I want it to be short enough to be read while vehicles are waiting at the four way stop, long enough to have some impact, along with relevant, timely and perhaps even connected to our faith! No small job EVERY week.
In July, to show our support for Pride Week, we added a rainbow to our sign, and it has remained up ever since.
The rationale for last week’s message, as show in the picture, was words I have heard countless times over my years in ministry that the church is full of hypocrites who go to church on Sunday and then behave badly the rest of the week; I confess I don’t think anyone has ever used the word sinner. My response to that statement, along with a smile, is always, “And there is always room for one more.” You probably know that they are not original… and indeed we are all sinners and hypocrites, not intentionally most of the time, but all of us fall short of God’s vision for us, and indeed we fall short of our own dreams, plans and vision for ourselves.
The message I was trying to get across was that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done, there is a you shaped space waiting for you in our church.
The message got a variety of reactions from folks in the congregation, ranging from negative, to initially taken aback, along with phrases such as, “Yes, we know that, but we don’t like to talk about it” to supportive. My goal of having the sign noticed last week was certainly achieved!
What I didn’t think of was the juxtaposition of the rainbow and the message. It was pointed out at our board meeting last night, when one of the board said something like, “What message are we giving when we have those words up along with the rainbow? Are we saying that gay and lesbian people are sinners and hypocrites?” Well, none of the rest of us had given that any thought! And we were all horrified at the possibility that that might be the message we had unintentionally given.
Needless to say, the message on the sign is being changed today.