THE PRIMUS’S RESPONSE TO THE WAR IN UKRAINE – Update, June 2022

The Primus gave this update at the SEC’s General Synod in Edinburgh, June 2022:

UKRAINE 

Statement by the Most Rev’d Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and
Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church

For over three months we have watched as Russian aggression in Ukraine has led to the deaths of many thousands of people, with some reports estimating tens of thousands of casualties. That terrible toll contains many civilian lives.

We have listened to the pleas from the people and leaders of Ukraine for aid, for assistance, and for safety. We have spoken out as the President of the Russian Federation has warped reality around his own priorities to justify these deaths.

We have written to religious leaders in Russia, we have written to political leaders in Russia, and we have written to friends in Russia. But nothing has changed. We have supported Government initiated investigations, international isolation, economic sanctions, but nothing has changed.

The machines of war roll on, the bombs continue to fall, the misinformation and single mindedness of President Putin continues to disrupt international peace efforts, and people continue to be killed.

As long as this war persists, we must be counted amongst those who oppose it.

Our voices were raised in unison to condemn the outbreak of the war, now we must keep speaking out until it ends: “Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute” (Proverbs 31:8). Our prayers rang out for the people of Ukraine, now we must not let our compassion falter. “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually” (1 Chronicles 16:11). As those who spread hate work hard to dominate the lives of others, we must work to show the love of God to those in peril, and all those caught up in war across the world. We have been given a new commandment: to love one another. As Jesus said: “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” and “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”

This involves work: the work of opening our borders and our homes to those seeking shelter, the work of providing aid and support where it will be useful and is sought, and – come the day – the work of helping rebuild the shattered lives and homes of all who have been affected by the conflict.

We have not been able to do all we know we can. As the Scottish Episcopal Church, we join with voices from across the United Kingdom in calling on the Government to urgently scale up our response to the Ukraine crisis. While others around the world have opened up to welcome refugees into civic life and safety, our Government has put in place unnecessary complexities. We call on our Governments and Local Authorities to make safe all routes into this country, to welcome those who flee here from danger, and to urgently increase the speed and capacity of our support for refugees.

We must not be complacent. Let us welcome all who wish to come, let us speak out against tyranny, and let us pray for peace.

June 2022

Scottish Episcopal Church

🇺🇦 How to help the vulnerable caught in Ukraine crisis
The conflict unfolding in Ukraine following invasion by Russian forces has been a shocking sight to witness over the past week. Civilians are under attack and many thousands have had to flee Ukraine as refugees. We pray for peace.
Many of us have asked: how can we help? What can we do to support those who find themselves involved in a war they do not want?
Local initiatives are taking place across the country to provide funds and supplies for the vulnerable and those whose lives are at risk, and international aid agencies are appealing for support.
For those who would like to help but are unsure how to go about this, the College of Bishops would like to highlight two national donation schemes:
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, and the UK for UNHCR. Links to both organisations are available at our website: https://www.scotland.anglican.org/how-to-help-the…/

As a congregation, All Saints is supporting the BRCS  through collections during services and by holding charity events.
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Primus on Ukraine crisis: “Let us pray today for peace”

February 24, 2022

Following news today of attacks by Russia on Ukrainian military targets, the Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, spoke of the need for prayer, and issued a call to offer support to those most affected by the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

Bishop Mark said:

“We have listened and prayed for the political leaders of the world as they have engaged with the complex and worrying situation at the Ukrainian border. We have heard national arguments, economic arguments, historic arguments and pleas for diplomacy.

“Early this morning all that has changed. Now our thoughts and prayers must be with those who woke to the sound of missiles exploding, with fear for their children on active duty, and for those families fleeing from fighting.

“As Christians we are called to be people of prayer. Our prayer is for peace, and also for the strength to offer ourselves in the service of others.

“Let us pray today for peace, and prepare ourselves to offer support where it is needed.”

The Primus is also among worship leaders from across Scotland who are encouraging the use of a special ecumenical prayer for peace in Ukraine as part of their services this Sunday (27 February).

The prayer has been produced by the Scottish Church Leaders Forum in response to the invasion and they stand in solidarity with all those who face the perils of war and the fear that ensues when the bonds of peace are broken.

Living God,
Creator and giver of life to all people:
We ask that you would hear our prayer for peace amongst the nations
And for ending of conflict in Ukraine.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Who shall judge between the nations:
We ask that that you would lead the nations in the paths of peace
And that the dividing wall of hostility would be broken down.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Who has inspired faith across the ages:
Grant peace in the midst of war
And bring harmony to the commonwealth of nations.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Who gave his only Son that we might have life:
We ask that you would pour out your Holy Spirit
And inspire in us hope that peace will be renewed.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:
Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland