For the second week in a row, the Wadena Assembly of God Church set up a flat bed with a speaker and microphones for their church service in the parking lot on April 19, a part of the new normal continuing through the end of the stay at home orders. Rev. Mike Maroney excitedly welcomed church members to the house of God because the church is the church without the four walls, as he said.
While church members were asked not to honk their horns out of respect for neighboring homes and Tri-County Health Care patients, Maroney and children’s pastor Rev. Jaymee Kinser asked members to flash their headlights or use their windshield wipers to respond during their sermons and worship. The parking lot is owned by TCHC and is normally used by Wadena Assembly every Sunday for parking.
Throughout the parking lot, Maroney greeted people in the 20-30 cars and clapped along to the songs, shouting "Hallelujah" and "Amen" in response along with church members. Maroney and Monique Holmes noted the Holy Spirit’s guidance on aspects to share with the congregation, including how we are not going through the pandemic alone and that Jesus remains the same.
1/6: With the parking lot opening at 9:30 a.m. people arrived with hopes of having a front row seat. "Welcome back to Wadena Assembly of God church!" Rev. Mike Maroney said to one of the church's missionaries. Photos by Rebecca Mitchell/Pioneer Journal
2/6: As cars pulled in, one of four parking lot attendants including Paul Kern (pictured) handed people programs with song lyrics and information on giving to the church.
3/6: Monique Holmes (left) shared a message of comfort from God reminding church members that we are not going through the pandemic alone because God is going through it with us along with the strengthening reminder of the song "Because He Lives." Holmes and also sang songs such as "Christ is Enough" and "Everything That Has Breath."
4/6: Maroney walks the flat bed stage during his sermon on the Bible book of Nehemiah 1-2:6. One of the church members owns the flat bed and, as Maroney said, all churches need is one week to figure out the logistics.
5/6: Children’s pastor Rev. Jaymee Kinser gave a sermon on 2 Kings 7 about the lepers who did not keep the good news of an enemy camp being empty to themselves. Kinser challenged children to do the same in sharing the good news about Jesus.
6/6: Maroney encouraged church members to bring their attention and focus on Jesus, to practice anguish and consider what God is about to do in and through the church.