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Justice Prayers - July 10, 2024

And you shall know My voice
In the stillness of the dawn
In the morning that never fades
There you shall find Me
The Shepherd and His Sheep, David Ogundeko

Canada's Rising Unemployment

Canada's unemployment rate rose to a 29-month high of 6.4%, data showed on Friday, highlighting that people might be losing jobs as the labor market struggles to absorb a rapidly swelling population. The jobs report, which also showed that youth unemployment reached almost a decade high barring the pandemic years, prompted money markets to increase bets of a rate cut by the Bank of Canada this month to around 56% from 40% a day earlier. Economists pointed out that the rising unemployment rate could be indicating that Canada is flirting with recession. "A sustained deterioration is typically only seen during recessions," Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a note, pointing to the 1.4-percentage-point rise in the jobless rate since January last year. He said that if the jobless figure was considered independently, it was likely that the central bank would cut rates in July. Canada lost a net 1,400 jobs in June, Statistics Canada said, against analysts' predictions of 22,500 job gains, in further indications of weakness in economic conditions.

We pray for families struggling to make ends meet. For all who have been laid-off, let go, and been victim to downsizing, we pray for their wellbeing and for a strong turnaround in jobs available. We pray that individuals like business owners and policymakers as well as government agencies, nonprofit entities, and business interests can find solutions big and small to turn this economic downturn around.

38 civilians killed in attacks, including at Ukraine’s Largest Children’s Hospital

President Joe Biden called one of the heaviest Russian airstrikes on Ukraine since the war began “a horrific reminder of Russia’s brutality”, amid widespread international revulsion at Monday’s attacks and as NATO leaders gathered to announce new measures to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses. The government of Volodymyr Zelenskiy declared Tuesday a day of mourning after at least 38 civilians were killed in a series of attacks where targets included Ukraine’s largest children’s hospital, leaving an unknown number trapped under the rubble in Kyiv. Four of the dead were children, the Ukrainian president said on Tuesday. The strikes across Ukraine on Monday highlighted the country’s air defense vulnerabilities a day before NATO leaders are set to meet in Washington for their annual summit, where they are expected to announce new measures to aid Ukraine. Twenty-two people were killed in the capital, including two staff members at the hospital, where three children were hurt. The strike largely destroyed the hospital’s toxicology ward, where children with severe kidney issues were being treated. Hundreds of rescue workers and volunteers joined the effort to clear the debris and search for survivors. Officials and emergency staff said it was not immediately clear how many doctors and patients – dead or alive – remained trapped under the rubble.

Lord God of Mercy, we pray for the victims of this ongoing and devastating violence. For the children, the men, the women, the staff, and patients, we pray that they receive the care they need for their bodies, their minds, and their spirits. Please, Lord, help us put an end to this.

Weakened Tropical Storm Beryl moves east after at least seven killed in Texas

Power started to come back for some of the millions of homes and businesses left in the dark when Hurricane Beryl slammed into the Houston area, while the storm – which killed several people before weakening – moved east, spawning suspected tornadoes and causing more damage. Beryl was blamed for the deaths of at least seven people in the Houston area on Monday, officials said. Three of those people were killed by fallen trees, one died in a fire, two drowned, and a civilian police department employee died after being trapped in high water while driving to work. One person died in north-west Louisiana during the storm when a tree fell on a home, according to authorities. After a peak Monday of more than 2.7 million customers around Houston without power, the numbers improved with more than 2.3m homes and businesses lacking electricity by Tuesday morning, according to The lack of cooling to people’s homes, downed power lines and non-functioning traffic lights led officials to ask residents to stay home if possible. There has never been a category 5 Atlantic hurricane this early in the year before, with most major storms forming closer to September. Beryl, however, rapidly accelerated from a minor storm to a category 4 event in just two days. This deadly intensification was aided by unusually hot ocean temperatures along much of Beryl’s path, scientists say, with seawater heated by the climate crisis helping provide the storm with extra energy over the past 10 days. “Beryl would be astounding to happen anyway, but for it to form in June is completely unprecedented,” said Brian McNoldy, a climate scientist at the University of Miami. “It’s just remarkable to see sea temperatures this warm.

For the departed, we pray Lord, that they might be received into your arms and that the thought of them might be a blessing to all who remember. We pray for Texas, Louisiana, the Caribbean, and all those now recovering from what is just the first of what might be several major storms this year. 

At least 50 killed in Israeli attacks as Gaza City fighting rages

Israeli forces ramped up attacks on areas across the northern Gaza Strip despite new ceasefire discussions taking place. At least 50 people were killed in the latest 24-hour reporting period and dozens wounded in strikes throughout the besieged coastal enclave, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said on Tuesday. Israeli tanks deepened their incursions into some Gaza City districts such as Shujayea, Sabra and Tal al-Hawa, where residents reported some of the fiercest fighting since the start of the war. The armed wings of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad said they fought against Israeli soldiers in Tal al-Hawa with anti tank rockets and mortar fire and inflicted casualties. Gaza City residents reported “explosions and numerous gun battles” as well as helicopter strikes through the night in southwestern neighborhoods. The Israeli army has focused its attention on Gaza City after announcing it had intelligence showing Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fighters were operating there. Gaza City residents have now been told to move to the central district of Deir el-Balah, which the United Nations said “is already seriously overcrowded with Palestinians displaced from other areas of the Gaza Strip”. In the first weeks of the war, Israel had called on civilians in the north of the enclave to move south, declaring the area a “safe zone” but later expanding its attacks there. Seven people were killed in a blast at a house in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. Six people died in an attack on a house on al-Jalaa Street in northern Gaza City, and three others were killed in a bombing in Lababida nearby.

We raise to you all that have been affected by this crisis to You, Lord. You said. You have created each of them — You love them deeply and profoundly. Lord, protect them, heal them, and provide for them and their families. And Lord God, aid us as we seek to end this war now - may it end for all time.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

DWELL Leader Trainings: Everything You Need to Know For a New Ministry Year

The DWELL team will hold three opportunities for training that help coordinators and leaders prepare for the coming year of children’s ministry. This year's trainings will be held in July and August 2024 on Zoom.
Register Here »

30 Years of Abuse Prevention and Response

Thrive's safe church work equips congregations in abuse awareness, prevention, and response. We help build communities where the value of each person is honored; where people are free to worship and grow free from abuse; and where abuse has occurred, the response is compassion and justice that foster healing. The CRCNA has been doing this work for 30 years this summer! Explore a timeline of the history of our abuse prevention work below.  Learn More »

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