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Justice Prayers - July 15, 2020

Jesus in your name we pray, come and fill our hearts today.  Lord give us strength to live for you and glorify your name.  - Paul Baloche

U.S. Reinstates Federal Execution

A federal prison in Indiana carried out America's first federal execution since 2003 on Tuesday after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a lower judge's block on the punishment. Daniel Lewis Lee was executed via lethal injection after the court ruled 5-4 he was unlikely to win his Eighth Amendment claim challenging the injection as cruel and unusual punishment. Lee was slated to be executed Monday afternoon, but a federal judge blocked it, saying he and three other death row inmates could pursue their claim that the execution drug would cause needless suffering. The Supreme Court's decision will also let the other three inmates be executed soon at the Terre Haute prison. Lee was convicted for killing an Arkansas man, his wife, and her 8-year-old daughter in 1996.

God, we grieve with those who grieve today. We mourn with the family and friends of those who were killed. We mourn with those who knew and loved the man who was executed. And we mourn that violence begets violence. We pray for a criminal justice system that will look more and more restorative, and bring signs of hope and life where there once was violence and death.

Migrants in Italy with COVID

Italy has deployed dozens of soldiers to patrol apartment buildings where rescued migrants who tested positive for coronavirus have been placed under quarantine. The authorities’ decision to place the migrants under quarantine in apartments situated next to residential buildings prompted residents to block a nearby major road in protest that the new arrivals could cause an outbreak. In response, the authorities deployed a small military contingent who are now patrolling the buildings to ensure no one leaves isolation.

God, we remember that you show special concern to vulnerable people: the sick, the cast aside, the bullied, the afraid. Everyone is so afraid today, in a world experiencing a pandemic, and unsure what the future will hold. We pray, Lord, for opportunities to express grace and mercy. We pray for generosity and care for one another. We pray for imagination and hope.

Canada’s Businesses Address Racism

A coalition of Canadian business leaders has announced a strategic partnership for a program to support Black professionals in Toronto's financial district. The plan, dubbed the BlackNorth Initiative, advocates for companies to work with the coalition to hire more Black students for their internship/co-op programs and to ensure business succession planning strategies include a Black talent strategy to help build a pipeline of employees for future leadership positions. It is also asking that businesses disaggregate their employee race data and publish it annually, including data on executive representation and/or employee mobility statistics for each Black, Indigenous, and person of colour group.

God, there is so much unlearning to do, so many systems that need to be changed or dismantled altogether. We give thanks for attempts to address systemic injustice like these. We pray for those who are pushing this plan forward, that they would be blessed with wisdom and discernment. We pray for those who have been discriminated against in this sector of Canada and everywhere. We pray for a world where all humans are afforded the dignity that your image instills in us. 

Catholics Encouraged to Divest from Fossil Fuels

The Vatican is urging Catholics and the private sector to "progressively and without delay" divest from fossil fuel producers and other entities that perpetuate climate change. The announcement was made Thursday in "Laudato Si," a Vatican encyclical written by Pope Francis that is something of a best practices manual for church leaders and workers. In it, the pope said that "less harmful alternatives can be used transiently" and called on richer countries to help finance the costs so they don't "fall disproportionately on the poorest countries." The pope called on Catholics to avoid "support for companies harmful to human or social ecology," such as weapon makers and abortion providers, as well as the fossil fuel industry.

God, we hope that the church will be a beacon of light in the world. We pray for the courage to be leaders in the causes that look like the Kingdom of God. We pray for Christians all around the world to embrace the practices and habits that will address the unsustainable and harmful ways that resources are being used. 

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Action Alert: Support a Just and Environmentally Sustainable Recovery

As legislators work to provide relief and recovery from the coronavirus, we need solutions that better prepare for future disasters and crises by reducing health risks and addressing underlying economic, racial, and health inequities that make recovery more challenging. Urge Senators to invest in a just and environmentally sustainable recovery to rebuild our economy and create safer, healthier communities for the long term.  Take action today!

Immigration Stories!

Is immigration a part of your family’s story? Where did your ancestors come from and when?  We'd love to hear from you!  Check out these easy instructions and submit your story today!  

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