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Justice Prayers - March 6

We bring our prayers to Creator God, who both "takes up our pain and bears our suffering" and will "let justice roll down like a river."



Renewed education funding for Indigenous youth in Canada 

Last month the Canadian government announced a change in the funding for Indigenous children’s education. Instead of proposal-based funding, an outdated formula from the 1980s that requires Indigenous educators to commit many hours toward administrative tasks, funding will now be delivered through regional agreements with Indigenous nations. It is believed that this change could go a long way toward fulfilling the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #8 to eliminate discrepancies in funding for Indigenous children.

Creator God, for the years of work and advocacy that have led to this moment, we thank you. For all who have prayed and worked for respect for Indigenous rights in Canada, we praise you. For all the Indigenous children and youth who would be affected by schooling that respects their cultures and is adequately funded, we pray that justice would be done.


U.N. Investigators: Israeli Forces May Have Committed War Crimes

United Nations investigators have announced that Israeli security forces may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in killing 189 Palestinians and wounding more than 6,100 during last year’s protests in Gaza. The independent panel said it had confidential information about persons it believes to be responsible for the unlawful killings, including Israeli army snipers and commanders. It has called on Israel to prosecute them. “The Israeli security forces killed and maimed Palestinian demonstrators who did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others when they were shot; nor were they directly participating in hostilities,” it said, adding that the protests had been “civilian in nature.” The victims included children, journalists, and a double amputee who was in a wheelchair.

God, for these lives that have ended, we lament. We lament the suffering and powerlessness that Palestinian people are living with. We lament that violence is a common part of life for Jews and Palestinians, and we lament the grief that families and communities face. We cry out, God, for justice to be done in the wake of these deaths -- you know, Lord, how to judge fairly. May those responsible be held accountable, and may leaders work toward systems, practices, policies, and attitudes that bring greater fairness, truthfulness, and justice.


Almost All U.S. Coal Plants Contaminating Groundwater

Of the 265 power plants that monitor groundwater in the United States, 242 have reported unsafe levels of at least one pollutant derived from coal ash, the remains of coal after it is burned for energy. More than half such facilities report unsafe levels of arsenic, a carcinogen linked to multiple types of cancer, and 60 percent have reported finding elevated amounts of lithium, which is associated with neurological damage. The major concern in all this, as noted by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), which compiled the analysis in the report, is that this problem could continue for decades because once pollutants leach from coal into groundwater, they are difficult to remove.

God, we pray for all who are experiencing the impacts of these pollutants -- and likely most victims have been unaware. We pray for the doctors who treat them. We pray for families and loved ones who provide support. We pray, God, for ways to mitigate the damage that this is causing, and that there might be health and flourishing. We pray for creativity as new ways to provide power are sought -- help us innovate, remain hopeful, and treat the created world with dignity.


Chase Announces End to Funding of Private Prisons

J.P. Morgan Chase and Co. has decided to stop financing private operators of prisons and detention centers. Prison companies account for about 10 percent of federal and state prison beds, but about two-thirds of people held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are in private detention centers, S&P Global Ratings estimated last year. J.P. Morgan's move away from the industry comes after activists have challenged Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon at the bank's past two annual meetings over its financing of prison companies.

God, we give thanks for the courage of all who are willing to make such a change. We pray that this turnaround by a large banking business might make a significant impact on imprisonment policies. We pray that the future of incarceration in the United States will see fewer and fewer people unjustly imprisoned, and we pray that all who are locked up would have opportunities for restoration and hope. We pray too that investors, political leaders, and voters would always act in ways that elevate the importance of human life and dignity ahead of profits.


Other recommended resources:

Songs and Hymns about Creation Care

Have you ever looked for songs and hymns that reflect our call to serve and protect creation? Perhaps for an Earth Day or a spring-time service? Check out this last installment in our crowd-sourced (and meticulously reviewed) set of creation care resources. THANK YOU to everyone who submitted resources!

Take the Lent Advocacy Challenge!

Would you like to choose advocacy as a spiritual discipline this Lenten season? We challenge you to engage thoughtfully and prayerfully in advocacy for your neighbors, particularly neighbors who are living in poverty because of various unjust systems. Find the Lent Advocacy Challenge here

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