Back to Top

Justice Prayers - May 1, 2024

"And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth." - Micah 5:4

American Climate Corps Launches

President Biden marked Earth Day last Monday by launching a website for applications for Climate Corps jobs and training program, a plan that has attracted a lot of interest from young Americans. Biden launched the climate service program last fall, and within weeks the White House received more than 42,000 expressions of interest from Americans, most of them between the ages of 18 and 35. "You'll get paid to fight climate change, learning how to install those solar panels, fight wildfires, rebuild wetlands, weatherize homes, and so much more," Biden said. Eventually, the corps will employ more than 20,000 young people, according to the White House. The president made the announcement in northern Virginia at Prince William Forest Park, which was built by the original Civilian Conservation Corps — a massive jobs program started by former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the wake of the Great Depression. The first set of jobs will start in June. Americans will be placed with organizations focused on clean energy and helping communities affected by climate change. Americans will be placed with organizations focused on clean energy and helping communities affected by climate change. For example, among the jobs listed on Monday, there was a 14-week internship paying $15 per hour to learn how to install solar panels in the Philadelphia area, and a 5-month job on a field crew in Utah paying $16.66 per hour removing invasive species from public lands.

We pray for meaningful work for young people across the country: work that provides dignity, purpose, and community. With so many longing for employment that connects them to solutions to solve our planetary crisis, we pray that this program, and others like it, be successful in delivering jobs and climate solutions.

Flash Floods Kill at Least 45 in Kenya

Flash floods and a landslide sent a deluge of muddy water over a Kenyan village early Monday, killing at least 45 people, as torrential rains continued to pound East Africa. The disaster in Kenya was the deadliest in the country in the two weeks since the devastating inundations began, said Emmanuel Talam, a press secretary in President William Ruto’s office. The cause of the landslide was not immediately clear. Earlier information from a government official had cited a collapsed dam, though later reports from aid workers and local news media suggested that an obstructed tunnel had given way, allowing a torrent of muddy water to careen over the village around 3 a.m. local time. The floods swept off people, houses and cars in the Kamuchiri area of the Rift Valley region in southern Kenya, Kithure Kindiki, cabinet secretary of the Kenyan Interior Ministry, said in a statement. The Interior Ministry has also ordered an inspection of all public and private water reservoirs within 24 hours. Heavy rains have been pounding parts of East Africa for weeks, and the resultant flooding has killed hundreds of people in several nations in recent days and displaced tens of thousands more.

Lord God of peace, we pray for our beloved Kenyan neighbors and all those in East Africa who have been the victims of immense and unrelenting storms in the past few weeks. We pray for soils that absorb water in abundance, for sewer systems equipped to manage large storm loads, and for support provided to all those in Kenya and elsewhere dealing with the fallout of these storms.

Honda to set up $11B Electric Vehicle, Battery Plants in Canada

Honda Motors plans to invest C$15 billion ($11 billion) in new EV and battery production plants alongside its existing facilities in Ontario, it said on Thursday, the Japanese automaker's largest ever investment in Canada. The investment, announced by company executives and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, signals Honda's expectation for more growth in North American demand for EVs. Like other Japanese car companies, Honda has been a relative latecomer to EVs, and is now pushing to better compete with fast-moving Chinese rivals. Operations are targeted to start by 2028, with annual production capacity estimated to be a maximum of 240,000 EVs and 36 gigawatt-hours for batteries. Honda executive Shinji Aoyama told reporters the supply network would help Honda achieve its goal for all of its North American sales to be either EVs or fuel cell vehicles by 2040.

For transportation that limits greenhouse gas emissions, we pray. For mining of precious metals in ways that are just, sustainable, and dignified, we pray - and when this isn’t possible, may we find another solution! 

Israeli Officials Believe International Court Is Preparing Arrest Warrants Over War

Israeli officials increasingly believe that the International Criminal Court is preparing to issue arrest warrants for senior government officials on charges related to the conflict with Hamas, according to five Israeli and foreign officials. The Israeli and foreign officials also believe the court is weighing arrest warrants for leaders from Hamas. If the court proceeds, the Israeli officials could potentially be accused of preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and pursuing an excessively harsh response to the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, according to two of the five officials, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter. The Israeli officials, who are worried about the potential fallout from such a case, said they believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is among those who might be named in a warrant. It is not clear who might be charged from Hamas or what crimes would be cited. Separately, the US Department of State says it found five units of the Israeli military responsible for gross human rights violations in incidents that took place outside Gaza before Israel’s latest assault on the enclave began in October. Four of the units have effectively remediated the violations, while Israel has submitted additional information regarding the fifth unit and the US is continuing conversations with the government, a State Department deputy spokesperson told reporters.

God, as campuses in the U.S. and elsewhere have erupted in protest, as courts convene in The Hague, and as both Palestinians and Israelis live with increased uncertainty, tension, and violence, we pray for moral clarity and moral leadership. We have so many shouting voices, and what feels like a void in the kind of voice we need right now - a voice of peace, justice, and clarity.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Hearts Exchanged 

Hearts Exchanged goes beyond the headlines into deep work that wrestles with how our churches can become places of belonging and embrace God’s call to reconciliation with Indigenous neighbours. Your church can access learning grants to practice reconciliation alongside others on similar journeys. Contact us for more details.

Thrive Volunteer Resources

Our churches rely on volunteers. Without people from the congregation volunteering their time, many of the programs and events that churches run would not be possible. Thrive can support your volunteers in a wide variety of ways. We offer a number of different types of training and resources for your volunteers. To find out more, check out our new volunteer page on our website!  Visit our Volunteer page »

The Reformed family is a diverse family with a diverse range of opinions. Not all perspectives expressed on the blog represent the official positions of the Christian Reformed Church. Learn more about this blog, Reformed doctrines, and our diversity policy on our About page.

In order to steward ministry shares well, commenting isn’t available on Do Justice itself because we engage with comments and dialogue in other spaces. To comment on this post, please visit the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue’s Facebook page (for Canada-specific articles) or the Office of Social Justice’s Facebook page. Alternatively, please email us. We want to hear from you!

Read more about our comment policy.