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Justice Prayers - October 7th 2020

I hear the Savior say
Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray
Find in me thine all in all

- Jesus Paid It All (Newsboys)

Canada immigration lottery for families

Canada’s government is returning to a controversial lottery system to distribute coveted sponsorships to reunite immigrant families. The new parent and grandparent sponsorship program will open for a three-week window when people can fill out online forms to express interest in bringing their relatives to Canada, and then some will be randomly invited to submit applications. Billed as “the fairest way” to administer the program, some advocates believe it forces families to rely on luck instead of having an accessible and predictable process.

For the families that long to be reunited, we pray for hope and a way forward. We pray for justice in the immigration processes that make such an impact on real people’s lives. We pray for clarity, equity, and effectiveness in the leadership and policy-making of those who have power in Canada and around the world.

East Africa Flooding

The number of people hit by seasonal flooding in East Africa has increased more than five fold in four years, according to UN figures. Nearly six million people have been affected this year alone, with 1.5 million people forced from their homes. Parts of the region are recording the heaviest rains in a century. The number of people affected by flooding in East Africa has gone from 1.1 million in 2016 to four million in 2019, to this year’s 6 million figure.

God, we cry out to you in fear over this trend, and wonder what the future will hold for so many beloved people. We pray that those already displaced might find safety and hospitality. We pray for those who will soon be endangered. We pray for those offering help, for those giving counsel or leadership, for those who are children or elderly and especially vulnerable. Come, Lord Jesus.

First Gigafire

On Monday, the complex fire in northern California expanded beyond 1 million acres, elevating it from a mere “megafire” to a new classification, “gigafire,” never used before in a contemporary setting in the state. It is the largest in a list of devastating fires that have chewed through 4m acres of California this year, a figure double the previous annual record. Five of the six largest fires ever recorded in the state have occurred in 2020, resulting in several dozen deaths and thousands of lost buildings.

God, for the first responders who have risked so much of their health and safety to address these fires, we give thanks and pray for protection. We pray that we might be open to allowing these fires to shock us, and to teach us how to live differently, so that we can live up to the calling of being stewards of the world you created.


Oklahoma Tribal Land Now Controlled by EPA

The U.S.’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is turning its oversight of a number of environmental issues on tribal lands over to the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma requested the authority in July using a little-known provision of a 2005 law carved out especially for the state. The move will give the state more oversight over environmental issues for Oklahoma’s 38 federally recognized tribes. The EPA’s own summary report, after consulting with tribes, notes the perspective of the people impacted: “Tribes expressed concern that the state’s request to assume jurisdiction is unprecedented and will substantially impact the tribe’s ability to exercise self-governance in protecting human health and the  environment on reservation lands in Oklahoma.”

God, we lament the silencing of people created in your image. We repent of the ways that we have robbed people of power, whether through direct action or through complicity. We pray for Indigenous people in Oklahoma to be treated with dignity, and for those in power to wield it in ways that engender true justice. 

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

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!

Chew on This!

We believe poverty is fundamentally a violation of people's rights and dignity. It is pervasive and systemic, but it is not inevitable.  October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. You can support the Chew on This! campaign, which mobilizes people from across Canada to call for an end to poverty. The campaign calls on the Government of Canada to do what is legally and morally required to uphold and protect the rights of people experiencing poverty and other intersecting forms of systemic oppression in Canada. 

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