Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Sign

By now, most parishioners will have seem our redesigned sign outside the main entrance of the church. The old-fashioned black interior with moveable white letters has been replaced by an electronic sign with bright—very bright, as it turns out—yellow lettering. The custom frame has been reworked to accommodate the electronic insert and has in other was been spiffed up. Take a look; the redesign has been very nicely done.

There are a few problems with the sign. One is that it is virtually invisible to cars traveling south on Washington Road, as a large equipment box for the traffic signal is in the perfect place to hide the sign. This is not a surprise; we know about the problem going in, but Mt. Lebanon insisted on keeping our sign in the same location. At some point, we might be able to get the equipment box moved (across the street, say), but doing so would be expensive.

I don’t know all the capabilities of the display, but I suspect that we can adjust the size of the letters, as well as their thickness. At the moment, we are using big fat letters that not only restrict how much text can be displayed but also, curiously, are hard to read. One hopes that, with experience, we will get smarter about this.

An advantage of an electronic sign, of course, is that the message can be constantly changing, a capability we are already using. One of the messages is “St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.” Someone remarked, however, that when this message is not being displayed, there is nothing identifying the church at all. Perhaps, the same message could be displayed in small letters at the top of every message; or perhaps not.

Alas, my worst fear (and that of many parishioners) has been realized. Our boast about being a welcoming church has made its way to our newest advertising medium. I have complained more than once about the tag line “The most welcoming congregation in the South Hills for all generations.” (See, for example, “Our ‘Welcoming’ Congregation.”) It seems to show up everywhere. Here it is, for example, posted next to the elevator:

Poster near elevator

On our new sign, our slogan has been abbreviated:

Message on new sign

Our arrogance has grown. We now not only insult every church in the South Hills; we slander every church in the world! I am assured that the rector is responsible for the messages on the sign. He should be ashamed. This message is an ecumenical disaster, and it should be deleted, never to be seen again.

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