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Office of Social Justice News | February 2018

Re-focusing for Lent: the Lent Advocacy Challenge

Lent is a corrective, a refocusing through prayer and disciplines on Christ and his upside-down kingdom call on our lives. This Lent, we challenge you to engage thoughtfully and prayerfully in advocacy for your neighbors, particularly neighbors who are living in poverty because of various unjust systems. Read more »

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IMMIGRATION — U.S.

Bring Church Between Borders to Your Congregation

Step into the shoes of someone hoping to immigrate to the U.S. to learn how our immigration system works. This immigration simulation is the first part of our three-session Church Between Borders (CBB) workshop. Why host CBB at your church? Opinions tend to run high about the issue of immigration, but often our shared set of facts runs low. If we’re going to think faithfully about immigration, it’s important that we share an understanding of how immigration works today — and maybe dispel some misunderstandings that we didn’t even know we had. Consider hosting CBB at your church! Email Kelsey at kherbert@crcna.org to learn more.

REFUGEES — U.S.

Faith Leaders: Add Your Name to This Letter!

Our partner World Relief is requesting that faith leaders sign this letter to President Trump and Congress to urge them to consider the plight of Dreamers, refugees, persecuted Christians, and immigrant families as they move forward crafting legislation. If you are a faith leader, consider joining thousands of people around the country by adding your name to this letter. Not a faith leader? You can take action by bringing this to the attention of your church leaders. As Christians, we have an opportunity to speak into this process and demonstrate that people of faith believe that immigrants are a blessing. Sign here!

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

Locked In Solidarity Webinars

As part of the Christian Community Development Association’s (CCDA) Locked in Solidarity national advocacy and action week for mass incarceration, CCDA partners are leading webinars on juvenile justice and trauma-informed responses to violence. Click here to learn more and to watch the webinars.

CREATION CARE

Celebrate Earth Day!

Earth Day is just a couple of months away, and we invite you to celebrate the day with a gift to the Climate Witness Project! This special fundraising opportunity will help support the work of the project, so stay tuned for more details. Learn more about the work of the Climate Witness Project at crcna.org/cwp.

ABORTION

Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (HR 4712/S 220) recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed in the Senate, the bill, which is currently with the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, would require health practitioners to ensure that a child born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion be given the same care as a baby born under different circumstances. Ask your senators to support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act!

ACTION ALERT

Protect Aid to Palestinian Refugees

Last month the U.S. government announced it will withhold $65 million from its $125 million commitment to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the only UN agency working with Palestinian refugees. UNRWA provides crucial humanitarian aid and services like education and health care to over five million Palestinian refugees. Ask Congress to protect aid to Palestinian refugees with this action alert from our partner Churches for Middle East Peace.

RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION

Alliance of Virtue Gathering

Earlier this month, 300 religious leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., as part of the Alliance of Virtue, convened by Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah, an Islamic scholar and leader; evangelical pastor Rev. Bob Roberts; Rabbi David Saperstein; and others. The purpose of the gathering was to build momentum for addressing violence and to discuss progress since the Marrakesh Declaration was issued in 2016 as a legal framework and call to action for protecting the rights of religious minorities in Muslim-majority lands. The gathering concluded with the issuing of the Washington Declaration, a document encouraging a stronger commitment from international leaders to protect the rights of religious minorities.

FROM OUR CRC PARTNERS

Super Bowl Prayer Litany: A Prayer against Human Trafficking

Read about how Emden CRC in Renville, Minn., has responded to the issue of sex trafficking around the Super Bowl. To gain greater awareness of sex trafficking, especially in their area, the church gathered together local organizations with connections to the issue. They also created a prayer litany on sex trafficking, which they have shared in this blog post on The Network.

from our partner at Safe Church Ministry

In Case You Missed It

  • Ecumenical Advocacy Days will be held Apr. 20-23 in Washington, D.C. Join us!
  • Sign up for the upcoming webinar Communicating Climate Change to People of Faith, featuring renowned atmospheric scientist and Christian leader Dr. Katharine Hayhoe.
  • Praying for Indigenous rights — The Christian Reformed Church in Canada has affirmed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. But what does that mean? This Lent, the CRC’s Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee invites you to enter into the themes of the declaration through prayer.
  • We’re working on a crowdsourced collection of creation care worship resources, and we want to hear from you! If you have a resource to share, visit justice.crcna.org/worship.