Interfaith II: Discover Ukraine – A Cultural Experience
Held on Monday, May 9, 2022
Many people in our Wyoming Valley community and beyond have generously donated to support the people of Ukraine. There is a common bond of compassion that caring people have for others in need. When the magnitude of destruction of lives and peace defies all human logic and explanation, it necessitates a counterbalance equal in response. And so it has been with the efforts of good people to prove good must prevail even when it seems impossible.
Local support to assist has been tremendous. It has come in the form of immeasurable and unfailing prayer, and in monetary and material donations. There are not enough words to express the amount of appreciation for this effort.
In thanksgiving, and to show how donations have been helping, St. Michael the Archangel Byzantine Catholic Church became the site of a program called “Discover Ukraine” (Interfaith II). The idea born out of gratitude and coordinated by Fr. Andrii, pastor of St. Michael and St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic churches. The program started at 5 pm, offered in two parts: a formal program held in the church and a second part, a time for guests to socialize and mingle in the church lower level hall.
It was with Fr. Andrii’s motivation this second interfaith program would be different than a previous Interfaith program. This would be cultural and educational in focus. Interfaith I, held on March 21, 2022 — also at St. Michaels — was prayer-focused and faith leaders of the Wyoming Valley Interfaith Council offered their time and prayers at that gathering.
Interfaith II developed as a sequel to the first event and it was an informative and social experience for all who attended.
Presentations were given by:
- Fr. Andrii Dumnych, pastor of St. Michael Church, Pittston and St. Nicholas Church, Tripp Street in Swoyersville
- Rev. Myron Myronyuk, of St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church, Scranton
- A Video presentation featuring Dr. Henry Abramson introduced by Rabbi Larry Kaplan, Temple Israel, Wilkes-Barre.
Each presentation explained how the past history of Ukraine influences the present response to the current threats upon the nation’s sovereignty. Some of Ukraine’s cultural contributions and achievements were also presented.
A sampling of Ukrainian music was performed by:
- Choir of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Ukrainian Catholic Church in Olyphant
- Young Adult Choir of the Russian/Ukrainian Baptist Church of Wilkes-Barre
- Jewish Klezmer Music Trio
A photo display created by Fr. Andrii and Pani Oksana Dumnych was a compilation of scenes from Ukraine visually describing current events: the heartbreaking scenes of destruction in Ukrainian towns; plight of refugees; relief services being provided by faith leaders and volunteers; and ways donations were helping.
Once again, we thank all who took the time to participate as volunteers: presentors, singers, musicians, setup helpers, greeters, bakers, and more! Everyone made it a very successful program. And of course we thank those who took the time and were able to attend
Scenes from Interfaith II are seen below
(Click on any photo to begin Slide View – allow time for photos to upload, please)