The PCC joins in prayer for the people in Ukraine as they face war, danger and uncertainty. We are in touch with our partners in Ukraine and will provide updates as they are available.

We pray for safety and peace, comfort for those now in mourning, and humanitarian aid for all in need.

Praying for Ukraine

God of the Powers, and
Maker of all creation;
God of justice, and
Lover and Maker of peace,
we are distressed by the violence and the threats of violence and destruction in the world,
and especially by acts of war and brutality that people experience in Ukraine.
In solidarity with them, we pray for those
who are suffering and in danger,
who live in fear and anxiety,
who fear what tomorrow will bring,
who are anxious for their lives and the lives of those they love and care for, and
who mourn the dead.
We pray that
those with power over war
will lay down weapons, and that
those who have power to accomplish peace
will have wisdom and compassion.
God of Grace, the
Giver of Life, send your
Comforter, the Spirit of Truth,
who is everywhere present and fills all things,
to sustain the hope of all those who seek justice and peace and
to inspire the leaders of nations to do what is right.
Glory to you, O God,
Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit,
now and forever;
in the strong name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, we pray.
Amen.

Resources to Share with Your Congregation

Image of bulletin insert with Ukraine prayer by PCC.
Image of arrow pointing downPrayer and Support for Ukraine Bulletin Insert – Two-Up
"Pray for & Support Ukraine" image for worship presentations.
Image of arrow pointing downPray for & Support Ukraine Worship Slide

Ecumenical Statements & News

“The World Council of Churches denounces any and every use of deadly armed force to resolve disputes that could be resolved by dialogue. We firmly believe that dialogue—based on the principles of international law and respect for established national borders—was and is the proper path for the resolution of tensions surrounding Ukraine. We call for an immediate end to the current armed hostilities, and for the protection of all human lives and communities threatened by this violence. We urge all member churches and all people of good will around the world to join us in prayer for peace for the people of Ukraine and the region.”
—The Rev. Prof. Dr. Ioan Sauca, Acting General Secretary, World Council of Churches

Learn more about how churches are responding to growing humanitarian needs in Ukraine and bordering countries

Image of arrow pointing downA Call for Peace in Ukraine from the Canadian Council of Churches
Image of arrow pointing downA Call for Peace in Ukraine from the Canadian Council of Churches (French)

PCC Partners in Ukraine: The Reformed Church in Transcarpathia

Latest Update: December 1

Dear Friends,

I’ve been trying to send you a letter for a week now, but unfortunately, the power cuts have made it impossible. We have managed to get a generator for the office, which we can now use. However, there are no streetlights, our homes are dark and cold, no water, etc. We are not used to this, but we are grateful that there is no bombing in our area. Our pastors are here, and most of the staff are doing their jobs as well, as much as they can. Please pray for us and for peace.

Ukraine’s energy system has suffered further damage, resulting in a power shortage in Kiev equivalent to 30% of consumption, according to DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private energy investor. Residents have been warned that the state energy company Ukrenerho is imposing unprecedented emergency restrictions in Kiev and the country’s central regions to avoid a total blackout.

Oleksiy Kuleba, head of the Kyiv Oblast Military Administration, said that preparations should be made for an indefinite interruption of electricity supply. The previously prepared timetable for the shutdowns is no longer up to date. More prolonged and more severe shutdowns should be prepared for in the near future.

“The company is preparing new, more convenient schedules that take into account the current state of the energy system. They will be made public early next week. The public will be informed in advance. Our energy engineers, together with Ukrenerho specialists, other services and public authorities, will do their utmost to stabilize the situation as soon as possible,” the statement said.

Unfortunately, the war, the crisis, and the everyday problems also make it difficult for the institutions of the Reformed Church of Transcarpathia. The maintenance or running of schools, kindergartens and homes is now in danger. Not only because of high food and heating prices but also because of the ever-increasing emigration.

We hope peace will come soon and this terrible period will end. Below is a prayer from our pastor. This prayer shows our daily life and difficulties but our hope as well.

Blessings and greetings,
Kristina Bado
Secretary, Transcarpathia Reformed Church, Beregszasz

Prayer from Transcarpathia

Stay with us through the long nights, Lord, and light us with your promises!

Our candles are burnt and fizzling, our batteries are dying, we have no signal or internet—we have prayer until the darkness encloses us. We recall the former state of a world falling apart. In the bright old days when water always came from the tap, the light switch flicked on in rooms, the heating worked, and we didn’t have to wake and go to bed in anxious worry. When you held my hand, called me by name, made promises and promised me a test. Thank you for giving us a heads-up.

Long days and unnoticed, we are filled with complaint and tension, Lord. Some of us have become stressed, and others have lost abnormal weight. Many hope for easy comfort from drinking, slipping unnoticed into dependency. Our husbands are driven to self-destruction by quiet desperation, their wives by fear. Death awaits those who have neither pastor nor hope. Stay with us through the long nights, Lord, and find and lead back the lost and the abandoned.

