LUBBOCK, Texas – One Lubbock church found a clever way to not violate the mayor’s emergency declaration which prohibits a mass gathering of 10 people or more.
The mayor said his emergency order on Friday was meant to mirror the governor’s order which does not technically forbid churches to meet. But churches were requested to follow the requirements.
First Christian Church, 2323 Broadway, will hold services but inside the church. Worshipers will stay in their cars or trucks in the parking lot. Audio will be provided via a phone number which worshipers can access on their cell phones.
“Our church leadership has done everything we can think of to continue meeting and praying together, even in light of the requests and requirements of our city,” the church said.
“We will worship on Sunday, March 22, 2020 in our West Parking Lot at 11:00 AM; Sunday School classes will not meet,” the church said.
Use the restroom before you come, the church said, because no one is supposed to be inside the building.
“I think it’s creative. I think it’s a sense of community. I applaud that sort of effort,” Mayor Dan Pope said after hearing about the plan.
The following is a notification from First Christian Church which it provided to EverythingLubbock.com.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We will worship on Sunday, March 22, 2020 in our West Parking Lot at 10:00 AM; Sunday School classes will not meet. Our church leadership has done everything we can think of to continue meeting and praying together, even in light of the requests and requirements of our city. Please review the details for this Sunday:
- As you arrive you will be directed by our staff and police officers into the West Parking lot to face our temporary chancel and altar. Please remain in your vehicle throughout the worship service.
- Each vehicle will receive printed information which includes (1) a 1-800 number to call and listen in (like a drive inn movie) and (2) a simple order of worship. Be sure to bring your cell phone!
- The Lord’s Supper will be conducted without passing the elements – each of us will hold this sacred time in our hearts for now. This, too, is faith.
- Worship will be shorter than usual, and still include sacrament, prayers, song, scripture, and a homily (short sermon).
- Tithes and Offerings will be received as we leave.
- Worship will be recorded and available as soon as possible on Sunday afternoon.
- The facility will be closed, except for emergencies. Please use the restroom before leaving home.
These are unprecedented times and I appreciate all of the prayers and support you’ve given me as we discern these things. Please continue to use your discretion for your health, and also let us grow in faith through prayer, scripture, and reflecting on the Good News of Jesus Christ!
These are not problems I like to solve, but I’m grateful that God is shining through and leading us as His flock. Until we “enter His courts with praises” in the final day, let us walk by faith with joy and peace in our souls.
In Christ Jesus,
Rev. Paul Carpenter
First Christian Church