By Niraj Warikoo
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer
The head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Michigan helped kicked off the Democratic National Convention, asking God to help unite and lift up Americans.
“O God,” Metropolitan Nicholas said in the opening invocation of the convention. “Assist us to set aside personal differences, so that our unity of purpose will rise above us all as an enduring symbol of freedom.”
His three-minute invocation referenced Biblical figures Abraham and Sarah, Detroit, Native Americans, immigrants, the poor, and others in a call for peace and healing.
“Let freedom reign in our hearts so that we would…never fear to give shelter to the homeless and displaced, never fear to treat our neighbor as our selves, and never fear to give dignity and opportunity — as in Detroit and elsewhere in America — to the struggling unemployed and less fortunate.”
Dressed in a black robe and hat, Metropolitan Nicholas came on stage right after the opening remarks of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who chairs the Democratic National Committee.
In his remarks, Nicholas said God “brought us here from every place on earth (so) that Native Americans and immigrant Americans, people of color and of every tongue, might find not just hope, but a land which seeks life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”