Glib Episcopal Church Advertising doesn't cut it.

So, let's say you go to the mail and get this card:

How long would it take for it to go into the trash?  Well, here in Preludium land, not long at all.  The card borders on snide, but more it is wrong headed.  

Snide because "why not surprise us and show up..." is a bit petulant and unwelcoming.  And more, the movement of evangelism is not to bring people into the Church but to bring the Gospel out into the world.  If the Good News is out there, then we really don't need to be worried about people in church. "The Episcopal Church welcomes you" is OK I suppose, but better we find people, who because of our actions in the world, say "The Episcopal Church welcome here."  Wouldn't it be wonderful if people put a sign on their window that said that!  Well, dream on.

Still, advertising tries to find a hook, and the word "welcome" is fairly decent bait.  The problem is that it invites people to our house, not us to theirs. Maybe we might say, "The Episcopal Church wants to visit.. Invite us, we'll come."

Then again I am not much at advertising.

Apparently the writers of Episcopal Church ads being suggested on the TEC website are not much good either,  and The Black Giraffe tells us why.  Go read TBG on the whole series.

Looking at them all I am mostly discouraged and somewhat appalled. Glib doesn't cut it.


  1. This is a great post, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. The welcome card seems more like something an evangelistic Southern Baptist church would present, and that turns my stomach more than you could imagine.

  2. Agreed, it's lame.

    I'm always singing the praises of TEC out in the world, we've got to have a FAIL like this every once in a while to keep us humble (and, y'know, repenting).

  3. I'd have to send back a note saying, "Well, if you haven't been able to move me for 2,000 years to see what you're about, maybe I'm not the problem."

    Sorry, if this is a double post.

  4. Ah, Mark - we agree. Something that I wasn't sure could ever happen, but there it is.

    To say that this further proves that 815 is out of touch is an understatement.

    For William: why be angry at other churches about our obvious mistake? I've never understood how many of our fellow Episcopalians get so animated about the habits of others when our own denomination is likely to be dead if not in hospice within 50 years. Supposedly we are part of the Reformation emphasis of individual scripture reading/study and yet show contempt for Bible study. Supposedly we are a religion for "those that think" but we don't have many clues about moving to actually DO the Great Commission. Apparently it's not worth much thought (?).
    Leave the Baptists out of it. At least they have some results, albeit somewhat awkward in some pockets. We seem to specialize in just plain snarkiness.

  5. How about inviting people (in each target area) to LUNCH? How about a little breaking of bread? HOSPITALITY really is appreciated! A generous and lovely buffet lunch? We could welcome newcomers/prospects and everyday neighbors (or let them know by inviting civic groups, LGBT groups, other religious groups once a month to lunch). Any group invited seperately, or together (Garden Club and Kawanis or how about FIESTA with tacos, pupusas, enchildas for ALL) so they could maybe know oneanother beforehand and feel some togetherness already/already). THINK ABOUT THE GUESTS for a change! Get outside of ourselves in a mano a mano way! Hospitality, not preaching, works. How about sticking our hands out in greeting (or around here we do abrazos) and then let the good times/news happen naturally!

    I agree, the stiff postcard seems like it was generated by someone who knows little about warm WELCOMING of others.

    The unattractive postcard appears sent out to ¨talk down¨ a little to people who don´t attend (or will) our Church. Cold, without understanding of human beings (just another grandstanding effort like the one-time-full-page in a daily National newspaper a few years ago that was ¨instituional¨ advertising that could not have much response other than...¨oh look what the Episcopalians have done to show us they exist.¨ A very costly way to attempt to demonstrate to outsiders that we are alive and welcoming at TEC. Don't they have any really clever/talented promotional people in New York? Our media efforts are deadly (and probably waste money too).

  6. I think this proves that The Episcopal Church has become more concerned with "Church Business" and pew numbers rather than the Gospel.
    The Episcopal Church is not just another "corporation" to be managed. It is part of the Universal Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, His Bride, spreading the Gospel through out the World.

  7. We seem to specialize in just plain snarkiness.

    Ironic, somehow.


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