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Office of Social Justice News | October 2017

Speak up for refugee resettlement!

In both Canada and the USA, this is a key moment to speak up for strong refugee resettlement numbers. We know that refugees enrich our communities and churches, because Christian Reformed churches have been welcoming refugees for decades. Speak up for strong, continued resettlement:

Canada: http://p2a.co/ixwRRr4
USA: http://p2a.co/3yRiZD5

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CREATION CARE

Clean Power Plan Repeal

Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, formally announced plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan on Tuesday. The Clean Power Plan was a set of standards that would have limited power plants’ carbon emissions and enabled the United States to fulfill its commitment to the Paris Agreement. As part of a larger faith movement, the Office of Social Justice released a statement on the Clean Power Plan’s repeal. (Find the collection of quotes and statements from faith communities on the repeal here.)

IMMIGRATION — U.S.

New Litany

“Abraham and Sarah did not know whether their visitors meant harm or good; still they opened their tent in welcome, and they were blessed. From the stranger, we hear the good news of God’s covenant love. We praise you for the blessing of the stranger...” 

Headlines about immigration often expose deep pain and suffering. Join churches across the U.S. on Sunday, December 10 that will use this litany during worship to remember our immigrant neighbors and praise God for the blessing they are to our communities.

INDIGENOUS JUSTICE

Acknowledging Indigenous Territory

The U.S. has just marked Columbus Day. But communities across North America are speaking up to remind us that there were people, created in the image of God, living in the Americas in thousands of complex societies before 1492. Does your church stand on Indigenous territory? Find out at native-land.ca and dig into the biblical basis for reconciliation and territory acknowledgement here.

DO JUSTICE

Justice for the Poor in the Heidelberg Catechism

Professor Matthew Tuininga of Calvin Seminary writes: “The catechism clearly supports this classic Christian perspective. Theft consists not merely in outright theft or even in cheating or swindling; it includes ‘all greed and pointless squandering of his gifts.’ It requires the constant and continual redistribution of wealth….The insistence of some Christians that government has no business caring for the poor is a modern phenomenon, alien to the Christian tradition.” Read more from the Justice and our Reformed Confessions series.

ACTION ALERT — U.S.

Climate Solutions Caucus

With the recent devastating weather patterns and the Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan, it is crucial that we continue to call on Congress to enact wise environmental policy in light of the reality of climate change. Urge your Members of Congress to join the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus and/or cosponsor the Republican Climate Resolution!

RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION

International Day of Prayer Resources

We want to help your church remember the persecuted Church. We’ve put together a prayer, bulletin inserts, a powerpoint, suggested song choices and more for International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, with a special focus on Egypt this year. Find the resources here.

ABORTION

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

The U.S. House recently passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which now heads to the floor of the US Senate. The President has pledged to sign the legislation into law if it makes it to his desk, but it will be a challenge to garner the 60 votes needed. The legislation would ban elective abortions after 20 weeks gestation, with some exceptions where the life of the mother is endangered or a minor has become pregnant through rape or incest. Those advocating against the bill say that it is based on faulty scientific data, but advocates for the unborn point to data like the fact that doctors who perform surgery on unborn children at twenty weeks gestation use anesthesia.
Read more »

FROM OUR CRC PARTNERS

Healing the Wounds of Trauma

Our God is a redeeming God. He is able to bring healing and wholeness to even the most devastating situations. Join Safe Church Ministry and World Renew in Burlington, Ontario November 15-17 to address spiritual and emotional wounds caused by trauma, based on the book Healing the Wounds of Trauma: How the Church Can Help. Register here

—from our partners at Safe Church Ministry and World Renew

In Case You Missed It

  • For Such a Time as This - Justice + worship + arts. The registration deadline for this equipping event from CRC Worship Ministries and the Centre for Public Dialogue is this Friday!
  • 10 Ways to Do Justice: Six months ago a group of thirty people from the Grand Rapids area traveled to Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington D.C. to learn how to do justice. Together, we have developed this tool for churches. Check it out!