UA House gathered community in prayer for Ukraine after Russia’s invasion
In Sacramento, home to one of the largest Ukrainian populations in the country, hundreds gathered Saturday morning for a vigil outside a Ukrainian church in the suburb of Orangevale.
Ukrainian American House, together with the Spring of Life, a Ukrainian Baptist Church, gathered hundreds of other Ukrainian immigrants to sing and pray and comfort one another as their country was consumed by war.
Greater Sacramento has about 100,000 Ukrainian residents, according to Vlad Skots, head of Ukrainian American House, a nonprofit that supports cultural and economic relations between the two countries. We hosted this event to gather the Ukrainian community with those supporting Ukraine in prayer for Peace.
A giant Ukrainian flag had been placed in a courtyard, and beneath it, attendees enjoyed their meals and hot drinks. The church’s large parking lot was full long before the event began, and people parked blocks away and walked to the churchyard, greeting one another with subdued hugs and wide, worried eyes.
Inside the sanctuary, pastors from all over the region led prayers, politicians gave speeches, and people sang.
Saturday’s event drew Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla, and several state Assembly and Senate members.
“I stand with you,” Senator Padilla told the standing-room-only crowd. He condemned the “brutal and unprovoked attacks” on the country, which he said were “an attack on democracy.” He also pledged support for what was termed “the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II.”