In Milwaukee, Oregon, the Clackamas United Church of Christ is sharing a progressive and open minded approach when it comes to its teachings.
The church is proud to promote LGBTQ+ Rights as well as gender equality, while challenging racism, healthcare inequalities and climate change.
The modern take on the Bible is showcased thanks to their signs.
And while many will agree that church signs make most out to feel like they are currently sinning or missing something in their life — at Clackamas United Church of Christ, they could not be more opposite.
With slogans like ‘Our Transgender Siblings Have Heartbeats’ and ‘We Stand With Our Muslim Siblings To End Islamophobia,’ to ‘Married, Divorced & Single Here. Grace Extends To All’ and ‘Welcome Immigrants But Only If They Speak English – Said The Bible Never,’ it is a seemingly positive space.
Many of the slogans are used in church sermons delivered by Pastor Adam Ericksen — most of which have been filmed and uploaded to the church Facebook page.
According to their Facebook page, the parish holds dear a “tradition of progressive involvement in issues which uphold the rights, dignity, and equality of all people under God.”
Pastor Adam from the Clackamas United Church of Christ spoke about the inspiration behind the signs, saying:
“We love Jesus and his way of life. And during the last few weeks, we’ve noticed on our social media pages that many other Christians, atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Jews, and many others love Jesus and his way of life, too! In fact, in the book of Acts that the earliest followers of Jesus were called followers of ‘The Way’. Jesus summed up the Way as radical, nonviolent love for all people, including for those we call our enemies.”
“I wanted to get this message of Jesus and the Way out into our neighborhood. Before our current sign, we had a wooden sign that just had our church’s name and a our time for Sunday gatherings. I proposed that we purchase a new sign that that would allow us to put these kinds of messages out into our community so that people would know what we, as followers of ‘The Way,’ are all about.”
For Pastor Adam – the messages keep with the teachings of Jesus Christ who stood up for those who faced discrimination and persecution.
And according to Pastor Adam, Jesus would have rather befriended those from the LGBTQ+ community than those who use faith as a way to divide.
“Our message is that God loves all people, because that was the message Jesus proclaimed. And in proclaiming that message, we state that God loves particular people – especially those who are often marginalized by religion.”
“This is why we proclaim God’s eternal love for our LGBTQ siblings. Jesus hung out with those who were marginalized by the religious elite. In fact, his harshest language was reserved for those who used religion to divide the world into ‘us and them’. For Jesus, God’s love washes away every category that separates us from them because when we recognize God’s universal love, we recognize that there is only ‘us’.”