Tag Archives: Grand Rapids

Drive-in Church

In the early 1980s, I once attended a church service in Grand Rapids, Michigan……

….. in a drive-in movie theatre on a Sunday morning!

The place was used at night as an outdoor cinema but on Sunday morning became a venue for worship of a sort.

My sister-in-law and I drove my rental car into this quite large arena which was rapidly (sic) filling up with other drivers, parked alongside a sound post and attached the audio speaker through the top of the driver’s window…… and waited.

The “pastor” appeared on stage – in front of the blank movie screen – wearing a salmon pink suit and welcomed us, before introducing a choir which sang a couple of worship ditties.  There was then a prayer, Scripture Readings, more music and a brief sermon – rather what one would expect of any Church Service BUT WITHOUT ANY PARTICIPATION FROM THOSE IN THE PARKED CARS.

It was a strange experience.  There was no fellowship; the “worshipers” were isolated in their vehicles.  There was no communication between congregation and Minister; no interchange nor participation in any way in the service; no congregation singing nor responsive prayers. Nobody left their parked cars but just sat there passively. Just a kind of emptiness; a void (and I wish that I had avoided it).

And the hot dog and popcorn stands were shut too!  I should have brought my own beer and sandwiches! (only kidding)

As we left, we couldn’t get through the exit gate before putting our offering in a bucket proffered by burly “stewards” who stopped each car before it left.

Quite bizarre altogether but an experience.


Leave a comment

Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic