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Justice Prayers - December 18th

Breathe. SomeOne is here.  Not some idea, not some philosophy, not some theology — SomeOne. I could not go to Him, so He has come to me. We follow more than words on a page, we follow a Person who stays at our side. - Ann Voscamp

7-year old dies after reaching U.S.

A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after she was taken into Border Patrol custody last week for crossing from Mexico into the United States with her father and a large group of migrants along a remote span of New Mexico desert. The girl and her father were taken into custody as part of a group of 163 people who approached U.S. agents to turn themselves in and ask for asylum. The girl reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days. There has been a surge in groups of migrants, which include families with children, asking for asylum; nonetheless no changes have been made to Border Patrol stations, which were built decades ago to handle mostly male single adults in custody, not families and children.

God, we weep with those who weep -- including, today, this family grieving the loss of this child. We grieve with those who aren’t sure where their families are, who aren’t sure if their children are safe. We pray for those who feel they have no choice but to subject themselves and their children to such danger. We pray for Border Patrol employees who are the first responders in crises like these. We pray for ministries all along the border who are trying to respond to the many humanitarian needs that exist there. We pray, God, for just laws and policies that protect the lives of those who migrate. ​

Faith Communities Lead on Solar Energy

Hundreds of community solar gardens cropping up nationwide working to solve an obstacle many face when trying to go green: the cost of installing rooftop panels, which for a typical household, runs north of $10,000. And many faith communities are at the forefront of this solar garden idea. People of faith are seeking to advance their missions of justice by bringing renewable energy to low income communities -- allowing neighbors to access the affordable energy and lower their bills.

God, we give thanks for new ideas, missional creativity, and signs of hope in communities. We pray that churches would find ways to model the good news of Jesus that address the real needs of struggling people. We pray for care for the earth to become part of what characterizes the church.

Global Refugee Forum begins this week

A three-day global gathering aimed at transforming the way the world responds to refugee situations started this week in Geneva, Switzerland. The first-ever Global Refugee Forum brings together refugees, heads of state and government, United Nations leaders, international institutions, development organizations, business leaders and civil society representatives. The aim is to generate new approaches and long-term commitments from a variety of actors to help refugees and the communities in which they live. The Global Compact on Refugees paves the way for everyone to take responsibility and play a role, including all levels of government, the private sector, development agencies and financial institutions, civil society, faith groups, and refugees themselves.

God, we pray for these attempts to find a hopeful, sustainable way forward after a decade of record migration, with signs pointing to more in the coming years. We know that migration is as old as human beings are -- a normal response to danger or deprivation. So many of us have not had to face the decision to leave home. Remind us -- the comfortable -- that, in following Jesus, we are called to be people who extend welcome. Help us to know how to participate in a global movement to allow all people a safe place to call home.

 SNAP changes in U.S.

Last week, the Trump administration changed the rules regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — or SNAP — potentially cutting off thousands of people from receiving their food stamps. The rule makes it harder for states to waive the federal program's work requirements in areas where jobs are scarce. It targets a group of people who the government refers to as ABAWDs — "able-bodied adults without dependents" — and who are between 18 and 49 years old. Since 1996, those individuals have been limited to participating in the SNAP program for just three months in a three-year period, unless they are working or volunteering for at least 20 hours per week. But states have been able to waive the time limit as some people struggle to land and keep jobs.

God, we pray for those who face an unknown, difficult future, because of these changes. We pray for those who want to work but cannot, and who cannot find means to support themselves, relying on the aid of governments and feeding programs. We pray for those who run volunteer feeding programs -- like food banks in churches -- give them enough to meet this increased need. We pray for the policies which impact people who are poor.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

We’re Hiring! Apply for the Communications Coordinator Position 

Our office is hiring! We’re looking for a Communications Coordinator. If you are interested in faith, policy, and social justice apply now. The deadline to apply is January 10th. Apply here!

Church Between Borders Workshop

Host a Church Between Borders workshop at your church!  This three part interactive workshop that sparks thought and discussion for groups interested in engaging immigration from a Biblical perspective.  


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