Dependable Erection

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Church marquees in the news

John alerts me to an AP story apparently carried in the Herald-sun this weekend (i'll be damned if i can find it on their website though) about a couple of books on church signs published recently. Here's a link to it from the Baltimore Sun.

Most churches began in the 1990s to give up wooden signs with sermon schedules in favor of marquees with movable letters.

Signs with humorous one-liners or simple spiritual messages communicated more information to the public about the church and perhaps intrigued newcomers to check out Sunday services, said Colorado pastor Ron Glusenkamp, who wrote the book Signs for These Times.

"It was a way to encourage people to utilize their church signs, to recognize it's a valuable way to connect with people ... to help people kind of reflect on their relationship with God," Glusenkamp said.

Seitz's self-published book of photos, titled The Great American Book of Church Signs, highlights 100 signs covering such themes as faith, forgiveness, love, prayer and perseverance.

Featured in the book are such gems as "Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death," from Church of Christ at Brookhill in Killen, Ala.; "Love God with all your heart, then do whatever you want," from Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City; and "Tithe if you love Jesus. Anyone can honk," from Southern Heights Baptist Church in Russellville, Ky.

. . .

Joel Benbow, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Evanston, Ill., whose sign "To Belittle is to Be Little" is included in Seitz's book, said that his marquee is intended to make people curious about the church and that its message needs to be catchy to grab the attention of drivers.

The article also point readers in the direction of the crummy church signs blog, which is certainly a lot more singularly focused than this blog is on church marquees. I've been more interested in documenting the signs around my town (or wherever i happen to be traveling) than seeking out true wackiness, and now that i know someone else is doing that on a national scale, i feel like a burden has been lifted from my shoulders. I'm not obligated to find the most inept, the most awkwardly phrased, the most unintentionally offensive church marquees out there. Someone else is already doing that.

Wonder if it hurts my chances of a book deal?



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