Better Together



Car Church started three weeks ago.

As the restrictions were slowly beginning to lift (Phase 1)  here in Connecticut, churches were allowed to assemble either in socially distanced seating or socially distant cars.  It was evident before we even had our first Car Church experience, that many minds and hands were involved in the preparation.  It was obvious from Father Peter’s emails that details were attended to with consideration of the health and safety guidelines as well as respect for the rich traditions and symbols of the church.

We pulled into the parking lot that first week and the vision that was described in an email appeared before me.  The parking lot was marked with cones.  There were orange Home Depot buckets for collection.  We were greeted by a masked usher who directed us into the “church”.  Ahead of us was another usher in a safety vest directing us to our socially distant parking spot.  Before us, was the altar, in between two full beautiful trees.  Father Peter made his announcements and Billy and I commented on the great speaker system.  Despite being in the last “pew”, we could see and hear.  Being surrounded by other car parishioners made us feel at home. The passing of communion was done seamlessly.  Everyone masked up, exited their vehicle and a masked Father Peter efficiently made his way around offering communion.  There was no music, so in about 45 minutes,  we were being ushered out in the same way we were ushered in.  Seamless.

The second week was a repeat of the first.  Seamless.

Then, this week, as we were greeted by our masked usher, we were told to tune our radio to FM 103.3.  Billy followed the ushers hand directions and we pulled into our spot in the last “pew” and I fiddled with the radio.  Then I heard it, music.  Church music was playing in our car.  At first I thought it was just random, but then, I realized it was Matt at the organ inside our church, the church I was looking at from the outside yet the music from in there was playing in my car.  I turned to Billy, “Jeez, they are really kickin’ it!”  The mass went on and my mind wandered.  I began to think of all the people that had come together to bring this church community together.  I kept thinking about all the people that had shared a vision and each week worked to bring that vision to life.  And on this third week, clearly that same group worked to make it better.  And it was, it was better with music.

The month of March, I learned how to use *67 to call parents from home, I learned how to send a google invite and I learned the value of a google calendar to schedule and get on any google meet.  The month of April, I learned the power of present and google slides to teach in a virtually.  Towards the end of April, I learned the power of Jamboard in virtual teaching and learning.  I could go on and on about what and how I’ve learned.

When I think back on the past 12 weeks, I celebrate my learning, but it makes me miss the learning that is done together.  When we are together, in school, teaching and learning exudes a contagious energy.  I’ve gotten better, in the distance learning, but it’s been a lot of lonely work.  I look forward to the day when I am getting better because we are together.  We are better together.


8 thoughts on “Better Together”

  1. Imagine when we take all this new learning back to school…it’s going to be so fun. Reimagining. I love how you thought beyond your own experience to think about all that went into making it happen. There is so much learning going on around us. Thanks for the reminder. I also miss “we.”


  2. I do think schools and other organizations (like your church) have found ways to make things work, but I agree with you when you say that it is better to learn together (in person). Let’s take everything we’ve learned and bring it to our schools when they open to make our work even better. Happy Almost Summer!


  3. Thank you!
    Like the car parade piece below, I haven’t experienced Covid car church but I am so happy to learn more about it. Beautiful description and it shows how good it felt to be together, however strange. And the addition of music is so powerful.
    Then I appreciate how you relate all the work and creativity and caring that went into your church services and compare to how you have learned to better do DL, which is a great connection.
    I “attend” my church lately by sitting quietly with a candle and watching a YouTube video! They have found some beautiful, creative ways to include music made by congregants. But I so agree- together is/will be better.


  4. The innovate ways folks have adapted to the pandemic are amazing. Your church made “car church” work. I quit church years ago, but during the pandemic I’ve “attended” virtual church three times, twice via FB live, and once via a recorded service. I’ve enjoyed all three services and have found myself reflecting on my relationship to my faith and my rejection of organized religion. It’s one of the good things that has come from this weird moment. I hope you and your fellow parishioners can meet face-to-face again soon. Blessings to you.


  5. I like that you appreciate the effort that went into making church happen. You always find the good. We have still been watching on television but this gives me a clear idea of what it will be like!


  6. I loved easing your post and am quietly jealous of your parish mass in cars! I’m not ready to go in person inside a building yet!
    Thank you for giving some pandemic joy today!


  7. We learned a lot and we should take he best of what we learned back to school with us this fall whatever way School will work. I believe what we learned most is stripping learning and teaching down to essence and building it back up to fit the environment we are operating in.


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