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Justice Prayers - May 31, 2023

From ocean unto ocean
our land shall name you, Lord
and, filled with true devotion,
obey your sovereign word;

- From Ocean unto Ocean

State Farm halts sale of new home policies in California due to wildfires

The insurance giant State Farm, America’s biggest car and home insurer by premium volume, will halt the sale of new home insurance policies in California, citing wildfire risk and inflation of construction costs. Starting on Saturday, the company will not accept insurance applications for business and personal lines property and casualty insurance. The company will still accept auto insurance applicants. “State Farm General Insurance Company made this decision due to historic increases in construction costs outpacing inflation, rapidly growing catastrophe exposure, and a challenging reinsurance market,” the company said in a statement. “The factors driving State Farm’s decision are beyond our control, including climate change, reinsurance costs affecting the entire insurance industry and global inflation,” said a spokesperson.

Lord God, the widespread fallout from our multiple environmental crises was coming sooner or later, and it’s taken the form of home insurance here and now. God of all creation, our world is falling into more and more chaos and disruption. It’s up to us, Lord - co-creators and cohabitors with all of creation - to care for, protect, and seek the flourishing of the land, the seas, the creatures, and the skies. 

14,000 evacuated, state of emergency declared as Halifax-area wildfire burns on

A local state of emergency has been declared for the communities affected by a forest fire which continues to rage near Halifax, destroying homes and forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents. Late Sunday night, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage and regional council declared a local state of emergency for the affected communities, which will be in effect for seven days unless otherwise lifted or extended. In an update Monday morning, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Deputy Chief Dave Meldrum told reporters that the fire burning in the Tantallon and Hammonds Plains area is “ongoing and still not under control.” There is not yet an estimate on the size of the fire, but its impact has already been devastating. While Meldrum couldn’t say how many homes were damaged, at least 10 structures have been destroyed.

We pray for Halifax, Lord, and for safe passage from danger for all who have fire in between themselves and safety. For first responders, we pray for an especially tight coverage of protection against fire, smoke, and debris. Help this pass, O Lord, and prepare us to avoid and minimize these fires in the future, in as much as we’re able. 

Nova Scotia's modern 'gold rush' poses huge risk to climate, expert warns

Nova Scotia is embarking on what many are calling its fourth gold rush -- but instead of panhandling for chunks of gold, mining operations in the province today consist of massive tailings ponds, enormous open pits extracting small traces of gold and a climate toll that one expert says we’re not properly tracking. Alana Westwood, assistant professor at the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University, says Nova Scotia’s regulations are woefully behind the times and nowhere near able to keep up with the explosion of new mining claims. Some experts say the little-understood long-term impacts of contamination from gold mining in Nova Scotia coupled with a new gold rush may be creating a problem of an unknown scale. In 2013, there were 158 mining exploration licenses active in Nova Scotia, covering just 1.5 per cent of Nova Scotia’s total surface, according to Westwood’s research. A map of the province in 2013 shows only two mines either completed or in progress: the Touquoy Gold Mine and the Donkin Coking Coal Mine. Just 10 years later, the same map looks vastly different.

There are more than 2,000 licenses, covering nearly a fifth of the province’s total land mass. In some regions of Nova Scotia, up to 50 per cent of the landmass is covered by mining exploration licenses.

How much is enough, Lord? How many times over must the earth be pillaged until we look around and realize that we cannot eat, drink, and breathe profit? There is a sickness among us that has made us violators of our most sacred duty: to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Help us, Lord.

Ukraine Sees New Virtue in Wind Power: It’s Harder to Destroy

In 15 months of war, Russia has launched countless missiles and exploding drones at power plants, hydroelectric dams and substations, trying to black out as much of Ukraine as it can, as often as it can, in its campaign to pound the country into submission. The new Tyligulska wind farm stands only a few dozen miles from Russian artillery, but Ukrainians say it has a crucial advantage over most of the country’s grid. A single, well-placed missile can damage a power plant severely enough to take it out of action, but Ukrainian officials say that doing the same to a set of windmills, each one hundreds of feet apart from any other, would require dozens of missiles. A wind farm can be temporarily disabled by striking a transformer substation or transmission lines, but these are much easier to repair than power plants. “It is our response to Russians,” said Maksym Timchenko, the chief executive of DTEK Group, the company that built the turbines, in the southern Mykolaiv region, the first phase of what is planned as Eastern Europe’s largest wind farm. “It is the most profitable and, as we know now, most secure form of energy.”

For cleaner and renewable energy sources, Lord, we pray. For Ukraine, as they continue to fight the scourge of violence from their Russian counterparts, energy independence is crucial to ensuring their vitality in the months to come. We give you thanks for the sun, Lord, and for the protection and proliferation of renewable energy.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

This is Hunting Park Small Group Study Guide Available!

Trees. Solar panels. Education. These are some of the ways people of faith are fighting the effects of climate change. That’s why we created a new documentary series, This is Hunting Park. Learn how people of faith in one Philadelphia neighborhood are coming together to make a difference. Watch the films and download the study guide here.

Understanding Asylum 

Sarah Yore-Van Oosterhout, founder and managing attorney of Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates, joins us to respond to some common questions about asylum. Explore more frequently asked questions about asylum and our response as Christians in this video series.


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