Local Ukrainian Church Holds Prayer Service
ELMIRA HEIGHTS, N.Y. (WENY) -- Church goers joined in solidarity with local Ukrainians during service today at Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Elmira Heights.
Dozens of community members attended today's service at the Ukrainian parish. Many said they are standing with Ukraine.
“Obviously our community is distraught over what has happened,” said Father Teodor Czabala.
Czabala, a visiting priest with the parish, says many Ukrainian families in the area are worried about their loved ones on the other side of the world. He explained one of the best ways to stay together is through prayer.
“All we can do at this point is pray,” he said. “We are here in the U.S... the best with what we can do is let them know they're not forgotten.”
Horseheads residents Larry Brown and Beth Stillings agree with Czabala. Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church is not their regular church. They came to show their support and worship with Ukrainians.
“We were just looking for opportunities to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” said Larry Brown. “We think this is an amazing moment in history and that the Ukrainians are representing all the values of freedom and democracy that everybody should support and we're just looking for a little way to show that support.”
Czabala's family still remains in Ukraine. He said the country is showing great strength by standing and fighting together, with the help of God.
“We can do this,” he said. “All of a sudden, a lot of pieces automatically fall into place...it looked impossible but it actually turned out to be a lot easier than we thought and who can you say is responsible for that...is behind that...that's the basis for how we can keep our faith.”
Brown and Stillings said they will continue to keep the local Ukrainian community in their thoughts as well as pray for the safety of their families.
“We just keep our eyes on the news and look for opportunities to help where we can and stay informed of the situation and support any activities that can help the Ukrainians,” he said.
Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church welcomes anyone in the community to pray with them for the people of Ukraine.