(Photo: Courtesy of CCAI/Sen. Mary Landrieu)
A Pennsylvania church looking to attract new members from the surrounding area recently held a "Camo Sunday" service, which was inspired in part by the hit TV reality series "Duck Dynasty."
The First Wesleyan Church of Bradford, a congregation in Northwest Pennsylvania known for having traditional and contemporary worship, held its special service Sunday. The "Camo Sunday" worship involved attendees donning their best camouflage clothing, reminiscent of the attire often worn by the "Duck Dynasty" family the Robertsons.
First Wesleyan's Rev. Chris Terbush explained to The Associated Press that the goal of "Camo Sunday" was as an evangelism tool.
"Ultimately, the major goal is to draw new parishioners…I thought it'd be neat if nothing else to show the community who we are," said Terbush. "There are a lot of hunters in our congregation…I know we live in a hunting community and we're open to all people including hunters."
Debuting in March 2012 on the Arts & Entertainment channel,"Duck Dynasty" follows the lives of the members of the Robertson family, a bearded clan in Louisiana who oversee a thriving business.
A huge ratings success, the Robertsons have found themselves helping a local candidate win a special election and being part of this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
While gaining its own share of national attention, not all who have heard of First Wesleyan's "Camo Sunday" approve of its character. On the church's Facebook page, one poster from Grove City, Pa., commented that the service was bad idea.
"I hate the show Duck Dynasty and I'm opposed to hunting so I personally don't like the idea of having a camo day. Killing another living creature for sport doesn't sound very Christian to me," wrote the commenter.
Via the Facebook group name, Terbush responded to the criticism by arguing that "Camo Sunday is not about the camouflage, its not about hunting, and its not about Duck Dynasty."
"Camo Sunday is a way for First Wesleyan Church to show God's love. That is what it is all about. God loves everyone equally and there are many hunters out there who do not know Christ," wrote Terbush.
"This is a way that [I thought] of to hopefully bring at least one person who would not normally go to church to hear the Gospel and hopefully experience the Love of God for themselves."