Joint Initiatives for Ecumenical Cooperation

2022-06-17 09:45

Before the full-scale invasion to Ukraine by the Russian troops, the Institute of Ecumenical Studies of the Ukrainian Catholic University prepared a project the Mini-Grants Competition entitled “Joint Initiatives for Ecumenical Cooperation” to implement interconfessional social, enlightenment and ecumenical tasks. The project was gently supported by the French Catholic charity organization “Oeuvre d'Orient"’. The aim of the Competition was to create an atmosphere of openness, dialogue and friendship between Christian communities through joint work on the small projects of the communities (the grass-root level).

Tasks of the “Joint Initiatives for Ecumenical Cooperation”:

- Encourage priests and local leaders to implement joint mini-projects with their communities and representatives of other confessions;

- Encourage as many people as possible, ready to join the common work on a social, enlightenment or pastoral project;

- To create an atmosphere of dialogue and cooperation at the local level through the joint implementation of the project;

- Raise the ecumenical consciousness of the faithful involved in mini-projects.

10 interesting projects were submitted to the competition, among which the members of the Competition Commission on February 17 selected 5 projects that best met the criteria of the event. After February 24, when the active phase of the war began, the authors were forced to rethink and adapt their projects to the new circumstances and problems. The authors of the projects and their communities have mastered new challenges and successfully implemented their original ideas on the ground.

One of the implemented projects:

“How to find yourself in time of war?”

In early April 2022, the UGCC parish of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Kopychyntsi town held a series of meetings entitled “How to find yourself in time of war?” for temporarily displaced persons living in the community, as well as for local residents. Father Ruslan Kornyat, pastor and author of the project, says that through joint work they managed to gather like-minded people, parents, teachers, educators, doctors, priests, psychologists who wanted to continue such meetings and conduct such trainings in the future. There is a great demand among the population for psychological support and Christian support for people who have experienced fear, pressure, despair.

The invited speakers perfectly mastered their topics and revealed as much as possible the different states of man, understanding of self-identity, behavior during the war, mutual assistance and overcoming negative consequences.

In the future, the community plans to start a Christian discussion club, where everyone will prepare thematic reports and address the audience.

One of the participants of the event said:

Good day. My name is Maxym Shelekhovsky. I am an IDP from Irpin. I want to say a few words about the event that took place in Kopychyntsi, namely the Christian two-day event “How to find yourself in time of war?” First of all, I would like to thank the organizers of this event. This is the first time I see such events organized for the city community and their guests. It's impressive! It is very nice to see care for people and provide opportunities to talk openly on various topics. Secondly, I would like to thank the speakers who took the time to come to Kopychyntsi and pay attention to the people. The topics that were raised at this event are very important and interesting. There is a sense of professionalism and deep awareness of their work. Third, I want to thank the people who were present. Openness, pleasant communication - this is exactly what people need now in such a difficult time for all. Once again, I would like to thank everyone and I would like to note that after returning home, we will remember this event for a long time as an example of openness and a desire to help people.

More information here:

The Youtube links with the lectures: