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Justice Prayers - New Years 2023

Lord, thank you for 2022.  I put my 2023 in your hands.  

As we exit 2022 we intentionally pray with gratitude for good news from this year.    

U.S. Climate Legislation in 2022 Reaches New Heights

There were a myriad of legislative and industry successes in 2022, including:

  • The Inflation Reduction Act: President Biden signed this measure in August following more than a year of ups and downs as Democrats tried to coalesce around a proposal that could pass the House and Senate. The law’s climate and energy provisions include about $370 billion in new spending on an array of tax credits and incentives designed to encourage the development of renewable energy, electric vehicles and much more. The law is loaded with industrial policy, with incentives for companies to manufacture clean energy components within this country.

  • Massachusetts and Rhode Island were among the states that passed major energy and climate legislation in 2022. The laws were indicative of a broader trend of states becoming more comprehensive and ambitious in their approaches to energy and climate. The Rhode Island law, signed by Gov. Dan McKee, says that 100 percent of the state’s electricity use needs to be offset by the production of electricity from renewable sources by 2033. So, the electricity sector won’t be emissions-free, but any use of fossil fuels needs to be matched by production of renewable energy, some of which can be exported to other states.

  • Renewables Will Overtake Coal Globally by Early 2025: Worldwide renewable power capacity is set to double by 2027 and renewable energy sources are poised to pass coal as the largest source of electricity generation by early 2025, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency. The growth of renewable power is accelerating because of the energy crisis that stems from the war in Ukraine and because of new energy policies introduced by China, the European Union and the United States, as Elena Shao reports for The New York Times. “This is a clear example of how the current energy crisis can be a historic turning point toward a cleaner and more secure energy system,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA executive director, in a statement.

God, we give you thanks for the work of innovators and policy experts who have worked tirelessly to push the world in the direction of a regenerative economy and ecology. We pray that this work might multiply.

Nearly 1 million immigrants became U.S. citizens in past year, the 3rd highest tally on record

Nearly a million immigrant adults were naturalized as American citizens in fiscal year 2022, the third-highest annual tally recorded in U.S. history, according to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) report published last Wednesday. In the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30, 967,400 adults swore the oath of allegiance at naturalization ceremonies across the country, the USCIS figures show. When taking into account cases of children who derived citizenship from their U.S.-citizen parents and other naturalization cases, a total of 1,023,200 immigrants became U.S. citizens in fiscal year 2022. Most naturalized citizens gain citizenship after living in the U.S. as permanent residents for three or five years, depending how they secured legal residency. Those who serve in the military can qualify for a special, fast-track naturalization process. Applicants are also generally required to prove they can read, write and speak English, and understand U.S. history and the system of government.

We give you thanks, O Lord, for the rich diversity of peoples and cultures that make up the tapestry of our big, beautiful world. We pray that as the places we call home are increasingly made up of those different from ourselves, we might see your glory in our neighbor, and draw closer to one another.

58-Year Old Overcomes Residential School Experience, Graduates High School

In a first person article in CBC News,  Vivian Ketchum, an Anishinaabe community activist living in Winnipeg, tells her story. “I am surrounded by various mementos as I sit in my living room: gift cards, presents from friends, my late son's graduation cap. Looking at them brings home the reality of my graduation: At 58, I finally have my diploma. I am a high school graduate! Maybe if I say the words enough times, it will start to feel real. This Red Road (a life journey in Indigenous community) —  to graduation has been a long one. My first classroom was in a little blue building at Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora, Ont. I was five years old when I was taken away from my loving family . . . when I was 16, I was shipped to southern Ontario to a group home. I was in a small town that only had two native kids, and I was one of them. My teachers noticed that I rarely did any homework, but my grades were good. One of them decided to have me tested . . . But I was struggling to fit in at an almost all-white school . . . From a little blue classroom at a residential school in northern Ontario to a stone-faced building in Winnipeg, my educational journey has been filled with challenges. But I have reached my dream of getting that high school diploma 40 years later. That piece of paper is going to open doors for me now and in the future. I have discovered more than graduation gifts in graduating; there is a new level of respect from the community. And I have also fulfilled my son's wish: I have carried on and will continue to carry on.” Read the full story here.

God, we know that so often triumph is preceded by hardship and heartbreak: we pray for Vivian and those like her who have had to overcome profound disregard and become the authors of their own stories. We praise you for Vivian’s strength! 

The first 3D-printed school in the world created in a warzone to be built in Ukraine

Amid the war-scarred streets of the Ukrainian city of Lviv, which has been heavily bombed by the Russians, the foundations of the world’s first 3D-printed school to be built in a war zone have been laid in October. The ambitious project - which has never been undertaken before on the ground amid an ongoing conflict - was initiated and funded by the non-profit tech and humanitarian start-up TEAM4UA in cooperation with the city authorities and other companies who are putting 3D technology at the service of those displaced by the war in Ukraine. Over 2,000 schools have been damaged or destroyed in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24. When TEAM4UA offered its service to the city, Lviv asked first for a school to be printed. Building the school’s walls with a 3D printer will be faster and cheaper than constructing a new building in concrete from scratch, according to the tech start-up, which it says could take up to two years. What’s more, the project is much more sustainable than traditional construction techniques, it says. "It saves time. It's efficient as far as it concerns energy costs, and it's going to be quick," Charles Tiné, member of TEAM4UA’s strategic committee, told Euronews Next.

For the helpers who have stood in the gap during this great crisis, we give thanks. For the helpers and the advocates who bring hope into a hurting world, Lord God almighty, we rejoice.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

New Year's Resolutions! 

Did you resolve to do more advocacy in 2023?  We can help!  Make sure you're signed up to receive our action alerts for up to date advocacy.  Sign up here.

2022 Year in Pictures

As we approach the end of 2022, we’re grateful for the many ways people like you have helped churches pursue justice and shalom. Take a look at some of the ways you’ve been at work this year!


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