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Faith Communities Guidance Document

Updated: May 29, 2020

From the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office of the Governor VEST Health Equity Work Group

Guidance on "Drive IN" Churches

What is drive-through worship? What about drive-in church?

  • Drive-in Worship service - people remaining in their cars in the parking lot of the place of worship to hear a religious message or some type of religious ceremony.

  • Drive-through Worship service - a religious official standing outside of a place of worship and offering confession, offering blessings or holy sacraments, or collecting financial donations etc. to people who remain their cars, in a procession of cars.

Additional Helpful Guidelines for Drive up Services - Attendees may travel to their place of worship, park in the parking lot and listen to the religious message while remaining in their vehicles. Participants must remain in their vehicle at all times, except as necessary to visit a restroom. Faith leaders are responsible for creating a plan for participants that must use the restroom, while maintaining the 10-person or less limit and social distancing. There must be no more than 10 individuals leading the religious ceremony or functioning outside of the place of worship in support of the religious ceremony. Any interaction by the faith leaders and those in the vehicles must be strictly limited, such as using social distancing methods when passing out palms, serving sealed or self-contained elements, and religious officials directing congregants to place ashes, oil, or water on their own forehead as opposed to religious officials applying those elements directly on the foreheads of the congregants. Any objects used for collecting monetary offerings should not be passed from attendee to attendee but may be offered to attendees in a vehicle as along as the object stays in the possession of the person assisting with collection. All appropriate measures should be taken for the safety of those functioning outside of the cars. Faith communities should also adhere to any noise ordinances.

Places of worship that conduct in-person services must limit gatherings to no more than 10 people, to comply with the statewide 10-person ban. Congregants sitting in their parked vehicles in the parking lot with adequate social distancing is allowed, as long as everyone remains in their vehicle. Windows may be rolled up or rolled down. Any gathering for a drive in/through worship service where faith leaders assemble on a stage or in the front of the parked vehicles must be limited to no more than 10 people.

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