Faith finds a way: Drive-in theatre to be used as church
GRANTON, ONT. -- Naturally the members of Villages United Church in Granton, Ont. have faith in God. But, member Joan Hayden is also a realist about the current pandemic.
“Our world as we knew it will never be the same, I don’t think, but hopefully we’ll get back to a normal."
While normal is still - seemingly - far off, the parishioners have found a unique way to worship, in person.
This Sunday, they’ll head here to Starlite Drive-In Theatre near Grand Bend for a special church service.
Leaving a space between every car, parishioners will see each other’s faces - through their vehicle windshields - for the first time in months.
But beyond washroom use that’s as far as they can go.
It’s to meet health restrictions, according to pastor Jacob Shaw.
“That means no lawn chairs. Everyone has to stay in the car. Hopefully they have some air conditioning and some water to bring.”
The owner of the drive-in is donating the use of the facility.
Along with Granton, Villages United Church has other locations including Bryanston and Kirkton.
Shaw says his moving congregation is eager to move - to Shipka - the hamlet near Grand Bend where the Starlite is located, this Sunday.
“People were really longing for to gather, and this give us an opportunity to do that in a safe way."
Even a millennial member is excited to see the congregation.
Elizabeth Herbert says online services haven’t cut it.
“Just going to church and seeing my community is one of the biggest parts of the experience for me, so [online] is just not the same."