Oregon Pastor's Church Signs Go Viral For Their Inclusive Messages

Pastor standing beside inclusive church sign
instagram | @clackamasucc

Religion is an intimidating topic, one that's seemingly full of contradictions. Humans have been seeking comfort in religion for thousands of years, yet religious conflict has led to innumerable wars.

Members of a community can find a sense of belonging within a congregation, and yet religion can just as divisive as it is inclusive.

The pastor of an Oregon church is on a mission to be more inclusive, starting with the big sign out front.

Pastor Adam is the pastor of Clackamas United Church of Christ.

Clackamas UCC, which you can follow on Facebook and Instagram, is located in Milwaukie, Oregon — just outside of Portland.

One of Pastor Adam's mantras is, "God loves you relentlessly and eternally, because God is love."

His signs preach inclusion.

The messaging on Pastor Adam's signs is an interesting mix between old-school theology that spreads a welcoming message, and applying those virtues to topical issues like immigration and vaccines.

It's important to Adam to get the message out there.

"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," he 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 these messages."

He didn't know his signs would go viral.

"People began to stop as they drove by to thank me for the messages," he added. "But I didn't know it would have an online impact, too."

Adam goes on to say that the simple message of the Gospel is that everyone, without exception, is loved. "The sin is when we start treating certain people and groups as if they are not loved," he explained.

Some of the messaging doesn't lean on theology at all.

This sign gives props to Portland Trail Blazers star guard Damian Lillard for getting vaccinated. In an era of vaccine misinformation and hesitancy, showcasing public figures who've gotten the jab might nudge a vaccine-hesitant person to do likewise.

You can look it up.

I'm not religious, but I do know that any Bible-based pretext for homophobia is flimsy. That said, I had no idea the Bible literally had a verse where two men kissed.

"Then [David and Jonathan] kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most."

Other signs are designed to drive change.

Pastor Adam wears his beliefs on his sleeve, which may turn off some people with different political opinions. Still, there's something deeply admirable about a church that's willing to stand up for the most vulnerable members of society.

The messaging is bold.

"I decided that we needed to be bold with our message of love and inclusion, especially those who are marginalized, especially by religion," he said. "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."

Sometimes he calls out other Christians.

Religion isn't necessarily about bringing people together. It's often used as a wedge to divide. Here, Adam calls out Christians who use their platform to preach divisiveness and violence.

"I just want people to know that God loves them and we love them and we're for them."

"One guy stopped as I was changing the sign and told me I didn't understand the Bible," he said. "But that's been most of the criticism. Everyone else honks or says great job. It's been very supportive."

What do you think?

If I drove past this church every day, I'd find it hard not to smile after seeing their sign. But we want to know what you think. Should more churches adopt Adam's messaging? Let us know in the comments!