GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - For the first time in months, members of First United Methodist Church received communion on Sunday, but it was curbside.
Dozens of cars lined up Sunday morning. As people arrived, they remained in their cars. Once they received their communion Pastor Claire Dobbs offered prayer.
“We celebrate that the presence of Christ through the holy spirit binds us together, especially in a time like today. Our country is going through so much, and we’re yearning for the reconciliation of the holy spirit to unite us and heal the hurting world,” she said.
COVID-19 has limited large gatherings, and the church has used alternatives to connect with its congregation of more than 300 members.
“It’s been so challenging. Who we are as Christians has to do with incarnation. We are meant to gather in the flesh as the body as Christ,” Dobbs said.
Safety is still number one on her list. Dobbs said she had to adjust to change offering alternatives like curbside communion and live stream services. Dobbs misses her members but said she is not in a rush to welcome them back, with many parishioners who are elderly with underlying conditions.
“We have a COVID recovery team, and it consist of 12 strategic leaders. Some of those are medical professionals, and we’re going to be meeting June 3 to think about what it would look like to be in person,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs said one thing she will take from the pandemic is to continue to live stream services.