Easter Billboards in New Zealand
The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand launched an outside campaign in Wellington for Easter in 2004. The advertisements were part of a pilot campaign developed by the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, in association with advertising students at Massey University, to invite a wider range of people to reflect on the meaning of Easter. The campaign also featured signs outside many Wellington churches as well as suburban leaflet drops. A Creative Easter Worship workshop was held for ministers, enabling them to share ideas and ensure that Easter presentations are lively and varied. They had the challenge of doing something about the public perception that anyone attending a church would be ‘preached at’ without an opportunity to explore meanings.
One of the billboards and bus shelter signs reads:
We have hot cross buns because:
a) After Jesus died they burnt the cross
b) Hot Jesus buns were too hard to decorate
c) Bread rises and so did Jesus.
We have Easter eggs because:
a) They’re the same colour as the Cross
b) Chickens could never keep up with demand
c) Women needed comfort after Jesus died, and ice cream wasn’t invented.
We have Easter Bunnies because:
a) Rabbits were present at the crucifixion.
b) No-one wanted to dress up as a chicken.
c) Jesus said go forth and multiply.