OSJ Prayers: June 7, 2017

London Attacks

On Saturday evening, June 3, seven people were killed and 20 were injured in attacks at two central London locations. A van sped across London Bridge, running into pedestrians, and then continued on to Borough Market, where three people got out of the vehicle and stabbed a number of pedestrians as well as patrons at several restaurants and taverns. All three suspects were fatally shot by police. The attacks are being treated as terrorist incidents. It is the third terrorist attack in England since March.

God, for an end to violence in the world — and specifically acts of terrorism — we pray. We feel powerless, afraid. We feel suspicious, angry. Heal our hearts. Dwell among those who grieve, who have suffered trauma, who are tasked with rebuilding a normal life where attacks have taken place, and wherever violence has broken down community.

Muslims Protect Christians in Marawi City, Philippines

In the Philippines, reports have emerged of local Muslims risking their own lives to save their Christian neighbors from attacks by militants of the so-called Islamic State. A well-known former politician and traditional leader in the city sheltered 71 Christians in his home. Another person sheltered 44 Christians. When word of another planned attack got out, Muslims deceived the Islamic fighters by hiding the identity of Christians.

God, we are grieved by the persecution of our brothers and sisters in the Philippines; we are inspired by the courage and humanity of the Muslims who protected them. Give us strength to correct the falsehood that all Muslims are violent; may we work to be Christians who, in places where we have power, protect the dignity and safety of people of other faiths who are subjected to hate and violence.

CRC Leader Joins Delegation Advocating Bears Ears National Monument

Former U.S. President Obama established the Bears Ears National Monument on Dec. 28, 2016, to place special protections on a vast area of Utah rich with human history, a move recommended by five Native American nations there. They seek to share the spiritual, cultural, and natural heritage that shapes our nation’s larger story. But there’s been a lot of contention as many feel it is a government land grab. On June 2, a CRC leader, Richard Silversmith, participated in a delegation to Washington, D.C., to provide an Indigenous Christian perspective on allowing Bears Ears to remain a national monument.

God, we pray that your will may be done in this decision — that the dignity and heritage of the land and of Native American peoples would be honored, that all voices would be heard, and that justice would prevail in this situation. We pray for Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples all over the world who daily fight injustice and ongoing oppression — empower us with your Spirit to work for reconciliation and justice.

Woman Dies Attempting to Seek Asylum in Canada

On May 26, a woman seeking asylum in Canada died of exposure while attempting to cross the U.S. border in a remote part of northern Minnesota. Mavis Otuteye, 57, who is thought to have been from Ghana, died of hypothermia near Noyes, Minn., according to a preliminary autopsy. So far this year, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Manitoba have intercepted 477 people crossing the border into Canada. The phenomenon extends across the country, since the executive orders of the Trump administration have fueled fears in migrant and immigrant communities. In British Columbia, 233 persons have been picked up by police, and 1,933 have been detained in Québec.

God, for safety, dignity, rest, and hope for refugees throughout the world, we pray. We pray especially for those who feel unsafe in the United States. Bring friends who will stand in solidarity with them. Bring wisdom as they weigh their options. Bring just laws that reflect the hospitality that your word calls us to.

Become a Social Media Organizer!

Become part of the movement! We’re looking for two social media savvy individuals (one U.S., one Canadian) interested in building networks to engage church members for justice and dialogue by organizing a social media ambassadors program. Are you a strong writer? Already familiar with our work? Check out this position posting! Click here for the Canada application and here for the U.S. application. This is a great resume-building opportunity for students. These are one-year contract positions with honoraria.

World Refugee Day Toolkit

How will your church celebrate and remember refugees this June (and beyond)? Download your copy of the World Refugee Day toolkit.