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Every denomination needs one of these...

NY Times UCC Ad is publicized

Monday, March 31, 2008

I'm not so sure about this. Strictly looking at the content, it's fine and accurate... and there's much to be proud of here... but it's not really addressing the issues that concerns people inside and outside the UCC, namely the Jeremiah Wright issue and the IRS investigation.

Here is the text of the ad (see the pdf here):

Much has been said about the United Church of Christ in recent weeks, much of it hurtful for many in our country, including members of Trinity UCC in Chicago. That is why we are eager to share the broad and diverse story of the United Church of Christ, one that we celebrate.
With all Christians, we rest in God’s amazing grace and hear God’s voice in the words of Scripture. Yet, the UCC is unique to some because we do not require uniformity of belief. We are a church of open ideas, extravagant welcome and evangelical courage. Our passion for democracy extends to both government and church, where decision-making rests within each congregation. We support liberty in our pulpits, just as we affirm the individual conscience of our 1.2-million members to agree, disagree and wrestle with life’s biggest questions in a spirit of love.

Our story is this nation’s story. We are the people of the Mayflower. More than 600 of our 5,700 congregations were formed before 1776. Eleven signers of the Declaration of Independence were members of UCC predecessor bodies. As early abolitionists, we came to the aid of the Amistad captives and founded hundreds of schools across the South after the Civil War. We were the first mainline church to ordain an African-American (1785), a woman (1853) and an openly gay pastor (1972). We were also the first to form a foreign mission society (1810). Our multi-ethnic membership includes persons from every immigrant group, as well as native peoples and descendants of freed slaves.

Our unity is not dependent upon uniform agreement, but in our shared allegiance to Jesus.
According to email this afternoon, the national office has raised $82,597 and needs another $37,500 to get the ad run. I'm really trying to be objective here but I just don't see this as money well spent. It wasn't the newspapers that set up the perception of the UCC in the mass media - it was the television media and, all joking aside, I think Thomas needs to get off his butt and start making some national television appearances while the issue is still hot. By itself, this ad will do next to nothing to change the eroding perception of the UCC.
posted by UCCtruths, Monday, March 31, 2008


"Our unity is not dependent upon uniform agreement, but in our shared allegiance to Jesus."

Cool. Very cool. I may send some money.
commented by Blogger Don Niederfrank, 6:38 PM  
"We are a church of open ideas, extravagant welcome" ??? If this is true, then why are so many of us made to feel like we are not wanted here!!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 8:36 PM  
Where's "here"? Are you being kicked out of your congregation?
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11:44 PM  
it's the pr guy again... what again is the return on this investment? who is the audience? I'm a ucc guy and like our story. I think the ad might sound a bit smarmy - like braggin. ...we do it before the other guys ....we have been doing it longer...we are more sophisticated blah blah blah. What the ad doesn't do is deal with the Rev Wright hate speech issue - isn't that why we're spending 120K? How does this text explain to joe schmoe that is it OK for us to back the guy.

Do we really want to throw more fishfood into the water - the media sharks don't care about our story, they just eat.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1:25 PM  
Yes, it's very cool. However, it doesn't address the matter of "God damn America" and Rev. Wright's allegations concerning the AIDS virus. It also doesn't address the use of tax-exempt religious facilities and activities for partisan political ends.

Or, if it does, the message conveyed is, "Hey, we just let our congregations do whatever they want. Can't control 'em. Our hands are tied."

Just like Senator Obama's speech, the ad painfully sidesteps the issues people are concerned about. In the process, it does a pretty good job of self-caricature.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1:36 PM  
I have read this ad several times. Though it says many nice things, it does not address the situation at hand. It simply proves that our denomination leaders would much rather throw money we don't have at the problem and not step up to the plate in person. Business as usual.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 5:40 PM  
As I read in the e-mails I get from the denomination, all money for the ad was raised from contributions...in fact so much more was raised than needed that another ad in USA Today may be forthcoming.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 4:28 PM  

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