Dear Church,

Each morning when I watch the news, my heart breaks at what is happening in Ukraine. Like many of you, I have gone through a myriad of emotions as I see innocent people who are suffering due to the ruthless brutality of Valdimir Putin and the Russian military. As a followers of Jesus Christ, we know that when we see terrible things happening in this world, we are called to help in any and every way possible. Through our partnership with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, we have been able to contribute directly to our Christian friends in Ukraine. For that work, I am thankful.

We are also called to be people of prayer. While there are many who would dismiss prayer as waste of time or a futile attempt to change the mind of God, we know that could not be further from the truth. Prayer, the great theologian Karl Barth says, “is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world”. Jesus teaches us that when we pray, we simply bring our needs and desires to God, who hears us just as a parent hears a child. This Sunday at 4:00 in our Sanctuary, we have invited the entire Augusta community to join us for a service of prayer for Ukraine. I hope that you will make every effort to join us, not only for worship on Sunday morning, but also for this special time that we set apart where we will pray for peace.

I want to give a special thanks to Rodger Murchison, who dreamed up this service and presented the idea to me late last week. Over the years, Rodger and Margaret have done a great deal of work in Ukraine. When he tells stories of his time with our brothers and sisters in Christ from that part of the world, you leave with no doubt that they need our prayers in a moment like the one they face today.

In this edition of the Interpreter, you can learn more about this prayer service and how you can join us as we lift our hearts to God on Sunday afternoon.

As always, I am proud to be your pastor. I can’t wait to see you on Sunday.

Grace and Peace,