A young girl stands up through the sunroof of her family’s vehicle during a drive-in church service for Easter on April 12 at First Baptist Church in King City, while Pastor Ken Reese delivers the sermon through radio. (Photos by Sean Roney)

KING CITY — Churches are among the many places of social activity impacted by shelter-in-place orders, with faithful across the world having turned to virtual services in order to worship on Easter Sunday.

In light of social distancing, First Baptist Church in King City hosted a drive-in service for the congregation to have fellowship on April 12.

“In past Easters, we wrapped ourselves in new clothes. This year, we’re wrapping ourselves in cloth on our faces, our hands are in latex,” said Pastor Ken Reeves in his sermon, which he delivered from a raised platform in the church parking lot.

Reeves, wearing gloves and having a cloth mask at his lectern, spoke into a microphone surrounded by a packed lot full of vehicles, each of which held families from the congregation. His words were carried to them by a short-range FM transmitter, which they could tune in to with their car radios.

Families remained in their cars and listened to the Easter service without approaching each other. Reeves opened with statements about cooperation with local police, who would enforce violations of social distancing.

“I need the hope of Easter,” said Reeves, adding, “Today, whether you’re living in arrogant confidence or in agonizing darkness, get ready, Easter’s here. Because of that, I believe life is forever changed.”

Reeves went over the feelings of overburden people must feel, and how some may believe hope has perished. He reflected on how going from an economic boom and plans for summer, to suddenly being shifted to our current society, can be a tremendous change.

“We’re discovering with humility that our global economy, our supply chain, is deeply fragile. Try to buy toilet paper lately? A little bit of a challenge,” he said.

The importance of not only faith, but also of helping each other was included in his preaching.

“I hope that while we’re practicing social distancing, that we’re not practicing social disconnecting,” Reeves said. “Let’s stay connected by phone, by text, by email.”

He commented on social distancing and sheltering in place, which he said he prefers to call sheltering in peace.

“If I can touch you, I’m too close to you, that’s this year,” Reeves said. “Six feet used to be about how close you could get to the old egg that you lost in the egg hunt and smell it.”

Through passages and prayer, Reeves delivered a message of challenge and one of hope, affirming that hope was not lost.

“I get the privilege of declaring the hope that this is Easter Sunday and it represents the lifting of darkness, it represents the ending of darkness, the ending of the fear of death,” Reeves said.

Pastor Ken Reese preaches about the trails of the modern coronavirus pandemic and what insight can be offered by scripture during a drive-in Easter service held at First Baptist Church in King City.
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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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