As a melting-pot faith that holds no creed and welcomes all comers, the Unitarian Universalist church hasn’t always seen much need to evangelize.
But as the atheists, Christians, humanists and Buddhists in its pews grow older and with the church growing only at a trickle, Unitarians are experimenting with a different approach.
The Boston-based Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations this year launched its first national advertising campaign, placing ads in Time magazine. In another first, the church is sponsoring an ad that will appear in the programs given to college football fans at 13 bowl games.
The church also has expanded its number of campus ministries from a handful to more than 200, association president Rev. William Sinkford said in a phone interview.
Unitarian leaders say the newfound, not-quite-full embrace of evangelism was brought about by a cultural shift among its membership and the realization that too many outsiders were unaware of what the church has to offer.