Love, faith, hope, and wit are what keep us going when all other lights go out. They’re a quintessential part of being a human being. And there’s always room for a smile, a word of praise, and a dash of optimism. Especially during the most difficult of times.

Openness, wholesome support for everyone no matter their journey, and light comedy are exactly what the Clackamas United Church of Christ preaches, showing that religion can be radically inclusive, not just divisive. Masterminded by Reverend Adam Ericksen, the church spreads its Christian message through witty and heartwarming signs.

Reverend Adam told me that his goal is to show that they're a church that believes that "God loves all people and invites us to work for a more just world as we share that love with others." Read on for Bored Panda's full interview with the pastor about the church's goals, how the flock has adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic, and people finding faith in difficult times.

It sounded only fitting to do this after Easter, so we’ve collected some of the best new signs from the Milwaukie-based church to share with you, dear Pandas. You’ll also find Bored Panda’s earlier article about the church right over here. Spread love, not hate.

More info: Facebook | Instagram | Website

#1

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Junic Lee
Community Member
6 months ago

True...

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#2

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Vic
Community Member
6 months ago

Absolutely right! This is brilliant!!

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#3

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

kjorn
Community Member
6 months ago

murica-606...e834dc.jpg murica-606c534e834dc.jpg

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For Pastor Adam, the belief that we should be building a more just world is inspiration enough to come up with new messages for the sign in front of the church. "Sometimes, the messages are about including people of other faiths or no faith. Sometimes it's about lifting up a justice issue. And sometimes it's quoting the Bible in a life affirming way toward immigrants, along with our LGBTQIA and BIPOC siblings. Other times we make political commentary with a Christian twist," he shared.

The reverend found adapting to the global pandemic both easy and difficult at the same time. "The difficulty is that our local community hasn't seen each other face to face in more than a year. We miss being physically present with each other. Phone calls and Zoom calls are the best we can do, but it isn't enough. At the same time, our online worship service is growing, allowing us to form a community with folks from Alabama to Toronto to Spain to Australia looking for a progressive Christian congregation," he said that they've been able to reach out to more people worldwide, but that the locals are feeling down after spending so much time apart.

#4

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Anggi Santika
Community Member
6 months ago

If you use any holy books (you name it, bible, quran, tipitaka, vedas, etc) to justify violence, abuse or slavery, you are using it wrong. Period.

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#5

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Vicky Zar
Community Member
6 months ago

I learned something new today about my own country. We have a law protecting transgender people. You can change your name and gender on your birth certificate for example (to female, male or even diverse!). And we have this law since 1980!!!!! I am so proud of my my country right now.

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#6

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Mariiii
Community Member
6 months ago

@Ernst Gottschalk shut up already

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Pastor Adam believes that the last 5 years "have increased faith for many," but thinks that this 'faith' isn't exactly what the church has been accustomed to. It's more of a longing to belong to a community. "For example, I find that people of different faiths and even people of no faith are looking for a sense of community. Faith is moving much more towards what I think Jesus had in mind—a trust in something bigger than yourself. Sometimes, we find that trust in community, realizing that all communities are flawed and make mistakes, but that participating in something bigger than ourselves makes life worth living. I think people are finding that especially in these most difficult times, faith within a community is something we need more than ever."

The Clackamas United Church of Christ marries tradition with modernity by embracing progressive issues. The congregation believes in upholding the rights, dignity, and equality of all people under God. They also think that “Jesus is awesome.” 

#7

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

RoseTheMad
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

Jesus was a person of colour. YES. HE WAS AN ARAB JEW FOR F***S SAKE.

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#8

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
6 months ago

True.

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#9

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Junic Lee
Community Member
6 months ago

We all are with our differences and similarities...

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Clackamas UCC, a Just Peace congregation, is open to everyone. And they live by those words. “We are open and affirming of our LGBTQ siblings and believe God calls us to love all of our neighbors, including those who are black, brown, white, rich, poor, religious, atheist, documented, and undocumented.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the church has moved their Sunday morning worship online. You’ll find their live services on their Facebook page, as well as their website. “We also have online bible study, prayer group, and anti-racism events throughout the week.”

#10

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Aaron Kara
Community Member
6 months ago

It's true, He accredits many of the major counselling qualifications.

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#11

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
6 months ago

The pro-capitalists disagree.

