Planting Churches in Ukraine

Planting Churches in Ukraine

. 1 min read

By Jim Patterson
July 5, 2023 | UM News

Ukrainians don’t talk about if they win the war with Russia. They talk about when they defeat the invaders.

“There’s a great deal of certainty,” said the Rev. Fred Vanderwerf, who will be engaging with Ukraine on behalf The United Methodist Church. “I’ve been working hard to see how and where I can help.”

Vanderwerf began work July 1 as coordinator of In Mission Together: Ukraine, which facilitates mission partnerships with churches under the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. One of his priorities is planting churches in the midst of the crisis.

It’s not as outlandish as it may seem to view the war as an opportunity for church planting, said Vanderwerf, who is also an assistant to Bishop Lanette Plambeck in the Minnesota Conference.

“All of our churches should be equipped for church planting,” he said. “Oftentimes the church grows and flourishes at its greatest in the midst of trauma, conflict and flight. The early church did it that way.”

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