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Justice Prayers - October 21, 2020

It is the command of Jesus that we not worry, as the world worries, in ways that make us crazy, or mean or angry or hateful or quarrelsome. It is a command spoken by Jesus who himself is un-anxious and unflappable. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine Jesus being anxious. He is unafraid before the Roman governor at his trial, unflappable before the high priests on his dread-filled Thursday inquisition, unworried when the storm rages, completely at peace even in the ferocious storm on the Sea of Galilee. He is unafraid, un-anxious, not worried. And he invites his disciples to stay close to him, and to share his un-anxious presence. - Walter Brueggemann


Nigeria’s End Sars Protests

In Nigeria’s capital, demonstrations against police brutality have been ongoing for two weeks now, with mainly young people using the social media hashtag #EndSars to rally people to demand the closure of the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars). The unit, formed during military rule in 1984, was accused of extortion, torture and murder. Now, violence has broken out, and the protesters are accusing authorities of sponsoring armed thugs to disrupt the protests and promote violence in order to justify sending in the military and use of force by security.

God, we pray for Nigeria -- for the passionate protestors who are longing for a safer, more just nation. For those who are grieving because of violence and unrest in their home. For those who are in positions of authority and leadership to use it to protect and defend human dignity. 


US supreme court to consider “Remain in Mexico” program

The Supreme Court of the U.S. agreed on Monday to review two major Trump administration immigration initiatives, one of which is the “Remain in Mexico” program that has forced at least 60,000 asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their requests are heard. A lower court blocked the program in February, saying it was at odds with both federal law and international treaties and was causing “extreme and irreversible harm.” Since the policy was put in place at the beginning of last year, tens of thousands of people have waited for immigration hearings in unsanitary tent encampments exposed to the elements. There have been widespread reports of sexual assault, kidnapping and torture.

God, we pray for those who continue to suffer at the southern border of the U.S.—without protection, without information, seemingly without hope. We pray for humanitarian workers who aim to bring help, for churches attempting to offer hospitality, for lawyers hoping to bring justice. And we pray for the wise decision of the Supreme Court in this case.


Lobsters in Nova Scotia

Conflict in Nova Scotia is escalating over a disagreement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen about whether Indigenous people have the right to catch and sell lobsters at a time of year when commercial fishermen don’t. Last week, a suspicious fire burned down one of the buildings where Indigenous fishermen were storing their lobsters and equipment. Both sides are asking the government to intervene.

God, for all those who work hard to support their families, we offer prayers. We pray for equity, for dignity, for justice. We pray for those who are angry, those who feel silenced, those who feel vulnerable and cast aside. We pray for the government authorities tasked with finding a way forward. Create a way, Lord.


Lead in U.S. drinking water

A recent study of homes in 343 cities and towns in 46 states recently showed surprisingly high levels of lead in residential drinking water. Nearly 80% of the homes who asked to participate in the study had detectable levels of lead in tap water, and 40% had levels that exceeded the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended limit on lead in drinking water in schools. Perhaps most concerning, 15% had levels high enough to potentially cause at least a half-point drop in IQ in infants who are exclusively bottle-fed with formula mixed with tap water. Overall, the study showed that Black children are more likely to be exposed to lead, worsening inequities from birth.

God, we acknowledge this as one of the many systemic barriers that oppress Black people from birth in the United States. For parents who feel they have no options, for children whose brains have already sustained damage, for teachers and health care workers who work hard to overcome obstacles in the wake of this preventable and tragic failing, we offer our prayers. Bring hope, healing, and justice.


Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Loving our Neighbors with Our Vote

We are excited to share with you a U.S. voting reflection guide provided by the Interfaith Power and Light and Faith in Public Life. The guide is not intended to give you answers on who to vote for. Rather, it poses questions intended to start conversations - with yourself and with others - about what it means to vote in a way that uplifts impacted voices and cares for our neighbors. Read more here.

Blessing Not Burden Tees! 

They're back and softer than ever! We've partnered with the Treetops Collective to relaunching our Immigrants are a Blessing, Not a Burden shirts.  This tee features a white Blessing Not Burden logo on a navy blue Known Supply brand t-shirt.  Help us spread a positive message!

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