Our children sit in damp, dark cellars under air raids. In our churches, we light candles and warm our hands by their flame. As we sing, the letters melt before us, so we sing the familiar—more from the heart than from a hymn book. Our eyes and souls weary with exertion, We listen in credulity to the gloomy news. We think we know things we cannot know; we watch anxiously for the first snowflakes to fall. Stay with us through the long nights, Lord, for winter is coming!

We wait for you, Lord, as watchers wait for the morning, as those who sit in darkness waiting for the first rays of light. We wait for you to speak, to act, to guide us.

We thank you that your promises have lost none of their power; we trust in them.

We thank you that we have learned perseverance from our ancestors and can teach perseverance to our descendants.

Thank you for the families that are drawn together, Lord, grant that the trial may indeed bring man closer to man!

Thank you that we have reserves, that our house is not destroyed and that we can plan for the future.

Thank You that in Your hands are times and occasions, raising up kings and bringing down kings. In you we trust, for you have grace and can redeem us all from sin.

Stay with us through the long nights, Lord, and the night will end; it will surely end.

—The Rev. Zoltán Laskoti

“So many refugees reached our region. The capital city of Transcarpathia, Uzhgorod, accommodated more than 30,000 refugees and cannot receive more. The city is filled. The governing of Transcarpathia asked for help from the neighboring villages. Nearly the same situation in Beregovo as well.

“Our reformed congregation also has refugees from different parts of central Ukraine, mainly from Kiev and Harkov. Our pastors, elders and volunteers try to accommodate them in different ways. Mainly mothers with little kids, even with little babies.”

The Reformed Church in Transcarpathia took on the responsibility to take care of mothers with their kids coming from central Ukraine, giving them accommodation and health care.

The Home Care project of the Reformed Church, which operates in six working points, takes care of more than 200 elderly people unable to leave due to illness and isolation.

The church also takes care of children with special needs and their families by helping them with food packs and sanitary parcels.

The bakery of the diaconal centre bakes more than 400 breads each day and cooks hot meals every day for those who are in need.

“Thanks to foreign partners, congregations and different natural support we can give them help to maintain social kitchens and prepare hot meals for refugees. We also have to buy washing machines, refrigerators, boilers, etc. These are necessary tools for refugee shelters.”

The Reformed Church’s Bishop’s Office and the Diaconal Coordination Office also receives humanitarian supports from various organizations and private donors. These supports go to places where refugees are accommodated.

With the help of the Hungarian consulate, thousands of mothers and kids were evacuated from the war zone and transported to Hungary where they received safe accommodation. Hungary has received 641,775 refugees since the beginning of the war.

“[On Sunday, March 13] we organized a church service for Ukrainian refugees. We had nice worship, sang Ukrainian songs, and prayed together…at the end of the worship they said that it was the first day after their long journey that they could smile and take a real rest. Bless the Lord.”

Congregations belonging to the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia try to invite Ukrainian speaking refugees to visit church services and to take part in children’s programs twice a week. These occasions are blessed because, after some hours, mothers could talk to our staff, could tell their stories and could feel themselves safe.

—Kristina, Transcarpathian Reformed Church

Ukrainian mother and daughter sharing a meal.
Volunteers organizing donations for Ukrainian refugees
Supplies for Ukrainian refugees.
Bishop Zan Fabian helping with supplies.
Church service for Ukrainian refugees.

The PCC and the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia

The Presbyterian Church in Canada sent David Pandy-Szekeres, along with his wife, Anna, as mission staff serving with the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia from 2000 to 2018. David is retired now and lives in Hungary.

The Reformed Church in Transcarpathia is the oldest Protestant Church in Ukraine. It was founded in 1921, when the Sub-Carpathian region became a part of the Czech-Slovak Republic. During the Soviet era, the church lost its legal status and many church-owned properties were seized and privatized. The structure of the church did not exist, atheist propaganda was promoted and many pastors were deported. Eventually, the fall of the Soviet Union brought relief, and with the help of church sponsors, schools and churches were re-opened.

The Reformed Church in Sub-Carpathia currently has around 70,000 members, mostly ethnic Hungarians, in nearly 100 parishes. It is organized into three presbyteries. It is a constituting member of the Hungarian Reformed Church, which was established in May 2009, and consists of Hungarian-speaking Reformed communities in the Carpathian Basin. It is also a member church of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the World Council of Churches, the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe and the Conference of European Churches.

The official name of the church in Ukrainian would be “Transcarpathian,” as this region lies beyond the Carpathian Mountains, seen from Kijev. In Hungarian, the commonly used term reads “Sub-Carpathian.” The two terms are used interchangeably.

Read a circular from Bishop Sándor Zán-Fábián, head of the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia, regarding the situation in Ukraine

Aid & Development Partner: Hungarian Interchurch Aid

Through the work of Presbyterian World Service & Development, the church is partnered with Hungarian Interchurch Aid, in coordination with the ACT Alliance.