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Justice Prayers - January 15, 2020

Fear arises when we imagine that everything depends on us. - Elizabeth Elliot 

Puerto Rico Earthquakes

4,000 Puerto Ricans are in shelters and many others are sleeping outside after a string of earthquakes on the island. A 5.9 magnitude earthquake shook southwestern Puerto Rico on Saturday, the strongest since a 6.4 quake occurred the week before. More than 2,000 tremors have occurred since December 28. Millions of Puerto Ricans are waiting to see if President Donald Trump will sign a major disaster declaration to authorize much needed aid. Saturday's earthquake didn't injure or kill anyone, but there were landslides and damage to homes and businesses.

God, for the people of Puerto Rico who have suffered so much disaster -- who have been without power, without clean water, without medical help, without shelter -- we pray for hope. We pray for the process of granting and distributing aid. We pray for pastors, for first responders, for those with the means to offer assistance. We pray for the vulnerable, who rely on the kindness of others to survive. Come, Lord Jesus.

Medically Assisted Death Questions in Canada

Hurrying to meet a looming court deadline, the Canadian federal government has given its citizens two weeks to weigh in on how far to extend access to medical aid in dying. Online consultations began this week, taking on potentially contentious questions such as whether to change the standard 10 day "reflection period" patients are supposed to wait, whether to make psychiatric evaluations mandatory for all patients and whether the doctor or nurse practitioner should be obligated to consult the patient's family or loved ones. The government has limited time to tackle the complex questions around expanding the right to die, with less than two months to go before a deadline set by a Quebec Superior Court judge.

God, we offer prayers for the sick and the suffering. We pray for their families and friends, for those who grieve. We pray for those who have received life-altering news, and those who deliver such news. We pray for Canadians as they offer their perspectives on the heartbreaking questions surrounding Assisted Death. And we pray, God, that those who are vulnerable -- especially those with disabilities -- would be protected by any legislation that is passed.

Ocean Temps Hit Record Highs

The heat in the world’s oceans reached a new record level in 2019, indicating that the heating of the planet is accelerating. The world’s oceans are the clearest measure of the climate emergency because they absorb more than 90% of the heat trapped by the greenhouse gases emitted by fossil fuel burning, forest destruction, and other human activities. Hotter oceans lead to more severe storms and disrupt the water cycle, meaning more floods, droughts and wildfires, as well as an inexorable rise in sea level. Higher temperatures are also harming life in the seas, with the number of marine heatwaves increasing sharply.

God, we pray for hope as we face news like this -- hope that we can change our own lives, hope that humankind as a whole can change. We pray for the creatures who have no way to impact their own fate. We pray for the world you created, Lord. Bring hope, empower change.

Volcano in Philippines Causes Thousands to Flee

A volcano south of the Philippine capital has sent a massive plume of ash and steam spewing miles into the sky and pushed red-hot lava out of its crater, prompting the evacuation of thousands of people and the closure of Manila's airport. People were advised to evacuate, being warned that a larger "explosive eruption" could occur within hours or days. 25,000 people have been displaced by the eruption. Some residents refused to leave their homes and farms, worried about saving their homes and animals, while others reportedly could not leave because of a lack of transport or poor visibility due to the thick ash.

God, be with those who cannot or will not leave their homes during this threat. Keep safe those who have evacuated. Shelter people from harm and danger. Give courage and energy to those who are sent to help. Draw near to the fearful people in the Philippines, Lord.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Canada: Medical Aid in Dying 
The Canadian federal government has given citizens two weeks to weigh in on how far to extend access to medical aid in dying. You can contribute to the online consultations here.
Regional Climate Presentations

Climate Witness Project organizers can lead discussions on all of these topics and more: the theology of creation care, how countries on the front lines are adapting to climate change, what the Climate Witness Project is and how you can get involved, the science of climate change and ideas for how to respond - including inspiration and tips to reduce your own energy footprint. 

Contact Andrew Oppong at if you are interested in setting up a presentation with your regional organizer.


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