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OSJ Prayers: November 7, 2018

 

“Stay defined, while remaining connected to those who see things differently. Lean hard into what is most important to you. Organize your behaviour and speech accordingly.”

— “Elected: the morning after” by Heidi S. De Jonge, pastor of Westside Fellowship Christian Reformed Church, Kingston, Ont.

At Least 7 Coptic Christians Killed in Egypt

Last week two buses carrying Coptic Christians were attacked by gunmen who opened fire on the vehicles, killing 7 and critically injuring 19 others. ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack. Authorities have said that this was the most serious assault on Coptic Christians, a religious minority in Egypt, in more than a year. The attack took place near where gunmen killed 28 Christians in a similar assault in May 2017. Egypt has been waging a major security campaign, mainly in Sinai but also along the border with Libya, against groups perpetrating ongoing violence against civilians, most of whom are Christians.

God, for all who are part of the body of Christ in this region of the world — who face threats, violence, grief, and fear — we lift our prayers. We pray that they might be protected from harm. We pray also for those who have perpetrated this violence, that they might find hope and peace without continuing such violent acts. We pray for reconciliation, Lord, in Egypt, in our own communities, and around the world.

Honolulu Named ‘Climate Change Challenge’ Leading City

The City and County of Honolulu just won national recognition in the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Change Challenge — a prize that will help the city significantly accelerate green energy goals over the next two years. Honolulu earned a top spot for its commitment to reducing fossil fuel use in city transportation, and for Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s ambitions toward securing a cleaner and safer environment and economy for residents and businesses on Oahu. The challenge offered up more than $200 million in investments toward cities with environmentally friendly policies. Honolulu will now be accepted into a two-year program that will provide access to cutting-edge support and resources to help reach the city’s carbon reduction goals.

God, we pray for a future that is hopeful, healthy, and sustainable for Honolulu and for all of us. We pray for more innovation, more creativity, more solutions to the challenges that we have created when it comes to the earth we share.

Famine Looms in Yemen

The battle for the Yemeni port city of Hudaydah has intensified, as government forces backed by Saudi-led coalition air strikes advance on rebel positions. More than 150 people are reported to have been killed since troops and militia stepped up a ground assault on the city's outskirts last Thursday. The United Nations and charities say the fighting is also endangering medical facilities and hundreds of thousands of civilians. Hudaydah's port is a lifeline for millions of Yemenis at risk of famine.

God, for the millions of people — each created in your image, each full of gifts and potential, each beloved — we pray for food, medicine, hope. We pray that the people who are seeking to take over this port city, and who are preventing life-saving help from getting to civilians who most need it, would not succeed. We pray, God, that somehow this crisis would be addressed and that the vulnerable people of Yemen would be spared from famine.

Episcopal Diocese in San Diego Assisting Stranded Migrants

Several local churches in San Diego, Calif. — and in many other parts of the U.S. southwest — say they are overwhelmed by an influx of asylum-seeking immigrants being dropped off on the streets with nowhere to go. The Episcopal Diocese in San Diego has assigned 10 of its churches to be shelters. Many immigrants end up trying to buy a ticket to go wherever their family may be in the United States. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said on Oct. 23 it had started to cut back on post-release procedures for apprehended families, meaning there is no post-release plan and that this new protocol is a result of a large number of intakes and asylum requests the agency has been receiving. Advocates for immigrants fear that this is a tactic to create the specter of a crisis in order to sway the public’s response to the situation of migrants.

God, we pray for the people who are being released from detention and left without information, assistance, or hope. We pray for churches that are trying desperately to meet their needs. We pray for policy makers whose decisions can either protect or steal a person’s dignity — give them compassion, we pray, and a commitment to justice.

Do Justice Blog

“God is still revealing how he will continue to work through his people to renew his creation,” writes Rick Kruis, regional organizer for the Climate Witness Project in Classis Red Mesa. Read his blog post ‘A New Normal’ here.

Financing a Solar Project for Your Church — November 15

Using solar power is a great way to reduce your church’s carbon footprint while demonstrating your commitment to caring for creation. This workshop will show you how you can help “green” your congregation while cutting the payback period on your investment. Join us on November 15. Learn more!

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