Drive-in Worship


I was born in Dallas, Texas in what my kids lovingly call the dark ages.  Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s it was a great place to be a kid... at least it was for me.  We had a great low slung 1960’s house in a neighborhood with lots of other kids to play with and not more than five blocks from my school.  Which meant I could walk or ride my bike to school every school day.  And in the era of bussing, that was a big deal.  I will tell you I have several fond childhood memories from my hometown.

My fondest is of the drive-in theater.  Yes, I am just old enough to remember drive-in theaters, barely, and the joy of loading up the car with blankets and pillows and a big Tupperware tub of fresh popped popcorn with real butter on it and heading off to the drive-in for a late night of fun and maybe a movie or two.  We had a 1972 green Buick Skylark with the perfect hood for cuddling up on and watching movies... I miss the days when you could sit on the hood of a car and not worry about denting the thing. 

It was at this drive-in I watched with my family “Young Frankenstein” (I am sure asking, “If this isn’t an old movie why is it in black and white?”), “Herbie the Love Bug” and, of course, “Star Wars” which had me running around for the next six months pretending to fire a laser gun...  Joo.. Joo...  JUoooo. 

The best thing about the drive-in we went to back then was its location.  You see that drive-in theater was situated in the parking lots of the Dallas Cowboys football stadium right in the shadow of the infamous dome with a hole in it.  It was like watching a movie next to a holy shrine for many of us there in Dallas.  And we all loved it!

And the very best thing about... well any drive in... even ones not in the shadow of the Dallas Cowboy stadium is that you drive, into the movie theater, your own personal space that is all yours... and you take it home with you after the movie is over.  Watching a movie in the comfort of your own vehicle was the best... no sticky floors... no body kicking the back of your seat (except your little sister)... and if you had a 1972 Buick Skylark a hood that went on for days.

And it is this aspect of the drive-in that I think we can utilize for a church service currently during the COVID-19 pandemic... minus the big green hood.  Some of you have already probably guessed where I am going with this... drive-in worship.

I am not all that sure when we will be allowed to have indoor worship and even when we are allowed to have indoor worship again just how long it will last until the Flu season hits and we find that the Flu combined with COVID means we need to pause indoor worship again.  This being said, it seems to be that as the temperatures are now starting to inch away from boiling and returning to more suitable temperatures for outside activities it would be a good time for us at Commonwealth to develop a drive-in church worship service.

I am in the process of obtaining the necessary equipment to broadcast such a service via FM radio waves which will mean all folks will need to do is pull up into our parking lot... park their cars in a space and tune their radios to the appropriate unused FM radio frequency to hear the service and see it through their windshields.

No... it will not be just like the services we could have indoors.  Just as a drive-in theater is nothing like watching a movie in an indoor movie theater.  However, it will allow us to gather in the safety of our own vehicles and pray together and hear worshipful music and a short message.  We may even be able to incorporate Holy Communion into the plan with enough practice. 

Right now, my plan is to begin Drive-in worship services starting September 6th with the service beginning at 10:30 am (since it is still getting hot out there some days).  The service will last about thirty minutes.  After the service, it will be just like a drive-in movie theater.  Everyone will start up their vehicles and slowly make their way to the exit.  The church building will be locked so there will be no need to disinfect anything and since everyone stays in their vehicles contact will be limited to best protect one another and those who are most vulnerable to this virus.

More information will be coming out as we get closer to the 6th but just wanted to let everyone know so ya’ll could mark your calendars.



Rev. Steve Kurt