Join the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Committee on the Office of the General Assembly and the Stated Clerk as we kick off our journey to the 221st General Assembly (2014), to be held June 14 to 21, 2014, in Detroit. Enjoy, and pass along the link to this video lifting up “Why Detroit?” and assembly theme “Abound in Hope.”
[3D 221st General Assembly logo floats in to a backdrop of the Detroit skyline.]
Vince Thomas - I’m Vince Thomas, the moderator of the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly. And though I live in Minneapolis right now I was born and raised right here in Detroit.
[3D logo makes the ‘O’ in the words ‘Why Detroit’]
Gradye Parsons, Jerrod Lowry, Eileen Lindner, Alejandra Spir-Haddad, Vince Thomas - I’m excited that we’re going top meet for the 221st General assembly on June 14th in Detroit Michigan. Why Detroit? They are resonating with our theme of Abounding in Hope. Why Detroit? The presbytery is very excited, in fact the whole city is excited, that the General Assembly is going to meet here. Why Detroit? Why Detroit.
Thom Connors - I’m Thom Connors, I’m the General Manager of Cobo Center and we want to welcome everyone who’s coming here with the Presbyterian Church. You’re coming to Detroit at an opportune time. There’s great optimism.
Larry Alexander - Hello everyone, I’m Larry Alexander, President and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau and I am proud and pleased to welcome each and every one of you to Detroit. Well Detroit is a city that’s really on the rebound. America’s great comeback city and we’d like for you to really experience the comeback that Detroit is going through. You know, when you come to Detroit you’re a big deal in our city. In many of our competitive cities you may just be another convention but in Detroit we recognize that we’ve had to work harder and you’ve had to work harder to convince your attendees to come to Detroit. When you’re in our city we want to bend over backwards to be sure that you enjoy yourself, that you have great food, that you experience this Midwest hospitality and you can go back and hopefully help to tell every other person that you come in contact with that you’ve got to go see what’s taking place in Detroit.
Peter Smith - We’re excited about the opportunity being afforded to us to provide hospitality and a warm welcome to all the commissioners, advisory delegates, and visitors who will be coming and spending that week with us. We have planned some exciting activities in terms of mission, cultural tours. We are getting ready to provide warm welcome at the airports, the train stations, the bus stations. Scripturally Jesus speaks to us about ‘Why Detroit’. Jesus saw those who are outcast, those who are oppressed, those who are hurting, those who needed a helping hand up and the testimony of the Presbyterian Church coming to Detroit is that it’s not an abandoned city, it’s a living vital city that needs a strong witness of care and concern.
[3D logo makes the ‘O’ in the words ‘Abound in Hope’]
Larry Alexander - We’d like for you to really experience the comeback that Detroit is going through. 11 billion dollars of private investment taking place, 12 thousand new jobs that have come to the downtown core, new housing development that’s running at 99% occupancy rate, new businesses switching from a manufacturing base to a technology base, our multi0-billion dollar airport that is running with multiple flights in and out on a daily basis. This is not the Detroit that you may have heard about or have not seen for many many years. You need to experience the new Detroit and the changes that are talking place here.
[Berry Gordy Jr. quote – “Your truth is not much different from my truth. You want peace. I want peace. You want love. I want love. You want to be special. I want to be special.”]
Gradye Parsons - This is a unique opportunity for a city that needs hope and a church that needs hope to come together and allow God’s spirit to embrace both of us and bring us to a hopeful place.
Marcia Mount Shoop - I feel like the PCUSA and Detroit are kind of a match made in heaven right now.
Jerrod Lowry - Hopefully we get a sense of their resilient spirit. Whatever they tapped in to, whatever they were leaning upon, and of course in the church we would say they were leaning upon faith and leaning upon the Lord. But that we might take a little bit of that spirit home with us as well. We’re in this together.
John Wilkinson - We’re thinking about a new church in a new age well here’s a new city in a new age and I think it’s providential, not just serendipitous, but providential that we’re going to be here in such a time as this to learn and develop and grow to see who God is calling us to be.
Alejandra Spir-Haddad - I admire the people and the spirit of the people of Detroit because it seems like a city that keeps reinventing itself.
Peter Smith - Abound in Hope, and isn’t that a place for us as Christians to abound in hope and give a vital witness that Christ is alive and working in this city.
Vince Thomas - People around the country, people of faith especially, are standing in solidarity with the people here in this time of greatest need. The church behind me, the place where I grew up, just put a 100-year roof on this building. They’re not going anywhere. The Presbyterian Church isn’t going anywhere either and if we have this sense that we’re in this together for the long haul that that will give us both a sense of hope and a sense of inspiration for the work that we are called to do when we get back home.
[A series of images from past Assemblies scrolls through to the closing music.]