Overcoming crisis: Uniting in prayer for progress

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    These are trying times in Detroit. A general mood of hopelessness and helplessness has slowly given way to a sense of distress and despair.

    Reports of unprecedented levels of crime have left Detroiters on edge, some afraid to venture into their own community, others afraid even behind their own closed doors.

    Every morning, our day begins with countless stories of violence being reported on the news. By the time we make it home, the morning’s stories have changed into new violent encounters the stations can’t wait to share with us.

    And as if the countless stories of violence were not enough, the pundits have come to the unanimous decision that the city’s financial crisis is ready to deliver a final knockout blow to Detroit and its people.

    While we refuse to ignore the reality of our challenges, we also refuse to give up. Detroiters are not in need of constant reminders of those challenges. We are in need of a reminder that all is not lost.

    That is why I am convening a gathering of the area’s community, labor and religious leaders, and their congregations, who will come together to rededicate ourselves to “One Prayer, One Purpose, One City.”

    This event will take place on Thursday, Feb, 28, 6 p.m., at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 3600 Van Dyke on the city’s east side.

    Though our communities have long been beset by challenges of all types, they have always found strength in the guidance and support of the church. These institutions, as well as their clergy and leaders, have often proven themselves to be valuable beacons of reason in a dark world that sometimes makes little sense.

    As the son of a Baptist preacher, I believe church leaders are anointed to help guide the city of Detroit and it’s people to prosperity once again. I also join them in prayer on behalf of our most vulnerable citizens — our children and the elderly — who suffer the most from these distressing circumstances.

    In the coming days, I will convene dozens of these church leaders to unite Detroit in prayer, as we pray for our elected leaders, our citizens, and for the strength to once again make Detroit the city it is meant to be. 

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