A pastoral letter regarding Ukraine

Beloved sisters and brothers in Ukraine:

Today, war has come to your homeland.  

We grieve the danger, death and destruction that this plague brings.  

We stand in solidarity with you as persons of shared faith and hope.  

In our prayers we lift you to the sovereign God who says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you...when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned” (Isaiah 43:1-2).  

Sisters and brothers, you are in the fire, and our hearts ache.  

We call on Anabaptist-Mennonites around the world, and all who confess Christ as Lord, to join in praying for the peace of Ukraine. We grieve violence and we reject efforts by any nation to dominate another. We pray for leaders of Ukraine, Russia and allied nations as they respond to or participate in this crisis.  

For the love of God and the sanctity of life, we ask that all combatants stop the bloodshed and seek the welfare of all people in Ukraine, Europe and Russia. 

We stand in solidarity with you as you cooperate with other denominations and local governments to provide food, shelter and medications to those in need.  

Brother Roman Rakhuba, leader of Associated Mennonite Brethren Churches in Ukraine, we hear your call for spiritual and financial support. We applaud the vision and courage of God's people in Ukraine, and will look for ways we can help sustain you and your ministry. 

As stated in the MWC Shared Convictions, we believe that the “Spirit of Jesus empowers us to trust God in all areas of life so we become peacemakers who renounce violence, love our enemies, seek justice, and share our possessions with those in need.” 

“For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child has been born to us...and he is named...Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:5-6). 

Living God, may your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as in heaven!  


J. Nelson Kraybill, MWC president 

In 2019: MB leader Artūras Rulinskas of Lithuania, pastor Albert Xomiak, pastor Alexey Yuditsenko and Bogdan Petliksky, a 22 year-old student and cook, whose papers give him chaplaincy privileges among Ukrainian soldiers. Photo: J. Nelson Kraybill

As a sign of global solidarity with the people and churches of Ukraine, Mennonite World Conference joins the Conference of European Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, and the World Methodist Council to issue an invitation to an online prayer service for Ukraine on Ash Wednesday – 2 March 2022 at 16:00 UTC. (See chart below for local time.)  

The prayer will include listening to voices from Ukraine. 

“We invite Anabaptist-Mennonites to join with brothers and sisters from other communions around the world to raise our voices in prayer,” says César García, MWC general secretary. 
To join the prayer service at 16:00 UTC on 2 March 2022, register by clicking here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_d04eX7l4S_WEmFBXIV17wQ.

See invitation from LWF

Prayers beat swords into plowshares


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