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Justice and Worship

Reflect, lament, pray, and incorporate God's ongoing narrative of justice for the vulnerable into your devotional life and congregational worship services.

No Justice without Anointing

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God.” Isaiah 61:1-2

What I Learned from a Full Moon Ceremony

This post, detailing a CRC member’s participation in and appreciation of a full moon ceremony with Ojibway Indigenous people, provoked a lot of discussion at Synod 2017. Some people believed that the post promoted syncretism, inappropriate blending of one religion with another, and worship of a false god, while some people believed that the writer was turning away from Eurocentric expressions of Christianity and choosing to worship the one true God in non-European ways (ie. contextualization).

Litany for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is usually the second Sunday in November. This year some communities will be commemorating the day on November 6 and some on November 13. Below is a litany to help you remember the persecuted church on whatever day you choose. Visit the Office of Social Justice's religious persecution pages for more worship resources and to learn more about religious persecution around the world.

What we do to the Earth, We do to Ourselves

I had escaped from the concrete jungle one August summer day to be connected with the land once again. Every summer, it is my tradition to harvest medicines for ceremonial and spiritual practices. Being Cree, two of those medicines are sage and sweetgrass. With every medicine I took from the land, I would place tobacco down & offer my prayers. With every prayer, I acknowledged Creator’s masterpiece all around me. With every acknowledgement, I was reminded that I am a mere strand in this web of life. There I was, in the thick of this web of life, in the midst of creation, on the prairies

A Prayer for Love in the Face of Violence

This is an updated version to reflect recent events.

If you’re struggling to know what to say, and how to say it, when addressing the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the shootings of Dallas police officers (Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael J. Smith, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa) in personal prayer or during Sunday worship, consider using this summary and prayer:

Wrongs to Rights

Nearly 50 authors have contributed to a new, challenging collection of reflections on how churches can engage in this framework of reconciliation. If you are somehow troubled by that history, curious about how Indigenous Christians think about this history and future, or believe it is your personal, Christian, or civic responsibility to work for reconciliation with the peoples who lived in the land before European settlers arrived, you will find in this volume thoughtful, committed contributions from church people on Indigenous rights, the role of the state and the church, what the scriptures say, relationships with the land and the church, and living into our responsibilities together.

Live Justly for Lent: for Middle School Students

An Open Letter to My Students: 

Dear 7th Graders,

It’s a privilege to get to spend everyday with you. You have such incredible hearts. You have a way of seeing things around you that are broken, unfair, or just not the way that God envisioned it, and feeling rightly frustrated about it. You have a keen sense of justice.

Live Justly for Lent: for Busy Parents

“No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others. So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually, if you do no good to others, you do nothing great.”   - John Chrysostom     

I have three children. I work full-time. I volunteer in several ministries at my church. I am busy. Busy. Busy. Busy. But I also know that as a Christian, I am called to make mercy and justice, advocacy and generosity, a way of life.

Immigration Preaching Challenge Winner

The judges have picked the winner of the Immigration Preaching Challenge!

This summer, North American pastors received an invitation to submit sermons relating to the topic of immigration. Many pastors accepted the challenge and submitted their sermons. After reviewing the sermons, our panel of judges picked the winner this week. Congratulations Mike Vanhofwegen on winning the Immigration Preaching Challenge! You can read Mike Vanhofwegen’s sermon at the end of this post.

Worship Resources for Peace in a Time of Fear

In response to the San Bernardino shooting and increasingly hostile anti-Arab and anti-Muslim rhetoric, the Office of Race Relations and Office of Social Justice have collaborated on this litany and prayer. The litany is drawn from the Christian Reformed Church’s three confessions, the Contemporary Testimony (Our World Belongs to God), and one Ecumenical Faith Declaration (Belhar Confession).

Litany

People of God, from where does your hope come this day?

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