“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge. Let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness deliver me. Turn your ear toward me. Hurry! Rescue me! Be a rock where I take refuge, a fortified place that saves me.” Psalm 31:1-2 (EHV)

Photo: Sergiy Maidukov for NewYorker

Our dear brothers and sisters, friends, and partners!

Our country has been a victim of Russian aggression since 2014, which had a direct impact on the life of our Church. Our congregations in Crimea were cut off from the German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ukraine. Situation in congregations of Donetsk and Makiyivka is even more dire – most of their members left the Donbass area. Hybrid war left wounds on our Church and these wounds still bleed…

In 2022 we, as well as all of Ukraine, found ourselves in the state of anxiety. Strike forces of Russian army and armed groups controlled by Russia are concentrated on the territories of Crimea and Donbass, as well as at Russian-Ukrainian and Belorussian-Ukrainian borders. It is a heavy force that can cause a huge damage to our country and lead to massive casualties among innocent civilians – the lives of millions of people are potentially at stake.

Against this backdrop, economic hardships associated with COVID-19 pandemic and global increase in the prices of natural gas hurt the population, and organizations, which are forced to cut back on their production dramatically. Our congregations have been affected as well. Staggering bills for heating and other utilities put them in a very difficult position.

All of this is causing anxiety. It is obvious that in the nearest months or maybe even years, our Church will have an uneasy road ahead of it, and will need all the wisdom, courage, and patience every step of the way.
Our hope is that the Lord will guide us on this road, and we entrust ourselves to his will.

We ask you to remember us in your prayers.

Pray that a full-scale invasion that is threatening us would not come to pass.

Pray that the Lord grants believers strength not to give in to panic, but instead to be of help and comfort to others.

Join us in prayer that our government receives wisdom to prevent economic collapse and mass impoverishment of the population.

May the Lord bless all of you

+ Bishop Pavlo Shvarts