This probably wasn't the reaction they were seeking.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is re-evaluating the "bold statement" it attempted to make with promotional materials for its upcoming special offerings, according to the Presbyterian Outlook.
But it's getting plenty of pushback from clergy and members who see it as promoting racial stereotypes while making light of the very addictions that people seek help from at 12-step groups in church basements.
"Needs help with her drinking problem. She can't find water," says one, depicting an Asian girl. Another depicting a brown-skinned man, says, "Needs help getting high. Above the flood waters."
Offerings, such as the One Great Hour of Sharing, are intended to help people respond to such threats as disaster and disease.
A former church moderator, Bruce Reyes-Chow, has criticized the materials and begun aggregating similar responses here. And there's a hashtag: #NotMyOGHS.
"I am all for creativity, playfulness, and even well-placed snark, but, I'm sorry, this misses the mark -- big time," said Reyes-Chow, who is Asian-American. "While we do some very good things, I am really disappointed that my denomination is going through with this offerings campaign."
Others joining the conversation are also calling it racist, as are commentators to a Presbyterian News Service story on it. The marketing campaign was created by an outside firm but approved by church officials.
The Presbyterian Outlook quotes Sam Locke, director of special offerings, who had originally touted the bold statement of the campaign:
“We have heard the many comments and concerns being raised about the One Great Hour of Sharing campaign. The misdirect in the bold headline was intended to pull the viewer into the message, which it clearly did. The goal of the campaign was to bring attention to the absurdity of stereotypes while emphasizing the importance of giving. We recognize that it was not received by many as intended. We take these concerns to heart and are actively reviewing options for the campaign.”