The Eastern Mennonite Seminary community enters the season of Lent in prayer and fasting for the people of Ukraine. We deplore the Russian invasion of Ukraine and grieve the loss of life, destruction of homes, separation of families, displacement of peoples.
We remember Isaiah’s lament over the broken peace treaty between Israel and Assyria: “Listen! The valiant cry in the streets; the envoys of peace weep bitterly. The highways are deserted, travelers have quit the road. The treaty is broken, its oaths are despised, its obligation is disregarded. The land mourns and languishes” (Isa 33:7-9a).
In the images of Ukraine, we see Jesus’s suffering and death under military occupation. We remember that his own body was pierced by weapons of war. As an Anabaptist institution, we recommit to educating our students in the ways of peace amid ongoing conflicts present also in Yemen, Ethiopia, and so many nations.
Dr. Peter Dula, Professor of Religion and Culture
Rev. Dr. Sarah Bixler, Associate Dean, Eastern Mennonite Seminary