3/5/2014 12:00:00 AM
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and Anglican, Episcopal and Lutheran leaders have issued a call to peace and prayer for Ukraine in a March 5 statement.
"We have watched with dismay, along with the rest of the world, as tensions rise and peace is jeopardized in Ukraine. Recent dangerous developments in the Crimean region of the country put the lives of many innocent people at risk, and threaten peace and security far beyond that region of the world," said the statement signed by Eaton; the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, primate, Anglican Church of Canada; the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop and primate, The Episcopal Church; and the Rev. Susan Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
"As Christians in the western tradition, Anglicans/Episcopalians and Lutherans today enter the season of Lent, a time of repentance. In the Ash Wednesday liturgy we repent of 'our blindness to human need and suffering and our indifference to injustice and cruelty.' We cannot remain indifferent in the face of the injustice befalling the people of Ukraine, nor toward the potential suffering and cruelty further military intervention might bring.
"In the name of the churches we serve, we join our voices in solidarity with those of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches in pleading for an end to military aggression in that land. We call on all of those involved -- whether governments, movements or individuals -- to repent of aggression and violence, and turn instead to the way of peace through dialogue."
In their statement, the leaders also asked for members of the denominations to pray throughout the season of Lent "for wisdom, peace and justice to prevail in Ukraine."
The statement is available here.
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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.