Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Yes, Heading to Hartford

A little while ago, it looked as if the UCC was going to move its 2007 General Synod and Ginsu Cutlery Demonstration out of the Hartford Convention Center. Well, it looks like they are moving...to the Civic Center.

From the Hartford Courant:

The United Church of Christ will keep its 2007 national convention in Hartford, but it won't be held at the year-old Connecticut Convention Center as all had hoped.

Instead, following a last-minute intervention by Gov. M. Jodi Rell, the church will hold its event at the decades-old Civic Center, keeping its people, and their money, in Hartford.

"They told me that the governor wants very much to make this work, and that they will be taking care of the $100,000 fee for the Civic Center," said Edith A. Guffey, associate general minister of the United Church of Christ. "It's a very generous assistance, and we're very appreciative of it."

Also, a hat tip to UCCTruths.

The big problem that others have pointed out and with which I agree is that the state is willing to kick in this $100,000 to help keep us around. That should send up 'separation of church and state' warning flags, especially since the UCC national entity has taken such stands in favor of such separation before. In the name of continuity, UCC national should probably rethink that part.

In my earlier post, I also mentioned that a guy heard from a guy who heard from a friend of a guy about the 2009 Synod being in Grand Rapids. That actually has been confirmed as the spot. That will save me a bundle on travel expenses. And THEN, in 2011, the year in which I'll be ineligible to be re-elected as a delegate, they're going to Hawaii.


Anonymous said...

Actually, the $100K doesn't bother me in the least. Having been involved in the organization of events that use convention centers, I have seen on a few occasions certain "incentives" offered to use a certain date or to correct a screw-up ... what might theologically be called an "injustice."

In this case, what probably is a reduction in usage fees/rental is being used as an incentive to keep the economic benefit of food, hotels, discretionary spending, etc. in Hartford -- a good business move whether the organization coming in is a church, the NRA, or the traveling Westminster Dog Show. Dollars are dollars, whether consecrated by the church, filled with buckshot holes, or pooped on by Fido.

Isn't it good stewardship for the church to save money? This is not on the level of socially responsible investing -- this is the use of a facility for less money. If Edith and staff negotiated a reduction in fees for the use of the new site, they should be congratulated. If government wants to take some face-saving credit, let Caesar have what Caesar needs.

I don't think a church-state argument on this one would hold water. As they would say on the Sopranos, "Hey ... it's business."

Jeff Nelson said...

That's actually helpful to think about bdb. Thanks.

Hope things are well where you are.