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Justice Prayers - May 4, 2022

"Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace." - Luke 1:78-78 (NLT) 

Leaked Draft Opinion to Overturn Roe Sends Shockwaves Through American Life

A leaked draft opinion indicating the Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that guaranteed abortion access, was obtained by Politico on Monday evening. The draft opinion, written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., was obtained in a highly unusual leak from the nation’s highest court, elevating to the forefront a health care issue that has long divided the country. The decision, which is not expected to be finalized for another month or more and could change in its final form, would shift the decision of abortion’s legality to individual states.

God, this leaked draft has created greater uncertainty, anxiety, and anticipation for what’s to come in the following months. We pray for those whose safety may now be jeopardized, and we pray for all those for whom these monumental decisions will impact. Lord, we pray for policies and procedures that actually promote life abundantly. 

For more on how the OSJ is supporting churches and individuals on this topic check out this blog.

Archbishop of Canterbury Apologizes to Indigenous Peoples of Canada

The Archbishop of Canterbury has apologized for the “terrible crime” of the Anglican Church’s involvement in Canada’s residential schools – and for the Church of England’s “grievous sins” against the Indigenous peoples of Canada. The Archbishop spent this past weekend visiting Indigenous Canadian reserves, meeting with Indigenous leaders and Anglicans, and listening to residential school survivors, as part of a five-day visit to Canada. He added: “I am more than humbled that you are even willing to attempt to listen to this apology, and to let us walk with you on the long journey of renewal and reconciliation.” The Archbishop is visiting Canada to repent and atone for the Church of England’s legacy of colonialism and the harm done to Indigenous peoples – and to share in the Anglican Church of Canada’s reconciliation work with Indigenous, Inuit and Métis communities. 

God of grace, God of mercy, you are the one who stands by the broken hearted and those aggrieved by injustice. We know you are present at each of those gatherings where repentance is displayed, and we pray fervently that these moments of asking for forgiveness may be just the first steps towards true kinship with the stewards of this land.

Millions of Tons of Grains Stuck in Ukraine, Threaten Food Security 

The director of the United Nations World Food Programme in Germany has warned that millions of tons of grain is stuck in Ukraine due to sea ports being blocked by Russian military action. Martin Frick said about 4.5 million tons of grain in containers at Ukrainian ports could not be shifted due to unsafe or occupied sea routes, some of which had been mined, as well as inaccessible ports. Ukraine is one of the world’s leading producers of wheat as well as being a major corn producer. About 30 million tons of corn and about 25 million tons of wheat were harvested in the country in 2020, according to the UN. Many countries in north Africa in particular are dependent for their basic food provision on low-cost wheat from Ukraine. Despite the abundance of crops still available in Ukraine, the World Food Programme (WFP) said that since the start of the invasion on 24 February, it had had to provide 2.5 million Ukrainians with food support – the majority of them in Ukraine, as well as several hundred thousand in neighboring Moldova.

Lord, you know all too well that war and violence does not limit its destruction to the bodies on the battlefields. For Ukrainians whose livelihood has been decimated, we pray for the helpers who can assist in piecing things back together. For those around the globe who rely on Ukrainian grains for their sustenance, we pray for efforts far and wide to fill in the gap.

Cuban Migrants Come to U.S., By Land, in Record Numbers

Cuban migrants are arriving in the United States in the highest numbers seen in four decades, with about 150,000 expected to arrive this year, according to senior American officials, as the economic and political situation on the island grows more desperate. For decades, Cubans trying to flee repression, food insecurity and economic devastation boarded rickety boats, risking their lives to get to American shores. Now they are coming in record numbers, but this time on foot, their flight aided by Nicaragua, which dropped visa requirements late last year for Cubans, providing opportunity to journey through Central America and then overland through Mexico to the United States. American officials have accused Nicaragua’s authoritarian president, Daniel Ortega, of enacting the policy to pressure the United States to drop sanctions on his country. The surge in Cubans trying to cross the southern border represents just a portion of migrants who have at times overwhelmed border officials as undocumented crossings continue to rise under the Biden administration. March set a record for the number of people caught crossing illegally in a single month in two decades: 221,303.

This entire problem feels overwhelming, Lord - Social and economic conditions in Cuba, pull-factors in the US, the danger of the journey, border enforcement, and immigration law. How much longer must we avoid addressing complexity? How much longer will we kick the can down the road for generations and generations of immigrants to bear the brunt of inaction?

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

An Equitable and Expedient Welcome for People Seeking Refuge

Canada’s responsiveness and expedience in opening up temporary protection pathways to Ukranians is valid and important. However even as these steps are taken it is critical to address numerous ongoing challenges in Canada’s refugee resettlement systems, including in Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. Read more and take action.

KAIROS Blanket Exercise

The KAIROS Blanket Exercise walks people through this history of relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. We are now able to do these exercises in person again!  Learn more about the exercise and how to host one on our website.  

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