Friday, May 26, 2006

Not Heading to Hartford?

There's a possibility that General Synod will not be held in Hartford, Connecticut after all:

The United Church of Christ will move its 2007 national convention out of Hartford if the dispute between labor unions and the operators of the Connecticut Convention Center is not resolved by June 6, and the organization has asked the governor to intervene.

In a letter to Gov. M. Jodi Rell Monday, the organization - an umbrella group of Congregational churches - said that it will soon be forced to relocate its 8,000- to 10,000-person event scheduled for June 2007. Organizers say the event would use 18 area hotels for a week and could bring $10 million in economic benefit to the state. If the convention were to move, organizers say, it would be to a venue outside of Connecticut.

"In the event of a just and significant labor dispute, which we currently find this to be, we will not violate boycotts or cross picket lines," the organization said in its letter to Rell. "We are quickly approaching a time when we must make a decision to move our meeting to another city."

The whole article is here. Hat tip to UCCTruths.

I don't have much of an opinion formed about the cause, just because I don't know anything about it. I've only really participated in one boycott that I thought worthwhile, because I think that in general boycotts are a pretty weak form of protest unless you get some massive power and organization behind them. So because I don't know much about the dispute, I won't comment on it.

I do wonder more about issues of practicality and polity. Practicality, because it will take a lot of work to move a gathering this size. Polity, because while I have less faith in 'to, not for' than I used to, all the references in this article to The UCC bother me. I suppose that it takes a lot of effort each time to differentiate between the ultimate authority of local churches vs. what Thomas & Co. say, but the cited letter does use 'we' and 'our.'

If this isn't resolved by June 6th, I wonder where we'll go. A friend recently thought that the next Synod would be in Grand Rapids, so maybe this was floated somewhere as an alternative. That would be awesome, because then I could freakin' drive to Synod. But don't take that as fact. It's just a rumor. I know that the New Truth lies in the blogosphere nowadays (OMG Whistleblowing~!), but I have nothing but hearsay as evidence for this, and I'm not even saying anything related to it is evident.

Or what the heck...let's go to Columbus. Cincinnati. Dayton. Probably not.