The pun-laden signs you see outside churches have always intrigued me. "Seven days without prayer makes one weak." "Forbidden fruit creates many jams." "We have a prophet-sharing plan." They're funny and a little bit alien, if you're not a regular churchgoer. And it's hard to tell whether they're intended primarily to amuse regular congregants, or to attract soul-searching passers-by.
Church signs have their roots in the needlepoint samplers produced by women in the early American republic. Mostly hung in parlors, they usually featured proverbs, biblical adages, or sayings from psalms and hymns.
make your own church sign
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Sampler Image courtesy American Folk Art Museum, New York, and Sotheby's, New York.
All other photographs by Steve and Pam Paulson, courtesy Overlook Press.