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Office of Social Justice News | August 2019

Protect Refugee Resettlement from Being Shutdown

The Trump administration is considering a shutdown or near-shutdown of the United States refugee resettlement program for next year. Refugees have become critical members of our communities, bringing skills and blessings with them, and the CRC stands witness to this in its long history of welcoming refugees. Urge your members of Congress to hold the administration accountable to keeping this faithful, life-saving program intact.

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IMMIGRATION — CANADA

Young Adults from Ontario Practice Advocacy

On July 26, participants at a Youth Unlimited SERVE event in Wyoming, Mich., engaged in a Church Between Borders workshop. Young adults who were there from three Canadian CRCs — ClearView CRC, Oakville, Ont.; Immanuel CRC, Hamilton, Ont.; and Palmerston (Ont.) CRC — learned about the challenges of navigating the U.S. immigration system, and they finished the session by writing postcards to their MPs in Ontario, urging them not to cut funding for legal aid refugee and immigration services.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Christian Climate Observers Program at COP 25

The Climate Witness Project is teaming up with a network of Christian organizations to bring young people to COP 25 in Chile (Dec. 2-13, 2019), where they will have the opportunity to represent their generation, as people of faith, to global leaders on the topic of climate change. Scholarships may become available, and OSJ is open to supporting participants’ fundraising needs. Contact Kris Van Engen if you have questions.

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

Promoting Justice in Your Community

A CRC commissioned pastor who is also a Michigan representative in the state house, gathered leaders this week in Grand Rapids to discuss his highest priority: criminal justice reform. State Rep. David LaGrand wants to reform the cash bond system in Michigan so that it no longer unduly burdens people living in poverty. What changes to the criminal justice system would promote restoration in your community? Share with us!

RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

November 3 is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. If your church wants to participate in this day, you can find worship help and information here

DO JUSTICE

Searching for the Sacred Fire

“My favorite duty at our annual June church retreat, high in the Colorado mountains, is waking up early to start the fire in the grand meeting space fireplace.”

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Job Opportunity

The CRC Office of Social Justice is hiring a part-time U.S.-based Immigration and Justice Specialist! This person will facilitate U.S. CRC congregations in learning, involvement, and effective advocacy in social justice issues. Apply by August 21!

Sanctity of Human Life

Twelve weeks of job-protected paid leave for parents means 600 fewer infant and post-neonatal deaths per year. Yet many parents experience work and family life as sources of constant conflict. Families Valued is an initiative of the Center for Public Justice, working on public policy that can support both family life and work as two God-given spheres of human responsibility. You can follow their work, and their advocacy priorities, at familiesvalued.org.

In Case You Missed It

  • West Michigan has a long history of welcoming refugees. Join us for our “Rise For Refuge” event in Grand Rapids to advocate for the protection of asylum and the refugee resettlement program. RSVP for the Aug. 24 event here.

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