Thank God for the atheists



    TORONTO, Jan. 30 /CNW/ - The United Church of Canada is set to join the
discussion inspired by British "atheist ads" scheduled to begin appearing on
buses in selected Canadian cities. The Church will launch its own print and
online campaign as part of its WonderCafé initiative to remind Canadians that
religion isn't an "either, or" and there remains lots of room for discussion.
    The atheist ads, sponsored by Canada's Freethought Association, declare
'There's Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy your Life.' The United
Church of Canada ads, created by Toronto-based Smith Roberts Creative
Communications, use the same words, but then add a second option: 'There's
Probably a God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life' and sign off with 'Join
the Discussion' at WonderCafe.ca. Brought to you by the people of The United
Church of Canada.
    "The United Church of Canada believes in open, honest discussion around
all issues, including those related to religion," says the Rev. Dr. Keith
Howard, Executive Director of WonderCafe.ca. "The debate that is sure to
follow these ads across the Atlantic to Canada is exactly what we created
WonderCafe.ca for. The Freethought Association, who are bringing the ads to
Canada, state their goal is to spark debate - we welcome such a debate and are
eager to join the conversation, as are many Canadians, as witnessed by the
buzz the ads have already created in the media and at WonderCafe.ca"
    This new ad is the latest example of the provocative and often
controversial advertising that the United Church has used to stimulate
discussion and debate at WonderCafe.ca. Previous ads used everything from a
Bobblehead Jesus to a trained squirrel that offered a unique perspective on
visitors' questions on moral and ethical issues.
    "There have already been more than 100 posts on WonderCafe.ca about the
atheist ads, and they haven't even run yet," says Malcolm Roberts, President
of Smith Roberts. "We look forward to expanding the debate with the United
Church of Canada's perspective on questions posed by the atheist campaign."
    Log on to
http://www.wondercafe.ca/discussion/religion-and-faith/athiest-ad-buses to
join the discussion about this hot button issue.

    
    About the United Church of Canada
    ---------------------------------
    
    The United Church of Canada is the largest Protestant denomination in
Canada with close to 3,500 congregations across the country. Renowned for its
inclusive nature and strong commitment to social justice, the United Church
focuses on those often overlooked in society: underprivileged people; women
and children and people of diverse races and cultures, and sexual
orientations.

    
    About Smith Roberts Creative Communications
    -------------------------------------------
    
    Smith Roberts was founded in 2004 and is a creative communications and
design company based in the Distillery District in Toronto.

    
    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/
    





For further information:

For further information: To arrange an interview with representatives
from the United Church of Canada or representatives from Smith Roberts,
contact: Laurie Hall at (416) 696-5554, or e-mail: laurie@flexpr.com; Heather
Ward at (416) 909-4328, or e-mail: heather@flexpr.com

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United Church of Canada

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