Church signs in the US can be a lot of fun, cheering us up but also making us think. Though the vast majority of churches are now either closed or seeing far fewer people walk through their doors because of the coronavirus, their sense of humor and ability to give well-timed advice haven’t gone away.
Bored Panda has compiled a list of some of the very best church signs that give hilarious and sometimes brutally honest advice for living during the Covid-19 pandemic. Scroll down, upvote your faves, and let us know in the comments which signs you liked best and why. And if you’re still in the mood for some more clever church signs, check out our previous post here.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that no more than 10 people gather for public or private events. That means that a very large number of religious institutions have shut their doors and congregations are now meeting online.
Bored Panda reached out to the Journey of Faith Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Pastor Patrick Gahagen told us that they've been overwhelmed with responses about the sign: some of them have been "affirming and appreciative" while others labelled the church as "blasphemers and condemned" the wording.
"The sign came about from trying to figure out a way to encourage people to practice physical distancing. If I put 'Stay home. Be safe' nobody would have taken note. So with the approaching Palm Sunday celebration—scripturally Jesus rode a beast into Jerusalem which can be referred to as a donkey or ass so were good there. Practically, people need to keep their butts, derrieres, asses home."
Pastor Gahagen confirmed that the church is holding all of its services online. "We had already recorded all our sermons and had them posted to our webpage by the next day so now we just stream things on Facebook live at 10:30 AM."
The pastor also had some words of advice for anyone who's losing hope in these dark times. "Honor your feelings of hopelessness. They're legit. But know we don't stay there. In the same space where despair sits in the soul, so does hope. I have found my faith has become healthier when I have accepted the wholeness of the human and divine experience. It's not joy or sorrow but joy and sorrow. It's not love or fear it's love and fear. But because of the Easter moment and message of Jesus' resurrection—love wins!"
Pastor Gahagen added that "I believe as followers of Jesus, we need to cling more to our faith which is built around the questions of God and life and not our religion which is too defensive of our answers."
From Biblical parables to straightforward tips on staying at home and how social distancing is important, these church signs are grabbing people’s attention and they can’t help but share them on social media.
While some religious institutions are inspiring people, one Russian language church near Sacramento in California is getting a lot of heat. CNN reports that at least 70 people at the Bethany Slavic Missionary Church were infected with the coronavirus.
Sacramento County Department of Health Services director Dr. Peter Beilenson said that he named the church because he really wants to “hammer home the importance of not congregating, not only in church but also in prayer gatherings in people’s homes.”
Dr. Beilenson also pointed out that this particular church’s leaders “told us to leave them alone” and added that “this is extremely irresponsible and dangerous for the community.” The church believes that it’s being singled out and claims that reports about the number of infected are “inaccurate.”
Meanwhile, Health Department representative Janna Haynes says that officials believe that Covid-19 is being spread during Bible study and meetings at congregants’ homes. However, others from the church are attending services online.
“It's a touchy subject. A lot of people believe they will be divinely protected, that God is stronger than the virus," Vlad Kirgiz, the editor of The Evening Sacramento, a Russian language news blog, told CNN.