaces

Ukrainian women and children at risk from traffickers 

A press release from the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops
Cardinal Grech highlighted some of the dangers facing refugees from Ukraine during his visit to Poland on behalf of Pope Francis.
Ukrainian women and children at risk from traffickers – 20.03.2022



Ukrainian women and children at risk from traffickers 
“Ukrainian women and children must be ‘protected’ from human traffickers when they arrive in our countries from Ukraine”. This is the alarm launched by Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, whilst meeting journalists on the sidelines of a visit to two Centres for refugees run by the Diocese of Warsaw.
 
Accompanied by Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz and Mgr Piotr Jarecki, Cardinal Grech visited on the afternoon of Saturday 19 March Cardinal Grech visited the centre of St Margaret’s parish in Łomianki, a small town just outside Warsaw with 15,000 inhabitants, where 2300 refugees, especially women and children, are hosted by families from the parish, and the centre of “Dobre Miejsce”, the diocesan house for spiritual exercises transformed for the occasion into a home for 100 refugees. There, Card. Grech spent time there, especially with the children, listening to their stories and witnessing to them the closeness of Pope Francis.
These meetings with the Ukrainian refugees took place during a four-day visit in which the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops is meeting with clergy and parish contacts for the synod of the Warsaw archdiocese to discuss the synod process with them.
Addressing the more than 500 priests gathered at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Warsaw, Card. Grech reiterated how the success of the synodal process “depends very much on the bishops and priests”. On the day of the release of the Letter to Priests (signed jointly with the Prefect of the Vatican’s dicastery for the clergy), Grech recalled the fear that arises among many priests that “excessive insistence on the importance of the People of God may cause us to lose sight of the importance of priestly service in the Church”. Instead, the Synod Secretary reiterated that “it is not a question of opposing priests to the People of God, because priests are also part of the People of God, by virtue of their baptism.” The action of Pope Francis is aimed, instead, at grasping ever more fully the ecclesiology of the People of God, that is, at understanding the Church as the People of God, with the conviction that the “flock” has a sensum fidei to discern the new ways of proclaiming the Gospel that God suggests to the Church.
The meeting concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist presided over by Card. Grech (homily in Italian).

This morning, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops will meet the parish referents to dialogue with them on the role of the laity in the process. On Monday 21st, Card. Grech will travel to Częstochowa to entrust the synodal path to Our Lady.

More Photos here.
—————————

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Unity, Justice and Peace, Lent, Mission, PLaces

Ukraine: some ways to help suggested by Canterbury Anglican Diocese.

The Briefing: Monday 14 March 2022View this email in your browser
Give – Pray – Welcome
For the people of Ukraine

Dear friends, 

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is a devastating, unjust catastrophe – which has capsized the lives of many millions of people and is challenging the sense of peace and security in which we all have the right to live.

At a time when so many of us were beginning to hope of new freedoms, a brighter future, our hearts have been broken afresh with the news we are seeing and hearing. So many people are yearning to do whatever they can to help the people of Ukraine. 

We have been overwhelmed with people asking how they can make a difference – so we have sought to bring all avenues of help together here in this special edition of the Briefing mailing and on this webpage. Please consider how you can help – prayer is a wonderful place to start, but there is so much else we can do as well. During a time when we are focusing so much on how we might live generously as a diocesan family, here are a whole load of ways in which you might be able to make a difference. 

Thank you so much for all your kind words, support and love,

Domenica Pecoraro

Kent Refugee Projects Officer

Care packages:
Supplies needed
by 16 March, 9am

On Wednesday 16 March from 9am to 5pm, we will help TeamLovelight to make up ‘necessity bundles’ that will be shipped to Ukrainian people. If you could supply any of the items listed below, please deliver them to Diocesan House by Wednesday 16 March at 9am. We also hope to include prayers in the packs – see below for details.

Female packs: baby wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, sanitary towels, small hair shampoo, soap, flannel/sponge
Male packs: razor, small shaving foam, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, flannel/sponge
Children packs: children’s toothpaste, toothbrush, flannel, baby wipes, small toy if possible.

Thank you

Prayers for
children’s care packages

We know that children’s hearts have been touched by the devastating images of the war in Ukraine. To help them make connections beyond borders with those children caught up in the conflict, we would welcome short prayers and messages of support and solidarity to be included in the Children Packs that we’ll be packing on Wednesday. Can you help? An example could be:

I pray to Lord Jesus for you and your family
I pray for you and your family 
I care for you and your family 
I love you and your family


Please write and draw on an A5 piece of paper or card, include first names only, age and simply add ‘England’ as the  location.

The Ukrainian children may not be familiar with the English language but we hope they would be able to discern the meaning of the text and pictures. If you can drop them in to Diocesan House by Wednesday morning, that would be great. Alternatively please do post them to us as they will be included in the next shipment of parcels we send to families in Ukraine.

