Many members of the Great St Mary’s community have been in touch, asking about how we can respond to the war in Ukraine. Let me begin by thanking everyone for their very generous donations to the UNHCR for the refugee crisis in Ukraine, and for your ongoing faithfulness in prayer as well as action. Because this is the eMag and not a lengthy sermon, I’ll try to be brief.
How can Great St Mary’s respond as a church? Following the Church of England guidance, we have registered our interest via the Sanctuary Foundation, as a potential sponsor. At the moment the government scheme is focused on individuals offering housing; Sanctuary Foundation is providing the links for when that scheme is open to corporate/community sponsorship including churches.
How can I help as an individual/family? If you do have housing which you can offer now, please register at the Government website at this link, and do let GSM know so that we can support you.
What else can we do? First and foremost, pray and pray often – prayer shapes our believing and our ability to not be overwhelmed in times of tragedy, and it gives us courage by reminding us that God is with us always. If you are able to give financially, the Church of England particularly commends the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal and the USPG-Diocese in Europe Emergency Appeal.
Finally – I’m keenly aware that we have seen a serious refugee situation for many years, coming from many parts of the world. I pray that our national generosity in supporting Ukraine helps make possible generous ways to help others in need, including those refugees who are not coming from Europe. I was heartened to see Bishop Dagmar saying much the same this week, and I remind us all to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and to not let our sense of being overwhelmed prevent us from acting faithfully in the confidence that God holds us all in his hands.