Perhaps you are following the daily — or more than daily — updates in the news about the continuing news of Ukraine and the 3+ million refugees who have poured out while the invasion continues to claim more lives within the country. It’s heart-wrenching and feels overwhelming. Many organizations are responding and I want to point to a few ways our denomination is involved.
In the Facebook chat on Sunday, some of you were wondering if any of the funds from the One Great Hour of Sharing will be used to provide assistance to those fleeing Ukraine. The OGHS offering, which will be received on Palm Sunday, goes to three denominational organizations: Self Development of People, Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. (links below)
All of these organizations do great work to make a difference, both in addressing immediate needs and in providing long-term solutions. We are generally not first responders, but our denomination stays in places for the long haul, whether it is helping with development in American urban settings or overseas, providing food distribution along with training in new food production methods, or helping a community recover after a human-made or natural disaster.
All of these needs remain strong regardless of what else is happening in the world and we are grateful for the deep work each of these organizations does and grateful that they take the long view.
I want to share a couple resources Hardy noted previously. To see how Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is responding to the immediate needs caused by the situation in Ukraine, check out this link. They are already providing for basic needs such as hygiene, diapers, food, and more. And they expect to be linked to this work for a long time.
If you want another way to make a difference, you can add your voice to that of others by signing this petition. The numbers are already outdated, but the needs are growing everyday.
We are a community that prays, so please pray for Ukraine. We are a community that wants to work for peace, so let’s use our voices in the ways we can. We are a community that cares, so let the heaviness we feel in our hearts when we hear the news stir us to both of these actions.
Praying with you,
Rev. Karin Kennedy Hejmanowski