Learn about current United Methodist mission work in Ukraine on Saturday, September 10, during an online event with Ukrainian church leaders and Bishop Christian Alsted of the Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area.
Michigan United Methodists are invited to join Bishop Christian Alsted of the Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area, Rev. Mel Munchinsky of Eurasia In Mission Together, and church leaders from Ukraine on Saturday, September 10, to hear firsthand updates on United Methodist mission efforts in Ukraine.
Eurasia In Mission Together is an approved EngageMI international partner in ministry.
Click this Zoom link to join at 9am EST on Saturday, September 10. The meeting ID is 838 2299 3773 and the passcode is 161768.
Read the following invitation from Bishop Alsted and some background from Rev. Munchinsky.
Invitation from Bishop Alsted
Dear partners in ministry:
Grace and peace to you during these turbulent and challenging times.
My name is Christian Alsted, since 2009 I have been the bishop of the Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area. And since April 30 this year, the Ukraine Moldova Provisional Annual Conference has been moved to the Nordic and Baltic Area and has become part of my episcopal supervision. I had the opportunity to visit western Ukraine in May this year, and I am in ongoing communication with District Superintendent Oleg Starodubets, the conference leadership, and the pastors.
As many of you know many Ukrainian UMC members are scattered across Europe, and the majority of the members in Ukraine are, at the moment, in either the Transcarpathia or the Lviv region. The United Methodists in Ukraine are by God’s grace serving with admirable passion, energy, and strength, as they care for internally displaced Ukrainians offering safety, accommodation, and food in our shelters and in local churches. They do this while they continue local church ministry either in person or online or in some combination thereof.
Now I wish to offer you an opportunity to meet with leaders from the Ukraine Moldova Annual Conference and with me to learn more about the current situation and our plans for the future.
Together with Rev. Mel (Miloslav) Munchinsky, who is coordinating the In Mission Together efforts, I invite you to a 1.5-hour Zoom meeting on Saturday, September 10, at 9am EDT.
Click this Zoom link to join. The meeting ID is 838 2299 3773 and the passcode: 161768.
Many of you have enjoyed long-time relationships with local churches and leaders in Ukraine, others are new partners in ministry. I know that I speak for Ukrainian Methodists when I say that we are extremely grateful for your friendship, your generous gifts, and your prayers. I have seen Methodist connectionalism at its best over the last several months, and I hope and pray that we can continue to build on the good work already done.
I hope you will be able to join us and look forward to seeing you on the screen.
Bishop Christian Alsted
Global Ministries’ Support Role in Ukraine
There was much rejoicing when United Methodist work began in the early 1990s when ministry was possible again in the former Soviet Union after a pause of sixty years! Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova saw the establishment of United Methodist churches over a period of thirty years, and because of the political situation, there was unity and partnership not only within the Eurasian Churches themselves but also with American partners which provided support with their prayers, presence, gifts, and service. Unfortunately, political actions also affect the way churches operate which can result in fracturing unity but also provide new opportunities for ministry!
Although I certainly lament the war which is now underway in Ukraine, I also have seen over the last six months great resolve by Ukrainian United Methodists providing ministry in the midst of great suffering. Because a network of United Methodist churches already existed in both Ukraine and neighboring countries, congregations were quick to mobilize to provide relief to displaced persons. Both European and American United Methodists also rose quickly to the challenge by raising funds so that such relief would be possible. All of us have been praying for peace ever since the conflict started last February and we will continue to do so.
Administratively, Global Ministries has no role in the affairs of Annual Conferences, districts, or congregations in Russia or Ukraine. Global Ministries partners with congregations, projects, districts, or annual conferences to help provide a holistic approach to ministry as directed by local United Methodists. We strive to be supportive of the work by providing resources by placing missionaries, mission volunteers, peace and justice workers, etc., at the request of those directing such work.
The Social Principles of the United Methodist Church state, “We believe war is incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ. We therefore reject war as an instrument of national foreign policy. We oppose unilateral first/preemptive strike actions and strategies on the part of any government. As disciples of Christ, we are called to love our enemies, seek justice, and serve as reconcilers of conflict.” Christian nationalism, from time to time, has raised its ugly head in many places including the United States. As United Methodists, we must not be led by nationalistic considerations but seek to influence political and cultural realities and work toward unity in Christ.
We pray for protection, reconciliation, and peace among United Methodists in Russia and Ukraine, and that God will grant us a passion to work toward such ends. In the meantime, let us continue to carry out our ministry with “as much courage as we ever can; with all the strength as long as we ever can!”
Rev. Mel (Miloslav) Munchinsky
Eurasia In Ministry Together