February 2 Building Update 041
“Honk, If You Love Jesus!”
I remember growing up in the sixties and seventies and one particular bumper sticker of the era which said “Honk, if you love Jesus!” To tell you the truth, I thought it was a little over the top back then, but little did I know, I would be writing about this same bumper sticker decades later. Some of you may remember it? And, you may also be asking yourself what does a bumper sticker from the sixties and seventies have to do with the For SVL Building Project. Well, actually quite a bit. Let me explain.
If you were one of the many that attended the in-person, in-car worship experience this past Sunday at the high school, you saw firsthand what makes Ashley Ridge Church sooooo special! In the midst of a global pandemic which remains unabated even with multiple vaccines, gusty winds/threats of rain and locked-out of the only inside worship space the church has ever known for almost a year, Pastor Jenn and Staff found an amazing new way for the congregation to safely worship T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R (in-person). They did this by calling an audible and executing the: Global Pandemic Inclement Weather & Interactive Worship Contingency Plan.
I am not trying to make light of a very serious world situation that has caused so much suffering and grief. On the contrary, my attempt is to showcase the lengths to which our church staff, church leadership and congregation are willing to go to worship T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R in-person on Sunday mornings and maintain some semblance of normalcy during a very uncertain, chaotic and challenging time.
We do this for our children who have seen their lives turned upside down over the past year with school, no school, school (repeat); we do this for those in need of hearing a few words of hope and encouragement – first hand. And, we do this for all those in desperate need of a smiling face, friendly gesture or personal interaction.
Interaction came when Pastor Jenn asked several responsive questions during her message from the AR “congregation on wheels” with answers coming in the form of honking the horn. Needless to say there was A LOT of congregational horn honking Sunday, so much so, between leaving the ignition switch on for the radio and my honking of the horn, I ran my battery down. BTW thanks to James and Mike Greer for the jump:
“In other words, Ashley Ridge Church had a contingency plan for us to gather T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R and worship safely under the most challenging of situations”
This was successful because the church staff had the foresight to invest in an FM transmitter which can broadcast a local FM signal to your car radio. Communion interaction was accomplished with the aid of self-contained, portable communion kits handed through your car window.
Then, there was the interaction from the hand-outs for all our arLittles and arKids. So many adults, little people, students (and automobiles) attended Sunday worship, we actually ran out of some of the hand-out materials. The arStudents were able to have their regular interaction time under the protective cover of the entryway. All I can say is, Wow!!! If that is not resilience (spiritual muscle), I don’t know what is!
AND, it is this same resiliency which will see the For SVL Building Project through to completion to matter how long the road or difficult the task!
To wrap this up, you may not see the saying, “Honk, if you love Jesus” anymore on a bumper sticker, but nevertheless, it is alive and well (literally) at Ashley Ridge Church!
Derrick Horres, AR Building Project Leader