drive-in church.

13 Sep
I spent my Sunday morning with three seminary friends, sitting in the car and worshipping.  We attended Trinity in Stillwater’s drive-in worship service.  Trinity, the church where I used to work in children’s ministry, has held drive-in services at an abandoned drive-in movie theater across the St.Croix in Houlton, WI for many years.  Recently, Trinity acquired the property which means even more Sundays at the drive-in.  You arrive, find a place to park, tune in your radio, and worship in your car.  And I love it.
My seminary friends were skeptical.  Other people I’ve talked to are skeptical.  How can this type of church service build community?  You sit in your car?  Weird.  Truth is, I see more community at this service than many others I’ve attended.  This is how it works – we sit in our car.  Sometimes we sing.  Sometimes it’s just awkward to sing.  So we don’t.  My favorite drive-in song?  If you’re happy and you know it, honk your horn.  (Seriously.)  After the sermon, after the prayers, after the offering, the words of institution are given and the mass exodus from vehicles begins.  Everyone leaves their cars and finds one of the stations to receive communion.  And here the service basically ends.  Because after sitting in your car for the prior part of the service, you begin talking, greeting, and connecting with the other worship attendees you haven’t yet seen that morning.  Here is the community.  There have been many Sundays where I’ve been one of the last cars to exit because the conversations, the hugs, and the community that continues long after the service as ended.
After the service, we parked the car in Stillwater and went antiquing before grabbing lunch at Nacho Mama’s.  As a child, I hated antique stores.  I hated the way in which my parents built antique store detours into our family vacations.  My brothers and I waited in the car or followed our parents around the mazes of antiques, thinking about how old this weird stuff was.  My view has changed.  I love antique stores.  The old stuff.  The possibilities.  I came away with nothing, aware that I have no employment and will be moving again in eight months.  Cassie however bought some peacock feathers.  Why not.

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