Post to: Domenica Pecoraro, Kent Refugee Projects Officer, Diocesan House, Lady Wootton’s Green, Canterbury CT1 1NQ

USPG and the Church of England Diocese in Europe have also launched an emergency appeal to get aid to people in desperate need because of the invasion of Ukraine. Find out more here 
www.uspg.org.uk/ukraine


Join our Diocesan Welcome Team We are expecting Ukrainian families arriving via the Ukraine Family Scheme route in the coming days. This scheme allows family members of British nationals, UK settled persons and certain others to come to or stay in the UK. We will be registering offers of support from churches and members of congregations across our diocese who would like to be involved in welcoming them. Specifically, we are looking to build a Diocesan Welcome Team and would like to hear from those who:are Ukrainian/English speakers have teaching experience work coaches or can help with employment linkshave a working knowledge of the benefit system are interested in befriendingare interested in providing homework supportcan help sourcing emergency suppliesWe would also love to hear from those who are unsure on how they can be involved but want to be involved in a Welcoming Journey in some way. For more information, please get in touch with Domenica by email: dpecoraro@diocant.org

Keep Praying LentJoin us for our third Lenten Focus – the Widow’s mite. This week our reading is taken from Luke 21:1-7. 

Prayer for this week

God of peace and justice,
we pray for the people
of Ukraine today.
We pray for peace
and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for all those
who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort
would draw near to them.
We pray for those
with power over war or peace,
for wisdom, discernment
and compassion
to guide their decisions.
Above all, we pray for all
your precious children,
at risk and in fear,
that you would hold
and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus,
the Prince of Peace.
Amen

Prayer from the Church of England

The Disasters Emergency Committe Appeal
More than two million people have fled the conflict in Ukraine, that figure is rising every day. The Disasters Emergency Committee (made up of 15 UK charities including Christian Aid and tearfund) has launched an appeal to help those affected by the devastating crisis.You can learn more and make a donation here at dec.org.uk


Offer a PrayerOur Diocesan Prayerbank is an online space where prayers are offered and received. It is a person-centred space aimed at providing spiritual healing and comfort to those who are forcibly displaced from their homes. The Prayer Bank page can be easily shared on social media and has the potential to reach anyone who has access to an internet connection.

Ukraine Humanitarian Sponsorship Scheme
The UK government has announced that the “Homes for Ukraine” scheme will open in the near future. In the short term this will allow individuals and families to commit to sponsoring a Ukrainian individual or family to stay with them in their home for a period of not less than six months. Ukrainians who arrive on this scheme will be given leave to remain for three years and will have full access to the labour market, the NHS and to benefits. Volunteers who sign up will have to commit to sponsoring for at least six months and will not be able to charge for rent – but they will be able to receive a ‘thank you payment’ of £350 per month from the Government.

Volunteers will have to be vetted, and those coming to stay will also need to pass security checks. From today, people should be able to register an interest and volunteer in principle to sponsor someone. The Government website link is in the making but we will share it on our Ukraine page as soon as it becomes available.

In time the scheme will be expanded to larger groups and to sponsorship provided by companies, community groups and churches. If you are interested in your church or community group getting involved in this scheme you can register via the Sanctuary Foundation (see below).

Sanctuary Foundation 
Wrap Around Support

The Sanctuary Foundation is a Christian charity asking individuals, community groups, churches, schools and businesses to register their interest in becoming a sponsor when the scheme is developed. To know more about the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and to register your interest please visit the Sanctuary Foundation website. Please note that by pledging support at this stage you are not committing to any specific form of help, as the details of the scheme are yet to be published.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Unity, Laudato si', Lent, Mission

A prayer for Ukraine.

Loving God,
We pray for the people of Ukraine,
for all those suffering or afraid,
that you will be close to them and protect them.

We pray for world leaders,
for compassion, strength and wisdom to guide their choices.

We pray for the world
that in this moment of crisis,
we may reach out in solidarity
to our brothers and sisters in need.

May we walk in your ways
so that peace and justice
become a reality for the people of Ukraine
and for all the world.

Amen.

This Prayer comes from CAFOD. Pope Francis had already designated this month as a time to pray for migrants, of whom there are countless thousands now fleeing Ukraine.

Leave a comment

Filed under Justice and Peace, Mission

Flying the Ukrainian Flag.

Canterbury City Westgate at 10.00 this morning.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interruptions, Justice and Peace

Amal comes to Canterbury (but not down our street!)

Little Amal is not so little! She is 3.5 metres tall and represents the 32 MILLION children who have been forced to leave their homes – 32 million child refugees. She has been walking across Europe to tell their story, and she walked through part of Canterbury today – but she didn’t come past our house. Her entourage did.

I hope they got back together with Amal at the top of the hill, a steep climb for a little girl refugee.

This link is to the children’s activity pack on Amal’s website, which is a good introduction to the issues she is drawing to our attention.

I cannot help but remember the refugees in my class at primary school: fleeing from oppression in Poland, Hungary, Ukraine. It seems to me that they were accepted as one with us. They have contributed to this country since the 1950’s. A contrast to the view Mrs Turnstone heard this afternoon, that events such as Amal merely serve to encourage more migrants to make for our shores in small boats.

The neighbour clearly had never been near an open boat in a storm. The one I was in we beached and found it stove in the next morning, when the lake had risen much higher than we expected after abandoning ship.

People do not do this to their children to free-load on our country.

At least spare some sympathy for the traumatised children.

Oh hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

Leave a comment

Filed under Justice and Peace, Laudato si', Mission, PLaces