As Pastor Peter announced on Sunday, the state of Washington is now allowing drive-in church services under certain conditions designed to maintain strict “social distancing.” As the pastors of the church, we’ve had a desire to come together again as a church body as soon as possible, and this gives us that opportunity. We realize that this is not ideal. It’s not the form of gathering that we would wish for. However, it is a gathering nonetheless, and we feel that it’s worth the effort. So, our plan is to have a drive-in service at the church this Sunday, May 17.
Based on the directive given by the governor, we will not be allowed to leave our vehicles (other than those serving and performing the service), so it will be shortened to no more than 40 minutes. We will begin right away at our normal service time of 10 a.m. You’ll want to arrive before the service begins, but no earlier than 9:30 a.m. The message will be broadcast on short-range FM radio Channel 102.1. The service will continue to be live streamed on the church website and Facebook for those who are unable to attend the drive-in service. For this Sunday, deaf interpretation will be provided over live stream only.
Now, in order to do this, we have to follow certain rules. And we’re asking for your cooperation in following these rules both for the safety of our members and for the liability of the church. If we find that we are unable to follow these rules, we will not be able to continue to meet in this way.
- Please do not attend the service if you are older or have underlying medical conditions as defined by the CDC (CDC REGULATIONS). Please do not attend if you have a fever or are feeling ill. Do not attend if you have had contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Everyone attending the service must drive up in an enclosed vehicle and remain in the vehicle for the entire service. You will not be able to get out for any reason. The buildings will be locked and bathrooms will not be available. You might consider not eating or drinking before the service to avoid the need to use the bathroom.
- We will be spacing vehicles more than 6 feet apart to allow our windows to be opened. We will have parking lot attendants who will direct traffic flow and point you to your parking location. Please follow their directions. You will enter the church parking lot through the first entrance on the east side closest to the Equipping Center and depart through the paved parking lot and the exit on the west side closest to the church building. We will begin dismissing vehicles immediately following the service. Again, please follow the directions of the parking lot attendants and exit when directed.
- According to the state guidelines, no more than 10 people can occupy a single vehicle.
- Each vehicle may only be occupied by members of the same household who have already been in close contact and are not sick.
- No food, beverage or physical items may be passed between vehicles. No physical offering will be taken during the service.
- If anyone in your household develops flu-like symptoms following the service, please contact the church immediately and seek medical advice.
Just to emphasize, while this is not ideal and while it’s not the way we would like to meet normally, it does offer a way for us to fulfill our responsibility to meet as a called out assembly. Please talk to your children and let them know that they won’t be able to get out of the vehicle to see their friends. We’re not allowed to have physical contact of any kind between people from different households.
Let me just say that we appreciate so much your faithfulness and patience through all of this. We know that these are only temporary measures. Lord willing, we will be able to gather in the church sanctuary again soon.