Back to Top

Justice Prayers - September 8th 2021

I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I'll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world

- Greater Mercy Me

Abortion Law in Texas Goes Into Effect

Last week, a Texas law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy went into effect on Wednesday, contrary to the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to the procedure. While other states have passed similar laws, those measures face legal challenges. The law bars abortions once cardiac activity can be detected in the embryo which typically occurs around the sixth week of pregnancy. The law does not make exceptions for rape or incest. It does, however, permit abortions for health reasons, but the exceptions are narrowly drawn, allowing a termination only if the pregnancy could endanger the mother’s life or lead to impairment of a major bodily function. 

For all those wondering what’s next, we pray. For expectant mothers, we pray. For those working in health care facilities torn between the law and their conscience, we pray. For what comes next in the courts, we pray. God, we pray for life and life abundant. We pray for policies that truly reflect a concern for all life. For sound science, for grace in abundance, and for the loving embrace of all forced to make decisions about their pregnancies, we pray.

Push for EV Parts & Deep-Sea Mining Threatens Oceans

This summer, Naura - the world’s smallest island nation - gave notice to the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the UN agency charged with regulating mining in international waters, that it was triggering the so-called two-year rule: The agency will have to consider any application for a deep-sea mining license two years from now, under whatever regulations are on the books at the time. This effectively forces the ISA’s hand to finalize a regulatory mining code before that deadline. Deep-sea mining companies are in search of chunks of metals and minerals called polymetallic nodules, which contain elements vital to the clean-technology components needed for the transition away from fossil fuels, particularly lithium-ion batteries, but also solar panels and wind turbines. The International Energy Agency found that achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 would require six times more of certain minerals by 2040 than are being mined today. Maureen Penjueli, the coordinator at the Fiji-based Pacific Network on Globalization, said, “I think that the central question is who stands to benefit. It’s not Nauru, despite the fact that they think it might be good to be at the forefront. It’s [The Metals Company] and their investors.”

God, impart in us the wisdom to know that significantly less - not merely ‘conscious’ - consumption is the approach we must take to addressing environmental destruction. Remind us to be wary of solutions that promise us salvation, but rather constantly be asking questions and to reject an attitude that the ‘end justifies the means’, especially when it doesn’t. We need technology, and just as importantly, we need the wisdom to wield it well. 

Resettlement Agencies & Afghans Face Challenges Due to Sped-Up Evacuation

More than a week since U.S. forces have withdrawn from Afghanistan, Thousands of evacuated Afghans who worked with American troops have landed in the United States with their families. ​​Their arrival poses challenges for resettlement, including uncertainty surrounding the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) process, a short supply of affordable permanent housing, and high demand for social services. Church World Service (CWC), one of the nine national agencies, said the difference is like “night and day” from helping to resettle the new Afghan refugees compared with others. “Normally, we would have up to a couple of weeks notice before people would arrive, which gives our local colleagues an opportunity to find housing, to equip the housing, to mobilize the local community to support the new arrivals, and to put everything in order,” Erol Kekic, senior vice president of the Immigration and Refugee Program at CWC, said in an interview with The Hill. CWC has seen the majority of refugees resettle in Northern California — particularly the Sacramento area — Northern Virginia around Washington, D.C., and the Dallas metro area.

We pray for each resettlement agency - including Church World Service - as their work is plunged into disorder. We pray for those tasked with solving logistical challenges to enact solutions, and we pray for the Afghans at the center of those plans. May they be treated as welcome guests, not burdens. Remind us, O God, that the stranger in our midst is a blessing.

Drought in Prairies Leaves Canadian Restaurants, Consumers with Higher Costs

Widespread drought in the Canadian Prairies is driving up commodity prices, leaving restaurants to contend with a higher cost of doing business. Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have all seen record heat levels and little rain this year. The Grain Growers of Canada is projecting historically low yields across the Prairies amid unprecedented drought conditions. Sylvain Charlebois, director of the agri-food analytics lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said the full impact will be felt through the fall and winter as climate change affects commodity prices.

"Processors are paying more for their inputs due to droughts, which have been affecting major, major markets like Canada, the U.S., Russia," he said. "The costs of wheat, canola, barley, corn, all these commodities are much more expensive than last year." While the impact of the drought is palpable in the hospitality industry, it is believed the sharp increases in commodity good pricing will be felt across the entire Canadian economy.

For the ecology and the economy of our neighbors in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, we pray for stability. For the farmers, restaurant owners and workers, and ordinary citizens for whom the lack of water means a lack of livelihood, we pray. We pray for the rains; may they plenish the earth. 

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

At the Front Door: Preparing for Election Season

The Centre for Public Dialogue is preparing to ask good questions of candidates this election season. Watch this video series and consider what questions you'll be asking.

Support a Pathway to Citizenship!

The events of the last year, including a recent ruling made on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by a federal judge in Texas, have demonstrated the critical need for a permanent immigration solution that will keep families together and protect the lives, dreams, and futures of millions of undocumented immigrants. Contact your Members of Congress today and urge them to prioritize a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS-holders, and essential workers.

The Reformed family is a diverse family with a diverse range of opinions. Not all perspectives expressed on the blog represent the official positions of the Christian Reformed Church. Learn more about this blog, Reformed doctrines, and our diversity policy on our About page.

In order to steward ministry shares well, commenting isn’t available on Do Justice itself because we engage with comments and dialogue in other spaces. To comment on this post, please visit the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue’s Facebook page (for Canada-specific articles) or the Office of Social Justice’s Facebook page. Alternatively, please email us. We want to hear from you!

Read more about our comment policy.