Femme Osage UCC, at 4360 Cappeln Osage Road, is offering “Drive-In” church on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. Members of other nearby congregations and the general public are invited to attend.
All participants must maintain proper social distancing and should stay in their car except to use the hall restroom. Instructions on how to park and listen are provided upon arrival. Because multiple congregations may be present, donors can write the name of their church on their offering envelope (or use their normal provided envelopes) and each church will receive their designated offerings. The service goes on, rain or shine. Generally those in attendance listen through their open car windows, but the service can also be picked up on their FM radios if they are on the church property.
Rev. Jeffrey Willey, Pastor, said the response has been beyond anything he expected. “I’ve been stunned at the popularity!” he said. “We’ve had great turnouts, and consistently see members from at least nine different congregations. And those congregations appreciate the way we are handling the offerings.” Willey said, “We just want to minister to people across the county, worship the Lord, and celebrate the good things God has given us.”
Willey said the church has acquired all the appropriate licenses (for broadcasting, printing music, Youtube, etc.) and, “We are carefully following the governor’s orders to maintain safe social distancing. We have room to accommodate hundreds of cars. Those who interact with the public are wearing masks and gloves.”
Some of the music is provided by the traditional pipe organ in the church, and some is provided by other musical resources. “People are singing in their cars. It’s been fun! People are coming back!” Willey said.
The first Sunday of each month, the church does communion. Willey said, “Participants are encouraged to bring their own juice and bread, which we bless and then partake together.” (Individual packets are available for those who didn’t know or forgot to bring their own.)
The beautiful, quiet setting around the church adds to the experience. People love being out in nature. Willey said, “In fact, it’s been so well-received that when this is over, we’re talking about having some sort of casual, outdoor Saturday night family picnic service. It’s just an idea at this point, but one we hope to bring to fruition.”
Femme Osage United Church of Christ is located at 4360 Cappeln Osage Road, Augusta, MO 63332. For more information please call 636-228-4586.