February 24, 2022
The news of violent and hostile military action against Ukraine today reveals the fragility of the peace on which the health of the human family depends. The images of war and fear are only part of the evidence that this beautiful planet is under threat by the very creatures called to care for it. Impatience, unrest and intolerance seems commonplace, perhaps exacerbated by COVID-19, or maybe only now realized as a part of the life we are living. Frustration, fear, and deep loss negatively impact our goodwill and hope. If ever there was a time of expectation for the comfort of Christ, this is it.
God is speaking, the Spirit is again sighing too deeply for words, and the Body of Christ is compelled to prayer and prepares to act to relieve suffering.
The Church in every age has responded to God’s call to pray and work for peace. Courageously the Church pastors, feeds, and comforts all people, and calms fear and the frustrations left unchecked in every social condition. As the church, the Body of Christ, moves through the marketplace and side streets, it is a sign of God’s holy and healing presence, a responsibility the gospel compels us to take up.
Let us plan to pray and work for understanding, relief, and compassion in our communities. Let us recommit ourselves to the work of reconciliation which Jesus has shown us through the Gospel stories. Let us work to dispel fear, and then draw people into healthy interdependent relationships where we can act locally to make a global difference.
Let us also remember those who have friends and family in Ukraine and those churches which are sorely afflicted by the thought of their kin who are suffering under the yoke of violence and oppression.
Let the Church now pray,
O God, it is your will to hold both heaven and earth in a single peace. Let the design of your great love shine on the waste of our wraths and sorrows, and give peace to your Church, peace among nations, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Prayer For Peace, Book of Alternative Service page 677
The Rt. Rev. William Grant Cliff, Bishop of Brandon
Rev. Jason Zinko, Bishop of Manitoba and Northern Ontario Synod
The Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Woodcroft, Bishop of Rupert’s Land
Download the original statement here.