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Justice Prayers - July 3

"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." - Romans 12:10-11

German Ship Captain Threatened with Prison for Rescuing Migrants

The German captain of a ship that rescued 53 refugees at sea was arrested Saturday after she attempted to dock at a port in Lampedusa, Sicily.

Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who is known for supporting anti-immigration policies, accused the 31-year old captain of attempting to “sink” a police boat while docking her vessel. If convicted, Rackete could face up to 10 years in prison. Italy’s refusal to allow Rackete to dock resulted in a tense 16-day standoff in the Mediterranean, with Rackete urging the Italian government to allow her passengers in need of food, water, and medical care to disembark. Thirteen migrants were allowed off the ship for medical reasons late last week, and the remaining refugees were let off the vessel on Saturday.

God, give us the courage to stand alongside those who suffer. When we are in a position to advocate, to protect, and to defend, give us the wisdom and the calling to follow you -- come what may. We pray for this captain and the price she will now pay for this brave act. We pray for those who she was protecting, and for the millions around the world who desperately seek kindness, solidarity, and hospitality from those who can give it.

Maine Community Mobilizes to Show Hospitality to Migrants

As more than 330 migrants who fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola made their way to Portland, Maine in early June, the city began to mobilize, though it was unclear whether they had enough resources to care for their needs. The sudden arrival of so many migrants thrust city and state officials into an ongoing discussion about how to house the families, what public assistance could be offered, and who would pay. While some voices in the community argued that the newcomers might take scarce resources from citizens in need, there were many more who spoke up and provided more than $500,000 in cash donations. Additionally, more than 1,200 volunteers offered to house the newcomers in college dorms, vacant apartment buildings, and spare bedrooms.

For these acts of hospitality, community, and compassion, we give thanks. We pray that your church may reflect these same values. We pray that these new neighbors in Portland may be able to put their roots down in the community, to use their gifts, to soon feel at home.

Sheep Farmers and Solar Company Benefit from Symbiotic Relationship

Shady Creek Lamb Company, a 40-hectare family farm in Kinburn, Ont., has formed a unique partnership with EDF Renewables, a French renewable energy operator with a solar farm in Kinburn.The three-year “vegetation abatement” contract allows the farm’s flock of more than 400 sheep, including 175 lambs, to graze on and munch unwanted vegetation that has the potential to block sunlight or cause damage to the solar panels. The arrangement serves to protect the solar installation, creating a symbiotic relationship between both companies. EDF Renewables powers 7,000 homes in eastern Ontario.

For hopeful, creative solutions like these, we give thanks, Lord. We pray for more of this -- more respectful, innovative, forward-thinking, earth-honoring ideas to emerge as we find a way toward a more sustainable future.

$1 Million Grant Awarded for Restorative Justice in California

A $1 million state grant has been awarded to a Californai community to establish a countywide juvenile diversion program focusing on restorative justice. In the program, young people who have committed crimes work with their victims to atone for damages made. The collaborative program works to redirect youth from the juvenile and criminal justice system. The grant will help cover this work for four years.

God, we give thanks for this sign of restoration, and pray for its success. We pray that more and more communities would invest in solutions which honor victims and offenders, which work to heal what has been broken when crime happens, and which work toward the goal of restoring people to relationships and to community.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Do you bike to work, compost, or tend a home garden?

The Climate Witness Project is kicking off a campaign to highlight what you and your community are doing to address climate change each and every day! Send us an email at by July 31 with a photo and quote about why you are reducing your carbon footprint and how that connects to your faith! Composting, solar panels, biking to work, solar panels, meeting with an elected official -- all these efforts, and more, count!


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