Adventist Church Seeks Most Boring City Possible for Future GC Session

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GC Session location discussions have been intense...
GC Session location discussions have been intense…
SILVER SPRING, Md. — Plagued by delegate participation falling by half in sessions not dealing with hot-button issues, Seventh-day Adventist leadership is seeking the most boring city possible for a future General Conference session.

“This happens every time—and it’s high time we did something,” said Dwight Flanders, General Conference parliamentarian. “We don’t fly in 2,000 people every five years just so they can catch up with their friends. That’s what Annual Council is for.”

“Remember the Alamo?” Australian delegate Clyde Richards asked rhetorically. “Oh, I’ll remember it—and the gelato, and Six Flags, and Splashtown, and this really good taco place my wife found. San Antonio—I haven’t had this much fun since Big Camp ’08.”

“I don’t know why we keep doing this to ourselves,” said Rick Dewitt, a delegate from the Kansas-Nebraska conference, as he enjoyed a smoothie on the Riverwalk Thursday morning. “My first GC session was 1995—in Utrecht, Netherlands, right up the tulip path from Amsterdam. I think I made it to three business meetings that year. Then Toronto in 2000—why, oh why, couldn’t it have been Ottawa? And then, five years ago, we were in Hotlanta! How can we possibly be expected to attend business meetings when the Coca-Cola Museum is right around the corner? I mean, they have a room where you can sample every single beverage they make, from around the world—with unlimited refills.”

Retiring General Conference employee Larry Swansong looks back even further. “Dude,” he reflected, shaking his head. “My first session was in 1970—in Atlantic City! Talk about building your house on the sand. And in ’85 we had it in New Orleans. I tried to be a more faithful attendee that year, so let me tell you, 20 years later, when I saw those [Hurricane] Katrina refugees huddled in the Superdome, I felt their pain.”

“We’ve already made the down payment for Indianapolis in 2020, so we’re stuck with it,” says Rupert Greenback, venue director for the General Conference. “But we’re not too worried about that one. It’s Indiana—once they leave the stadium, there’s not much to see but highways and grain silos.”

What about 2025 and beyond? Greenback keeps coming back to one idea—though at first glance it may seem a little counterintuitive. “Would you believe that, besides Battle Creek, the city that’s hosted the most GC sessions is San Francisco? Sure, that city’s got a lot of distractions, but I wonder if, just for the business sessions, we could persuade them to rent out Alcatraz.”

Special thanks to an anonymous BarelyAdventist reader for the story



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    1. John Plump

      Nothing that a case-full of Little Debbie’s snack cakes couldn’t fix. Don’t worry if they’re oozing fat, brimming with sugar, and loaded with empty calories; they are still “health message cookies”! The more you eat, the healthier you’ll be! Just goes to show that people are mistaken when they say that everything good for you tastes bad.

  1. Richard Mills

    Hey, stop beating the GC for session sites. I happen to like Indianapolis. They have a nice toy museum. They have Beppo di Buca Italian food joint. They have a Jimmie John sub sandwich place. What about the Indy track? Pay the big bucks and you can drive a race car. Lots of statues. Lots of friendly natives. Hang around a few days later and see the NBA game. Go a few miles up Rt. 31 and visit Indiana Academy. Buy an ice cream at the corner. Go to the GC with a few bucks. Come home with the same money. According to some, there won’t be another GC session. We will all be someplace else. Woe is me!!

  2. Ray Kraft

    I have an alternative proposal . . . should be obvious, but I guess the Ruling Elders haven’t thought of it yet . . . How about making the sessions about twenty times more fun and more interesting?

    And more controversial; everybody loves a great controversy!

    Like, maybe, bring in Bill Maher to talk about the past and present and future of Seventh Day Adventism?

  3. oldschool

    They should consider Boring, Oregon. It is a small city southeast of Portland, and most folks there embrace the city’s name. Boring’s sister cities are Dull, Scotland and Bland, Australia. Think of the T-shirt and cap souvenir possibilities. Of course, service venues may force delegates to opt for meeting space and hotels in Portland, which may negate the whole purpose.

  4. Delegate

    Dear Barely Adventist, usually, satirists exaggerate reality to create humor. Downplaying reality is less funny. So when your story cites half the delegates being present as a cause for alarm by GC officials, that is false. They would have been THRILLED with that.

    On Friday afternoon, entire divisions were empty. The Alamodome floor looked like a set for Left Behind! There may have been 200 delegates in attendance from NAD, EUD, and TED. When the Remanent almost voted to remove homosexuality from the Church Manuel as a reason for discellowshipping members, the leading brethren decided to adjourn. They did not even address whether to apply gender neutral language to pastors. Don’t believe me? Read the GC Bullitin!

  5. I remember the St. Louis GC in 2005 when I used to live there; I had my SDA relatives and their friends camping out in my house and on my yard (no complaints, I love people). They had the competition of Fair St. Louis nearby over the 4th of July holiday weekend, air shows and all, so this cut way down on the session attendance numbers. After the conference was over, a local radio station quoted local business owners as to the economic ‘zero’ of hosting the SDA conference there. The allegation was that they were bad tippers and always asked about the detailed content of the food when ordering (Paul states ‘don’t ask what it is, just eat it’). In contrast, the businesses lauded the Southern Baptists and the success of their past conferences. These had plenty of 25-30 dollar steak dinners ordered, generous tipping, and great conversation with their fellow human restaurant laborers even though they don’t drink alcohol.

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