MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The pastor of St. Joseph Church in Maplewood performed a musical meditation for Ukraine on April 8, raising funds for the shipment of much-needed supplies to the war-torn nation in the process.
The Rev. Jim Worth’s concert brought in nearly $1,000 from the approximately 100 people in attendance, which included Maplewood Mayor Dean Dafis, Deputy Mayor Vic DeLuca and numerous members of the North Jersey Ukrainian community. But the money was not the only reason Worth performed. By playing the piano while singing uplifting songs, Worth hoped to inspire those listening to work toward peace.
“Our first recourse is to pray for a conversion of hearts in all those who are displaying hate,” said Worth, who performed songs like “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” and “Behold the Cross.” “Then we must use our time, our talent and our treasure to help our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, some of whom live in our own backyard. It’s the right thing to do. When our neighbor hurts, we all hurt.”
St. Joseph Church has done much to support the Ukrainian people in recent weeks. In addition to holding the musical meditation and a March prayer service, the parish has collected numerous medical, military and baby supplies from the Maplewood community. It has also raised close to $10,000 in total to pay for shipping costs. These resources will be donated to Maplewood’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Holy Ascension, which will distribute all materials to its contacts in Ukraine.
“I thank Father Jim for reaching out to our parish very early to offer help and support,” said the Rev. Sviatoslav Hot of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Holy Ascension. “Our friends and family in Ukraine have watched the livestreams of our prayer services and other events and are impressed and appreciative of the community support that we have shared. They truly see that the whole world is praying for their safety and the liberty and freedom that they are fighting for.”
To learn more about St. Joseph Church in Maplewood, visit www.sjcmaplewoodnj.org.
Photos Courtesy of Victoria Hot