25 Mar How to Help Ukraine
Dear Sisters, Brothers, and Friends,
One month ago, Russian forces invaded Ukraine. In the stories and images which ceaselessly stream from this deeply embattled yet resilient country, we see both humanity’s best. And humanity’s worst. We see enlightened leadership grounded in hope. And despotic leadership fueled by fear. We witness brutal attacks. And unspeakable courage. We are aggrieved by the millions so ruthlessly displaced. And inspired by the compassion of neighbors both within and beyond Ukraine’s borders, most especially Poland. And we hear both the voices of destruction. And of hope.
Much as we want to, we are unable to personally arrest this onslaught. We’re unable to set things back as they were. But there are things we can do. Meaningful things.
We can pray.
Because prayer has power. Immeasurable power. Both for those being prayed for. And, equally, for those lifting the prayers. Were that not true, would Jesus have so constantly employed prayer to center, steady, and strengthen himself as he cared for the masses and as he willingly took all of humanity’s weight upon himself? Prayer, alone, is not enough. But it’s where we begin. And it’s our ongoing baseline.
We can donate.
Given logistics and where things now stand, the most efficient way to give is financially. Money allows the different frontline aid organizations to channel the money where it’s needed most. Here are three organizations, which are both deeply experienced and highly regarded:
We can choose compassion.
Not just in response to Ukraine’s unjust invasion. And not just within ourselves. But in every moment. And every interaction. By embracing Jesus’ message that each person, each moment, each word possesses the power either to nurture—or to necrotize—we make the world more loving; and, we resist the forces—both within and around us—that can so easily divide and derail us.
Thanks for all that you each do every day in Christ’s name.
The Rev. Jeff Braun is the Senior Pastor of Winnetka Congregational Church, a progressive, LGBTQ-inclusive, justice-oriented and family-friendly church on the north side of Chicago. His calling is to share God’s word of love as spoken through Jesus, to make sure that everyone knows they have a seat at the table and to help us all recognize our oneness in God and with all God’s children.