The United Church of Christ of Atlantic hosted their first drive-in church service Sunday morning, March 29. Pastor Nancy Jensen shared, “Several years ago, our family attended a drive-in church service in Okoboji, and thought it would be really fun to try it here sometime. Obviously, it certainly wasn’t ‘fun’ that prompted us to try this now, but we felt a need to be able to gather our church family, while remaining separate.
“We all are very concerned about the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and throughout this life-altering experience want to make physical health our primary focus, but we also need to be aware of those enduring psychological, emotional, and spiritual struggles and stresses. Being able to worship together while separate, hopefully encourages and strengthens us during these tough times.”
It was a team effort to get this service ready! The church’s audio/visual director, Donnie Drennan, with the help of Bob Harris, worked all week to figure out all the logistics of moving sound equipment outside so that people could hear and be involved in the service, even with car windows closed. Dale Jensen helped with the preparation and take down process, provided the gloves for helpers, and helped with cleaning up the front of the church yard, along with Bob Harris. Joyce Gross sewed masks, which were utilized along with the gloves for those handing out bulletins and taking up the offering. Church secretary Chris Bennett created song sheets for the hymns and her daughter, Danielle, took notices to the church’s bordering neighbors to explain what would be happening Sunday morning. Some came out in their backyards and joined the worship time!
Everyone was told that they must stay in their vehicles, and not walk around and visit. Only the five handing out bulletins and taking the offering were out walking around. Church member and police chief Dave Erickson, was one of those five and helped direct traffic as well. The other helpers were Lory Erickson, Rob and Sonya Clausen, and Dale Jensen.
Jeannine DeVore Harris stated what we all felt, “It was so good to be separately together with our church family again!” The church will continue to offer this worship experience throughout this pandemic time, as long as there is a need and as long as they are able to by state declaration.