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Justice Prayers - February 27

We bring our prayers to Creator God, who both "takes up our pain and bears our suffering" and will "let justice roll down like a river."



Former Calvin Prison Initiative Student Faces Deportation

A former student of the Calvin Prison Initiative and native of the Dominican Republic now faces deportation. Rafael DeJesus served more than 25 years for a first-time non-violent drug offense committed when he was 22, as a Legal Permanent Resident. While serving his time in prison, DeJesus was enrolled in the Calvin Prison Initiative (CPI) program, working towards an associate degree in ministry leadership. DeJesus was supposed to be released from prison on February 12 but was instead picked up by ICE. Prior to being detained by ICE, he intended to enroll at Calvin College upon his release to continue his education, an offer that had been extended to him through CPI.

Our hearts ache reading the story of our brother, Rafael, and we cry out for mercy to be extended, Lord God. For decision-makers both in Michigan and in Washington, we ask for clarity, wisdom, and grace as they determine Rafael’s future. Thank you that in you, we are more than our worst mistake.


San Francisco D.A. To Expunge 9,000+ Drug Offenses

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced Monday that his office will expunge more than 9,000 marijuana-related convictions following California’s cannabis legalization more than two years ago. Last year, Gascón teamed up with Code for America — a nonprofit focused on using open-source technology to improve government — to find every marijuana case eligible for expungement or resentencing under Proposition 64. On Monday, the district attorney’s office said it has identified 9,362 eligible cases dating back to 1975. Gascón will present the cases to a judge in the coming weeks for expungement.

God of second, third, and fourth chances, we believe in your redeeming power to bring new life to the broken and forgotten places in our world. We pray for the communities, families, and churches who are getting ready to welcome home former neighbors, sisters, and brothers, and ask that you open bedrooms, jobs, and pews for returning citizens.


White House to Create Ad Hoc Panel to Counter Climate Science      

According to three senior Trump Administration officials, the White House plans to create an ad hoc group of select federal scientists to reassess the government’s analysis of climate science and to counter conclusions that the continued burning of fossil fuels is harming the planet. The National Security Council initiative would include scientists who question the severity of climate impacts and the extent to which humans contribute to the problem. The move would represent the Trump administration’s strongest effort to date to challenge the scientific consensus that greenhouse gas emissions are driving climate change and that the world could face dire consequences unless countries begin to  curb their carbon output in the years to come.

God, we pray that your truth would shine forth. We pray that you and you alone would have the final word in this administration’s deliberation, and that through the power of your Holy Spirit, care for creation and all those who depend on it would be a priority.


HHS Documents Reveal Rampant Complaints of Abuse                                                          

The Department of Health and Human Services received more than 4,500 complaints of sexual abuse against unaccompanied minors from 2014-2018, according to internal agency documents released Tuesday by Florida Representative Ted Deutch. In addition,1,303 complaints were reported to the Justice Department during that same time frame, according to the documents. Deutch addressed the documents during a high-profile House hearing Tuesday on the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy that resulted in thousands of immigrant children being separated from their parents. Some of the incidents that were reported to the Justice Department included allegations against staff members who were accused of having relationships with minors, committing unwanted sexual touching, and showing the minors pornographic videos.

Triune God, you created relationships so that we may respect, delight in, and grow together, and we’re angered at stories of abuse, neglect, and power imbalances. For the unaccompanied minors who were and continue to be abused and assaulted, we cry out: how much longer, O God? Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy.


Other recommended resources:

U.S.: Host a Church Between Borders Workshop!

Church Between Borders is a three part interactive workshop that sparks thought and discussion for groups interested in engaging immigration from a biblical perspective. Participants will reflect on the biblical mandate to welcome the stranger and consider what that means in our current context.

Canada: Host a Journey With Me Workshop!

How can your church journey with refugees? Refugees are already our neighbours, our fellow church members, our friends--we need each other! The Journey With Me workshop and toolkit equips Christian citizens to work with their refugee neighbours for justice.

Take the Lent Advocacy Challenge!

Would you like to choose advocacy as a spiritual discipline this Lenten season? We challenge you to engage thoughtfully and prayerfully in advocacy for your neighbors, particularly neighbors who are living in poverty because of various unjust systems. Find the Lent Advocacy Challenge here

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