Community of Christ members in Ukraine struggle as the war continues. The church has about 140 members in Ukraine. Apostle Richard James works to keep in touch with members as fighting continues, but communication is difficult.
He said in late February that a member and his wife who live in Kyiv were “doing ok” but fearful about what was happening in their nation. Another member and her family in Kyiv were spending their nights in her basement, attempting to avoid shelling. “She is very frightened,” James said.
These individuals and others mentioned here, whose names were withheld for security reasons, appreciated very much the prayers and concerns of the church, James said. Across the border in Russia, former church staff also expressed appreciation for messages of support received from the church.
As fighting in Ukraine escalated, at least one church member family left Odessa and is in the Republic of Moldova. Other members are safe in Spain and Russia. Yet two other families are still in the Donbass region, the Russia-affiliated area, and are not threatened by shelling.
Not many houses in Kyiv have basements and the only bomb shelter available nearby is the subway, a church member explained to James. “We are not able to reach [the subway] during air raids, so the only alternative is to stay in the apartment, sitting with our backs against weight-bearing wall in the hallway.”
James said that until the recent invasion, congregations in Odessa and Kyiv had continued to meet. Outside Kyiv, congregations in Donetsk, Gorlovka, and Yasynuvata have endeavored in recent months to meet, but this area is held by rebels aligned with the Russian government and gathering isn’t always safe. Members attempt to keep in touch by phone.
Church leaders in Germany will meet in coming days to determine how best to help Ukrainian refugees who likely will settle in Europe.
Steve Graffeo, counselor to the presiding bishop, announced that $20,000 USD in oblation aid will be donated to four organizations with the ability to get aid to areas affected by the conflict. Your ongoing generosity to the Worldwide Mission Tithes makes this possible.
Each of these organization will receive $5,000 from Community of Christ:
May our prayers for peace continue to shape and inspire our actions.
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537