Pastor Kay Wittman has missed seeing her Trinity Lutheran Church congregation after canceling services March 15 due to the growing threat of COVID-19.

“I’ve never been a pastor during a pandemic before” she said. “I was talking to a parishioner and I said, ‘I just want to see everybody.’”

She thought about having everyone drive into the church parking lot to listen, but the church doesn’t have the sound equipment for that.

She decided a drive-in theater might work and reached out to the American Dream Drive In in Powell. A few days later it was all set up for a service with two large speakers blasting a 30-minute message.

“It’s going to be very low tech and we cleared it with the health department,” she said prior to the event. “It’s daytime so can’t use the screens, but we’ll have a sound system with big loudspeakers. Down the road we might figure out more tech.

“Right now people want to be together, pray together, sing, together, hear a good word.”

The church held its service Sunday. People drove up, remained in their vehicles and were able to hear the service.

She’s looking at it becoming a regular weekly service. The first service included music from Drew Murray and Doug Morton. And the first message was timely.

It’s based on the story in the Bible when Jesus healed someone born blind. At end of the service, Jesus is questioned by others who say, “We’re not blind.”

“We assume we’re not blind, but this pandemic is going to show us all the places we are blind,” Wittman said. “We’re not going to come out of this the same, and God can work with this. God is at work with us through this time – ultimately the goal is to grow greater love.”

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