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Given the unprecedented catastrophes occurring locally and globally, UMCOR’s disaster response efforts are more important now than ever.

“One thing that distinguishes the UMC in Ukraine is its emphasis on Wesleyanism—that the church is open to all, and that community service and meeting the spiritual and physical needs of others is at the heart of our movement,” he says. “What I hope will emerge from all of this is a greater relevance of the UMC in the communities where it now serves,” he says. Today in Ukraine there are refugee centers, kitchens, and shelters, all operated by UMC churches. “United Methodist pastors and lay members are serving Ukrainians who have perhaps never heard of John Wesley or Methodism,” says Rev. Calhoun. “But they will know that this is what the United Methodist Church stands for. And that’s a powerful statement.” 

Read the full story in the current Global Ministries Worldwide Impact Report below. 

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Opening the Church’s Doors Even Wider During Crisis 

According to Rev. Calhoun, in the multi-ethnic congregation in Vienna “there is an international understanding of the context of community.” This understanding accords with Wesleyan teachings, and it characterizes what Ukrainians are seeing from Methodists now as well.

Rev. John Calhoun first moved to Ukraine in 2011 to provide supervision for a United Methodist community center in Kyiv and to partner with Ukrainian United Methodist pastors in local church development. Having previously served as a missionary in Moscow, and with skills in the Russian language, he was ready to serve with the Russian-speaking United Methodist community in Kyiv. 

Even though Calhoun is now serving in Vienna in one of only nine United Methodist Churches in Austria, he has been very active in supporting believers in Ukraine. The United Methodist Church in Austria has raised sums for refugee relief in Eastern Europe and has sent Euros to UMC churches in Poland and Hungary. And in Ukraine, Methodist pastors and lay members are operating shelters and food distribution centers for other Ukrainians displaced by the fighting in the east and south of the country. “The way the UMC around the world has supported and continues to support not only the UMC in Ukraine, but also Ukrainians at large, is a huge encouragement to our Methodist brothers and sisters serving others in the country,” Rev. Calhoun says. “And the more that we show our support, and not only send funds, but also raise up the truth of what is happening . . . [that] gives a lot of encouragement.”

April 3, 2022 - Washington, D.C., United States: People with a large Ukrainian flag with the words "Pray for Ukraine" at a rally in front of the White House in support of Ukraine. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA) (Sipa via AP Images)

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Headline: God’s abundant love begins with you and travels around the world. Ministry in a War zone. An update from Global Ministries missionary Rev. John Calhoun, who has served in Ukraine.
Displaced Ukrainians on a Poland-bound train bid farewell in Lviv, western Ukraine, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. The U.N. refugee agency says more than 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia's invasion, passing another milestone in an exodus that has led to Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War II. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

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Given the unprecedented catastrophes occurring locally and globally, UMCOR’s disaster response efforts are more important now than ever.

Your gift to Global Ministries enables missionaries like these to join in God’s mission of transforming families, communities, and societies through the power of the gospel.

The Worldwide Impact Report above features a few of the hundreds of remarkable Global Ministries missionaries connecting people with God’s abundant love in more than 60 countries. 

The dedication of people like these missionaries bears witness to the fact that God’s grace and goodness continue to prevail through the work and mission of each of us.

Global Ministries Worldwide Impact Report

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