Using a snappy, brief film designed to point out what the Rose City will offer commissioners to the 222nd General Assembly (2016), the Committee on Local Arrangements from Presbytery of Cascades made the case for looking ahead during Saturday's final session of the 221st General Assembly (2014).

Teaching Elder Beth Neel, co-chair of the group making advance arrangements for the General Assembly in Portland June 18-25, 2016, said leaders wanted to test market a proposed theme for the Portland assembly – “Up from the Grave He A-Rose.” Commissioners groaned at that pun, but seemed riveted by the film, which described “a city that won’t ever feel settled, not in a million years. Settling isn’t in our DNA.”

The film featured famous Portland-area venues, including Willamette Falls, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Nike headquarters and the city’s light rail system.

“Pack a camera and an extra bag,” the narrator suggested for those planning to attend the next Assembly. “At the end of the meeting, live a little. We bet you won’t want to settle, either.”

“The good people of Detroit have shown us how to do this well,” Neel said. “We are so grateful for their spirit of generosity.”

Earlier, the Detroit COLA was honored with a humorous skit. “Over time, they learned how to wield the powers they’d been given – the powers of the smock,” skit presenters said, drawing laughter from commissioners. “These trendy teal smocks have been bequeathed to unsuspecting Presbyterians.”

They even offered this tongue-in-cheek warning to their counterparts in Cascades Presbytery: “With great trendiness comes great hospitality!”

In fact, Moderator Heath Rada said with a grin, one Detroit COLA had been so well trained that when he didn’t have his GA credential Friday morning, she refused to let him into Cobo Hall to run the plenary session. I appreciate your diligence, he told her, but I think they’ll let the moderator in.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Moderator, but you still need a nametag,” the polite COLA told Rada.

“Good for her!” he said. “This morning I had my nametag.