Aurora Methodists to hold second drive-in service
An Aurora church is among United Methodist churches nationwide using an alternative to online worshp -- drive-in services.
Flowing Forth United Methodist Church will hold its second of two June drive-in services at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 28, at Aurora Christian School's main parking lot, 2255 Sullivan Road. The public is welcome.
The Rev. Derek Rogers, Flowing Forth lead pastor, will preach on "Express Gratitude," continuing his June-July sermon series, "Now What? What to Do When You Don't Know What To Do."
Due to COVID-19 restrictions on in-person gatherings, services have been pre-recorded and posted on the church's website, flowingforth.org and on YouTube since March.
Congregants will gather in the parking lot and stay in their vehicles while tuning to 1660 AM on car radios to listen to music, prayers and the sermon.
Attendees are required to remain in their vehicles at all times. No lawn chairs or sitting outside vehicles is allowed. The building and restrooms are not open.
Congregant Matt Erion of Batavia will greet drivers as they pull into the parking lot and direct them where to park, socially distanced at least six feet apart.
The church's worship band will provide pre-recorded music. During group singing, congregants' car windows are required to be rolled up. Song lyrics are posted on the church website and emailed in advance to members by email. Prayer requests can be submitted prior to the service through the church website or by texting the pastor during the service.
Communion will be celebrated in vehicles. To participate, attendees bring bread and juice for blessing by the pastor from a distance.
As motorists leave the parking lot, Erion will collect monetary donations to the church and canned food to benefit Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry in Aurora.
Rev. Rogers reflected on the first drive-in service June 14. He said, "I wasn't sure what to expect for a turnout, but was pleased to see as many as we had. It filled me with joy to see people in person, even from a distance. My hope is that we will move to having drive-in services, or some other form of outdoor services, each week in July to supplement ministries indoors and online.
"The donations to Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry from the service filled up the back of my car," Rev. Rogers said. "That combined with about $400 worth of food purchased by our college students, with funds raised for their cancelled mission trip, we were able to bless the pantry with about 45 grocery bags of food."
Normally, Flowing Forth UMC holds worship at 10 a.m. Sundays inside Aurora Christian. Flowing Forth was born in a 2018 merger of Flowing Grace and Fourth Street United Methodist churches in Aurora. Call (630) 239-2321 or visit flowingforthumc.org for more information