The towns in the northwestern corner of our North District are home to many Ukrainian peoples, and sites of many Ukrainian Catholic churches. Because our United Methodist pastors have personal relationships with these Ukrainian pastors, we have a unique opportunity in the North to make some immediate, local, reliable responses to support Ukrainian families and refugees through the ministries of their own faith communities.
As a first response, I have authorized a check for $5,000.00 to be presented ASAP to the Rev. Mikola Ivanov, pastor of Transfiguration Ukrainian Catholic Church in Shamokin – delivered by our own Karyn Fisher (Shamokin: St John’s UMC). According to Father Ivanov, the Ukrainian congregation in Shamokin is already & continually providing protective gear (helmets and vests) for vulnerable family and friends back in the Ukraine, as financial resources allow. Amidst a tearful conversation about the needs of our Christian brothers and sisters, he welcomed the support of United Methodist friends for this unthinkable yet necessary mission.
The check will be delivered within days, but I invite your congregations to be part of this initial effort by receiving a special offering and remitting those dollars though a gift to the “North District Mission Fund” and mailed to:
Eastern PA Conference UMC
ATTN: North District Office
Likely this is NOT THE ONLY response we will make through the Ukrainian congregations spread across the beautiful coal regions of the North District, but it’s a start. Know that as we raise MORE than $5,000.00, every dollar will go to some relief effort in support of the people of the Ukraine.
The images of this, and every, war are horrifying. Pray without ceasing (HERE is a prayer liturgy), and give as you are able.
North District Superintendent
P.S. Please know that in addition to working through our local Ukrainian congregations, financial giving through UMCOR is also encouraged.