Bishops call for prayer & ingathering for Ukraine Crisis Response Fund

The bishops issued the following statement on March 23, 2022, calling for prayer and for ingatherings for the Episcopal Relief & Development Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund on Sundays, April 3 and 10.

March 23, 2022

Dear People of the Diocese of Massachusetts,

We continue to grieve the brutal military attack by Russia on the sovereign nation of Ukraine, now four weeks underway. Daily scenes of attacks on medical facilities, civilian domiciles, and even upon those fleeing Ukraine via attempted humanitarian corridors, have left us all feeling horrified, angry, and helpless.

Your bishops joined with our colleague bishops of The Episcopal Church, gathered together for a meeting of the House of Bishops at Camp Allen in Texas, in issuing a statement about the war in Ukraine. We decry the actions by Russia as “a fundamental violation of the rights and dignity rightly accorded all people, and a flagrant breach of international norms.”

We call upon leaders of the nations to work for an immediate end to this unjustifiable carnage. We pray for God’s protection and defense of those who remain in the path of warfare, and those who have been displaced. We pray also for the protection of those who have risked their own safety to speak out against the war in places where such prophetic posture is dangerous. We pray that all refugees be received with compassionate and equal treatment and dignity.

The full statement from the House of Bishops may be found here.

In the Diocese of Massachusetts, prayers for the cessation of war in Ukraine have been earnestly lifted at prayer vigils and other events in congregations across our diocese. We urge continued prayers by every Episcopalian and at every worship service in our churches. Such prayer is our bounden duty, and is itself no small thing.

Additionally, we urge sacrificial support from all our members and congregations for humanitarian relief efforts in response to the Ukraine crisis. Episcopal Relief & Development is working with the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, the Anglican Diocese of Europe, and numerous ecumenical partners to reach refugees in Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia. Financial contributions provide direct support to equip local agents with the specific forms of emergency assistance needed. 

We call upon all congregations in the Diocese of Massachusetts to conduct ingatherings for the Ukraine Crisis Response Fund of Episcopal Relief & Development on one or both of two upcoming Sundays, April 3 and April 10. 

Detailed information on that fund is available here. Resources for announcements, bulletin inserts, and links for direct online giving are all available at that site.

We join all of you in praying, giving, and laboring for the furtherance of God’s Peaceable Realm here and now, in the world God has given us.

Faithfully and fondly,

The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, Bishop Diocesan
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan

A Collect for Peace
(Bishop Mark Edington; alt.)

God of timelessness:
  from chaos and disorder 
  you brought forth the beauty of creation;
  from the chaos of war and violence
  bring forth the beauty of peace.
In your mercy,
Hear us and help us, O God

God of compassion:
    You saw the humanity of the outcast and the stranger;
    help us to see the evils of our hatreds and suspicions
    and to turn them into the embrace of your Beloved Community.
In your mercy,
Hear us and help us, O God

God of peace:
    Through your love on the cross
    you overcame the power of violence and death;
    turn us away from the love of power
    that we may transform a warring world
    through the power of your love.
In your mercy,
Hear us and help us, O God

These things we pray in the Name of the Prince of Peace,
our Savior Jesus Christ.