If there's one thing Metro Detroiters of all faiths can agree on, it's that the region is going through an economic rough patch, to say the least.
A Warren church has an idea: Everybody pray.
The Rev. Greg Barrette, lead minister of the 1,500-member Renaissance Unity, hopes churches, temples, synagogues and other houses of worship unite Aug. 24 and put forth "A Prayer for Uplifting the Economy of Detroit (or Southeast Michigan)." He said he'll start a letter-writing campaign today to other churches.
Praying for the area's economy to pick up may be a bit unusual. But with the highest unemployment rate in the nation, automotive woes, high gas prices and the housing crisis, the message, Barrette said, transcends theology.
"The waters are rising, and we've all got to pitch in," Barrette said. "I truly believe prayer is powerful, and it can turn the tide. It could get people focused on the hope. There's going to be an upturn. We don't know when this is going to happen, but we need to be behind it."
The message is being met with acceptance in some quarters, skepticism in others.
"We're supporting it," said the Rev. John Biersdorf, pastor of Point of Vision Presbyterian Church in Royal Oak. "It's the kind of thing churches ought to be doing -- getting involved in the lives of people, working for them and praying for them."
Prayer sessions involving several faiths aren't unusual, said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan Council on American-Islamic Relations.
"Most of the Muslim community has no problem with interfaith community prayers and have done them, even prior to September 11," Walid said. "Besides the annual September 11 observances, there are various times or events that have prompted interfaith prayers -- from seeking workers' rights to peace in Kosovo." (MORE)