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Office of Social Justice News | February 2019

Stand Up for Immigrants and Asylum-Seekers!

With a tentative deal reached to fund the U.S. government through FY 2019, we as people of faith must hold fast to our identity and calling. The synod of the CRCNA has long advocated for a fair and just immigration system that honors the inherent dignity of immigrants and refugees.

As people of faith, we believe that policymakers can pass a budget that protects immigrants and asylum-seekers by increasing access to asylum, keeping families together, and decreasing immigration detention. We believe that any changes made to our immigration system should increase legal paths to immigration - not create harmful, inhumane deterrents.

Call your Member of Congress today and ask them to support a budget that protects the rights of immigrants and asylum-seekers and holds DHS accountable to the humane treatment of immigrants.

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IMMIGRATION — U.S.

Last Call: Meet with Your Members of Congress About Immigration

You have the opportunity to meet with your Members of Congress the week of February 18-22! OSJ regional immigration mobilizers in California, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, and New York are scheduling in-district meetings to share the faith community’s 2019 priorities on immigration. Contact Melissa Stek (mstek@crcna.org) if you’d like to attend one of these meetings. Don't live in one of these states? You can schedule a legislative meeting yourself!

For more information, see our legislative meeting announcement and this advocacy toolkit from Refugee Council USA.

NEW ADVOCACY WORKSHOP

Faith in Action: Practicing Biblical Advocacy

Contacting elected officials may be daunting, but sharing your well-informed opinion can make a real difference on the justice issues that you care about, and can bring about long-term changes to unjust systems.

This workshop will help you learn how to navigate the political system to make your voice heard by local, provincial, and national leaders. This workshop was developed for Canada, but a U.S. version is available upon request.

Get the workshop »

CLIMATE CHANGE

Bangladesh Bible Study Series now available

The Climate Witness Project and Word Renew just launched The Bangladesh Bible Study Series.This is a three-week Bible study designed to help Christians engage faithfully with the issue of climate change in church groups, youth groups, community organizations, and more. It not only explores our biblical mandate to be stewards of creation but also convicts us of our Christian calling to be advocates for people who are poor and vulnerable.

Get the videos and Bible study »

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

Unity and Justice: On Criminal Justice, We Can Seek Both

We’re excited to welcome Laurel Luke as a new Do Justice columnist focusing on restorative justice!

“Not only can unity be found politically, but criminal justice reform is an issue that can reflect a Church that crosses barriers, even the barrier of prison. In order to reform our criminal justice systems effectively, we must understand what it is like to be a prisoner. That, in turn, requires us to reach out and extend our church walls beyond buildings and into prisons themselves.”

Read more »

RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION

Aid to Palestinians

The Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act took effect on February 1, which exposes the Palestinian Authority to legal action in U.S. courts if it accepts any U.S. assistance funds. This law has eliminated U.S. funding for Palestinian refugee education, food, health care, and West Bank infrastructure projects which will now be left uncompleted. Not only has this created a humanitarian crisis for Palestinians, including Palestinian Christians, but it has increased security risks for Israel.

Read more »

DO JUSTICE

Rising to be Change-Makers

“As adults we have a great capacity to equip young people early on to welcome, serve, and tackle tough issues. When we rise as change-makers, they will too.

Here are twelve ways to begin your own family or group journey towards becoming change-makers…”

Read 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 »

FROM OUR CRC PARTNERS

Online Class by Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff on Justice

In lectures, participants will consider the relation between love and justice in Christian scripture, ask what justice is, consider why justice matters, consider the relation between justice and government.

Options to attend are in-person (Grand Rapids, MI) and online; registration is through the CALL website.

Visit CALL’s website and click on "My Account" to learn more and register. New users will need to set up an account in order to access the courses to register.

Register »

—from our partners at the Association for a More Just Society and Calvin College

Support Indigenous Rights in Canada!

Like a building code, each article of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples comes from a time when a right was violated.

That’s why the leadership of the CRC in Canada affirmed the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2016 with these words: “We honour the Declaration’s expression of Indigenous perspectives on justice and right relations that have, too often, been missing and ignored in the shaping of our collective lives.” 

And that’s why, as momentum gathers to reconcile Canadian law to Indigenous rights as outlined in the U.N. Declaration, we’re adding our voices in support of Bill C-262. This bill would bring Canadian law more in line with Indigenous rights.

Will you add your own voice to the momentum and urge the Senate to pass Bill C-262?

This action alert is offered in partnership with the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue.

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