Drive-in church

Rochelle vanderHelm — Staff Writer

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I have always thought that it would be moderately entertaining to go to a drive-imovie theater.  Snuggle up in the car with aspecial person,lots of blankets, and a thermos of coffee.  A slightly adjusted version of this would have me satisfied with snuggles and coffee, forget the movie, I won’t ask for too much.   

I wasn’t exactly prepared for this alternative of no movie and no snuggles, although folding my whole family into one car for over an hour is not altogether inconsistent from such an activity.  With all the jabbing, scratching, and wrenching, we were eventually all neatly tucked away, unable to wiggle, somewhat like 6 well-crafted burrito people.  My brother, who is 6’3, had the benefit of claiming he could not possibly crumple his legs into the back seat.  He, of course, sat shotgun. 

I was blessed to have brought a ceramic mug of coffee that coordinated well with my outfit and a nude sweater that hides coffee stains well.  Since I am under a “shelter in place” order I must utilize any opportunity in the public eye to do myself up.  have never before seen my mother wear slippers to church.  Drive-ichurch comes with many firsts. 

We drove in and were ushered to our seats, or rather, a patch of dust the size of our vehicle.  It was cool, so Pastor Dave Morehead wore a suit jacket.  I do not ever remember him wearing a suit jacket for a normal Sunday before, but he tastefully balanced it with a pair of jeans instead of his normal slacks.  The doves and tweeting birds rivaled Morehead for attention while he greeted us. 

“If you cannot hear me, then honk” Morehead said. 

“Wait, what?” Mom said. 

“Can all the field workers out in the orchards hear me?” Morehead said. 

Silence. 

“Alright.” 

Morehead preached his sermon, which was excellent.  Of course, because my brother was in the front seat, I had to shove my head out the window to see.  Did people really like to do this for fun?  Seems like a lot of work. 

Drive-ichurch has a few flaws, namely the flora and fauna.  Pedro the dog is about the size of a bread box and looks like one of those caricatures people draw at the fair.  His simple existence presents a modest distraction, but when you see him toddling across the yard, it’s unbearable.  Additionally, the weather must be good for people to sit quietly in their cars for a church service.  However, in a time like this we are all blessed to see the real, flesh and blood faces of our church family in the cars next to us instead of a pixelated image that moves three seconds late.  In the interest of social distancing, next week we will have music provided by one family. 

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