Leveraging Their Location

Maumee Valley SignWayside Pulpits” have been mainstays at UU congregations for decades. They started out as outside display cases that hold an uplifting quote from a famous sage (or other respected source) printed on heavy poster-sized paper.  Some examples are:

  • Goodness is the only investment that never fails. — Henry David Thoreau
  • For a thought to change the world, it must first change the life of the person who carries it. — Albert Camus
  • I defy the tyranny of precedent. — Clara Barton
  • Never lose a holy curiosity. — Albert Einstein

 

Designed to pique the curiosity of passers-by, the quotes served as subtle evangelizing tools, especially for intellectuals.  What kind of church quotes women, existentialists and scientists?

 

Originally printed by the UUA and sold to congregations, they are now available in pdf format so that congregations can have them printed locally.   Of course, congregations can also choose their own quotes and create their own Wayside Pulpit posters.

 

But with modern technology and the advent of affordable electronic signs, the Wayside Pulpit can be a more effective evangelical tool.

 

The Maumee Valley UU Congregation in Bowling Green, Ohio is located on the main highway between the college town of Bowling Green, and the city of Toledo (to the north) with a lot of traffic and not much else to look at.  Because the sign is electronic, it can be easily changed to offer a connected series of messages such as:

Be Good to Yourself.     Be Excellent to Others.     Do Everything with Love

We Believe in:
Freedom, Reason & Tolerance
The Necessity of the Democratic Process
The Transformative Power of Love
The Power of Beloved Community
The Never Ending Search for Truth & Meaning
Freedom of Religious Expression

 

They can also respond to current events with agility:

Rainbow Flag Up, Confederate Flag Down
Pro Black Lives, Pro Police Lives

 

The minister of the Maumee Valley UU Congregation, The Rev. Lynn Kerr, reports that many of the first-time visitors to the congregation say that they visited because they were intrigued by the different (and sometimes edgy) messages on the sign. (The rainbow flag sends its own message.)

Perhaps the folksy wisdom in the electronic version of the Wayside Pulpit might create a bigger tent for the faith in our postmodern age.

Here are more samples that MVUUC has displayed on their sign.  Feel free to borrow them for yours:

  • All Welcomed, All Loved
  • Are You a UU and Don’t Know it?
  • Atheists, Agnostics, Religious, All Welcome
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Black Lives Still Matter
  • Be the Change
  • Celebrate Everything
  • Cold Hands, Warm Heart
  • Come As You Are
  • Compassion is the Answer
  • Find Us and You Shall Seek
  • For the Beauty of the Earth
  • Hate Free-Love Filled
  • Journey Inward
  • Justice is What Love Looks Like in Public
  • LGBTQ Friendly & Affirming
  • Leap and the Net Will Appear
  • Live Now-Love Wastefully
  • Love, Courage, Wisdom – Found & Given Here
  • Make Your Voice Heard- Vote
  • Not All Who Wander Are Lost
  • Our Only Doctrine is Love
  • The Path to Peace Begins With Us
  • Peace Can Only Be Achieved Through Understanding
  • Peace is Possible
  • Small Church, Big Heart
  • Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn
  • Speak the Truth, Even if Your Voice Trembles
  • Speak the Truth in Love
  • Standing on the Side of Love
  • Stop Hate.  Together.
  • Truth and Love Always Win
  • War is Expensive, Peace is Priceless
  • We Are All Immigrants
  • We Put Values into Action

 

Rev. Renee Ruchtozke, primary contact for the Maumee Valley UU Congregation

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