Yesterday, the world watched as Russia launched an unprovoked war on Ukraine. Many of us will struggle to put into words the tumult of feelings we have as we see these terrible events take place. So much human suffering even in this first day; lives lost, lives shattered; and we know, too, that this could yet become an armed conflict on a larger scale.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, in a joint statement, have described this attack as an act of evil which imperils the relative peace and security that our continent has enjoyed for so long. I commend to you the Archbishops’ pastoral letter to the nation, a copy of which I have attached to this email.
As we watch this war of aggression, we might feel powerless. We hear the words of Christ: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Matt 5:9), but how can we make peace? I believe that one way we can begin to be peacemakers is to pray for peace.
I invite you this Sunday to come to one of the services in our Parish Church, in all of which there will be an opportunity to pray for peace. However you most comfortably pray, I hope that you will find a service at our Parish Church where you can find peace and pray for peace:
8.00am – A quiet service of Holy Communion, using language from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer
9.15am – A modern language Eucharist with hymns and choral music
10.45am – A less formal service with contemporary songs, teaching for adults and children, and Holy Communion
6.30pm – A choral service of Evening Prayer.
I invite you also to join me this-morning in praying these beautiful words from the Church of England’s liturgy.
from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed:
kindle, we pray, in the hearts of all, the true love of peace
and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom
those who take counsel for the nations of the earth
that in tranquility your kingdom may go forward,
till the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
With every blessing,
The Revd Dr J Kennedy
Vicar of Oxton St Saviour