Since the start of the Ukrainian conflict in late February, Lutheran congregations across the U.S. have come together in creative and collaborative ways to provide relief and support to those fleeing violence a world away. The love and concern of these congregations have brought together not only their church communities but their larger communities as well.
Reformation Lutheran Church in Media, Pennsylvania, feels especially close to those fleeing the violence in Ukraine. Pennsylvania has one of the highest populations of Ukrainian immigrants in the U.S.
“It feels close to home,” said Pastor Alina Gayeuski.
Reformation has a history of abundant response in times of need and the war in Ukraine was no exception. “We asked the congregation to give to Lutheran World Relief to support relief efforts in Ukraine and asked our endowment for a 2-to-1 match for all dollars given to the congregation.”
In the end, the match was offered several times from several groups, meaning every dollar donated was multiplied several times.
“We almost joke about our ‘Reformation Math,’” said Pastor Alina of her congregation’s generosity. “When we ask for something, we get it tenfold, always. It’s beautiful that it's reliable. And yet at the same time, it never ceases to amaze me. Abundance just continues to inspire abundance.”
Tom Conroy, Reformation’s treasurer and the CEO of the US subsidiary of the Japanese corporation Teikoku, got his company to create an additional match to the endowment’s. All in all, Reformation raised nearly $67,000 for Lutheran World Relief’s efforts in Ukraine.
Pastor Alina said her congregation is very mission driven and is constantly looking for ways to serve their neighbors, whether they be down the street or across the globe. Pastor Alina said her congregation is so grateful for organizations like Lutheran World Relief who work on behalf of people in need around the world. “Because of their work, we are able to employ such generosity and affirmations of their humanity in ways that are over and above what we could ever do individually. And that's really great.”