June’s Monthly Meeting for Business will have several options to consider as new messages for the streetside sign on New Garden Road.

The Communications Committee met May 15 to generate suggestions for future messages for the sign. The meeting, held in response to a request from Monthly Meeting for
Business, was publicized beforehand and open to all New Gardeners. More than a dozen persons attended.

Considering new messages for the sign, which currently reads “Black Lives Matter,” is in keeping with the original plan for the sign first erected in 2020. The frame of the sign is
designed so that message panels can be swapped out as necessary.

Discussion of the current sign controversy and possible future messages was calm and thoughtful. It was noted that:
• Quaker testimonies periodically have been controversial throughout the nearly 400- year history of Friends. Living out Quaker values sometimes can be uncomfortable.
• Future messages should be something “distinctly Quakerly.”
• The sign’s message should be updated or rotated periodically to keep it fresh.
• The issues that led to posting the Black Lives Matter sign, while not currently in daily headlines, are unresolved in American society. When that message is replaced, the Black Lives Matter panels will be stored and available for use again at the direction of Monthly Meeting for Business.
• Should the sign sometimes be left blank?

Suggested future messages;

Peace Be With You
Racism is Not Patriotism
The Time is Always Right To Do What is Right
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
All Are Welcome Since 1754
Hate Has No Home Here
There is That of God in Everyone
Love Thy Neighbor (No Exceptions)
Racial Justice and Peace Benefit Everyone
Simplicity Peace Integrity Community Equality
Smiley Face

The current Black Lives Matter sign is being updated with the addition of the word “Do,” to read Black Lives Do Matter. Vinyl letters were purchased, but they proved to be too large and interfered with legibility. Smaller letters have been ordered.
– Tom Lassiter
Clerk, Communications Committee