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Office of Social Justice News | August 2017

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

This year’s day of prayer is marked by churches on November 5 or 12. We’re focusing on the persecution and witness of the Coptic Church in Egypt, with 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 as the theme Scripture. Free inserts to help your church remember the persecuted church are available from Faith Alive. Order today!

Christian Reformed Church Responds to Charlottesville

Racism is a Gospel issue. As The Banner’s editor Shiao Chong wrote in response to this weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Va., “The events of Charlottesville should not move us only to make proclamations and denouncements. They should also move us to act: to pray, to examine ourselves, and to work.” Here are some CRC resources to help your church respond.

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CREATION CARE

Climate Witness Project Reaches 70 Churches

The Climate Witness Project (CWP) has been gaining momentum, with more than 70 churches participating in the project! Read this CRC News article about the success of the project and the creative ways CWP churches are engaged in energy stewardship, worship, education, and advocacy.

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

Omar Khadr, The King’s University, and Micah 6:8

In a blog post on Do Justice, Professor Roy Berkenbosch writes about The King’s University’s work with Omar Khadr, an Afghan Canadian who was incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay for 10 years and recently received an apology and settlement from the Canadian government. Read the full blog post.

IMMIGRATION

Oppose the RAISE Act

Alarming anti-immigrant legislation that runs contrary to biblical values was endorsed on Aug. 2 by the U.S. president, and now is the time to speak. The Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act aims to reduce legal immigration by 50-70 percent. This would negatively affect all of us by harming the economy, social fabric, and moral character of the U.S. Urge Congress to oppose this bill today!

INDIGENOUS JUSTICE

Canada, Who Are We?

A year ago last week, a young Indigenous man named Colten Boushie was shot by farmer Gerald Stanley. In the wake of the shooting, there was vocal support for Stanley from other Saskatchewan farmers. Bert Adema of the Indian Metis Christian Fellowship writes that incidents like this challenge Canadian smugness about rural hospitality and civility and “wipe the maple syrup glaze from our collective self-image.” Read more >

ACTION ALERT - U.S.

Advocate for Faithful Climate Action

Members of Congress are back home for the month of August, and Christians around the country are meeting with their representatives to advocate for climate action. You can join them, even if you haven’t set up a meeting! Contact your representative today to ask them to join the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus and to cosponsor the Republican Climate Resolution.

MIDDLE EAST PEACE

What Israel/Palestine Tour Should I Go On?

In choosing to take a trip to Israel/Palestine, you need to reflect carefully on what type of tour you wish to join. There are many people who sign up for a trip to “Israel” or “The Holy Land” and return disappointed because it did not meet their expectations. Read about the different types of tours to consider in this Do Justice piece.
 

DO JUSTICE

Calvin’s Theology of Social Justice

“The gospel calls us to seek first the kingdom and its justice/righteousness (Matthew 6:33), and Jesus proclaimed the blessings of the kingdom for those who are persecuted either for the sake of justice/righteousness or for the sake of Jesus (Matthew 5:10-11). Any theology that fails to hold these together is a false theology,” writes Calvin Theological Seminary professor Matthew Tuininga. Read more >

ABORTION

Pregnancy Care Centers Map

A good way to learn about the realities of abortion is to directly support pregnant women searching for an option other than abortion. We've compiled a map of pregnancy resource centers. We’ve done our best to find holistic, life-affirming centers near CRCs. Most of these centers offer pregnancy tests, counseling, and support for mothers who decide to carry their babies to term. Volunteers and financial support are always needed and welcome.

In Case You Missed It

  • Connecting with your Community - Check out this upcoming equipping event in Mississauga, Ontario from our partners at Disability Concerns, the Office of Race Relations, and Safe Church Ministry. It’s coming up soon! Register here.
  • Join our ecumenical partners in standing with our Christian brothers and sisters in Israel and the Palestinian territories by urging Congress to oppose the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.
  • Have you heard your pastor preach on creation care? Encourage your pastor to participate in the Creation Care Preaching Challenge
  • Churches for Middle East Peace is holding an event for millennials wanting to engage in a national campaign for peace and justice in the Holy Land. Advocacy Summit: Choose Hope 2017 will be held Nov. 12-14 in Washington, D.C.