Dear Friends,

 We hope that you are safe and well.

 Today's Meditation comes to us from Pat Ferrone and Irene Desharnais. It is a Guided Meditation in Solidarity with Mothers and Children fleeing from Ukraine.

We invite you to join us as we commit ourselves to working tirelessly to end systemic and structural racism in our society, in the church, in healthcare, in the workplace--wherever it shows up so that everyone may come to have more abundant life. May this meditation nourish our contemplative-active hearts and sustain all of us in action.

In the spirit of our philosophy of co-creating community and our awareness that the Spirit speaks through each of us, we invite you to share your meditations with us as well. We truly believe that it is God's economy of abundance: when we share our blessings, our thoughts, our feelings, we are all made richer.

We hope and pray that you find peace, healing, hope and the infusion of joy in your life!

With our love and care,

Ron and Jean

MEDITATION 610: Guided Meditation in solidarity with Mothers and Children fleeing from Ukraine


VOICE 1: I am Marika. After days on the road trying to bring my 3

children to safety, I finally reached the border of Poland. It was a cold winter day, but the sun seemed to peek from behind the clouds. As I carried my little boy in my arms, I cried with relief. But as I looked back toward Ukraine, my daughters held tight to me. They thought we would never see our homeland and their daddy, again. Everything has changed. Everything is gone, except this pack I carried all the many miles of our journey. I pray God will have mercy on us.

(Mention one important item in your backpack.)

VOICE 2: My name is Yulia. I’m in Romania now with my daughters, ages 4 and 8. The older one just sent a video message saying, “Vladimir Putin, this is the children of Ukraine appealing to you. Call your troops home.” I was proud of her. Though we may be safe now, the night brings nightmares to the little one. She remembers the bombs exploding near our apartment building. She wakes, screaming. Everything we now own is in my backpack and in a small suitcase I pulled across the border. I don’t know what will happen next. “We are so sad and tired.” Why, in God’s name, are people so eager to kill us? (Mention one important item in your backpack.)

VOICE 3: I’m Marianna. My story is not so different from my Ukrainian sisters standing here with me. At first, we didn’t believe this could be happening to us. War?? This wasn’t supposed to happen to our country, even though we knew that Putin had been threatening to invade. I don’t understand... really, I don’t: I’m ordinary... I’m a teacher... I love my home, my family, my country. I try to do good. I don’t ask for much - just enough strength to care for those God gave me. And now, I’m one of the 100s of thousands who had to flee Kyiv, my beautiful city of many churches, where I pray for peace every week. Do you think it will ever come? (Mention one important item in your backpack.)

VOICE 4: I’m glad for the name my parents chose for me - Kristina - follower of Christ. I am that!...Since I was a child I’ve tried to do as he would have me - love others, listen to them, make peace as best I can. Return good for evil. These days are so difficult and I find my heart breaking as I look around and see the evil that is being done. The destruction is beyond belief. This cannot be of God, this terrible death and suffering. These wicked weapons of war make us forget the beauty of life... And yet, here I am in Slovakia with my child, Daryna - “God’s gift.” We are safe, and have shelter and food, graciously given - and received in gratitude. Tonight, we will sleep without fear because of the kindness coming from the hands of perfect strangers. Good Samaritans. Isn’t this what we’re supposed

to do - take care of one another?

(Mention one important item in your backpack.)

VOICE 5: I am called Tasha, but my given name is Natasha. I, too, am a mother. I, too, grieve for all that is being destroyed as boots and bombs and tanks desecrate our country. Innocent children are dying, and old people huddle in basements, trembling with fear. And for what? Tell me - How long are we women expected to care for our children and others and practice kindness, then watch as all our workand love is undone. ENOUGH! If we survive, “I will no longer suffer in silence. War is obsolete. I will not sustain it by my complicity. I will

never send my child to fight another mother’s child.” Here, we women stand together - “We are mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and we are sisters, one to another.” Let us come together and “weave a web to entangle the powers that bury our children.” (Mention one important item in your backpack.)


> I put this together as my interpretation of "What Would You Pack?” It’s composed of some thoughts gleaned from TV, articles, interviews and put into the mouths of imaginary Ukrainian women. They will carry their backpacks and place them on the altar.

> Peace,

> Pat Ferrone

March 2, 2022