Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Monday, March 27, 2006

Faith in advertising

The United Church of Christ, a liberal, mainline protestant denomination, will launch a television ad featuring an ejector pew. Network television stations -- CBS, NBC and the like -- won't air the commercial, but several cable channels will run the spot in April.

In the commercial, an unnamed church jettisons all sorts of folks the church doesn't want hanging around: an Arab-American, a gay couple, a person using a walker, a woman caring for a noisy infant. It's a pretty harsh condemnation of church culture at large -- one lots of churches would probably argue is unfair. UCC officials say, though, it's in keeping with the denomination's "God is still speaking" motto.

"'Ejector seat' continues to challenge the church -- all churches -- to a more extravagant welcome," said the Rev. John Thomas, UCC's general minister and pastor. "While celebrating the way the UCC has reached wide in that welcome, it also reminds us that many in our communities continue to feel left out and left alone."

Several local churches belong to the United Church of Christ, including the 700-member First Congregational Church-United Church of Christ downtown.


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