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Justice Prayers - October 23rd

God go with us.  Help us to be an honor to the church. Give us the grace to follow Christ's word, to be clear in our task and careful in our speech.  - Alcuin of York 

DNA From Immigrants

The U.S. Justice Department is proposing to begin collecting DNA samples from hundreds of thousands of immigrants crossing the border, creating an enormous database of asylum-seekers and other migrants that federal officials say will be used to help authorities fight crime. They wish to gather DNA information on about 748,000 immigrants annually, including asylum-seekers presenting themselves at legal ports of entries. Immigrant advocates have denounced the proposal, arguing that collecting genetic information from those crossing the border could have implications for family members residing in the U.S., that it raises alarming privacy concerns, and that it will not deter migrants from entering the U.S.

God, we pray for those who are risking their life and safety in order to find a life of flourishing. We pray for women, children, those with disabilities, those who are desperately poor -- the ones who called the church to see and to love. We pray for this proposal, and for the implications that it will have. Have mercy, Lord.

Erosion in coastal India threatens livelihoods

Severe coastal erosion has demolished the homes of fishermen in coastal India. “We [fishermen] cannot live without the sea. Our life depends on the wealth that the sea offers to us. Sea is our mother and father," one man said, whose house was destroyed by a monsoon over the summer but who has avoided leaving the community. A study said this town lost 28 percent of its coastline between 1999 and 2016, to sea water ingression. The town’s well has become too salty to drink. A World Bank funded project has recommended the construction of a concrete wall to protect the homes from further erosion.

God, for these families already impacted by the rising sea levels that come with climate change, we pray for hope, for protection, and for provision. We pray for the communities who will be impacted soon by the same issue -- encourage those who are vulnerable, empower those who are working to find adaption plans, embolden those who have power to influence policy.

Canadian Election

Justin Trudeau and the Liberals won the election in Canada this week. They had a narrow victory, having lost the popular vote, and emerging with a minority in Parliament.  This means they must work with at least one of the opposition parties to get anything done. The election results reflect a division along regional lines with east-west and rural-urban differences in sharp contrast. 

God, for cooperation and collaboration, for dialogue across differences and productive policy-making, we offer our prayers. For those who are in positions of power, we pray for wisdom, for courage, for a commitment to justice.

Abortion Decriminalized in Ireland

Abortion in Northern Ireland has been decriminalized. That means women and girls can now terminate a pregnancy without fear of being prosecuted, and the possibility of prosecution is also lifted from healthcare workers. Before the law change, abortion was only allowed if a woman's life was at risk or there was a danger of permanent and serious damage to her physical or mental health.

God, for women and men who are in situations that compel them to consider abortions -- in Ireland, in our own communities -- we offer prayers for wisdom, for courage, for hope. We pray for supportive families and churches and friends, and for a growing culture that values the image of God that is contained in each life, however new.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Webinar: How to Talk about Climate Change at Thanksgiving Dinner

Young Evangelicals for Climate Action is hosting a webinar with renowned evangelical climate scientist Dr. Katharine Hayhoe! It will be a conversation about how we can be effective witnesses for climate action this holiday season. 

The webinar will explore the latest social science and psychological research, review communications best practices, and identify concrete strategies for having productive climate conversations with friends and family. Space is limited so register today!

Michigan Event: Growing Restorative Churches

Don’t miss this training in Grand Rapids, Michigan! Join us and our partners at Safe Church Ministries for this two-day Restorative Practices training for churches on Nov. 8 and 9. We would love to see more of our congregations trained in restorative practices! Get your tickets here!

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