NCHS alumnus improves the days of others with humor
Christ United Methodist Church displays comical phrases on the church’s marquee. The humor is incorporated through puns or other forms of wordplay. Christ United Church’s minister Reverend Dan Odell puts something encouraging on the south side of their marquee and something funny on the north side. Odell, who is an NCHS alumnus from the class of 1982, puts the jokes on the marquee with the idea that “maybe people who were turned off by church might give us a try, and at the very least it might brighten someone’s day.”
Odell said that he has hated church signs most of his life. “They just bothered me. They were either too preachy, too wordy, too exclusive, or too condescending. And that is not my idea of what a church should be. We should be inviting, down to earth, compassionate, and inclusive. Churches should be engaging the community and making it better and their signs should be reflecting that.”
Odell started posting funny jokes or sayings about four years ago after seeing funny sign postings on the internet. Since then, Christ United Methodist has embraced Odell’s funny sign postings. On the church’s website https://www.christumccasper.org/ the church labels itself as “A Simple Church and we see the value in humor” with a picture of one of Odell’s favorite jokes on display. The joke reads, “If you can’t spell Armageddon, it’s not the end of the world”.
Odell said that he tries to change the jokes once a week, but that he sometimes procrastinates. “My motto is, why do it today if you can put it off till tomorrow?” Odell finds jokes on the Dad Jokes SubReddit or from groups on Facebook that post funny stuff. “Sometimes, I think funny things and if it makes me laugh out loud, then that gets posted, too.”
Posting funny things on Christ United Methodist’s sign has brought people to the church, and Odell now introduces himself as “the minister at the church on Poplar that sometimes has funny things on the sign”. Multiple people have told Odell they enjoy his jokes, or told him stories about how seeing one of his displays improved their day. Odell said, “Knowing that someone’s day may be just a little brighter if they have something to laugh about is important these days, especially with the pandemic and the economic uncertainty.”