BLUFFTON, Ind. (WANE) — On Sundays you can catch a church service for Bluffton’s Park Community Church online and over the radio, and although members cannot sit side-by-side in their pews right now, you will also still see a full parking lot on Sunday morning.
Park Community Church has a tight-knit membership, one that has been missing that sense of community they get from gathering in church every Sunday. So, they found a way to worship together but apart.
“We miss each other,” said Senior Pastor Dennis Wood. “We want to be apart together as a part of church, so we came up with the drive-in church. People just pull up in their cars and try to keep them a little farther apart. We ask them to stay in their vehicle for social distancing.”
Park Community has held service this way for two weekends now. The worship band is set up on the front lawn and Pastor Dennis addresses the crowd from a scissor lift in the street. The members may not be able to shake hands or talk to each other face to face but they can still connect with each other.
“We try to do some fun things, we honk instead of saying ahem or clapping, again, just trying to build a unity.”
According to Wood, the experience of being together in the parking lot has been a comforting for those struggling with the sudden loss of close social contact and worried about everything surrounding COVID-19.
“This is a great church. We love to be together, it’s a family. That’s the reason we’re doing it. Even though they can’t meet an touch each other, they can still see each other and we’re even getting visitors, last week we had three visitors, visiting cars and so we expect that today too.”
The church can only really have services like this if the weather holds out. They have managed to get through the service while dealing with the wind both weekends they have held an outside service but say they watch the weather and make the judgment call on Sunday morning.
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