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Justice Prayers - February 8, 2023

Let the King of my heart be the wind inside my sails and the anchor in the waves. - King of My Heart

Earthquake’s Toll Rises Past 6,200 in Turkey and Syria

Rescuers in Turkey and Syria were desperately combing through rubble in search of survivors in near-freezing temperatures after a powerful earthquake and aftershocks collapsed thousands of buildings, killed more than 6,200 people, as of early Tuesday afternoon, and raised the specter of a new humanitarian disaster in an area of the world already racked by war, a refugee crisis and deep economic troubles. The initial magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit at 4:17 a.m. local time on Monday, according to the United States Geological Survey, and was also felt in Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and Lebanon. Hundreds of aftershocks, including an unusually strong 7.5 magnitude tremor, struck Turkey in the aftermath, the U.S.G.S. said. The series of shocks was the deadliest to hit the country in more than 20 years. The initial earthquake, centered near Gaziantep in south central Turkey, was as strong as a quake that hit in 1939, the most powerful ever recorded in Turkey.

Lord God, we are mourning as news pours out from Turkey and Syria - with each passing minute comes news of more loss of life. We pray for the helpers in this moment of crisis: Lord, for rescue workers working tirelessly to bring people out of the rubble.We pray for those whose lives have been torn apart. Help, O Lord.

For additional prayers from World Renew connected staff on the ground read this special prayer.

New York City is paying for migrants' bus tickets upstate, next stop: Canada

Asylum seekers can go from New York City to parts of the state near the U.S. border with Canada — and later attempt to cross at Roxham Road — with a bus ticket paid for by American authorities. Mayor Eric Adams's office says it does not finance tickets to Roxham Road, and does not help people cross the Canada-U.S. border. But people who want to go to Plattsburgh, N.Y., — which is near the Canadian border — can do so by bus. "Our goal is to help asylum seekers who wish to move to another location," Kate Smart, a New York City spokesperson, told Radio-Canada. "A lot of people who got here by bus didn't want or weren't planning on going to New York, or didn't want to stay here long-term." Community organizations "have also helped issue tickets for those who want to go elsewhere," she says. The city says it will give financial help to those trying to get somewhere else. For many, that somewhere is the Canadian border. The Safe Third Country Agreement, signed in 2002 between Canada and the United States, means that migrants must submit their asylum application in the first of the two countries they enter and cannot try a second time at an official border crossing. But the agreement does not regulate irregular entry points, such as Roxham Road. Once in Canada, people have the right to claim refugee status.

God, what a profoundly broken immigration system we have: little responsibility, a great deal of pointing fingers at each other to place blame, and no serious solutions on the table. We pray for the people caught in the middle of this mess.

100K clean energy jobs announced since climate law 

Clean energy jobs are booming since the Inflation Reduction Act became law. More than 100,000 climate-friendly jobs were created in the months following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, a new analysis from an environmental group has found. The tax credits were widely expected to spur significant investments in renewable energy. The analysis released Monday by a group called Climate Power showed that companies announced 101,036 new jobs in carbon-free energy and more than 90 new clean energy projects since the passage of the legislation. The new jobs are being created by wind, solar, batteries and electric vehicles industries, and include electricians, mechanics, construction workers and technicians. 

When policy actually helps people’s everyday lives, we give thanks and praise. When the complication and messiness of the legislative process is secondary, and communities have money reinvested in them. We pray for a clean energy future and meaningful work.

Tensions Rise between U.S. and China after Balloon Incident

Tensions have escalated over the Chinese high-altitude balloon that flew across the US before being shot down, as the first wreckage was salvaged off the Atlantic coast. Beijing on Monday accused the US of “overreaction” and the “indiscriminate use of military force” in shooting down a Chinese balloon, warning of damage to bilateral relations. President Joe Biden said that relations between Washington and Beijing had not been weakened by the incident, telling reporters: “We made it clear to China what we’re going to do. They understand our position. We’re not going to back off.” The White House national security spokesperson, John Kirby, said the United States was able to study the balloon while it was flying and officials hope to glean valuable intelligence on its operations by retrieving as many components as possible. The head of North American Aerospace Defence (Norad) Command, General Glen VanHerck, described the balloon as being 200 feet high, with a surveillance payload the size of a regional passenger jet.

We pray for peace, O Divine One. We pray for tensions to ease between the U.S. and China and for cooler heads to prevail. The possibility of conflict furthering between these two nations puts the entire world in peril, and O God, we so desperately need peace in a world so hell bent on destruction. Make us instruments of your peace.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Concert: With Jonathan Maracle 

If you're in the Hamilton area join Meadowlands Fellowship CRC for a concert featuring Indigenous singer-songwriter Jonathan Maracle.  He integrates his Christian faith as a Mohawk follower of Jesus with the traditional sounds of Indigenous music, sharing his journey in reconciling his Mohawk heritage and his Christian faith in a compelling and insightful way. His concerts are an encouraging inspiration for Christians and all who are engaged in reconciliation with the Indigenous community.  RSVP for February 11th at 7:30pm

Social Justice Offering Sunday 

People across the Christian Reformed Church are engaging in important justice work on issues such as immigration, refugees, sanctity of human life, Indigenous justice, religious persecution, creation care, and more! The CRCNA's work in social justice helps CRC members continue love our neighbors in tangible ways.  Read more about our work.

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