Office of Social Justice News | September 2017

Be a Social Media Ambassador!

Do you get excited about sharing your passion for social justice with others and inviting them to take action? Do you want to have an active role in sparking constructive conversations about social justice issues? Become part of a network of justice and dialogue seekers by being a Social Media Ambassador! Sign up here.



Canada 150 Preaching Challenge: Becoming Good Guests

In this Canada 150 year, what does it mean that this land we call Canada has been inhabited for far more than 150 years? What do the biblical calls to hospitality and reconciled relationships mean for your church’s relationships with local Indigenous peoples? Take the preaching challenge (or pass it along to your pastor)!


Support the Dream Act of 2017

The CRC has long been an advocate for undocumented immigrant youth in our communities. The Dream Act of 2017 is a bipartisan piece of legislation that would give Dreamers the opportunity to gain legal status in the U.S., permanently protect them from deportation, and allow them to fully flourish in their communities. Urge your members of Congress to stand with Dreamers by cosponsoring the Dream Act of 2017.


Ask Your Representative to Act on Climate

The Climate Solutions Caucus is a bipartisan group of legislators that meets regularly to learn about economically-viable options to reduce climate risk and to explore bipartisan policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of climate change To join, members of Congress must find someone from across the political aisle to sign on with them, thereby keeping the caucus balanced. Ask your representative to join the caucus today! If your representative is a Republican, you can also ask them to join the Republican Climate Resolution.


New Series: Justice and Our Reformed Confessions

Doing justice is an integral part of how Reformed churches understand the call of the gospel. We’re marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this month by listening carefully to our Reformed confessions. What does the call to do justice sound like in the Belgic Confession? What does the Heidelberg Catechism’s treatment of the Ten Commandments teach us about what it looks like to love our neighbors? What do the Canons of Dort have to do with “the widow, the stranger, and the orphan?” Sign up for weekly email updates.


Protect Kids from Online Porn

Porn is addictive, and surveys show that 9 in 10 boys and 6 in 10 girls are exposed to pornography before the age of 18. The online pornography that is available today provides new challenges--we need new ways to protect our kids. But pornography doesn’t just affect the viewer. Pornography is often linked to other forms of sexual exploitation, including sex trafficking and prostitution.

As the Canadian government discusses a Health Committee report about the effects of violent online porn, urge your Member of Parliament to help protect our kids from online porn.


Event: For Such a Time As This

How can we do justice in our worship services, and how does our worship fuel us up to follow the call to do justice after we leave the church building? That’s the focus of an upcoming event in Toronto on Oct. 21. The day will be packed with practical workshops about themes such as Justice, Prayer, and Soul Care; Youth and Justice in Worship; and Justice and Congregational Song. Register today!

—from our partners at the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue and CRC Worship Ministries


Abortion in the News

Access to abortion has been in the news in both the U.S. and Canada recently.

In Nova Scotia, the health minister is responding to calls to remove what some are calling “barriers” to surgical abortion, such as the required practices of asking for a doctor’s referral, an ultrasound, and blood tests before scheduling an abortive procedure. Abortion advocates want to streamline the process by making it possible for all three to be done in one appointment. At the same time, provincial governments are taking varied approaches to how medical abortions are being covered, with some offering abortion pills free of charge to women with a health card and others providing limited coverage for low-income women.

Lawyers representing the last abortion clinic in Kentucky are in federal court trying to keep its doors open after the clinic failed to meet state health regulations. Abortion advocates say that state law creates unnecessary barriers to accessing abortions, while Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration says that these measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of women. If the clinic wins the lawsuit, other clinics could begin offering abortions in Kentucky once again.


Praying for the Persecuted Church

We continue to remember in prayer those in prison being persecuted for their faith around the world (Heb. 13:3). Here are the names of some of them:

Christians in Eritrea, Egypt, and Pakistan are suffering in a variety of ways. Use the resource Light in the Darkest Places to remember them in your prayers. We also hope your church will join us in honoring the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on Nov. 5 or 12. Visit our website for worship resources.

In Case You Missed It

  • What does the gospel have to do with racism? Our close partners at the Office of Race Relations will be hosting a Facebook Live discussion with CRC theologians and leaders about this question on Monday evening, Sept. 25. Watch their Facebook page for more details.
  • Submissions to the Creation Care Preaching Challenge are due Sept. 30! Details here.
  • Talking about Privilege and Justice with Kids -- Check out two new resources that our friend Lisa recommends to help young people grow in their journey of faith formation.
  • The Climate Witness Project is supporting the Michigan Interfaith Power and Light's annual Sustainability Conference in East Lansing, Mich., titled Heeding the Call: Faith, Hope,and Climate Action.