On April 7, 2023, UETS held a panel discussion called: “War and Pastor: Challenges of Pastors at Wartime” on its campus. This event marked the completion of the short-term program “Mission of the Church at Wartime” for the first cohort of its students.
The full-scale military aggression in Ukraine raised many difficult questions for the ministers of Christian communities, and we’ve tried to search for answers to these questions through reflection, discussion, and exchange of experiences.
UETS students, along with invited speakers and guests of the event, contemplated the following questions:
– How to support church ministries in conditions of active migration of ministers?
– How to take care of ministers remotely?
– What is Pastor’s responsibility for church members who have gone to another country?
– How to integrate IDP believers into the church?
– How can Pastor avoid devaluing his spiritual service and ensure he doesn’t turn into a social worker?
– What are the principles of working with people in need? In which cases our attempts to help can harm people?
Among the invited speakers who helped us to search for answers to these important questions were:
– Radionov Valeriy, Bishop of Poltava region, Senior Pastor of the “Covenant” Church in the town of Kremenchuk, volunteer chaplain
– Mykola Savchuk, Bishop and Pastor of the “Salvation” Church in the town of Vyshneve
– Petro Kovalenko, Senior Pastor of the Kharkiv Christian Church in the city of Kharkiv
– Lemak Ivan, Pastor of the “Christ for All” Church in the city of Sumy, volunteer
– Ostryi Vasyl, Pastor of the Irpin Bible Church in the town of Irpin, volunteer
Fedir Raichynets, Head of UETS Theology Department and Head of UETS “Transformative Leadership” Master’s program helped to moderate the discussion.
UETS students and faculty are happy and thankful to the Lord for such a great opportunity to raise important questions which we believe can help church ministries be more effective in caring for those in need and sharing God’s Word and His love in such terrible times of trial that our country is going through.