I want you to know how very grateful I am for the way in which you have been providing creative, vital worship in your communities during this time when in-house corporate worship is prohibited. One way in which some of our congregations are serving their communities is through drive-in worship. Because of questions that have been raised about the appropriateness of drive-in worship, the Iowa Annual Conference has been in contact with the Governor’s office about guidelines for churches that wish to conduct drive-in-worship services.
The word that we received on April 2, 2020, is that drive-in-worship, like many of the vehicle parades that schools are doing, is NOT considered a “mass gathering.” It would NOT violate the Governor’s order, as it currently stands, and should not further the spread of the COVID-19 virus provided the following conditions are met.
- Anyone showing symptoms should remain home.
- No windows down if vehicles are closer than 10 feet.
- No passing of offering plates or anything else (including communion elements) from car to car.
- Electronic giving or mailing offerings are preferred.
- No use of public bathrooms.
- No leaving your vehicle.
- No more than 10 people in a vehicle.
- No more than 10 people present to set up and conduct the service.
- Inform local law enforcement and invite them to attend if they wish.
The health and safety of all Iowans is our top priority. These guidelines are subject to change should a “shelter-in-place” order or other adjustments to the State Public Health Emergency Declaration be made. Thank you again for the prayerful and careful way in which you are planning worship as we enter Holy Week during this unprecedented time in our world. May God’s grace surround us with hope and peace.