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Justice Prayers - December 16th 2020

 “So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” - John 1:14  Blessings to you this week as you reflect on the third candle of advent ‘love.’ 

Malnutrition in Zimbabwe

A prolonged drought coupled with the coronavirus lockdown has left Zimbabwe with severe food shortages. They are experiencing stunningly high stunting rates of malnutrition and maternal and child mortality. UN agencies have in the past called upon the government to prioritize children in drought response programmes. Statistics show that one in three children in Zimbabwe suffers from malnutrition.

God, for the hungry women, men, and especially the children in Zimbabwe, we lift our prayers. We pray for rains to come, for food aid to arrive, and for people to have the ability to meet their own needs. 

U.S. Federal Executions

As President Donald Trump's days in the White House wane, his administration is racing through a string of federal executions. Last week, the government executed Brandon Bernard, a Black man from Texas involved in the 1999 killing of a couple when he was 18 years old. Appeals across several weeks from advocacy groups, jurors and others for a stay to his execution went unheeded. Less than 24 hours later, Alfred Bourgeois was executed. Four more executions are scheduled before President-elect Joe Biden's January 20 inauguration, breaking with an 130-year-old precedent of pausing executions amid a presidential transition. And if all four take place, Mr Trump will be the country's most prolific execution president in more than a century, overseeing the executions of 13 death row inmates since July of this year.

God, we believe that every person contains your image, and every life matters to you. We believe that redemption is always possible. We lament these deaths, and repent of the culture of violence and death that we participate in. We pray that we might become makers of peace.

Guilty Verdict in Thunder Bay Murder

A Canadian court has ruled that a man who threw a trailer hitch at an indigenous woman in 2017, leading to her death, is guilty of manslaughter. Brayden Bushby, then 18, threw the metal hitch from his vehicle, which struck Barbara Kentner, 34, in the abdomen and led to internal injuries. Ms Kentner, an Anishinaabe woman, was walking down the street with her sister when she was struck by the hitch.

Both women reported hearing someone say: "Oh, I got one." Indigenous leaders had called for the incident to be treated as a hate crime.

God, we pray for Indigenous women in Canada, who have felt this case with such personal connection. We pray for the thousands who are grieving the loss, and a lack of justice, of a missing or murdered woman whom they love. We pray that this case might be a beginning of something new -- a growing trust that becomes possible between the Indigenous community and the justice system in Canada, which has such a long history of oppression and dehumanization. We pray for the young man who committed this crime, who is created in your image, who is in need of repentance, restoration, and hope. 

Back to Back Hurricanes in Honduras

Even disaster experts are stunned by the devastation this fall in Honduras. "I've been to too many disasters all over the world, and I have never been to a place that was struck by two hurricanes in two weeks," said a physician leading an emergency response team there. The two Category 4 hurricanes – Eta and Iota — made landfall in Central America on Nov. 3 and Nov. 17, respectively. Even today, the region continues to dig out from mudslides. Aid agencies say nearly 7 million people in a zone stretching from Colombia to Mexico are in need of assistance. Despite both hurricanes initially coming ashore in Nicaragua, neighboring Honduras appears to have suffered the most damage and the most deaths from landslides and flooding caused by the intense rainfall.

God, for the devastation, and ongoing suffering in Honduras, we pray. This is a region that has known such long-term economic and social impact from a natural disaster. We pray for resources, for compassionate aid, and for the possibility of infrastructure and vitality and protection from future storms. We pray, God, for hope.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Continuing Welcome

The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the global displacement crisis by increasing refugee vulnerability to health risks. As evidenced in the last 9 months, health and healing are a matter of global interdependence, therefore, it is becoming increasingly urgent that Canada meet our commitments to protect and resettle refugees.  Advocate Today!

Support a Just and Environmentally Sustainable Recovery: U.S.

As people of faith, who are called to prioritize the needs of people who are vulnerable, we believe that relief and recovery plans must justly transition away from fossil fuel dependence while prioritizing individuals who have an economic dependence on the current system and support the expansion of clean energy and clean energy jobs.  Make your support known to legislators. 

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