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Office of Social Justice News | March 2018

Advocate for Refugees

Five: The number of Syrian refugees resettled in the U.S. in the first two months of 2018.

Nearly 22.5 million refugees worldwide have fled their homes in the midst of the greatest refugee crisis in recent history. As it stands, the United States is currently on pace to resettle fewer than half of the 45,000 refugees it promised, already a historically low goal. When we welcome refugees, we catch a glimpse of the kingdom of God. We are given the chance to participate in the work of holy hospitality. We receive benefits and blessings from new neighbors. We share our faith.

Click the button to urge your elected officials to stand up for a strong resettlement program!

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CREATION CARE

Submit Your Creation Care Worship Resource!

We’re still accepting submissions for the new crowdsourced creation worship resource. We’ve received some great submissions so far! Do you have a creation-themed worship resource to share? Learn more here about how to submit your resource(s). Submissions are due Apr. 30.

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

Leading and Sustaining Change Conference

“Join scholars and practitioners from Canada and around the world to share knowledge and explore new and exciting ways to sustain restorative cultures in a variety of settings” at the International Institute of Restorative Practice’s annual conference, “Leading and Sustaining Change,” Apr. 30-May 2 in Toronto.

ABORTION

Abortion Debate in Ohio

The state of Ohio has had an active debate about abortion over the past few months. In December, Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law that prohibits doctors from performing abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The next month, 16 billboards advertising abortion went up around Cleveland, Ohio, and were posted in largely African American neighborhoods, sparking concerns that the campaign was targeting women of color. Two pro-life organizations responded by launching an ad campaign with messages including "Abortion is injustice anywhere" and “Abortion is systemic racism.” The bill Gov. Kasich signed is now being challenged in court. Find worship resources your congregation can use to honor the sanctity of human life here.

RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION

Support a Shared Jerusalem

On Mar. 7, representatives from Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) met with Sam Brownback, ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, at the State Department in Washington, D.C. The meeting gave them the opportunity to express the Roman Catholic Church's concerns regarding changes to the status quo in Jerusalem and to provide additional details regarding the legal intricacies surrounding the Church Lands Bill and the changes to municipal tax law. Ambassador Brownback encouraged CMEP to continue to raise awareness to the pressures that Christians in Jerusalem face. Tell Congress: Support a Shared Jerusalem

DO JUSTICE

Are You Letting Him Answer?

by Lydia McGeorge

“I didn’t want to see him suffering because it made my life harder—it made me carry a heavier burden. At that point, I didn’t want my prayer to be answered, but God had opened my eyes to him. I tried to walk away; I tried to run. Like Jonah, I wanted to run, but I was brought back to that man. So, instead, I bought him lunch and sat on the cold winter ground and broke bread with him. We communed—laughing, hurting, and sharing our lives, if only for a moment.” Read more >

OFFICE NEWS

We’re Hiring!

Our office is hiring! If you’re interested in faith, policy, and social justice, apply for our Mobilizing and Advocacy Fellowship. The deadline to apply is March 19. The fellowship is a one-year full-time paid position offered to recent college or university graduates. The fellow helps our office develop and assist in timely and effective advocacy and mobilizing strategies relating to selected issues of U.S. and Canadian policies, especially those that benefit people who are poor and oppressed. She or he will gain invaluable hands-on experience in real-world advocacy and faith-based mobilizing. Apply here!

IMMIGRATION U.S.

Meet Your New Immigration Organizers!

We contracted three immigration organizers to walk alongside churches as they engage the issue of immigration in three regions: Jason in Iowa (left), Kinga in the Pacific Northwest (top right), and Tomas in California (lower right). If you're interested in exploring the ways your congregation can learn more about immigration or get connected, fill out this form or email our immigration coordinator, Kelsey Herbert, at kherbert@crcna.org.

FROM OUR CRC PARTNERS

Blanket Exercise Facilitator Training

The Blanket Exercise Facilitator Training is designed to be beneficial to all, whether you've been a Blanket Exercise Facilitator for many years, or whether you want to be trained for the first time. This training will take place at the Burlington office of the CRC at 3475 Mainway, Burlington, Ont.

from Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee

Canada Summer Jobs - from the Centre for Public Dialogue 

In less than a week, Parliament will vote on a motion opposing changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program. The government is requiring applicants for Canada Summer Jobs funding to agree to an attestation that communicates support for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and a particular interpretation of reproductive rights. Several churches have reported that not checking the attestation box on Canada Summer Jobs applications has jeopardized their funding.

The attestation requirement would directly affect many charities and their ability to offer services such as helping refugees resettle, serving people who are homeless, and offering summer camps to children. Ask your MP to support the motion today!

In Case You Missed It

  • Check out all the submissions to the Creation Care Preaching Challenge on Do Justice!
  • Did you know we send a weekly email made up of three to five news updates and prayers addressing pressing issues around the world? Subscribe to OSJ Prayers.
  • This Lent, we challenge you to engage thoughtfully and prayerfully in advocacy for your neighbors, particularly those living in poverty because of various unjust systems. Check out the Lent Advocacy Challenge.
  • Don’t miss out on the upcoming FaithCARE training in Ajax, Ont., April 27-28 and May 12. Details here.