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Office of Social Justice News | November 2016

Advent Devotional Series

In the midst of so much violence and suffering—civil war in Syria, conflict in Iraq and Sudan, unrest in Colombia, racial tension in the United States, refugee crises in many parts of the world, trauma following natural disasters, disregard of sacred land in North Dakota, and more—where have we seen glimpses of the kingdom of God? World Renew and OSJ are providing a devotional series for Advent 2016 called The Things That Make for Peace.

Click here to subscribe to the Advent devotional series. Note: If you've received our devotions in the past, you are already subscribed. Enjoy!

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

January 15, 2017, is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, and we're offering resources for your church to honor the day, including bulletin inserts, a prayer, and a responsive reading. This year we want to lift up all who are grieving the loss of a child, which is why we’re highlighting the story of Eloise, who was born at 25 weeks and after 31 beautiful days of life went to be with Jesus. Eloise touched many lives, teaching about the value and beauty of every life, no matter how fragile or small.

Visit crcna.org/life for resources and to read Eloise’s story. Please order the free bulletin inserts by Dec. 19 to ensure they get to your church on time.

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CREATION CARE

For the Love Of Guide

For the Love Of explores the journey of four worship artists who journeyed to Paris for COP21 to learn how climate change is affecting the poor. This short film dives into what they learned as they engaged with activists, scientists, and people directly affected by climate change. We’ve created a Facilitator's Guide to accompany For the Love Of. Click here to watch the film and download the guide. This guide takes groups through two Bible study sessions while discussing how COP21 is relevant to Christians.
 

GIVING TUESDAY

Why I Give

"I support OSJ because of its shared understanding that biblical faith always translates into action for social justice. OSJ faithfully echoes the conviction of Jesus and the prophets, making clear that you cannot claim to love God without also loving those created in God's image—especially vulnerable imagebearers." —Jordan Bruxvoort, Sioux Falls, S.D.

This year, we saw more Christians doing advocacy with us than ever before. But in 2017 it will be even more important to stay engaged and steward our voices. For this year’s Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29, a few justice seekers have committed to match donations to OSJ (on this day only!). Donate now and spread the word!
 
 

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

Restorative Justice Week

Restorative Justice week is coming up, and we’d like to highlight how restorative practices are being used in the CRC. Have you participated in restorative circles or conferences in your church?

Email Kate Kooyman (kkooyman@crcna.org) with your story, and help encourage others to embrace the power of restorative practices in their congregations.

INDIGENOUS JUSTICE

New Do Justice Series

Injustice always begins by dehumanizing our neighbors. We see this in the Doctrine of Discovery—the church's rubber stamp on the dehumanization and colonization of Indigenous peoples, which the CRC denounced this past June. How can we unlearn this doctrine and heal together? This month we will learn from the perspectives and gifts of Indigenous peoples, and we will celebrate the ways we are unlearning the Doctrine of Discovery together. Want to make sure you don't miss a post? Sign up here.

IMMIGRATION

Renewing our Commitment

We’ve worked hard to build a movement that empowers Christians to speak the truth that immigrants are a blessing and that welcoming refugees is a part of who we are as people of God. Thanks for responding to this call. We know the stakes are high for the immigrant community as a result of the recent U.S. presidential election. Moving forward, we renew our commitment to changing the conversation about immigrants and advocating for more just immigration policies. We ask you to renew your commitment as well and to continue partnering with us for immigrant justice. Your voices are more important now than ever.

Sign the pledge to change the conversation and immigration laws here.

DO JUSTICE

Introducing Do Justice columnists!

We’re trying something new on Do Justice. The Holy Spirit is on the move across the CRC, inspiring leaders young and old, brown and white, male and female to follow God’s call to do justice. Starting this month, you’ll be hearing regularly from seven columnists about their questions, passions, and thoughts as they seek to do justice in their contexts. We’ve already heard from John Eigege in Houston, Tex., and Trixie Ling in Vancouver, B.C. Meet our columnists!

In Case You Missed It

  • Have you visited our new Religious Persecution pages? Learn more about religious persecution around the world, how we can remember persecuted communities in worship, and how we can get involved here.

  • Several Climate Witness Project churches in Grand Rapids are sponsoring a screening of Before the Flood, a documentary about climate change, at Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Nov. 28.

  • The CRCNA has a full-time position opening for Director of Race Relations and Social Justice, based in either Grand Rapids, Mich., or Burlington, Ont. Details here.