Thousands Set Ministry Priorities at 4th Ukrainian Baptist Congress
Baptists from across Ukraine and beyond gathered for four days last month for the 4th Congress of the All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Christian-Baptists (UECB.) The more than 4,000 participants also included representatives from the United States, Canada, Germany, Romania, Poland, Portugal and Russia, among others.
The stage in L'viv, Ukraine, was awash in color and music throughout the event, which featured discussion about spiritual revival, protecting families, raising levels of spirituality and helping the needy. Sermons, seminars, musical performances, videos and theatrical productions filled the four-day event, all based on the theme of the congress: Grow! Be Fervent! Save!
Music in World Cultures provided program support for the congress, assisting our Ukraine ministry partners who spent months preparing dozens of arrangements and original works for the congress. Actively participating in this gathering shows the importance MIWC places on supporting nationals in self-sustaining endeavors and leadership roles while encouraging small church pastors with reassurance that they are not alone in their ministries. In addition, the MIWC team completed substantial strategic planning for upcoming events.
Each day at the congress a different group performed – a wind ensemble, men's choir, youth choirs, the symphony orchestera and more – showing the incredible growth and diversity of the music presence in Ukraine.
Also encouraging the participants was the host city's mayor, Andriy Sadoviy, who said he was extremely happy that Christians had joined together in the “most-Ukrainian city in the world, where history, spirituality, and modern views come together.”
The congress culminated with 3,500-plus Christians celebrating communion together and more than 10,000 people around the globed tuned in for the the online broadcast of the event.
To make their intentions clear going forth, the members of the congress set several resolutions. Concerned about the current generation "losing its direction in life, and in moral and ethical values," the congress affirmed that Christian values influence the morale of not only the nation, but of every citizen. According to the official resolution, "A return to evangelical foundations comprehensively improves social life and promotes the spiritual rebirth of the person."
With that resolve, the group acknowledged the need to combine local church efforts with Christian mission organizations to reach the modern generation. Priorities going forth include developing interchurch partnerships to combine and save resources, making ministry more effective; nurturing a deep scriptural study with each person after he or she commits to following Christ; beginning small group ministries in each church and focusing on expanding ministry for the younger generation.
All photos credit: UECB Press Service