Sunday 8th January saw Wesley Memorial Church in Epworth host a number of Ukrainian families from the Isle of Axholme and beyond to celebrate Orthodox Christmas.
Some Ukrainian families have made a worshipping home in Wesley since the middle of last year. However, this time, instead of the need for them to work to sing and speak English words, or fit Ukrainian translations into our hymn tunes, it was the British congregation who had to do the translating, as the majority of the service was in Ukrainian. This included a wonderful traditional nativity told by the children. Afterwards everyone was invited to stay for some delicious traditional food, of which there was more than enough. The comment was made that Ukrainians are 'feeders' which is also a reputation for many Methodist congregations. It was a wonderful day although in the back of all our minds is the fact that these families are in our midst because of the dreadful conflict going on back in their homeland. The thanks they gave to the members of Wesley for the hospitality were gratefully received, but is really the least we can do under the circumstances. Conversations are being had about the next opportunity to do something similar, all the while hoping that they will be able soon to return safely to Ukraine.
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