BISHOP DAVID BARD
Michigan Area Bishop
“A Call for Prayers for Peace”
February 25, 2022
Dear Friends in Christ in the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church,
I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ, who is our peace and who encourages us to be peacemakers when he says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”
This past Wednesday, Russian forces invaded Ukraine under orders from President Vladimir Putin. It is the most significant violation of territorial integrity in Europe since World War II. Much of the world is outraged by this unjustifiable military intervention and anxious about what lies ahead. Lives will be lost. Communities will be seriously damaged. Ripple effects will be experienced by us all. And we are uncertain about the extent of Russia’s military adventurism.
I call upon all Michigan United Methodists to pray for peace in Ukraine at this critical moment. I invite every United Methodist congregation in this conference to pray for peace at their weekly worship services this coming weekend and carry prayers for peace into the holy season of Lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday on March 2.
According to the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church, “We deplore war and urge the peaceful settlement of disputes among nations…. We yearn for the day when there will be no more war and people will live together in peace and justice.” Let us pray out of this deep yearning for peace and a better world.
United Methodist Bishop Christian Alstead of the Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area has written: “We stand with the United Methodists in Ukraine in prayer for protection, reconciliation, and peace.” Bishop Eduard Khegay, of the Eurasia Episcopal Area in Northern Europe and the Eurasian Central Conference, which includes both Russia and the Ukraine, has written simply and directly: “Ask for peace for Ukraine.”
Friends, let us ask for peace for Ukraine. Pray for a world where people will live in peace and justice, and there will be no more war. Watch for upcoming opportunities to pray with others for peace. Pray, and let us “pursue what makes for peace” (Romans 14:19).
Grace and Peace,
David Allen Bard
Michigan Area Bishop