Submitted by David Lundberg, Shawnee Park Church. Grand Rapids, MI
The pandemic forced our congregation to think of ways to bring people together for worship. YouTube and Vimeo were good but nothing like beng together in person. Our worship committee came up with the idea of worshipping outdoors, where fresh air is built in and social distancing is easily accomplished. We looked at this as an experiment. The experiment succeeded beyond our expectations.
Beginning in the summer of 2020, we began worshipping on the lawn behind the church. Most people did not even know there was a lawn there. When the weather cooled in the fall, worship moved to the parking lot. Our last worship of the season was in early November on a 70 degree day in Grand Rapids, Michigan no less. The response was enthusiastic from people of all ages.
This year we are continuing to worship outdoors by choice, not just necessity. The cool thing about this arrangement is that we are bringing worship to the neighborhood. No doors to open or ushers and greeters to contend with. Just come and pull up a chair. Worship is no longer hidden behind closed doors. We now have three sanctuaries! All unexpected blessings from COVID-19.