Chepachet church keeping the faith through time of social distancing


GLOCESTER, R.I. (WPRI) — As restrictions increase in the fight to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, local churches are getting creative to keep their parishioners engaged.

Despite the rain Sunday, Pastor David Schlaupitz was setup outside Glad Tidings Community Church in Chepachet while members listened through the radio in the safety of their vehicles.

“My team and I really wanted to effectively figure out how we could creatively stay in community while still honoring the governor’s mandate of social distancing,” Schlaupitz said.

He said trying to offer online services hasn’t allowed for the same kind of interactions you might get from seeing each other face to face. That’s when the drive-in service came into the mix.

“We figured if we could get families to stay in their cars with their windows up and only have the appropriate number of people out at any given time, then we could pull off a drive-in church service.”

After sending out letters to neighbors and reaching out to police, Pastor David was able to get the approval he needed to put on the service.

“From parking to exit it was beautifully translated. I’m trying not to get too emotional because it was just a special day for me as a pastor, to be able to be with the people that I love.”

Pastor David said finding a safe way to come together is so important as people try to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I feel there is such a hunger for community, we’re hardwired for community, and that was just suddenly kind of taken away. Seeing their faces, you’re there with them, you’re not looking at a device, you’re actually, you’re a thin sheet of glass away from someone that you care so deeply about.”

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