OSJ Prayers: June 28, 2017

Successful Land Restoration in Ethiopia

Deforestation and erosion have been a long-standing issue in the Ethiopian highlands, forcing many to migrate from their homes. But after 20 years of restoration work in the hills and river valley, water has returned to Gergera, Ethiopia. With funding assistance from Irish Aid, Ethiopian researchers are creating and implementing terrace design, construction of a rainwater tank, and plans for introducing native trees and crops. The hard work and commitment of community members has resulted in a restored water source and productive land.

Creator God, we confess that all too often our hearts are so burdened by grief over the world’s wrongs that we fail to recognize, name, and celebrate the work of your hands. We praise you for the restoration we see happening in the Ethiopian highlands. We pray for the continued effort of seeking to bring water to places that have been harmed by human failure to steward your creation well. God, thank you for your faithfulness.

Three UN Peacekeepers Die in Attack

An Al-Qaeda affiliate launched an attack on a United Nations Camp in northern Mali earlier this month, killing three United Nations Peacekeepers and wounding several others.The UN mission in Mali is the deadliest active peacekeeping mission in the world. In January a suicide bomber in a vehicle full of explosives attacked a camp in northern Mali, killing at least 50 people and wounding dozens of soldiers and former fighters.

Reconciling God, we are grateful for the courageous work of peacekeepers committed to seeking stability and the well-being of all people in areas where violence threatens and destroys lives. We ask you to comfort all who are grieving the loss of loved ones as a result of violence. Bring your peace to the hearts, minds, and lives of people who do not know your love and peace in Christ, and make us willing servants of your reconciliation where you have placed us. God, thank you for the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.

60 Die in Airstrike on Syrian Prison

Almost 60 people were killed in a suspected U.S.-led coalition airstrike on a prison run by the so-called Islamic State in eastern Syria, activists say. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 42 prisoners and 15 militants died when the facility near Mayadin, in Deir al-Zour province, was hit on Monday. According to activist groups, the facility was located near the village of Tayibiya wa al-Maaharufa, and it had once been the home of a commander of the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda-linked group now known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. The U.S. coalition spokesperson stated they are looking into the casualty report.

God of peace, we know that you desire that we live in peace with one another. With heavy hearts, we grieve the wars taking place around the world. We pray for unity where there is division, justice where there is oppression, and love where there is hate. We know that it is only by the power of your Spirit that your will is done on earth as it is

University of Saskatchewan to Become School for Indigenous Scholars

The University of Saskatchewan is leading the charge to become a school for Indigenous scholars, committing to research, learning, “knowledge-keeping,” reconciliation, and inclusion with and by Indigenous peoples and communities. This year, the university celebrated graduation with a powwow on the college green in an effort to “indigenize” — a term that captures everything from drawing more Indigenous students and faculty to institutions built largely for white settlers, to infusing Western institutions with Indigenous beliefs and knowledge.

God of love, we praise you for the love that you have for all people created in your image. We celebrate the efforts of those working for right relationships with you, with diverse peoples and with your created world. We seek to give you glory wherever we find justice, righteousness, and peace, so we pray for your continued blessing on all who follow you in the work of reconciliation and restoration. God, thank you for the light of your love made visible all around us.

Acting in Faith: Taking the Next Steps Webinar (U.S.)

There's still time to sign up! Join us Thursday, June 29, from 9-10 p.m. (EDT) for our online webinar Acting in Faith: Taking the Next Steps. We’ll recap all of the great work our teams did in Washington, D.C., last month, refresh ourselves on our policy asks, discover how to build respectful relationships with our local congressional offices, and learn how to build a sustained, local movement for climate action.

Urge Congress to Support a Faithful Budget for Immigrants

The Trump administration's fiscal year 2018 budget requests an additional $4.5 billion for expanded immigration enforcement. We have an opportunity to speak up and tell Congress to oppose this funding proposal that will separate families and hurt U.S. communities.

Will you join us in speaking up for a faithful budget?