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Office of Social Justice News | January 2019

God loves his creation! And so do his people.

Christian Reformed people from all walks of life have poured out their devotion to our Creator God and his creation-loving call on our lives in this new crowd-sourced collection of worship materials. After careful review and editing by a team of Reformed theologians, they’re ready to be used in your congregation.

Every week this month we’ve been releasing a new section of the collection: from prayers to visuals, from sermon notes to liturgies.

May our worship call us more fully into our God-given identities as creation stewards and God-worshippers. Get the resources »

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IMMIGRATION — U.S.

Help a CRC church support Guatemalan asylum seekers

A CRC church in California needs your help to support a Guatemalan family that is seeking asylum in the U.S.

Targeted for extortion and threatened with violence in Guatemala, they took a leap of faith, joined the caravan, and fled to the U.S. for protection.

Rudy Gonzalez from CRC Office of Race Relations and his church, Sovereign Grace Community Church, have provided emergency housing to this family and are raising money to support their legal fees for their asylum process. Please consider chipping in at gofundme.com/help-the-calderon-family-seek-asylum, and learn more about what churches are doing to respond to those fleeing for their lives in this Facebook video.

Watch the video »

REFUGEES — CANADA

Crossing the border into Canada was the only option left to me

A refugee claimant who crossed the border irregularly shares his story: “Some people might just simply not trust my capabilities because of where I come from, or how my name sounds. And some others might just not like refugees, particularly those who are called "illegal" border-crossers. I agree with them — I don't like the term "illegal" either — but crossing the border was the only option left for me.”

Read more »

POVERTY AND HUNGER — CANADA

Tell Parliament “I Care” about Global Hunger

Globally, extreme poverty has been cut in half since 1990, and Canadian aid has made an important contribution to this dramatic change. However, Canadian aid is falling.

Our government needs to know that you care about the role that Canada plays in ending global poverty and hunger.

Take action »

CLIMATE CHANGE — U.S.

Support Bipartisan Climate Solutions!

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act will drive down America’s carbon pollution and address climate change, while unleashing American technology innovation. This bill has received bipartisan support, will reduce carbon emissions, put money in the pockets of Americans, create jobs in clean energy, and operate as revenue neutral, thus the government will not keep any collected revenue.

Ask your Member of Congress to support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act!

RESTORATIVE PRACTICES

Unlocked

Has your church done the Restorative Practices training? Here's one CRC pastor's take on the transformational experience of "unlocking" what can get stuck in our communities, conversations, and in our own hearts.

Read more »

RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION

Persecution in China

Join us in praying for the church in China, which today is experiencing the greatest crackdown from the government in three decades: from a government work plan aimed at “retranslating and annotating” the Bible toward an interpretation that supports communism, to jailing pastors, to restricting religious activity and barring worship.

Read more »

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

Locked in Solidarity

The Christian Community Development Association’s (CCDA) national awareness and action week on mass incarceration, Locked in Solidarity, will be happening this year from February 10 - 16. The purpose of this awareness week is not only to raise awareness but to develop and implement strategies that will change the course of our criminal justice system. Learn more about Locked in Solidarity and use this map to find out events happening locally in your communities of which you can be a part of.

Learn more »

OSJ SUNDAY

Mark OSJ Sunday on February 24

People across the Christian Reformed Church are engaging in important justice work on issues such as immigration, refugees, sanctity of human life, religious persecution, creation care, and more! We're here to help your church engage in important work like advocacy with refugees. In addition to Ministry Share support, it is the yearly offering from CRC churches like yours in the U.S. and Canada that make this important work possible.

Get resources for your church »

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Changes coming to Do Justice and OSJ Prayers

You'll be seeing some changes to OSJ Prayers and Do Justice in the coming weeks.

To better equip CRC people to work and pray for justice, the OSJ Prayers newsletter will now be posted on our joint blog with the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue, Do Justice, every Wednesday as Justice Prayers.

Both Do Justice and Prayers subscribers will now receive Do Justice posts, including Justice Prayers on Wednesdays, in your inbox three times a week.

What do you need to do?
If you’re a Prayers subscriber, just add dojustice@crcna.org to your address book and look for posts to arrive three times per week. You might want to star them or move them out of your promotions folder to make sure you see them.

FROM OUR CRC PARTNERS

What does Reconciliation Mean at Unist'ot'en: Two Local Perspectives

“This leaves us wondering: what does reconciliation mean when pipeline companies, governments, and First Nation band councils want a pipeline to go through, and an Indigenous community’s traditional leaders do not?

Long before this story made national news, CRC congregations were living and worshipping in the area. Our team has been in contact with various people in the area with CRC connections, including Christian school teacher Jonathan Boone and his daughter Kayla, a Kings University College student.

They offered their perspectives, not as experts nor as Wetsu’wet’en representatives of any kind, but simply as local CRC people seeking to be allies to the Wetsu’wet’en people.”

Read more »

—from our partners at the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue and the CRC Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee

Series: Pro-Mama!

Life is a gift from God. Caring for new human life, whether in the womb or outside of it, means caring for mothers (and families!).

If they have to struggle with systemic barriers in addition to the intensity of pregnancy, as mothers in so many marginalized communities do, their babies face more barriers to flourishing. This is not God’s intent for life!

Subscribe to the series »

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In Case You Missed It

  • MLK Day 2019: A Stone of Hope - If you’re in Grand Rapids on January 21, join us at Madison Church to hear from Dr. Christina Edmondson and celebrate the work and words of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Biblical Advocacy 101 - Get equipped for advocacy with this easy guide, available in both U.S. and Canada versions.