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Justice Prayers - September 21, 2022

My life is like a frozen thing
No bud nor greeness can I see: 
Yet rise it shall - the sap of Spring; 
O Jesus, rise in me. 

- Christina Rossetti

Ukraine decries Russian strike near plant as ‘nuclear terrorism’

A Russian missile has blasted a crater close to a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, damaging nearby industrial equipment but not hitting its three reactors, in a move denounced by Ukrainian authorities as an act of “nuclear terrorism”.

The missile struck within 300 meters (328 yards) of the reactors at the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant near the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk in Mykolaiv province on Monday, leaving a hole 2 meters (6.5 feet) deep and 4 meters (13 feet) wide, according to Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom. The proximity of the strike renewed fears that Russia’s nearly seven-month-long war in Ukraine might produce a radiation disaster.

This nuclear power station is Ukraine’s second-largest after the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which has repeatedly come under fire. That power plant - the Zaporizhzhia - was disconnected on Sunday, but the plant remained connected to one of the main power lines restored last week, the UN nuclear watchdog has said.

God, we pray for the end to the madness that is this indiscriminate bombing threatening the future of Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and the world. Bind the hands of those who intend to do harm. Put an end to the violence, to the state-sanctioned terrorism, to this nightmare that so many are forced to endure.

Canadian Recession May Be on Horizon

The signs of a recession becoming imminent in Canada are starting to pop up everywhere, and economists are not predicting a soft landing, but rather a bumpy one as the Bank of Canada continues its months-long fight against inflation by raising interest rates. Labor markets remain strong and unemployment rates are still around the lowest levels in decades. But economists at Royal Bank of Canada said this strength will delay but not prevent a downturn. Canada’s unemployment rate jumped to 5.4 per cent in August, and RBC expects further increases in unemployment as the broader economic backdrop deteriorates. Additionally, Canada’s inflation data for August will be released on Tuesday, with analysts forecasting the headline rate will edge down to 7.3 per cent, from 7.6 per cent in July and a four-decade high of 8.1 percent in June. All eyes will be on the three core measures of inflation – CPI Common, CPI Median and CPI Trim – which taken together are seen as a better indicator of underlying price pressures. The average of the three hit a record high of 5.3 per cent in July.

God of foresight, give us eyes to see and ears to hear wisdom that might cushion the blow of an economic downturn, which we know will more acutely hurt the vulnerable. We pray for policies, for wisdom in decision making, and mutual aid should this recession come to fruition. 

Three massive storms slam U.S. and Japan

Three storms struck different coasts this weekend, causing widespread damage in Puerto Rico, Alaska and Japan. In Alaska, the most intense storm ever recorded in the Bering Sea during the month of September blasted communities across a 1,000-mile stretch of Alaska's western coastline with hurricane-force winds and record storm surge flooding. In Puerto Rico, Hurricane Fiona struck on Sunday, causing an island-wide blackout that illustrates the country's challenges with repairing its electrical grid in the wake of Hurricane Maria in 2017. In Japan: Typhoon Nanmadol, the country's fourth-most intense typhoon to make landfall, struck the island of Kyushu on Sunday morning eastern time. The storm dropped more than two feet of rain in 24 hours on parts of that island, threatening to cause landslides, along with wind and storm surge flooding.

For those without power in Puerto Rico, we pray. For flooding and storm surges in both Alaska and Japan, we pray, O Lord. We intercede on behalf of our neighbors who need your provision, and the empowerment you provide for rescue workers, helpers, rebuilders, and comforters. Help, God.

Climate Change Ignored by Legislators; Costing States Money

In several states led by Republican governors, the officials who oversee pension funds for millions of state workers are being told, or may soon be told, to ignore the financial risks associated with a warming world. The Texas comptroller, Glenn Hegar, recently announced that 10 financial firms and 348 funds could be barred from doing business with the state’s pension plans because they appeared to consider environmental risks in their investment decisions regarding the fossil fuel industry. The day before, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida announced a similar move. Other states, including Idaho, Louisiana and West Virginia, have either taken or are thinking of taking similar actions, which amount to ideological litmus tests that will likely result in lower returns for pensioners. These officials claim that the asset managers who take climate change into consideration when deciding where to invest are boycotting the fossil fuel industry. That’s hardly the case — many of the firms being targeted are still major backers of oil and gas. BlackRock, one of the firms singled out by Texas, is the second-largest investor in both Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips. Texas cities may incur as much as $532 million in higher interest costs in less than a year. These laws ultimately mean that there are fewer financial institutions competing to underwrite municipal bonds.

Why, Lord, must some act with such foolishness and such malice and fear. Why must the powerful who benefit from this ecological crisis sit on their hands and collect profits while everyone else suffers, Lord? Woe are they who are unjust rulers; woe are they who knowingly harm your creation; and woe are they who skirt science and reason to score cheap political points.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

New! Faith In Action Course

This popular workshop is now available as an online course in Canada and the U.S. Faith in Action is designed to help you grow in five key advocacy areas: research methods, key messages, letter writing, planning talking points, and setting up in-person meetings. Sharing your well-informed opinion can make a real difference on the justice issues that you care about, and can bring about long-term changes to unjust systems. Find the course at

Reflection for National Truth and Reconciliation Day 2022

September 30th 2022 is the second time Canada will mark a National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. It coincides with Orange Shirt Day, a grassroots commemoration marked by the wearing of Orange Shirts for children forced to leave their families and attend residential schools.  This reflection is designed to take approximately half an hour and we recommend that you take space to listen and reflect.

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