Updated: Apr 2
Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, and Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, convener of the Faith Impact Forum are asking all of us to join them in praying for those who are frightened and at risk in Ukraine.
A prayer for Ukraine:
The news can be difficult to listen to and to read. When that news relates to faces we know And to voices familiar to us it becomes all the harder to hear. Lord God, We ask you to hold the people of Ukraine deep in your heart. Protect them, we pray; From violence, From political gamesmanship and from being used and abused. Give, we pray, the nations of the world the courage and the wisdom to stand up for justice and the courage too, to dare to care - generously. Lord in your mercy, Take from us all, the tendencies in us that seek to lord it over others: Take from us those traits that see us pursuing our own needs and wants before those of others. Teach us how to live in love and dignity and respect - following your example. In your name and for your sake, Amen
From Human Gestures to medical aid
Due to the war in Ukraine, human lives are at risk, people lack basic supplies and have been forced to leave their homes. IDPs have reached the Western part of Ukraine and refugees are arriving in Hungary in growing numbers. The Hungarian Reformed Church Aid has been providing an emergency response from the first day. Daily update. In one picture - the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid tells how much the work of volunteers means (07:02) A crying mother carrying her child and a volunteer encouraging her can be seen in the photo uploaded by the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid on its social media page on Wednesday evening. "This is a moment when a few good words, a kind gesture are worth more than anything!" The organisation also thanked the volunteers who work with them, more than half a dozen of whom serve in different parts of the country in a single day. The Bethesda Reformed Children’s Hospital pays special attention to the Ukrainian children coming to Hungary (10:21) Ukrainian children arriving at the Bethesda Reformed Children's Hospital are treated with the best expertise and sensitive attention, the institution announced on its social media page. The doctors of the hospital are also present at the Nyugati railway station every day between 8 am and midnight. Katalin Novák: We need unity in times of trouble (10:22) Those Hungarians, who chose to stay in Transcarpathia, are at least as important as those who leave their homes and all other refugees from Ukraine, said Katalin Novák in her speech in the National Assembly today, Thursday 10 March. She praised those who take a day off work to volunteer at the border, the thousands of people who open their homes to refugees and thanked the many different people who help each other in their time of need. A few days ago, Katalin Novák visited Transcarpathia as a Goodwill Ambassador of the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid with the four Hungarian reformed bishops. More than 3000 volunteers have registered with the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid (10:58) Every day more and more volunteers apply to the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid. According to the organisation, the total number of volunteers had exceeded three thousand by Thursday morning. Yesterday, more than eight hundred of them helped with the care of the new arrivals all over the country. The Hungarian Reformed Church Aid has so far shared 155 tonnes of donations, of which almost 60 have been delivered to Transcarpathia, Ukraine. 60 wagons of humanitarian aid in five days (12:07) About sixty wagons of humanitarian aid have been delivered from Transcarpathia to war-torn parts of Ukraine in recent days, reported www.karpatalja.ma. So far, almost 3.6 thousand tons of donations have reached their destination: food, hygiene items, warm clothes, blankets, mattresses and medical equipment have been sent from the Czech Republic, Croatia and Hungary. Sándor Zán Fábián, Bishop of the Transcarpathian Reformed Church District, told to InfoRadio recently that the number of refugees in Berehove is estimated at around 15,000, while in Transcarpathian villages it could be between 50,000 and 100,000. Paid day off for „Yettel” employees, who help the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid (19:14) Yettel Hungary is giving paid time off to its volunteers working with humanitarian organisations to help alleviate the war crisis. On the day chosen for volunteering, the telecoms company's staff will, for example, help the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid. The company is distributing more than 40,000 pre-loaded SIM cards (with 5GB mobile internet access, 50 domestic minutes and free Ukrainian international calls) and 1,300 phones to refugees arriving in Hungary. In addition, the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid is providing 10 free unlimited mobile "phone booths" along the border and free wifi hotspots to help refugees arriving at railway stations. *********************************************************************************************************
Ukraine We are all watching the terrible events that started to unfold in Ukraine on the 24th February with the Russian invasion. Day by day we are watching the terrible scenes as the residents fear for their lives, spend hours in the underground stations or underground car parks. Then there are the long queues at the borders as people try to flee into Europe to return home, travel to relatives elsewhere in Europe or just escape to safety. There have been many collections of essential items started across the world including here in Fife. However, the organisers of many of our local collections are unable to take any more donations due to space. We will look into how we, as a Presbytery, can work together to support Ukrainian communities locally and overseas. Fife Council have indicated that they hope to welcome families to Fife and this will be when we can really involve every church across Fife. In the meantime, I would commend the connections made through the Faith Impact Forum to provide financial support via the Church of Scotland, to Reformed Church in Hungary Aid (RCHA), which is run by our partner, the Reformed Church of Hungary. A letter from the Faith Impact Forum was shared with Presbytery members and Session Clerks this week and this includes details of how best to channel financial support to help those fleeing their homes. In the meantime keep the people of Ukraine in your prayers and we pray that there is a resolution soon to allow the Ukrainian communities to rebuild their lives back in their home country. - Lorraine Fraser, Moderator of Fife Presbytery
Further information about what the Church of Scotland is doing and how to offer financial support to relief efforts can be found via: https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/news-and-events/news/2022/articles/moderator-encourages-people-to-donate-to-ukraine-charity-appeal