The United Church of Christ in the USA have produced their third television commercial on the theme of welcome, aiming at people who have been hurt by institutional religion. This is the denomination who produced, “Still Speaking”, featuring bouncers outside a church. See my post from December 2004. In their latest TV spot, “Ejector Pews”, the inclusive USA denomination present themselves as an organisation sensitive to the experience of rejection. A white middle class family walks into a gothic-style church building and take their place on one of the pews. They look sideways as they notice a young mother with a crying baby. The camera shows a hand pushing the ‘eject button’. Mother and child are sent into the air, ‘rapture-style’. A gay couple reading their Bible are ejected, along with more and more churchgoers, including an elderly person with a walker. Finally, as a woman takes her seat in their pew, the middle class family slide sideways to avoid her. The super: Feeling Rejected by Religion? Share Your Story.
Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)
The Rejectionhurts web site features stories of people’s responses to the ad, naming the United Church of Christ as the group who don’t reject people. “God doesn’t reject people. Neither do we”. The commercial is available for download in quicktime at the United Church of Christ God is Still Speaking media site. (POSTSCRIPT – The Rejection Hurts domain name has been allowed to lapse.)
The Still Speaking campaign is developed by Ron Buford with designer Randy Varcho.
The Rejection Hurts campaign was developed at Gotham Incorporated by creative director Michael Jordan and account director Cort Cunningham.