(LaPorte, IN) - The church Sunday in LaPorte was closed due to coronavirus but the parking lot was full of people staying inside their vehicles to hear the message delivered from an outdoor podium.
The words of Bethany Lutheran Church pastors Dennis Meyer and Mike Sutton broadcast on WCOE-FM in LaPorte allowed those in attendance to listen on their car radios.
After the 30-minute service, church deacons wearing masks and gloves walked up to the vehicles offering guests communion.
Some people like Lois Krider, 72, of LaPorte and Jeff Reynolds, 64, of Michigan City came because their church near Rolling Prairie is closed.
They feel online services from their Lambs Chapel parish doesn’t fill the void from not being in the physical presence of others.
“I miss people and I just feel this is a way to get community and to worship together even if it’s in our cars it’s a blessed thing,” Krider said.
“I miss being with the congregation. This is really unique and it’s nice,” Reynolds said.
“It’s kind of a community without being too close,” said church member Sue Beebe of LaPorte.
Beebe in her 60’s came with her husband, Harry,
Meyer started the sermon by calling for courage at a time when so many people are afraid.
He also urged believers to not let coronavirus cast doubt on their faith.
“God is not a God of confusion. We know we are still loved, still cared for. When sin entered the world so did the brokenness of humanity,” Meyer said.
Sutton said now is a time to draw near to God ‘for his assurance and confidence.”
People wanting communion were asked to turn on their headlights so deacons could make their way over with wafers and plastic cups of wine handed to them inside zip lock bags.
Ada Hoops, 34, of LaPorte removed the mask from her face to take part in communion in the front passenger seat of her mother’s van.
The lifelong member of the parish said hope is what she received most of all from the drive-in service.
“Through all of this crap we’re dealing with right now, we need that. We need hope because if we don’t have hope we have nothing,” Hoops said.