Ever since Tom and I got back to Ohio at the beginning of July, we have been attending drive-in worship services at Lewis Center United Methodist Church. Every Sunday at 9:45 you can find us in our car in the Lewis Center parking lot. Because of the large lawn and spacious parking lot, the worship leaders at Lewis Center could set up and have plenty of room for an audience.
Unfortunately, the weather is necessitating a return to indoor worship. We have noticed that attendance at drive-in worship was down considerably during October. We took a survey for the church asking what our worship preferences would be. Tom and I wanted to continue to have drive-in worship, no matter what the weather. But, after watching the worship leaders all bundled up this last week, I know that would be very difficult.
So, Lewis Center is moving their worship services inside. I’m not too thrilled about that because coronavirus cases are rising again. Despite isolating, not doing any large gatherings, and always wearing a facemask. Tom and I rarely even go in stores and the biggest group of people we have been with (aside from the wedding in August) is when we got together with my brother and sister for my Dad’s birthday. We don’t eat in restaurants, although we do try to support local businesses by getting curbside pick-up.
We are as tired as anyone else of the pandemic and its restrictions. But, because we want to be with my mom and dad, we will continue to be careful. Lewis Center is trying to be careful as they move worship indoors. They will start with one worship service for which people will have to make reservations. Only 80 people at a service and facemasks required. They will abide by the state cleaning requirements. And they will suspend services if the threat level in Delaware County goes up to purple (right now it is orange).
Tom and I are hesitant about going to indoor worship. Our rule, ever since March, has been avoiding all groups of people and indoor spaces unless it was a necessity. Although worship is very important to us, worshiping indoors is not. So we will probably go back to watching services online – at least for the time being.
I have really appreciated all the creative ways pastors and congregations have been worshiping during the pandemic. Lewis Center did a wonderful job of hosting drive-in worship as long as they could. They are an innovative and caring group of folks and I look forward to worshiping with them in person again some day.
How about you? Are you attending indoor worship services? What protocols make you feel safe?