Editor’s note: This post was written prior to the stay-at-home executive order enacted by Governor Roy Cooper on March 27, 2020. We strongly encourage you to contact your local law enforcement and other authorities regarding any kind of similar gathering that may be planned by your congregations.
As we adjust to the new realities of how to do church and how to be church, congregations are exploring a variety of ways to gather, to stay connected, and to live into our current circumstance. One of the more challenging aspects of our life together is the call for “social distancing” or “physical distancing” as a means of reducing the spread of the virus. When we are required to be separated, how do we join together in authentic ways that help us remember who we are?
In Clayton, two churches took this challenge on in a creative way. This past Sunday, members of Greater Heights UMC and Christ Community UMC gathered in the parking lot of Clayton High School. But when they arrived, no one got out of their car. No one went into the building. No socializing in the lobby or gathering for Sunday school classes. Instead, congregants stayed in their cars and listened to the sermon, the music, and other elements of worship, like the drive-in movie theaters many of us remember.
Greeters and ushers (Photos: Karl DeBlaker/Karl DeBlaker Photography)
Rev. Matt Evans, pastor at Greater Heights and Christ Community, and other members of the worship team led the service from a platform. Greeters and ushers, appropriately attired with masks and gloves, circulated among the cars. And those gathered were able to maintain “physical distancing” while enjoying being together for worship and fellowship. Plans are already in place for drive-in worship again next Sunday.
What new ways are you and your churches finding to gather in these days of distancing and quarantine? Reach out and let us know – use the comments on this story, find us on Facebook, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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