- (Photo: Lynne Damianos)
This summer, a group of senior citizens from a congregation in Massachusetts stripped down to nothing but their birthday suits to pose for photos in a 2012 calendar created to show the beauty of aging.
Twelve men from First Parish in Framingham, a Unitarian Universalist congregation, who are all between 64 and 87 years old, took it all off in the making of the parish's Celebration 2012 Calendar.
Don't worry, though, they don't reveal everything.
In each of the calendar's images, the men aren't wearing any clothes, but each of them is covered up by a prop in their private areas.
The goal of the calendar is to show, in a society that can sometimes be obsessed with youth, growing old can be a joy. The parish wanted to show that these older men are still full of life, they have a lot to offer and they have a great sense of humor.
"The poses were pretty much in people's homes or in their backyards. The purpose of every pose was to capture something that was of interest, something meaningful, to each man's life,” said Eva Benda, the marketing coordinator for the calendar and a member of First Parish, in an interview with The Christian Post Friday.
One of the models, for example, is a published mystery novel author. In his photo he is seen sitting in a chair, by a fireplace, surrounded by books, with nothing between him and the camera but the laptop computer sitting on his lap. Others can be seen holding items like a fish or a banjo. One is even seen sitting “bareback” on his motorcycle.
Lynne Damianos, a professional photographer who is also a member of the parish, was the photographer for the calendar. The revealing calendar also divulges each model's name and age, along with a brief biography.
“Participating in the calendar project has heightened my awareness of the marvel of my aging body,” said Hugo "Holly" Hollerorth, a retired minister, whose photo appears in the month of June. “It has been the home of my human spirit for 87 years as I've made my way through life – loving, learning, creating, exploring, grieving. It has taken my spirit to places I wanted to go and brought me home again. The human body, especially the aging one, is indeed a marvel to be celebrated.”
The parish previously made a different calendar in 2006, which featured the congregation's older women in the nude instead of the men.
In order to continue sharing their message, the parish is also preparing to take the show on the road, in the form of a traveling photo gallery that will feature images from both calendars.
Unitarian Universalism does not affirm faith in Jesus Christ as being the only way to God. It is “liberal religion that embraces theological diversity” and affirms “the inherent worth and dignity of every person,” according to the website for the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.