“Honk if you wanna say, ‘Amen!’”
The exuberant proclamation echoed across the gravel parking lot and bounced into the adjacent woods and corn fields. The announcement, met with a reverberation of various car horns, left attendees grinning wildly.
There are several advantages to living in rural mid-Michigan while enduring a months-long quarantine. Hiking in the woods for hours and not encountering another person is fairly normal. If you want seeds or plants but aren’t permitted to buy them, chances are that neighbors have an extra rhubarb or young tomato plant start available that they’d gladly leave on the porch to be picked up.
There isn’t an opportunity to miss your favorite burrito place because the town doesn’t have one. And, if your gung-ho pastor expresses a desire to have a drive-in church service, you more than likely have a pile of wood beams that can be thrown onto the bed of a truck to create a platform.
Members of the Big Rapids, Reed City, and Bristol churches came together on the first Sabbath in May to worship safely, while social-distancing in our vehicles. With the go-ahead from local and state law enforcement, the Michigan Conference, and neighbors surrounding the church, the anticpated worship services were underway. Sabbath experience was one that none of us had ever experienced. We utilized a portable speaker system, a guitar and accordion for special music, and a makeshift truck platform to bring the service together!
We had even prepped for a forecasted rainstorm, but the skies miraculously cleared to blue, minutes before the sermon. After the service, members waved to each other and shouted words of blessing and encouragement as rows of cars were dismissed.
These past months have often been referred to as “unprecedented times.” Friends, unprecedented times call for unprecedented church services, unprecedented gospel sharing, and unprecedented love!