How can you respond to the Ukraine crisis?
The unfolding situation in Ukraine is agonising and resulting in a rapidly unfolding humanitarian crisis.
While our hearts are breaking, we have been so encouraged by the efforts of churches and many other voluntary organisations who are already responding with and through their partnerships across Europe.
While EMBRACE exists to address these issues over the long term while helping to build a culture of welcome across Churches, there is a clear need for action right now.
Here are some ways you can respond….
Raise the question
Raise the issue in your local Church. Ask your church leadership how your Church can be involved in prayerful and practical support. This is a critical moment and an opportunity to help create a culture of welcome in your Church.
There are lots of great prayer resources like these from our friends at CAFOD and Christian Aid, and from Habitat for Humanity. There are also many regular in-person and online prayer meetings where you can join to pray with others.
The DEC has set up an appeal for Ukraine, and many other churches and charities are collecting too.
Offer a home….
A Government scheme called ‘Homes for Ukraine’ has just been launched. If your circumstances mean this is something you can consider, you can register your interest here.
Advocate to your MLA/MP
Again this is an important moment where you could connect again, or for the first time, with your local MLA or MP around these issues. These are complex issues of policy; however, as a constituent, you can ask them to advocate on your behalf to lessen the trauma for those who are seeking refuge here. You can find your local representative’s details here.
Let your Church leader know about this Webinar from our friends at Evangelical Alliance and Welcome Churches. There will be other information events happening in the weeks ahead, and we will endeavour to signpost these as best we can.
We have created these free downloadable resources over the years, which might be helpful as you consider how best to respond in your circumstances at this time. These booklets explore how churches can become places of welcome.
Share your stories with us
This is a great way to help encourage others by simply telling us what your Church is doing and how others can get involved.
We are also conscious that while it is important to support the people affected by the situation in Ukraine, there are many places throughout the world suffering from oppression, injustice, invasion and war, which result in people seeking asylum, safety and refuge. The plight of Ukraine is a strong reminder of the needs of all people forced to flee their homeland and seek a welcome and perhaps a home in a new country.
Our vision is to promote a positive response to refugees, people seeking asylum, migrants and minority ethnic people in Northern Ireland. We seek to equip the Church to fulfil its call to welcome the stranger by providing information, training, resource materials and channels for practical help.