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Justice Prayers - January 12, 2022

"The wonderful thing about praying is that you leave a world of not being able to do something, and enter God's realm where everything is possible.  He specializes in the impossible.  Nothing is too great for his almighty power.  Nothing is too small for love." - Corrie Ten Boom 

176 Haitians Rescued from Sailboat in the Caribbean

The U.S. Coast Guard pulled 176 Haitians from an overloaded, unseaworthy boat as it approached the coast of Florida, officials said late on Monday, amid a sharp rise in Haitians fleeing the Caribbean. The vessel was spotted by officials 25 miles northeast of the Bahamas on Monday, and, “Thanks to the quick coordination among so many different agencies, no lives were lost during this interdiction.” The rescue comes amid a marked increase in migration from Haiti, which has been hit by a series of crises in recent months, including an increase in gang-linked violence and kidnappings in the aftermath of the July assassination of President Jovenel Moise.

God, we give thanks for all those rescued and the efforts undertaken to preserve life. We pray for what’s next, for their protection and the insight of doctors, lawyers, and officials to prioritize the wellbeing of these 176 people.

Storms and Flooding Hit B.C.

An atmospheric river is expected to inundate British Columbia and soak parts of the south coast with as much as 150 millimeters - or roughly 6 inches - of rain in a series of waves that won’t relent until Thursday. Emergency Management BC is urging homeowners to prepare for potential floods by clearing storm drains, cleaning gutters and confirming where sandbags can be picked up from local governments. This comes just days after storm  damage from a king-tide surge that coincided with high winds last Friday prompted the city’s park commissioners to consider what to prioritize as they expect a multimillion-dollar repair bill as well as concern about future damages from storms amplified by climate change.

For the protection of the people, landscapes, and resources on the coastline of British Columbia, we pray. God, mobilize communities to lay sandbags, clean gutters, and minimize all harm. Mobilize us, O Lord.

Tragic Fire in the Bronx

17 people - including eight children - were killed in a high-rise fire in the Bronx on Sunday. Investigators determined that a malfunctioning electric space heater started the fire in the 19-storey building. The flames damaged only a small part of the building but smoke escaped through the apartment’s open door and turned stairwells – the only way to escape a building too tall for fire escapes – into dark, ash-choked horrors. Some could not escape because of the smoke, said Daniel Nigro, the city fire commissioner. Others became incapacitated as they tried to get out. Firefighters found victims on every floor, many in cardiac and respiratory arrest. Residents said fire and smoke alarms worked but often went off in error, thus some in the 120-unit building did not immediately realise the danger.

Why, Lord? Why is tragedy a constant companion in this life? For all those who perished, for those injured, and for all those now displaced, we pray. 

Ocean Temperatures Again Break Temperature Records; Supercharge Storms, Flooding

Last year saw the hottest ocean temperatures in recorded history, the sixth consecutive year that this record has been broken, according to new research. The heating up of our oceans is being primarily driven by the human-caused climate crisis, scientists say, and represents a starkly simple indicator of global heating. While the atmosphere’s temperature is also trending sharply upwards, individual years are less likely to be record-breakers compared with the warming of the oceans. “The ocean heat content is relentlessly increasing, globally, and this is a primary indicator of human-induced climate change,” said Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado and co-author of the research, published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences. Warmer ocean waters are helping supercharge storms, hurricanes and extreme rainfall, the paper states, which is escalating the risks of severe flooding.

Mobilize us, Lord, to avoid our own demise. Let us not stare at our own destruction and be immobilized by fear, but rather may each of us stand up and act to meet the moment.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Calvin Worship Symposium 

Don't miss the justice focused worship services and conversations happening at this year's symposium.  The Symposium is free to all (but don't forget to register) and fully online with several in-person sessions held in the Calvin University Chapel sanctuary if you are local.  

Inspire Justice

Your gift changes lives by giving people on the margins a place to belong in your churches and in your communities through your advocacy efforts. At the Office of Social Justice, we educate CRC members, encourage and support their engagement in social justice issues, and offer opportunities to be involved in direct advocacy.  Kick off your 2022 giving.

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