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Justice Prayers - August 9, 2023

“Unfathomable oceans of grace are in Christ for you. Dive and dive again, you will never come to the bottom of these depths.” - Robert Murray McCheyne

Thank you to everyone who contacted us this week - we experienced technical difficulty with this website that has now been resolved.  

New Orleans archbishop ignored board findings on clerics accused of abuse

A board which helps the Roman Catholic archbishop of New Orleans, Gregory Aymond, evaluate abuse allegations against priests and deacons in six cases found clergymen to be credibly accused only for Aymond to ignore the findings and conceal them from the public, a Guardian investigation has found. Aymond’s management of the cases in question as the leader of the US’s second-oldest archdiocese is outlined in a memorandum which attorneys for victims of clerical sexual abuse prepared and handed to law enforcement in the latter part of last year.

It exposes the latest damaging revelations in a decades-long scandal at the 230-year-old archdiocese, which has been shown to have gone to extreme lengths to cover up for a confessed child abuser. The scandal mirrors similar events involving the Catholic church elsewhere in the US and across the world. The 48-page memo alludes to secret internal archdiocesan records that were handed over after the local church sought federal bankruptcy protection in 2020 in response to a wave of abuse-related lawsuits.

For the abused, the betrayed, the nameless in these countless reports, we pray, O Lord. For their healing, their restoration, and their belovedness acknowledged, we pray fervently, O God. For justice brought to abusers and those who cover up that abuse, we plead and we work towards.

Canadian First Nation flees wildfire for second time in two years

Members of a First Nation in British Columbia have once again been advised to flee their homes to escape record-setting wildfires, just two years after the community in western Canada was devastated in an earlier blaze. Residents of the Lytton First Nation were ordered to evacuate late on Friday. By Sunday, the out-of-control Stein Mountain fire was just 300 meters (328 yards) from reserve land, burning its way down a steep slope that has stymied firefighting efforts, the community’s chief, Niakia Hanna, told Reuters. Canada is being seared by a record-setting wildfire season, with more than 100,000 sq km (39,000 sq miles) burned, and counting – quadruple the area burned during an average wildfire season. “When you experience something like that, the trauma is ongoing. Just the smell of smoke in the air is enough to trigger those recurring feelings and fear,” Hanna said.

Provide safe passage and a sanctuary from the fires that engulf so much, Creator God. Bring the calm skies, cooler air, and rains that will bring these fires to their conclusion, and guide us as we start the process of healing.

President Biden to Designate Monument Near Grand Canyon, Preventing Uranium Mining

President Biden designated nearly a million acres of land near the Grand Canyon as a new national monument on Tuesday to protect the area from uranium mining. During his first stop of a three-state tour, Mr. Biden will announce that he is creating a national monument — the fifth such designation of his presidency — in an area sacred to Native American tribes, administration officials told reporters on Monday. “The mining is off limits for future development in that area,” Ali Zaidi, Mr. Biden’s national climate adviser, told reporters on Air Force One. “It’s focused on preserving the historical resources” in the area. Native tribes and environmental groups have long lobbied for the government to permanently protect the area around the Grand Canyon from uranium mining, which they say would damage the Colorado River watershed as well as areas with great cultural meaning for Native Americans. Under the proposed designation, all new uranium mining will be blocked. Uranium mining has already been restricted in the area in question since 2012, but that Obama-era moratorium was set to expire in 2032. Mr. Biden’s designation would make the conditions permanent.

We are grateful when policies honor the rights, traditions, and lands of those whose land we are on - and we ask for more! We pray that this designation might cease future mining contracts in their entirety and that the process of designating sacred sites & protecting the places we call home might become more and more common.

Niger’s neighbors and the UN seek to deescalate tensions with last-minute diplomacy

Nigeriens awoke Tuesday to deepening uncertainty about whether a regional bloc will follow through on its threat to use military force to try to reinstall ousted President Mohamed Bazoum or if last-minute diplomacy will prevail, nearly two weeks after mutinous soldiers overthrew the country’s democratically elected leader. The West African regional bloc ECOWAS had given the mutinous soldiers until Sunday to release and reinstall Bazoum or they threatened to use force.

Members from ECOWAS, the United Nations and the African Union were expected to join talks in the capital, Niamey, on Tuesday, a foreign official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. On Monday, acting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland met with the coup leaders in Niger and said they refused to allow her to meet with Bazoum, whom she described as under “virtual house arrest.” She described the mutinous officers as unreceptive to her appeals to start negotiations and restore constitutional rule.

For the peacemakers and the ones who seek to avoid the use of force, we pray. For those with the wisdom to know that there are no winners when weapons are brandished, rather there are only those who’ve lost their lives and those who must go on living in the aftermath. We pray for a peaceful and just resolution in Niger, Lord.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers


Nine ministries are joining to equip and encourage our congregations more than ever before. Our new name is Thrive.  In coming together, we hope to provide churches with one-stop access to support resources that are fully integrated, and responsive to the changing needs of local congregations. To learn more, see this news story.

Becoming A Trauma-Informed Church

On Friday, August 11th, 2023 from 11am - 3pm Eastern, participate in a four-hour virtual training event designed to equip church leaders and laypeople with a deep understanding of trauma and its impact, as well as a practical application of Trauma-Informed Care principles within the context of the church.

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