Religious faith services are among the parts of life being cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, one church in Evansville, Indiana, is offering worship at a drive-in service.
Bethel Church in Evansville posted an invitation on its Facebook page: “Join us for a drive-in prayer and worship gathering from the safety of your vehicle.”
In a video clip, the Courier and Press captured Lead Pastor Dr. Prince Samuel delivering his Sunday morning sermon on the topic "Faith Flattens Fear" on the drive-in screen.
"There are going to be some tough times," said Samuel. "When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown."
Samuel and the regular worship team, which includes musicians, lead the service on the outdoor stage set up in the church parking lot. Video screens allowed viewing from every part of the parking lot.
As Samuel wrapped up his message with, “Have a great week. We’ll see you next week," the response from the members of the congregation in their parked cars was a chorus of honking horns.
Pastor Dave Schwambach said a total of about 160 carloads of individuals attended the two morning services, scheduled at the regular 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. times, for the first drive-in worship on March 22. He said the usual attendance for the two Sunday services, when they are held indoors, is about 800 worshippers.
Schwambach said the church is careful to adhere to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, as well as state and local governments, to maintain social distancing required to avoid the spread of coronavirus. He said medical professionals within the congregation have also been confirming that health guidelines are adhered to for the drive-in services.
Bethel Church has found one more way to give people an opportunity to maintain a sense of community in this time of “social distancing.’’