'Jesus was most critical of those who used religion as an excuse to marginalize others. We are merely seeking to follow Jesus in the best way we can.'
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on April 7, 2021. It has since been updated.
Pastor Adam Ericksen is on a mission to challenge what you think you know about religion. Since taking the reins a few years ago at Clackamas United Church of Christ in Milwaukie, Oregon, Pastor Adam has been spreading the original, inclusive message of Christ far and wide through slightly unconventional notes he leaves on the outdoor church marquee. His sometimes hilarious and sometimes political signs became such a hit among the locals that the church became popular online when many of them shared photos of the week's message on social media. "I came to the Clackamas United Church of Christ about a year and a half ago and realized that we needed to get our message out into the neighborhood," Pastor Adam told Bored Panda.
"People saw our building but didn't know what our values were. So we started a fundraiser for the sign and I started posting those messages. People began to stop as they drove by to thank me for the messages. But I didn't know it would have an online impact, too," he continued. "Amidst the pain of the world and all the hate, people are thirsty for something deeper. The truth of the Gospel is that all people are loved. The sin is when we start treating certain people and groups as if they are not loved. Jesus was most critical of those who used religion as an excuse to marginalize others. We are merely seeking to follow Jesus in the best way we can."
"I decided that we needed to be bold with our message of love and inclusion, especially for those who are marginalized especially by religion," Pastor Adam added. "My goal is to be part of a larger movement that is reframing or redefining Christianity so that it's based on God's love for all people, but especially those who are marginalized."
Here are 23 of the best and most potent messages posted outside Clackamas United Church of Christ over the years: