The Courage to Love


Weekend of Prayer: The Courage to Love is an opportunity for all faith communities in the metro area to opt-in to a series of activities that encourage unity and community-driven reflection using July 1967 as a catalyst for dialogue. Based on the popularity of this initiative that was originally observed July 21- 23, 2017, we are pleased to extend our invitation to all faith communities in the metro area! All congregations are welcome to take part in this observance from now until December 31st 2017. Our theme: The Courage to Love is inspired by the idea that in order to unpack the history surrounding the civil unrest that occurred that summer, we must first start with our ability to identify our commonalities and honor our differences. All faith communities (e.g., mosques, synagogues, churches, temples) are invited to participate in the Weekend of Prayer in any variety of ways that the groups feel will be most meaningful to their members/congregations.To confirm a faith organization’s participation you would need: their name, phone, email, and the idea that they’d like to pursue through this initiative. Sent to [email protected] or by phone: 313-833-4306. Once we’ve collected the ideas we will make them available here so that you can explore the option of collaborating with other communities also participating.


Download flyer

Download Letter of Invitation


Participating Congregations

Cathedral Church of St. Paul

Detroit, MI


Christ Church Cranbrook

Bloomfield Hills, MI


Grace Episcopal Church

Detroit, MI


Grace Episcopal Church

Mt. Clemens, MI


Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue

Detroit, MI


Mariner’s Church of Detroit

Detroit, MI


Plymouth United Church of Christ

Detroit, MI


Rochester Church of Christ

Rochester Hills, MI


Spirit of Grace, a Lutheran-Episcopal Community

West Bloomfield, MI


St. David’s Episcopal Church

Southfield, MI


St. Matthews & St. Joseph Episcopal Church

Detroit, MI


St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church

Madison Heights, MI


St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church

Troy, MI


Unity Prayer

Contributed by Pastor Bill Danaher

Christ Church Cranbrook


Loving God, You alone can give the justice and peace we desire.

You alone can reconcile our past, present, and future.

You alone can give us the grace to walk by faith and to speak the truth with love.


As we remember July 1967, help us build a better July 2017 in our cities and suburbs.

Help us to remember the past faithfully, So that we can live fully in the present and prepare for your future.

Give us your courage and compassion so that we might bear witness to you.

Give us your wisdom and understanding so that we might walk together.

Give us your love, which embraces all and turns no one away.


These things we ask so the world can see and know

that those who were being cast down are being raised up,

that things which had grown old are being made new,

and that your whole creation is being brought to perfection,

by same God who said, “Let there be Light!”


The Spirituality of Remembering the ’67 Rebellion

The Rev. Canon Dr. William J. Danaher, Jr.
Rector, Christ Church Cranbrook
Canon for Interfaith and Ecumenical Engagement,
The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
Originally Published by Detroit Free Press, July 24, 2017


It is humbling to walk through Detroit 67: Perspectives, an exhibit at the Detroit Historical Society. At the start of the careful history presented there, visitors make a stop to create their own headlines. Working with a template and selecting different terms, they can describe the events of 1967 as a “riot,” a “revolution,” an “uprising,” a “rampage,” or a “rebellion.” They can call the people involved “individuals,” “protestors,” “thugs,” “freedom fighters,” or “criminals.” They can characterize the police response as actions that “quelled” or “assaulted” the “gathering” or “gangs” on the streets.


This exercise helps visitors see how the words we use can reveal our biases and attitudes. In an era of “Post-Truth Politics” and “Fake News,” the exhibit invites self-reflection about the history we share, or don’t share, about what happened in Detroit in 1967. The different stories we tell, or don’t tell, are a reminder of what remains for us to learn about each other. The disagreement about language that the exhibit names helps us see the social distance that remains in the greater metropolitan area –  distance that is physical, social, and economic.

Read More >

Words, Truly, Matter.

Matthew J. Schmitt

Co-Founder of The Table Setters and
Compiler and Author the blog Dismantling Whiteousness
Originally Published at Dismantling Whiteousness


Take a look at these words of this advertisement in #Detroit from 1942: Help the White People To keep this district WHITE. MEN NEEDED to KEEP OUR LINES SOLID. Come to Nevada and Fenlon Sunday and Monday. WE NEED HELP. Don’t be YELLOW, come out. We Need Every WHITE MAN. We want our girls to walk on the street, not raped.


Let those words sink in. What does it conjure up in your mind? I am particularly disturbed by the end lines (beyond the grammatical error), first digging in the “cowardice color” that was also slapped on Asian-Americans, but the notion that if we don’t hold our lines, that our little girls would be certainly raped by non-white people is fear mongering at it’s finest. It has informed our impressions of black men, it has informed the way we police, it has informed the dominant narrative of America: black men are out to get us white folks on every level. This is deeply rooted. And these were commonplace words back then, so it should not be a huge surprise to realize that the original covenants of the suburbs of Detroit very directly did not allow any person with brown skin to purchase or move into homes north of 8 mile. That was the law.


Some laws are meant to be challenged, and I believe we have a moral obligation to break unjust laws when they further oppress people who are already all too used to oppression…. Read More >

No more ‘us and them’: Detroit, Charlottesville and the ministry of reconciliation

Bobby Ross Jr.
Originally Published by The Christian Chronicle, August 16, 2017


DETROIT — The boys — one black, one white — were 10 years old.


Ive Edwards lived close to where the chaos started. Smoke filled his nostrils as arsonists set his hometown ablaze. Looters ran by his window. Army tanks rolled down the street. The pop-pop-pop of gunfire pierced his ears. Afraid of stray bullets, he dove under his bed.


Greg Guymer witnessed the turmoil from Detroit’s outskirts. Helicopters whipped overhead, soldiers’ legs dangling out like a scene from Vietnam. Fear paralyzed him, but his grandfather admonished him to hide in the basement if the war zone approached.


Fifty years after the 1967 Detroit riot, Edwards and Guymer recounted their experiences as two congregations sought to model Christian unity in a nation that still struggles mightily with race — as illustrated by the fatal clashes between white supremacist groups and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va.


Even before Charlottesville, the predominantly black Oakland Church of Christ and the predominantly white Rochester Church of Christ — both north of Detroit — saw a need to bridge the divide.


“Love conquers hate because God is love,” said Edward Cribbs, minister for the 300-member Oakland church. “The Oakland and Rochester congregations are endeavoring to bring to the forefront the issue of race and reconciliation. The events in Charlottesville remind us that our efforts are long overdue.” Read More >