MESA, Arizona — This Easter Sunday is unlike any other. Religious groups around the world opt to stream services to keep people socially distant. But one Mesa church is getting creative while trying to connect their community.
"Faith right now is what people are needing," says Cliff Maes, outreach director at Living Word Church. "Faith and hope."
So, faith and hope they give, with drive-in services.
"It gives people an outlet to go to and go to safely," Maes explains.
It's similar to a drive-in movie. Families stay with their cars while tuning in on the radio, watching the service unfold in front of them.
Church staff wear masks and gloves. On Sunday, they ushered in about 200 cars for the 9:15 Easter service.
It's an opportunity Aaron Nichols couldn’t pass up.
"Being together without being too together," he says, his family still sporting their Sunday best.
"The kids weren’t getting out of it that easy," he laughs.
This isn't just for Easter Sunday. The church has been offering drive-in services for the past few weeks. They typically offer services Saturday night and Sunday morning and early afternoon.
"Everybody is invited to come out," Maes says. "You don’t have to be a member."
The church is using this unique opportunity to also collect donations for the community. As people drive in, they can drop off food and other home supplies for people in need.
"Everything we do is done safely, as well as for the drop-off," Maes says. "Goods and stuff that we get. We also spray that down before we put it into boxes and pass it all out."
Separated by space, but not faith.
"I love that people are still coming out and being connected," Nichols shares. "It just means something."