WATERTOWN — The Rock Church organized a unique way to bring its community together while keeping a safe distance.
The slogan Sunday morning at the Rock Church was “if we can come together we can do it together,” said Tony Mason, Evans Mills, a member who was directing cars to face the building for a drive-in type service.
Musicians were set up just inside the church door and microphones just outside, with a trailer-turned stage where Pastor Myron Jamerson would minister his service to cars parked his direction.
Social distancing Sunday! The Rock Church in Watertown is holding services outside this morning, with people worshipping from the comfortable distance of their cars @wdtnews pic.twitter.com/Ts2CjpHvkM— sydney schaefer (@sydneydschaefer) March 22, 2020
Dylan Small, Calcium, was inside one of the cars waiting for the service to start. She said she and her family have been attending the Rock Church since it opened.
“We’re close with the pastor and he told us his idea and we were all down for it,” Ms. Small said. “With everything that’s going on, we still think that we should be able to join together.”
Ms. Small said Pastor Jamerson is a force in the community and always thinking of creative ideas for the church.
“He’s really big on reaching the people,” she said, “and he’s not going to let a virus stop him from telling everybody about Jesus.”
Desiree Zimmer was there, too. She and her family have been attending the church for nearly four years.
“This is just a way for us to all be together without having to end up getting sick,” Ms. Zimmer said. “I think this is going to be an interesting way of having church.”
Ms. Zimmer said Pastor Jamerson is always there for people when they need a hand.
“We had a death in the family a couple years ago and he didn’t even know the family member,” she said, “but we called him up and said ‘hey we need some help’ and he was right there within a matter of minutes.”
Pastor Jamerson said the Rock Church started out of his home on Fort Drum, but has since moved to their location in the city’s Seaway Plaza nearly 8-and-a-half years ago. The idea for the drive-in service came from Facebook, where he saw a church in Florida doing it.
“I thought ‘that’s unique I have never seen that before, let’s do that here in Watertown,’” Pastor Jamerson said. “We’re going to do it today (Sunday), but I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do it next week or not.”
People tuned-in to the church’s Facebook page to see the service streamed live, but driving up and watching from their cars — honking instead of clapping — is just another way the north country is finding ways to connect.
“The word of God is so important, and here at the Rock Church we are family,” Pastor Jamerson said, “and I just didn’t feel like doing it all online when we could come here and at least wave at each other. We might not be able to touch, but at least we can wave to one another and say hello.”