Unusual Service for Detroit Auto Makers at Greater Grace Temple on Sunday
Having sport-utility vehicles at the altar and some auto workers in the pews together with Rev. Charles Ellis praying that Congress will bail out the embattled automakers was not an ordinary sight at all. According to Reuters, three hybrid SUVs (a Ford Escape, a Chevrolet Tahoe from GM and a Chrysler Aspen) were donated by local car dealerships to be displayed in front of the choir and behind the pulpit during the service.
No doubt the speech of the Rev. Ellis surely touched the congregants' hearts: "We have never seen as midnight an hour as we face this week" he said . "This week, lives are hanging above an abyss of uncertainty as both houses of Congress decide whether to extend a helping hand."
"Everybody can't live on Wall Street. Everybody can't live on Main Street. But all of us have lived on the side street, the working class," Ellis said. "I call it the working class because everything tells me there is no more middle class." Yet, whether his words represented an incentive for the Congress to approve the loan or not is still a matter of debate. The Bush administration and key Democratic lawmakers have been negotiating this weekend whether to offer at least $15 billion in short-term loans to keep General Motors Corp and Chrysler LLC from immediate bankruptcy and finally agreed to approve the loan.
Ellis finished the service optimistically, by leading the choir with Myrna Summers’s “We’re Gonna Make It”. "It's all about hope. You can't dictate how people will think, how they will respond, how they will vote," Ellis said after the service. "But you can look to God. We believe he can change the minds and hearts of men and women in power, and that's what we tried to do today." Given the Congress's decision, should we believe him?!
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