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#12

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

John Montgomery
Community Member
6 months ago

This feels like message to insurance companies as much as it is to people.

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In an earlier interview with Pastor Adam, Bored Panda learned about how the reverend came to Clackamas UCC and decided to get their message out into the neighborhood. “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 shared.

The reverend firmly believes that “God loves you relentlessly and eternally because God is love” and he lives by the same principles. He hopes to share these same values with others in the local community. 

#13

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Priscilla Reshell
Community Member
6 months ago

True!

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#14

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Junic Lee
Community Member
6 months ago

Very courageous

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#15

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Sam T Godfrey
Community Member
6 months ago

Nobody is born angry, or racist, or religious, or anything not yet learned. The only thing we are born with is curiosity. Oh, an hunger, too. We're are all born hungry!

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"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,” the pastor explained.

When Reverend Adam first arrived at the church in 2018, the congregation was incredibly small, down to only around 30 or so people. After coming up with an idea to spread their message through the sign out front, they started up a fundraiser and set it up. It paid off. Spiritually.

#16

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
6 months ago

This! Call ppl out when you hear casual racism (I do, some ppl don't like it but tough). I'm white so ppl seem to think I will say nothing or enjoy the "joke" or comment. I don't. I will always say something. I've made a lot of ppl unhappy but f**k them tbh

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#17

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

*me*
Community Member
6 months ago

I prefer to think of any god as neither, although I am atheist

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#18

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
6 months ago

Jesus preached loving ALL men, (and women). Be like Jesus.

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

Pastor Adam said that even though the basic message about God loving everyone might sound cheesy, it was vital that they got it out in the community. "There are so many of us who are trying to get this message out and whether we do it in the name of God or the name of humanity or the name of God and humanity—I say amen, let's do this."

#19

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Tenley Samson
Community Member
6 months ago

is that a threat

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#20

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Jessica Bertram
Community Member
6 months ago

oh, this one hurts, and it is so true. "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" only succeeds if you have boots. But we as a country look down on those without boots...our cultural priorities are so backwards. we worship the rich and kick the poor. We should be trying to equalize it all.

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#21

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Clearly sunny
Community Member
6 months ago

Is this true?

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Fortunately, negative reactions toward the message board have been few and far between. "One guy stopped as I was changing the sign and told me I didn't understand the Bible. But that's been most of the criticism. Everyone else honks, or says 'great job!' It's been very supportive. There is a big movement, not just in my generation but in all generations, of people looking for a more inclusive faith. We find it in Jesus."

#22

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
6 months ago

Hasn't stopped humanity before. Sigh...

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#23

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Truth Monster
Community Member
6 months ago

Well, this one I agree with.

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#24

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Clearly sunny
Community Member
6 months ago

Yeah it's pretty dumb name for it. How about the Hopefuls?

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According to the church’s website, Reverend Adam enjoys writing, coaching his son’s soccer and basketball teams, making breakfast, and long walks on the beach. We also have in common the fact that our favorite dessert is chocolate chip cookies and milk. Sometimes, the classics are eternal. Just like the wisdom on Adam’s signs.

#25

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Priscilla Reshell
Community Member
6 months ago

Say it louder for the boys in the back!

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#26

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Deborah Hale
Community Member
6 months ago

If you see something wrong and do nothing to try and fix it, you are complicit.

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#27

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

John Doe
Community Member
6 months ago

I really love all these signs!

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#28

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Vic
Community Member
6 months ago

Who was it? My Christian friends, please help me with the answer..

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#29

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Pterodactyl C. Bishop
Community Member
6 months ago

If you are Christian - you are (and definitely should be) working to be more and more like Christ...so being Christian should be being Christlike. If you are Christian and are not like Christ, something's the matter.

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#30

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Lilly Rose Poppy
Community Member
6 months ago

Look at the cute doggie!

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#31

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Vic
Community Member
6 months ago

Even the doggo is reading this!!

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#32

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Priscilla Reshell
Community Member
6 months ago

Trans and Non Binary deserve love too!

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#33

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

El Dee
Community Member
6 months ago

They seem to pick and choose which fundamentals are important to them..

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#34

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

Vicky Zar
Community Member
6 months ago

Good one

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#35

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Clackamas United Church of Christ Report

She_woman
Community Member
6 months ago

Mmmmhmmmmmm

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Note: this post originally had 55 images. It’s been shortened to the top 35 images based on user votes.