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Inviting people to Christmas Eve services

Inviting people to Christmas Eve services

The folks at the Acts 8 Moment have developed a great short video to aid in your parish’s efforts to invite people to Christmas services.

This video is a gift to any congregation who might like to customize it with local Christmas Eve and Christmas Day service times and other information. Feel free to use it as you see fit. It’s royalty-free and ready for customization. Video file download instructions and other notes are available here:
If you have questions, please leave a comment on the Acts 8 website (link above). We at Acts 8 hope this helps you invite people to share in the abounding joy of God’s love for us in this Christmas season.
Additionally, Nurya Love Parish has posted  helpful step by step instructions on how to do the editing to customize the video for your congregation.

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Frank Logue

No problem David. I certainly counted on expectation to help that short hand holding clip to help carry the meaning of the words, which it evidently did. Thanks for caring.

David Allen

Thanks for the background on both videos.

Even though I know that you have said it’s a mixed gender couple, when I watch the video and hear the voice-over, it still looks like two men holding hands! The power of expectation/suggestion.

Frank Logue

I feel I need to set the record straight here. I am the sole video editor of both versions of the video. This was a collaborative project and I did not write the script and many other recorded audio and commented on visuals in drafts of the video, but I did all of the editing on both English and Spanish version.

Having completed the English language video, my colleagues in Acts 8 and I felt we should create a Spanish language version if possible. I asked fellow church planter Alex Montes-Vela and he and parishioners generously gave their time and talent to translation and recording audio. They were not otherwise involved in the production of the second video.

In response to understandable and appropriate calls for less “white” imagery, I began to make changes to the video while they worked on the audio. A key concern was making sure everything we used was with full permission so any congregation can use the video for free. The decision to cut the hand holding was mine. That clip was from and in the full video, it is very clear the couple is heterosexual. I decided to drop the heterosexual couple holding hands as they looked Anglo to me and I was trying to make the video more fitting a Spanish language version. No comparable clip of Latinos was available, so I made the editing decision.

I do apologize if these practical concerns in cutting a white couple holding hands led to anyone feeling left out. But I did want to be clear that this was not an issue of Texas Episcopalians sanitizing a video, but a white southerner who speaks no Spanish trying to work quickly and at no cost in creating a free resource for Episcopalians with a Spanish language Christmas liturgy.


Miguel Rosada

Michael, I am not sure what in the world you are talking about. David, you started this line of comments, both here and at ACTS 8. I did not think it bizarre to say in both places where you gave your opinion to give mine. We are both Latinos and Episcopalians. No comments yet on the exclusion of families, NOT A ONE, in the English version of the video… It seems odd to me that it awakens none of your outrage nor embarrassment, nor seems to have been noticed by anyone else here! This has really been an exercise in futility, it seems words can be taken to mean anything and people are quick to take offense selectively. Feliz Navidad!

David Allen

Father Miguel, you’re the only “Michael” who has commented in this thread, have you gotten confused that two different David’s (David Allen & David Streever) have commented?

Yes, Padre, I made a simple observation in the Acts 8 Movement comments, the source story for Jon White’s story here at The Lead, where I have made the same comment, that the Spanish version had been sanitized by removing the gay couple. Period. I had no intention of addressing more.

You have expended great energy to come up with excuses and rationale for the edit. And you propose to obfuscate my simple observation by trying to drag me into a conversation about other aspects of the original video. I have no horse in that race. I didn’t sense an objective on the part of the creators of the original video to somehow exclude families; nuclear, extended, single, same or differently gendered parents, etc.

However, the fact that you have expressed the idea that it is OK as Episcopalians to throw gay & lesbian folks under the bus to facilitate reaching out to elderly Latinos because the majority of them don’t approve of same gender couples/marriage appalls me.

Not to mention, well documented in polling, that folks 65 and older, the demographic you state that the Spanish version was aimed at, are the least likely to be tech savy enough to ever encounter that video inviting them to Christmas service.

Miguel Rosada

David: The two people holding hands are not obviously identifiable as two men. You see it that way but others looking at it may not interpret it that way, why should they? Several people in my congregation who have watched it think it is a heterosexual couple. As it is, the English language version of the video excludes mixed gender families with children….not a one there! There is one Anglo appearing gentleman with a child who could be a gay dad I suppose, but not a mom, dad with children in sight! Should non gay Episcopalians in heterosexual relationships with children then be offended about that obvious exclusion? How about the very family oriented Latinos! The Spanish version is appropriate to that culture, like it or not! It is also appropriate for the intended audience; older Spanish speaking Latinos who are actually the more likely ones who may be looking for a church to attend on Christmas Eve! This may be irrelevant, but in that over 65 demographic Pew found that only 18% of Latinos favor gay marriage. Are we trying to make a point up front or attract people to Christ? It is he who changes minds and hearts! Feliz Navidad

David Streever

What part of your Christianity refuses to challenge prejudice? I’m not sure that we should be watering down the Gospel to make it ‘culturally acceptable’. I’m also confused about your assertion that people who speak Spanish from Latin America are uncomfortable with LGBT folks. Is that true for everyone? Do you think the video is solely for people from Latin America who speak Spanish, or is it possibly intended to be watched by anyone in the world who speaks Spanish? I am surprised that you would state that LGBT folk are unwelcome in Latin America, as I wasn’t aware of a multi-nation statement or any other official condemnation.

David Allen

Padre, they may be generic to you, but as a gay man, I immediately saw it for what it was, two men walking and holding hands at the exact same time that I heard in the English voice over, “no matter whom you love.” And I subconsciously knew in that brief moment that I was included in the welcome to Christmas Services.

It was profound enough that when I watched the Spanish version less than 5 minutes later, as I heard in Spanish, “it isn’t important who you love,” that I immediately noticed that the gay couple had been cut out of the video.

What I find bizarre is the amount of energy that you are expending trying to refute my casual observation that the video was sanitized of the gay couple, not just here at The Lead, but simultaneously at Acts 8 Movement as well.

I’m Latino, you don’t need to lecture me about my culture thank you. As to which demographic of Latinos that you think the video was aimed, I’m so disgusted and embarrassed by what you have to say to the point that I can’t waste time and energy addressing it. Suffice it to say it fully explains your comments in both forums.

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