Austin church to convert parking lot into Easter Sunday mass drive-in service

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Have faith in social distancing.

That’s how one south Austin church is preparing for Easter. Pastors Jay and Kimberly Martinez at Twenty20 Church are converting another church’s parking lot into a drive-in for folks to still come to mass and celebrate on Sunday.

“We’re gonna have a PA [system] set up here, we’re gonna have a DJ playing music, and essentially as close to a block party as we can get with keeping social distancing and abiding by the government’s regulations,” Jay said.

Governor Greg Abbott mandated most Texans stay home more than a week ago, but churches made the cut to be listed as an essential business. However, some churches moved online to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic out of “love” and safety for their community.

Twenty20 followed that same path during last week’s mass, streaming the service over the Internet, but they wanted to move away from isolation.

(KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

“We’ve expressed just missing the community that happens and occurs when you’re meeting, and so this was kind of that balance, I guess, of being able to still have that with respect to all of the stuff that is going on, and making sure we’re taking safeguards, but also being able to see each other somewhat face-to-face in a different way,” Kimberly said. “We thought, it was a cool opportunity to do that.”

The Martinezes view their drive-in as a unique way to still see their congregation in person, yet not lose touch without touching.

“To be able to look next to you and see somebody who is walking the same journey with you, or look over and realize, oh, I’m not alone in this, because I think a lot of people in this time have spent the last 30 days, I’m sure feeling isolated and feeling alone, and so, even if it’s from ten feet away, we want to offer a message of hope,” Jay said.

If the drive-in proves popular, the Martinezes may consider doing more in the future. This Sunday’s service starts at 11 a.m.

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