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Office of Social Justice News | July 2017

New Resource: Ten Ways to Care for Creation

We’ve partnered with Faith Formation Ministries to develop a new free resource for churches looking for fresh ways to address our call to care for creation. Ten Ways to Care for Creation includes ideas such as starting an intergenerational gardening project, holding a storytelling series, incorporating creation care into prayer and worship, and more! We invite you to download this free resource and share it with your church.

Make Your Voice Heard This August

Congress has a big task when they return in September: the House and Senate must create and pass the federal budget for fiscal year 2018. We have an opportunity to raise our voices to urge Congress to enact a budget that works toward the flourishing of all God’s people. Sign up here to express interest in scheduling a meeting with your member of Congress during the August recess. We’ll work with you throughout the process!

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RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION

Preventing & Deescalating Religious Persecution

The federal budget is a reflection of our nation's values. We have an opportunity to use the power of advocacy to call for a faithful budget—one that protects and defends the vulnerable. The proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year includes dramatic cuts to international peacekeeping efforts that are vital to preventing and deescalating religious persecution around the globe. Learn more and contact your member of Congress.

INDIGENOUS JUSTICE

A Prayer for the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls

A long-awaited inquiry into the troubling pattern of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada has run into various struggles, including the recent resignations of a commissioner and several other key staff. If you’re looking for help praying for the inquiry, visit this post on the Facebook page of our partner, the Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee.

ACTION ALERT - U.S.

Support a Faithful Budget for Immigrants

The Trump administration's fiscal year 2018 budget requests an additional $4.5 billion for expanded immigration enforcement. Now is the time to tell Congress to oppose this proposal that would separate families and hurt communities. Urge Congress to oppose increased funding for detention, deportations, and border enforcement, and to support vulnerable people.

ABORTION

A Faithful Budget Will Seek to End Practice of Abortion

"So how do we, as Reformed Christians with a diversity of thoughts on how to end the practice of abortion, work together? . . . I invite you to join me in thinking creatively about how God has called us to work together to end the practice of abortion—in ways that honor the image of God in each unborn child, each man, and each woman." Read more >

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

2017 National Restorative Justice Symposium

The Church Council on Justice and Corrections is cohosting the 2017 National Restorative Justice Symposium that’s happening in Ottawa, Ont., this fall. Mark your calendars for Nov. 19-21! This year’s theme is “Global Innovation, Local (R)evolution.” You won't want to miss it!

DO JUSTICE

Diversity and Discernment

by Danielle Steenwyk-Rowaan
“Synod 2017, the annual general meeting of the Christian Reformed Church, spent a lot of time talking about our Do Justice blog. They specifically wondered about articles written about Indigenous names for God and Indigenous ceremonies. . . . Here’s our take on it.” Read more >

OSJ’s Coordinator Peter Vander Meulen Retires

After working with the CRC for 44 years and acting as coordinator of our office for 19 years, Peter Vander Meulen worked his last day with OSJ on June 30. Peter’s passion for kingdom justice has touched countless people in the CRC and beyond. Peter helped to facilitate peace talks in Nigeria, played a key role in the creation of our office, worked on the Kimberley Process to clean up the diamond trade, and so much more!

Upon Peter’s retirement, Rev. Reggie Smith began serving as director for both the Office of Race Relations and the Office of Social Justice. Welcome, Reggie!

In Case You Missed It

  • All Nations Heritage Sunday: July 25 is the deadline to order bulletin inserts and covers from our partners at the Office of Race Relations. Learn more and order your free inserts.

  • Save the Date: Check out this upcoming event for worship planners and justice seekers in Toronto, Ont., on Oct. 21: “For Such a Time as This.” Learn more and inquire with our partners at the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue.