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How can fursuiting be used for evangelism?


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#1 Wolvy

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 04:27 PM

Okay, brainstorming time.

Let's say one of us really does go out and design & build a fursuit. Or, maybe some of us already have done so.

How can it be used within the scope of Christian witness?

Think of both inside the furry community and outside the furry community.

It might be a good way to establish the fact that there are good Christians in the fandom, Christians that accept & value furs, both within and outside the faith.

It might also be a good way to show the outside world that this fandom is full of good people, and is not accurately portrayed by popular media.

'cause let's face it, in the real world, we spend a lot of time outside the furry community and it'd be tons of fun to be able to fursuit there, too.

How can we Christian furries use the tools of the fandom for the greater good of the Christian kingdom?

I need some ideas here - as I'm doing the research, & am designing a suit. However I don't like making tools that I don't use very often-- I like to keep the handles shiny, so to speak. GCome up with a HUNDRED different ways to use a fursuit as an outreach tool and I'll be a lot more fired up about investing in this project!

#2 chess123mate

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 08:57 PM

Hmm...
1. Public demonstrations (Christian-based plays/skits, furry-styled)? You'd probably need a few companions to do it with...
2. Perhaps putting a cross on your suit somewhere to display a symbol of Christianity
3. Get your community a furry club that can do good things around where-ever you live (depending on any opportunities to do so)

Purposes of each:
1. Evangelistic activity
2. Reinforces Christian and furry idea
3. Proves to the public that furries can be good while doing good things ( == love == what Jesus wants us to do).

About all I can think of at the moment...

#3 Wolvy

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 09:13 PM

That's a pretty good start, mate!

#4 SpecklesGreyHighoof

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 01:06 AM

Just by going to cons and NOT drinking or having sex or drugs (still don't know if any of that REALLY happens or not). It seems to me, though, that if you suited at a fair or something, people won't look at you and assume your a child molester. But, those are also the people who don't know about furry (or see a suiter as a cute and cuddly dude).
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#5 Direlda

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 09:49 PM

/me bounds through his mind

Rrm.... Rrm... Hrrm... Ah ha!

If you use a full or partial fursuit, then you'll probably want to take someone along with you. First, it can be hard to see while in suit, so having someone to spot for you and help you negotiate staircases is rather beneficial. Second, if you chose not to speak while in suit (which many fursuiters do), then whoever goes with you can speak for you and answer any questions people have.

If you just wear (as I do currently) ears and a tail, then you don't need to take someone along, though it is nice to have someone you know will listen to you if you start feeling ignored or discouraged.

As for things you can do...
1. Just walk around in public or run errands while in suit. It's what I do and people have approached me and asked me why I have fox ears and a tail. Because my Christian faith is part of why I do so, I usually get a chance to mention Jesus to them. Just make sure you ask if it's ok in places like malls, fairs, etc beforehand because some places do have rules concerning costumes/covering the face (my girlfriend found out the hard way while doing a sociology experiment involving face paint - she was asked to leave the mall).
2. Approach people while in suit. This takes the first one a step further. A lot of people chose to ignore you to your face when you walk around in suit and this addresses that by making it hard for them to pretend reality hasn't been disrupted. Various ways you could do this include waving, headtilting, looking confused in general and then having your spotter ask them a random harmless question to get conversation started, bounding over with some sort of prop (ball, stick, rubber chicken) and getting them to throw it or something (your spotter can be talking with them while you do your antics), etc.
3. Dress up while in suit. Since you're already turning reality topsy-turvy, why not go a step further and wear formal clothes or some sort of costume with your fursuit. If you have a full fursuit, then you'll put them on over the top (be aware, it will get warm and sweaty for you, so avoid exerting yourself too much and make sure you either have a long straw/tube for drinking water (or, better yet, something with electrolytes in it) or someplace you can go to take off your head and drink). Since a partial fursuit is designed to be worn with clothes already, just wear your formal clothes or costume as normal. Basically, the goal is to disrupt reality so much as to get people to ask you and your spotter questions, which will hopefully start a conversation.
4. As chess123mate said, perform while in suit. It could be even better if you did it for a charity or while volunteering at someplace like an assisted living center (make sure you ask ahead if wearing a fursuit is ok). This could be acting in a skit or it could be playing an instrument, such as drums, piano, xylophone, guitar, etc (you may have to take your paws off). Whatever performing you do, be joyful in it.

Whatever you chose to do, don't worry about being an ambassador for the furry fandom. Rather, strive to be a good ambassador of Christ and the rest will take care of itself. And you don't have to explicitly proclaim Jesus and Christianity every time you are in suit; your joy and your actions can speak of Jesus and Christianity just as loudly as your words. Of course, it is an easy matter to wear a cross with your fursuit, so the choice is yours.

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#6 Wolvy

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 12:22 PM

Now that's all good ideas! I'm already mulling it over in my head, thinking of places that might go for it. Heh, I have a Kindergarten through first-grade school only four doors down and the staff all know me. I have to wonder... Maybe participate in their winter carnival, and / or their family book nights as a reader?

Speaking of mics - one of the specifications for my own theoretical suit is an embedded mic in the head assembly. Since I'm a EE by trade, a mic isn't too hard to create. In fact, we've made up many headsets for our church already. I'd just need a wireless transmitter & receiver to be in business, and I've seen those on Craigslist before.

