East Ohio Pastor Shares Personal Connection with the People of Ukraine

By Brett Hetherington*

The Rev. J. Harlen Rife currently serves as the pastor of Pearl Road United Methodist Church (North Coast District), but an earlier chapter in his life still impacts his life in an unexpected way in 2022. From 2010 to 2012 Rife and his wife Madeline served with the Peace Corps in Ukraine. While in country the Rifes worked with locals leading English and leadership camps, teaching, and filling other various roles. In the years since serving in Ukraine Rife has maintained a strong connection with and affinity for the country and the people.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine was something for which Rife was not prepared. He is now utilizing social media to share his perspective of Ukraine and its people.

In the Zoom interview below, Rife shares his heart while offering thoughts on ways that East Ohio Conference pastors, congregations, and faith communities can offer help and hope during these difficult times.

To download the Zoom interview with the Rev. J. Harlen Rife, first click the image above to go to the video’s Vimeo page. Then, on the Vimeo page click the download link underneath the video window.

You can support Ukraine by donating to EOC Fund 1301.

The Conference Communications team would like to share other stories that highlight ways that each of us is answering the call of Bishop Tracy S. Malone to reach out to our communities in creative ways. Please e-mail your ministry story to EOC Director of Communications Rick Wolcott at wolcott@eocumc.com.

* Brett Hetherington is the Communications specialist for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.