Jericho Ridge Community Church will hold it’s second drive-in church service on Aug. 2. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Jericho Ridge Community Church will hold it’s second drive-in church service on Aug. 2. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Drive-in theatre inspires Langley pastor to create similar church service

Jericho Ridge Community Church tried out the concept Sunday, and will do it again Aug. 2

Last month, long-time Langley resident Pastor Brad Sumner was taking in a show with his teenagers at the Twilight Drive-In theatre in Aldergrove when the thought struck him: “why couldn’t a church do this?”

So under his toutage, the team at Jericho Ridge Community Church got to work, bringing the drive-in church concept to life this past Sunday, July 5 at a church on the Langley-Surrey border.

Part of the challenge of COVID-19 is social isolation, so the idea was born to have a drive-in church gathering where people could come and be together in the safety and privacy of their own vehicles while also experiencing a sense of community and connection with other people, Sumner explained.

RELATED: B.C. church services resume with public health limits

“The event connected well with the senior adults in our community,” added the lead pastor at Jericho Ridge.

“Many of them have been looking for a sense of meaningful connection with others, but have been unsure as to how to do this safely and wisely,” Sumner said.

Through the use of an app that is normally used for assisted listening devices, those who attended were able to hear the live music, as well as a message on managing complex emotions – all the while abiding by local health authority orders such as social distancing, number of cars at an event (50 or less), and not creating unnecessary noise for neighbours.

The drive-in church was such a “success,” Sumner said, that it will be repeated on the long weekend in August in the church parking lot at 19533 64th Ave., from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

“We look forward to welcoming more guests to our parking lot safely on Aug. 2 with the assistance of some very new technology that mirrors a very old concept,” he explained. “Young and old are welcome to join us!”

RELATED LETTER: Worship services should be considered essential services

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READ MORE: Langley MPs stand for ‘religious freedom’ and Ontario drive-through church services

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