#7 SpecklesGreyHighoof

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 03:56 AM

Dude, Wolvy, I'm just picturing you at a grown-up book reading, looking intrigued by a novel your holding in your furry hands! XD That'd be amazing! But, really, my views on suiting are that any cute antics always make me smile (and want to hug the suiter!)
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#8 Wolvy

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 06:25 PM

Ya know, hanging out at the bookstore in the children's section might not be a bad deal. Even better would be one of their readers; i.e. establish a "furry reading hour", where you get suited up, and read books to the kids once per week for half an hour or so. I'm planning on embedding a mic in my fursuit head (if I build it), so I could plug in and be heard. It seems to me that a big furry dog reading books to little kids could be a big draw; just so long as I make sure to construct a rugged-enough tail for pulling! 

In another idea-land, we came up with this one:

 
This was taken from the #fursuitden channel on IRC. It's slightly edited to fix grammar, spelling, and typos.

01[22:34] I was thinking of a skit/dance combination as a dog and human pair. Human brings out his furry dog, gets the furry to do some tricks:

01[22:35] "Sit up.": The dog sits up. "Roll over." The dog rolls over. Beg. The dog produces a cup and a cane and jokingly works the crowd for a minute.

01[22:35] "Speak!" The Dog arfs. "Dance!" The dog stops and looks at the owner like they are crazy.

01[22:36] "Come on, Dance!" ..... The FurryDog, agitated and looking confused, shrugs and then launches into a cover of Thriller. The human joins in the synchronized dance.

[22:36] heh
[22:36] That would be cool

#9 Voltomere

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 04:40 PM

I got to dress as Clifford the Big Red Dog at the bookstore once. So much fun.


That sounds like a lot of fun! :D
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#10 SpecklesGreyHighoof

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 04:39 AM

I got to dress as Clifford the Big Red Dog at the bookstore once. So much fun.


That sounds like fun! I've always kinda' wondered about a bunch of kids, though. Wouldn't they, you know, kinda' mob you or something? Try to take your head off?
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#11 Direlda

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:11 AM


I got to dress as Clifford the Big Red Dog at the bookstore once. So much fun.


That sounds like fun! I've always kinda' wondered about a bunch of kids, though. Wouldn't they, you know, kinda' mob you or something? Try to take your head off?


It depends on the kids. At FC 2010, there was a cute kid who kept pulling different fursuiters over to show her parents. She didn't mob them, but did insist they come with her.

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#12 topher-the-tiger

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 09:23 AM

I got to dress as Clifford the Big Red Dog at the bookstore once. So much fun.

i did that at a school fete. i believe i still have some photo's somewhere.
that probably explains why im furry

#13 SpecklesGreyHighoof

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 01:10 AM

That'd make sense. One thing God put on my heart (something I won't be able to do, unfortunately), was do enterpretive dancing in suit. You could do videos or on-stage stuff, but the itinerary is for the songs to be Christiain, from fireflies by owl city up to 'the power of god' by living sacrifice. The reason I can't do it is, if I purchased a fursuit, i'd only wear it three days out of the year, and I don't think any sum I'd pay for a fursuit could be justified for doing that. But, it's something some of you guys could do, if you felt so inclined!
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#14 SpecklesGreyHighoof

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 08:53 PM

Hmm, your right. Well, maybe I won't be able to do anything right NOW, but later, I'll keep it in mind. Thanks!
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#15 Adair

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 11:15 PM

My wife's purchased clothes she's only worn once. She's done the same for the kids. I think that getting a suit to do something that God has placed upon your heart is worth the limited use. After all, if you try it, it might turn into a full-time gig. You never know. :)


Yes, but did your wife pay $700 - $2000 on said cloths?

Hmm, your right. Well, maybe I won't be able to do anything right NOW, but later, I'll keep it in mind. Thanks!


Find a fursuitting friend and try their's on first, see how it feels, see how you like it. If its good, then go for it!

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#16 SpecklesGreyHighoof

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 12:31 AM

Yeah, I'll do that. First, I have to find a fursuiting friend! *searches around, for many hours and months* That's where I think i'll have to wait. Until I get money, can go to a con, whatever is needed, I'll just have to wait for the fursuiting bit. But, I will still keep it in mind.
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#17 Voltomere

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 03:46 PM

I would love to try on a fursuit also, but I dont have any fursuiters that I know of close.
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#18 SpecklesGreyHighoof

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 05:59 PM

Yeah, I may drop the idea because it'd be so HOT in there!
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#19 SpecklesGreyHighoof

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 06:20 PM

I found out that, medically, I can't do fursuiting. Normally, in my skin, I like warmth. I usually walk around in jeans and a sweatshirt. However, I can easily overheat, and even if my body can function, my brains out of the loop if I get too much heat. I talked to several suiters on FA and they all said it's easy to get overheated, but you have to pace yourself and hydrate yourself. Normally, I don't drink fluids, just because I don't feel like I need water or whatever, but I think if I suited up, I'd have to excuse myself to a drinking fountain every five minutes.
I thought of all the possibilities: partial suits, own-eyes heads, the works. I just don't think it's my cup of tea. So, with the whole interpretive dance ministry, I don't know what to do with that. Either I can present it as an idea for someone else to do (which feels stupid), or just drop it. It's a good idea, but I don't think it'll work out. *shrugs*
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#20 SpecklesGreyHighoof

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 08:09 PM

I think walking around a con would be too taxing. I don't know. I prayed about it and thought, and I realized, 'you know, this is a nice idea, but money-wise, con-going wise, etc, I just don't think I was cut out to do suiting.' It was a tough thing to realize, but I think it's for the best.
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