UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Bishop Leads an Emotional Prayer Service at the Consistory
South Bound Brook, NJ – Leading a group of faithful in prayer for peace in Ukraine, His Grace Bishop Daniel, President of the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA said that the present armed conflict in the ancestral homeland of so many faithful of the UOC of the USA is ultimately caused by selfishness and can be overcome only through expressions of love and fraternity and never with violence.
“Those that are in the positions of leadership must leave behind the self-interest that hardens their heart, overcome the indifference that makes your heart insensitive towards others, conquer your deadly reasoning, and open yourself to dialogue and reconciliation. It breaks my heart to look at the images of wounded and dead people on the streets of Kyiv and other cities of Ukraine. These people - our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, our children – how can we handle such expressions of violence? ,” the bishop said before a group of about 60 people in the rotunda of the Consistory Office in South Bound Brook, NJ on February 20, 2014.
Continuing his remarks, the bishop, on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, stated: “At the last Sobor of the Church, we pondered upon the answer of Cain’s famous question to God – “Am I my brother’s keeper?” – the bishop replied: “Yes, you are your brother’s keeper! To be human means to care for one another. We bring about the rebirth of Cain in every act of violence and in every war… When man thinks only of himself, his own interests and places himself in the center, when he permits himself to be captivated by the idols of dominion and power, when he puts himself in God’s place, then all relationships are broken and everything is ruined… Then the door opens to violence, indifference and conflict.”
Praying for the peace in Ukraine, Bishop Daniel invited those in attendance to pray in front of the Icon of the Protection of the Birth-Giver of God, the very same icon in front of which for about 25 years, the faithful of the Church gather for their tri-annual Sobors (Clergy-Laity gathering). The icon is permanently displayed at the rotunda of the main office of the spiritual center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA in South Bound Brook, NJ.
At the conclusion of the Moleben service, the bishop called upon those in attendance to lower their knees and heads in prayer, as Very Rev. Yuriy Siwko, Rev. Fr. Vasyl Dovgan, Rev. Fr. Vasyl Paskas and Bishop Daniel chanted a prayer for Peace and Stability in Ukraine.
The atmosphere in the Consistory’s rotunda and offices was prayerfully solemn, with flags of Ukraine and the United States of America displayed in front of the Consistory Office and St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church.
“Millions of Americans have been sincerely praying for peace in Ukraine for the past several months,” the bishop continued. “Let’s not give up hope for a peaceful resolution… for nothing is impossible for God.”
Vladyka Daniel spoke of the struggle for peace across the world and asked for everyone to continue to strive for it. “Your presence in this chapel as relatives, neighbors, friends is a true indication of your commitment to do your part to bring about peace not only in Ukraine, but in the world, in the hearts of our neighbors, and within ourselves, remembering the beautiful words of Our Lord: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God,’” he said.
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, the Consistory of the UOC of the USA has issued an URGENT appeal to the faithful and the parish communities of the Church to contribute funds in support of peaceful demonstrators and those that are wounded and in need of urgent medical assistance.
“We join the religious communities of Ukraine and support with all people of good will prayer and fasting for peace in our ancestral homeland,” Bishop Daniel said, “We ask the intercession of the Birth-Giver of God for our ancestral homeland and for the people of Ukraine throughout the world.”
If you would like to make a donation in order to assist the people of Ukraine, please visit the following page, by clicking here>