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Justice Prayers - August 10, 2022

"My theme song is God’s love and justice, and I’m singing it right to you, God. I’m finding my way down the road of right living, but how long before you show up? I’m doing the very best I can, and I’m doing it at home, where it counts."  - Psalm 101:1 (MSG) 

Senate Bill: The Largest Government Investment in Climate Action in U.S. History

On Sunday, the U.S. Senate passed a sweeping bill, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, that includes hundreds of billions of dollars to fight climate change. The package calls for major spending to tackle the climate crisis, in addition to extending health care coverage and reducing the deficit. The bill would devote $369 billion over 10 years for electric vehicle and clean energy tax breaks. It would introduce a fee that would penalize fossil fuel companies for excess methane emissions from drilling oil and gas. Additionally, it earmarks $60 billion for environmental justice initiatives in disadvantaged communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change. That includes $3 billion in grants to promote clean and accessible transportation and $1 billion for clean buses, garbage trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives.

God, we pray that funding for and a commitment to climate action to address this great threat of ecological collapse be swift and sincere. We pray for dollars to be in the hands of communities across the country to build a brighter future for all.

DHS to end ‘Remain in Mexico,’ allow asylum seekers to enter U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security said late Monday it is preparing to quickly end the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” program and will no longer send asylum seekers back across the border to await a decision on their applications for U.S. protection. The announcement came after U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk lifted his injunction blocking Biden officials from ending the program, formally known as the “Migrant Protection Protocols” or MPP. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 30 that the Biden administration had the authority to terminate the program, opening a path for DHS to finally bring a close to one of the Trump administration’s most contentious border measures. DHS officials said asylum seekers waiting in Mexico for their appointments in the U.S. immigration court would be allowed to cross the border on the day of their hearings and stay in the United States while awaiting an outcome.

We continue to pray for humane, just, and mutually beneficial immigration policies at our southern border, O Lord. We thank you for any measures, from any administration, that stops putting vulnerable people in harm's way, and we pray for long term solutions.

Canadian province declares emergency amid worst wildfires in over 50 years

Officials in Canada’s easternmost province - Newfoundland and Labrador - have issued a state of emergency as crews battle the worst wildfires the region has experienced in more than half a century. Sprawling blazes have consumed thousands of hectares of forest in Newfoundland and Labrador over the last two weeks and remain out of control. “Over the last 36 hours, things have changed,” Premier Andrew Furey told reporters on Sunday. “We were predicting that we could manage this. However with the wind change, we are afraid that there will be significant smoke impact … This is a dynamic, evolving situation as all fires are, but we can’t wait for the last minute – we have to act now.” Fires have been burning for close to two weeks in central Newfoundland, aided by strong winds. The Paradise Lake fire is estimated to be more than 6,500 hectares (16,062 acres) and the Bay d’Espoir fire is more than 5,000 hectares (12,355 acres). Large wildfires are relatively rare in the Atlantic province. But a summer of dry, intense heat has left its forests vulnerable to immense and fast-moving blazes.

God, we lift up Newfoundland and Labrador as they manage a crisis greater than any faced in the last half century. We pray for first responders, firefighters, and all the helpers in their midst seeking to protect people, creatures, and communities. For their strength and perseverance, we pray.

Children killed as Israel bombards Gaza; said to be in response to attack Palestinian Islamic Jihad - itself a response to violence

Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed 29 people, including six children, the health ministry in the besieged Palestinian enclave said. The ministry also said that 253 people in Gaza had been wounded since the hostilities with Israel broke out on Friday. An Israeli air strike killed a senior commander in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, the fighters said on Sunday, their second leader to be slain amid an escalating cross-border conflict. The violence is the worst in Gaza since a war last year that devastated the impoverished territory. Israel said it launched the attacks in what it described as the pre-emption of an attack by Palestinian Islamic Jihad attack meant to avenge the arrest of a group leader in the occupied West Bank.

Lord, for so long we’ve prayed for an end to the seeming endless cycles of violence that plague Israel and Palestine. We pray for the repose of all whose lives were lost in this brutal attack, and we pray for an end to a way of life that only knows violence. We pray for something new.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Season of Creation

The Season of Creation is a time during the liturgical calendar in which churches across the globe renew their relationship with God and all of creation and commit to prayer and action for our common home. Starting on September 1 and ending on October 4—the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of ecology—the church praises God for Creation’s beauty, focuses on their call as caretakers, and laments the brokenness and the groaning of all creation. 

Do Justice Podcast 

It’s a party! The Do Justice podcast has new partners and friends. Joyce Borger and Katie Roelofs with CRCNA Worship Ministries join us to set up the focus for this season: how worship can orient our hearts toward justice. Don't miss a single episode of Season 5.

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