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Justice Prayers - November 20th

Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever.  They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.  - Psalm 112:6

US Changes View on Israeli Settlements 

The Trump administration this week determined that Israel’s West Bank settlements do not violate international law. The move upends more than 40 years of U.S. policy that has declared Israeli expansion into territories occupied since the 1967 war a major obstacle to settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. More than 700,000 settlers have taken up residence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the 1967 war. Both areas are claimed by Palestinians for a future state. Since Israel first occupied the territories, all US Presidential administrations have described them as an impediment to peace and have called for freezing settlement expansion and new construction.

God, we pray for peace in Israel and Palestine -- for a path forward that allows flourishing for all the people who live there. We pray for those who have lost their homes, their livelihoods, and their hope. We pray for young people who have known only strife. We pray for your church, our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering because of political forces beyond their control. Bring justice, Lord.

Venice Floods

The historic Italian city has this week experienced its worst flooding in more than 50 years. Venice's mayor blamed climate change and said the flooding was "a wound that will leave a permanent mark." Veneto regional council, which is located on Venice's Grand Canal, was flooded for the first time in its history just after it rejected measures to combat climate change. 

God, we pray for the people of Venice, whose lives have been upended by these floods. We pray for the city’s leaders to make wise, forward-facing decisions. We pray for communities all over the world who are already adapting, struggling, or unsettled because of the changes that have already come. God, bring a unified vision to all those in power to face, combat, mitigate, and innovate in the face of the enormous changes that are taking place because of climate change.

Asylum Officers 

The first asylum officer, Doug Stephens, has formally refused to conduct interviews under the United States’ “Remain in Mexico” protocols -- a policy which forces those seeking asylum to wait in Mexico during the process of deciding their case. He says he decided he wouldn’t interview any more immigrants, only to send them back across the border to face potential danger. As a trained attorney, after five interviews he believed that the new protocols were illegal. Across the country asylum officers are calling in sick, requesting transfers, retiring earlier than planned and quitting — all to resist Trump administration immigration policies.

God, we pray for those who are wrestling with their sense of right and wrong -- who aren’t sure how to keep doing jobs that feel immoral to them. Give them courage, strength, and a way forward. We pray for more humane policies. We pray for the protection of vulnerable immigrants. And we pray for change, Lord.

Yes in God’s Backyard

Faith congregations across California are responding to the state’s housing crisis by sharing their parking lots with people living in their cars, providing mobile showers for the homeless and joining their neighbors in calling for rent control in their communities. But another form of housing advocacy has been taking place among spaces of faith. A number of churches are exploring ways to build affordable housing on their own land. It’s what pastors and other leaders are referring to as YIGBY, or “Yes in God’s Backyard.”

For all those who can’t afford safe places to live, especially children, we offer our prayers for protection from danger, and for the hope of home to become possible. We pray for the churches who are looking to be salt and light in their communities, and address this deep and pressing problem. Give them courage, energy, wisdom, and faith as they move forward with experiments and new ideas. 

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday Worship Materials

January 19 is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, and we are offering resources for your church to honor the day, including bulletin inserts, a prayer, and a responsive reading. “Together know and bear one another's burdens, thereby fulfilling the law of Christ that we need one another and upbuild one another, admonishing and comforting one another; that we suffer with one another for the sake of righteousness.” This year, we are focusing on these words from the Belhar Confession along with verses from 1 Corinthians 12:26-27 as we grieve the reality that racism threatens the health and flourishing of moms and babies.   

Visit for worship resources and to learn more about this year’s focus. The deadline for ordering bulletin inserts is December 19. Important note: if you already ordered our bulletin inserts through the church ordering link you received from the CRCNA, you do not need to order them again.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

This video series is intended to help people understand why advocating for the Declaration to be implemented is important and to clear up misconceptions.  The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples offers a new framework for the relationship between settlers and Indigenous groups.  The Declaration is the first step towards saying there’s a new relationship, there’s mutual respect, and a new way forward. 

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