BELTON, Texas — On Palm Sunday, Crossroads Church in Belton hosted a special "drive-in service" to give members the opportunity to connect while maintaining social distancing.
Members pulled into the church's parking lot and tuned their radios to the service's frequency for a short service.
The service included music, prayer and a short sermon.
"This is our part to be able to show up together, virtually hug on each other without touching and still respecting all boundaries," church pastor Holly Thrasher said. "It's just giving people that hope and encouragement they need."
Good morning from Crossroads drive-in Palm Sunday service! Churches are finding innovative ways to congregate in the midst of a global pandemic. pic.twitter.com/jlIL3fn9GU— Jack Allen (@JackAllenKXXV) April 5, 2020
The past few weeks, the church has streamed services online, but today they wanted to give their members the opportunity to see each other in person.
"We've done the live feeds," church member Grayce Miller said. "You can kinda see each other on that, but it just is nothing like being in person."
Pastor Matt Thrasher said he got the idea for the drive-in service from a college friend who put on a similar service in San Antonio. He said his congregation is always looking for ways to be innovative in difficult times.
"It's a chance for the church to be very pioneering and be creative and innovative and leverage social media for our good," Matt said.
He reached out to Bell County officials to see if they could put on the service. They agreed, so long as the church could keep proper social distancing.
"We had permission to get people out of their homes, stay in their cars and at least wave at each other through the windows and have conversations like you're on the front porch of your home," Matt said.
Church members worshiped from their sunroof, waved through their windows and reunited with people they consider family.
"Just being able to show our support for each other and our church. We miss each other when we don't get to get together," Miller said.
The Thrashers talked about how they believed they were "hope dealers" in their community and were excited by the turnout for the service.
"We consider each other family here," Miller said. "We support each other in the hard times and we're there to laugh with each other in the good times, and we're ready for some of those."
In lieu of an Easter service, Crossroads plans to hold a "drive-thru" service where people can come for prayer.
They will also be collecting non-perishable food items in a food drive and distributing groceries to people in need.
The Thrashers emphasized that it is not just for Crossroads members and anyone can come be a part of their service.