Back to Top

Justice Prayers - April 3, 2024

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." - John 10:11

New Pollution Rules Aim to Lift Sales of Electric Trucks

The Biden administration on Friday announced a regulation designed to turbocharge sales of electric or other zero-emission heavy vehicles, from school buses to cement mixers, as part of its multifront attack on global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency projects the new rule could mean that 25 percent of new long-haul trucks, the heaviest on the road, and 40 percent of medium-size trucks, like box trucks and landscaping vehicles, could be nonpolluting by 2032. Today, fewer than 2 percent of new heavy trucks sold in the United States fit that bill. The regulation would apply to more than 100 types of vehicles including tractor-trailers, ambulances, R.V.s, garbage trucks and moving vans. The rule does not mandate the sales of electric trucks or any other type of zero or low-emission truck. Rather, it increasingly limits the amount of pollution allowed from trucks across a manufacturer's product line over time, starting in model year 2027. It would be up to the manufacturer to decide how to comply. Options could include using technologies like hybrids or hydrogen fuel cells or sharply increasing the fuel efficiency of the conventional trucks. The truck regulation follows another rule made final last week that is designed to ensure that the majority of new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the United States are all-electric or hybrids by 2032, up from just 7.6 percent last year.

Lord God, we pray for a continued reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions, and a fervor in our hearts to draw down those emissions as quickly as possible. To act with such commitment and love that we might prevent the greatest amount of harm we can and create a world of greater flourishing.

Strike in Syria; Netanyahu tells hostage families Israel’s preparing Rafah attack

A strike inside Syria early Friday killed dozens of Syrian soldiers and some members of the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah, a Hezbollah spokesperson told The Washington Post. The Syrian state news agency blamed Israel for the attack. In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the families of soldiers held captive in the Gaza Strip that continued military pressure was the only way to secure the hostages’ release, reiterating Israel’s intention to launch an offensive in the crowded southern Gaza city of Rafah. In addition, Israeli forces are continuing their operations inside al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said Friday, as the raid there enters its 12th day. In an update shared on Telegram on Friday, the IDF said Israeli forces had killed militants and destroyed “weapons and terrorist infrastructure” at the hospital, in Gaza City, over the past day.

We pray that the resolution for a ceasefire from the UN Security Council might hold weight, and that the promise of multilateral institutions might live up to what we hoped they could be. Let all lay down their arms. Let hostages be free and soldiers returned to their homes and aid to arrive in abundance.

Clean up and recovery from Baltimore bridge wreckage begins

A gigantic, barge-mounted crane was moving into place on Friday in the waters off Baltimore as authorities prepared to begin salvaging the wreckage of the bridge that collapsed earlier last week – while investigators are still on board the giant container ship that rammed into the bridge piling, bringing it down. Federal and state authorities have outlined the enormous task of cleaning up and rebuilding the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, which has left a structure nearly as long as the Eiffel Tower is high strewn across the cargo ship that hit it and in the surrounding water. Clearing the debris currently blocking Baltimore’s port will take several weeks, with a much longer timeframe needed to rebuild the vital bridge, which fell in seconds after being struck by a container ship early on Tuesday morning. The largest crane on the US’s eastern seaboard has been transported to Baltimore so crews on Friday can begin removing the wreckage. The crane, which can lift up to 1,000 tons, will be one of at least two used to clear the channel of the twisted metal and concrete remains once they have been cut into manageable pieces, according to Wes Moore, Maryland’s governor. “We have a very long road ahead of us,” Moore said. “This is daunting. This is complicated.” Moore added that the cleanup was complicated by the fact that a portion of the bridge is sitting atop the Dali, the vessel that struck it. This, and the material that fell into the water around it, has made it difficult for rescue divers so far.

It is so difficult to make sense of an accident, O Lord. There is seemingly nowhere to put our blame, and thus amidst yet another infrastructure failure, we pray that we might recover and rebuild together. We pray for the lives lost and their families as they grieve.

Canadian school boards sue social media giants over effects on students

Four major school boards in Canada have filed lawsuits against some of the world’s largest social media companies, alleging that the platforms have disrupted students’ learning and are highly addictive for children. The school boards, which are seeking about $2.9bn (four billion Canadian dollars) in damages, said the social media platforms have been “negligently designed for compulsive use, [and] have rewired the way children think, behave and learn”. Students are experiencing “an attention, learning, and mental health crisis because of prolific and compulsive use of social media products”, the boards said in a statement on Thursday. The legal claims were filed separately but all identify as defendants Meta Platforms Inc, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram; Snap Inc, which runs Snapchat; and TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance Ltd. “The influence of social media on today’s youth at school cannot be denied,” said Colleen Russell-Rawlins, director of education at the Toronto District School Board, the largest school board in Canada and one of the four involved in the legal claims.

For our young ones who have been born into and raised in a world that is often so uninterested in their wellbeing, we pray. We pray for answers and resolutions to this crisis among our children, our grandchildren, our nieces and nephews, our students, our community.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Thrive Book Discussion with Dr. David Taylor

Thrive is thrilled to host a book discussion of A Body of Praise by W. David O. Taylor. This two-part conversation will begin on Thursday, April 18, at 1:00 p.m. EDT. We will be joined by Dr. Taylor, who will share a bit about his book and help us walk through some of the foundations of embodied worship. The second part of the conversation, to be cohosted by Katie Roelofs and Elly Boersma Sarkany, will happen later this spring (date TBD) and will focus on practical application for CRC churches.  Learn more »

Canada: Bill C-63: Online Harms Act

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has released an initial look at Bill C-63.  In broad strokes, Bill C-63 has three main sections. The first section is the Online Harms Act which would impose responsibilities on online platforms to reduce exposure to seven categories of harmful content. These include intimate images distributed without consent, content that sexually victimizes a child, induces a child to self-harm, incites terrorism, and foments hatred. The bill would set up a new regulatory framework with a Digital Safety Commission and an Ombudsperson.  Read more >>

The Reformed family is a diverse family with a diverse range of opinions. Not all perspectives expressed on the blog represent the official positions of the Christian Reformed Church. Learn more about this blog, Reformed doctrines, and our diversity policy on our About page.

In order to steward ministry shares well, commenting isn’t available on Do Justice itself because we engage with comments and dialogue in other spaces. To comment on this post, please visit the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue’s Facebook page (for Canada-specific articles) or the Office of Social Justice’s Facebook page. Alternatively, please email us. We want to hear from you!

Read more about our comment policy.