With the events in Ukraine impacting many of us we wanted to help you to reflect on the situation in your SCM group. Here are some resources that we hope you find beneficial to understand what is happening and to pray for those whose lives have been impacted.
Resources to help you understand the situation in Ukraine
We know that Newsround is aimed at kids, but we found their summary of what is happening in Ukraine really helpful. It provides vital information on what has been occurring in Ukraine, and why, yet is less intense and overwhelming than the ordinary news. If you want an easy and accessible breakdown then this may be a useful resources for you.
This podcast produced by The Methodist Church focuses on the invasion of Ukraine, drawing on two personal experiences of two Methodists in Ukraine who have fled the invasion. The podcast also explores how peace can stand up to aggression and how we can talk to children about worrying news events. If you want a more in depth account of what has been happening in Ukraine and how people of faith have experienced the events personally then it may be worth giving this a listen.
10 Minutes On is the sister podcast of Faith in Politics, which reflects on what is happening in the world around us and how as Christians we should be responding. In this recording, Dave and Steve from the Joint Public Issues Team explore the situation in Ukraine. As part of this, they reflect on the recent history between Ukraine and Russia, along with our call to be peacemakers and how Christian leaders can guide people in prayer around the conflict. This is a great resource if you want a bit more information on the recent history between Ukraine and Russia, or if you are curious about how you might approach the situation if you are an SCM group leader.
Resources to help lead you in prayer
Christian Aid Prayers for Ukraine
Christian Aid has three written prayers available to download on their website, one in Welsh and two in English. These prayers centre on a call for peace and also the protection of ordinary Ukrainian and Russian people caught up in the conflict. Christian Aid also has a live YouTube reading of a prayer for Ukraine – so if you want someone else to do the reading, giving you the space to just listen, this may also be of use.
The Methodist Church Prayers for Ukraine
The Methodist Church has two prayers available on their website – one praying for those whose lives have been impacted by the conflict, and one praying for those living in Ukraine and Russia. Both of these prayers can be downloaded to be read personally, or alternatively, you can listen to an audio recording of them. Along with the prayers for Ukraine, you can also find suggestions of hymns to do with peace.
CAFOD: A prayer for Ukraine
CAFOD has released this short prayer focusing on the people of Ukraine, for the compassion of world leaders and for peace.
CAFOD: Prayers of intercession for Ukraine
Along with the above prayer, CAFOD has also released prayers of intercession that can be used during a service – they may come in handy for any groups looking to do their own prayers of intercession.
A Prayer for Ukraine from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York
Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop Stephen Cottrell have released this short prayer focused on praying for peace, for those caught up in the conflict, and for those who have the power to stop the bloodshed.
Fellowship of Reconciliation: Prayers for Peace in Ukraine
The Fellowship of Reconciliation has created a collection of prayers, intercessions and a hymn to be offered for use in both personal and collective worship and prayer. You may find these useful both to guide your own prayers and spiritual reflection or as part of a group session.
Resources that incorporate Ukrainian Worship
The Bible Society has shared this video of how Psalm 31 has become ‘the key scripture for all Ukrainians’ according to their colleagues. Here, you can watch this profoundly moving video of people across Ukraine reading it in bunkers and shelters. You may even wish to read along with them as they do so.
Although not directly linked to the conflict, this beautiful recording from Orthodox Christian Chants allows you to sit, listen and pray the Jesus Prayer in Ukrainian. There is a translation so you can engage with the prayer, or you can listen to the worship and allow time for spiritual reflection.
One final useful resource
Churches Together in Britain and Northern Ireland have a comprehensive list of how different dominations and organisations are responding to the conflict, along with the resources available. Here you will find more recordings, prayers, and information beyond those we have shared with you.
While we have tried to provide you with enough resources and variety to help you understand the situation in Ukraine and to guide your reflection and prayer, we are aware that this is by no means a fully comprehensive list. If there is anything you notice that we haven’t included, or if there is a particular resource you require, please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.