Friday, November 20, 2009

The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.

From Religion Press Release Services: A new ad campaign by the Episcopal church emphasizes inclusiveness rather than exclusiveness in an attempt to garner more members:

The Episcopal Church breaks new advertising:
confirms its beliefs, welcomes all Christians

NYC, NY (November 20, 2009) -- The Episcopal Church's core beliefs and practices, including those related to Christ, the Bible, women's ordination and relationships, are featured in a new, national newspaper ad breaking today and on its website, according to Anne Rudig, Director of Communication.

"We want to herald and share our welcoming message," explained Rudig. "We are bringing our identity, our core beliefs, and our heritage to life in a manner that invites all to share.

The ad, which include a broader list of beliefs, can be viewed here:

"In the past few weeks, news about various religions has focused more about who's excluded from certain practices than who is included," Rudig said. "We follow Christ and believe that he's very clear that all are welcome. We strive to ‘love our neighbors as ourselves'."

"We are celebrating the fact The Episcopal Church recognizes that God doesn't differentiate between the gifts of men or women, lay or ordained," said the Rev. Canon Dr. Charles Robertson, canon to the Presiding Bishop and Primate. "We want people to know who we are and to make their own, informed decisions."

The work uses the theme The Episcopal Church Welcomes You with specific examples of the Church's beliefs. Among others, they include:

• As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

• We uphold the Bible and worship with the Book of Common Prayer.

• We strive to love our neighbors as ourselves and respect the dignity of every person.

• We welcome men and women, married or celibate, to be ordained as bishops, priests, and deacons.

• We believe in amendment of life, the forgiveness of sin, and life everlasting.

• We affirm that committed relationships are lifelong and monogamous. Episcopalians also recognize that there is grace after divorce and do not deny the sacraments to those who have been divorced.

• We affirm that issues such as birth control are matters of personal informed conscience.

• We celebrate our unity in Christ while honoring our differences, always putting the work of love before uniformity of opinion.

• All are welcome to find a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church.

This is the first in a series of materials, produced in English and Spanish, to support The Episcopal Church's evangelism and outreach that will be developed over the coming months. Additional print, radio and collateral materials will be made available to its dioceses and churches.

"We want to be bolder and more proactive about letting people know that The Episcopal Church has so much to offer," said Robertson. "Our message continues to be that we welcome you into this adventurous life and reasonable faith in Christ...whoever 'you' may be."

The Episcopal Church also is focusing its outreach on mission work to alleviate poverty and injustice both in the United States and abroad.

The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ in 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 16 nations. The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The Episcopal Church:

Include women and allow contraception? Not a bad marketing approach considering Catholic and evangelical actions of late to continue taking state funds but not honor marriage equality, patients' rights, or women's autonomy.



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