Friday marked one year since Russia invaded Ukraine. This morning at the English mass we had about fifteen people from Ukraine join us for mass. Most of them were Orthodox. They were gathered by a parishioner from Ukraine who is a lector and coordinates our church Facebook page. Last night we invited Ukrainians to come also and had four for that service.
Both times it was a really moving experience. I welcomed them at the beginning of mass, our Ukrainian lector did the prayers of the faithful, I mentioned them in the homily, and then at the end we brought them all forward and the community blessed them. I was happy we had the opportunity to support them with prayer and just as happy that our community could have an actual event of expressing care and concern for justice and peace and for the people suffering so much. The war isn’t just CNN notifications on our phone but real people, individuals and a nation, hurting.
[I was surprised we had that many people from Ukraine in Phnom Penh!]