A Letter From Rev. Mitchell Boone
Senior Pastor

To My Beloved Community, 

This has been a deeply troubling week. As a person of faith who strives to see the world through the Gospel’s call to peace, the war being waged on the soil of Ukraine creates deep pain for all us Christians committed to peace and nonviolence. 

Russian military action in Ukraine is causing real harm to thousands, if not millions, of people who simply want an opportunity to flourish. The images we are currently witnessing and the rhetoric dripping with incoherent affirmations of military strikes leaves us with an overwhelming feeling of despair. All of us had been hopeful that an unnecessary war (which could be said about all wars) would not come to fruition; yet it is clear that war has once again found our planet.

And so where is God? I am really good at finding God by way of retrospection. We see this over and over in scripture. God displays faithfulness, the people rejoice in worship. Jesus performs a miracle, folks confess. But how can God’s faithfulness be on display when cruise missiles slam into apartments? Where is God in the subway stations in Kyiv? I am not trying to answer this age old theodicy question. I am just affirming that I carry it like you.

Our tradition urges us to offer prayers for peace. For as long as there have been Christian communities, war has been known. The Christian response has always been praying for lasting peace. I believe we must commit ourselves to praying for peace even in the midst of our doubt and disbelief. We must commit ourselves to praying even when prayers seem to go unacknowledged. And, of course, we must use our prayer to prompt our hands and feet. Offering prayers for peace to prevail and for those tangled up in the total darkness of war must become an invitation for us. The world needs us to point to peace now. Retrospective commentary on where God was at work will always come second to the introspective act of becoming blessed peacemakers here and now. 

What can we do? Pray. Then we act. I know we can’t stop a war, but I trust we can bear witness to God’s peace right now. May the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, be with our siblings in Ukraine. I invite you to join in praying the prayer I wrote for myself this morning. 

God of Love & Peace,

Make yourself known to the children who only see fear on the faces of those who love them. 
Make yourself known to the mothers who carry infants around war torn streets seeking shelter. 
Make yourself known to the fathers who cry as they look for their family. 
May your justice and mercy be known in the streets. 
May your peace be known in the hearts of men whose faith is in weapons. 
And help me to be an instrument of your peace. Amen. 

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