With Pharrell Williams' Happy blaring through the Cobo Center's speakers, commissioners at the 221st General Assembly (2014) ended Thursday's marathon session by having a ball.

Well. actually tossing 248 red beach balls around in celebration of the 248 new communities created since the 220th General Assembly (2012) created the 1001 Worshipping Communities initiative.

The celebration closed the final committee report of the evening, that of the Assembly on Congregational Vitality.

Committee Moderator Robin Lyn Valdez had told them about “the growing excitement” in the church’s 1001 movement.

The Assembly had just voted to encourage each

  • mid council to sponsor a 1001 training event,
  • session to pray at 10:02 a.m. the scripture passage from Luke 10:2: "He said to them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest for the Lord to send more workers into the harvest field,'” and
  • presbytery to watch the 1001 video, and start at least one new worshiping community in the next two years.

The Assembly heard how the committee had been sent out into Detroit two-by-two — praying first and then listening to whom God wanted them to meet, how they had come back re-energized for ministry, reconnected to the mission of the church, and rejoicing in its vitality.

They also approved the Presbyterian Mission Agency sponsored “Educate a Child, Transform the World” initiative – to provide quality education to 1 million children here and around the world in four years.

Vice Moderator Veronica Cannon said Educate a Child would open a platform for children and families to move out of poverty.

The Assembly also voted to encourage local congregations to engage in relational ministries with people of all races and ethnicities in their neighborhoods.