My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
God’s Word calls us to action. “God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (I Corinthians 12:24-26).
The people of Ukraine are suffering. Some are running for their lives while others are taking up arms to defend their families and their nation. Once again we see the way in which innocent lives are experiencing unnecessary violence. Our hearts go out to every father, mother, son and daughter as they make difficult life decisions. We are especially mindful of our brothers and sisters in Christ in Ukraine.
There are some powerful actions we can take. As we follow Jesus on his journey to the cross during this time of Lent, I encourage the people of the FLGA District to join me in a time of fasting and prayer at least one time each week until Easter. Jesus teaches us that prayer is one of the most powerful ways His followers can respond to a problem. When he cursed the fruitless fig tree and it withered immediately he told his amazed disciples: “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matthew 21:22).
1) Pray. You can use your normal lunch time for a fast and prayer time. Pray for peace. Pray for the individual people of Ukraine as you see them interviewed on the news. Pray for our President and Congress. Pray for all the men and women in uniforms who have been deployed to the area around Ukraine. You might want to gather your congregation to engage in a prayer vigil for the people of Ukraine.
2) Give. The synod has created a fund for displaced Ukrainians. Gifts given using the hyperlink below will be placed in an account restricted to providing assistance to persons displaced by the war in Ukraine. The LCMS will issue grants to/through our Lutheran partners in the region best positioned to provide compassionate care in Christ Jesus’ name to those fleeing the conflict. The situation is developing and we pledge to use every gift wisely to accomplish the greatest good possible in ways that deliver the Gospel as human needs are met.
We will continue looking for opportunities for our Florida-Georgia District churches, schools, and ministries to offer support for the people of Ukraine.
In His peace,
Rev. Dr. Greg Walton
President – Florida-Georgia District LCMS