Reaching Out

Published on: September 1, 2014

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The Spiritual Life Center in Ferndale, Mich., hosted a special showing of the documentary “Fish Out of Water: A Film that Explores the Impassioned Relationship Between Homosexuality and the Bible.

According to Rev John Considine, founder and executive director, “Our intention was to bring comfort and understanding in an area of great abuse, namely Christian fundamentalists’ use of the Bible to attack gays and lesbians. We also wanted to let people know that we’re an open and welcoming spiritual center.”

For publicity we:

1) Circulated flyers throughout the community.
2) Sent out an email through the local chamber of commerce, of which we’re a member.
3) Opened a Facebook event page, inviting everyone we could think of from the Ferndale community. Then God got involved: the former mayor saw the invitation and proceeded to invite everyone on his Facebook and email lists. He even drafted and sent out a press release for us! Seven newspapers wrote stories about the event and I received a surprising number of phone calls about it.

We billed the evening as “Free Film, Food and Discussion–An End to the Biblical Shaming of LGBTQ.”

At the end of the film we served food and had a discussion by phone with Ky Dickens, the creator and director of the film. (Normally Ky does this via Skype.) It was so engaging, not one person of the 35 newcomers in attendance and the 15 people from our own community left at the end of the film. Everyone chose to stay, eat and discuss.

There were many expressions of gratitude and some even wonder that a church or center like us exists in the area.

I recommend this to any Unity community and I’m happy to share anything I can about it for you to be successful.

John Considine

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