This last week we went to our first in-person outdoor worship service at Lewis Center United Methodist Church. We hadn’t worshiped with a congregation since the beginning of March.
This was the second outdoor worship service for Lewis Center. They have two huge, wonderful shade trees on a large lawn. The lawn gently slopes down to the parking lot. So people brought lawn chairs and sat in the shade of the trees or parked in the first row of the parking lot. It was easy to see the worship leaders and Pastor Phil at the top of the rise. In fact, it made me think of Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount!
There were about 150 people at the worship service, with plenty of people to social distance. Although people said hello, they stayed a respectful distance apart from each other. We parked in one of the spots on the edge of the parking lot. I paid attention to the tree shadows, staking out a place for next Sunday. I wore my mask to get a bulletin and communion, but didn’t wear it when I was in the truck.
Because it was the first Sunday of the month, there was communion. Usually Lewis Center does communion by intinction – dipping a piece of bread in a common cup. For these covid times, they changed to individually wrapped communion cups with a wafer on top. I first saw these when we were concerned about SARS years ago. Lewis Center had a big box of elements with each person reaching in and getting their own. When it came time to take communion, we each peeled off the covering and ate the wafer. Then we peeled off the lid to the cup and drank the juice. It went very smoothly, even if the wafer tastes like Styrofoam.
We had wonderful music that was easy to hear and two hymns that we sang together. Pastor Phil gave a great message on the powerful story of Paul in Acts 27. Paul and all his fellow sailors were saved from a shipwreck. All the souls were saved, even though the ship was lost.
It was great to worship with others at the Lewis Center outdoor worship service. We are looking forward to going back this week.