Bethel AG Church International Worship Centre (BAGCIWC) in Hebbal, North Bengaluru used an innovative approach to gather devotees for its first Sunday Mass since lockdown while taking care of social distancing norms. By Kumar Shree

 

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For their first Sunday Mass since lockdown, the Protestant church devised the concept of ‘Worship on Wheels (WOW)’, where people could drive-in and be a part of the service while being inside their cars and on their bikes. Before 09:00 am last Sunday, cars poured into the three-acre open parking area called Temple of God ground. The ground that belongs to the church had marked designated spots for cars and bikes. As devotees occupied these spots, the engines were turned off, and the Sunday Mass began. In fact, this church has been live-streaming daily prayers and the Sunday Mass throughout the lockdown.

The church organised six sessions on last Sunday in different slots for devotees coming in via car, bikes, and public transports. Those coming in through cars attended the services at 09:00 am and 07:00 pm, those on bikes occupied the ground space at 07:00 am and 05:00 pm, while those coming in through public transports attended the prayer session at 11:00 am and 01:00 pm that was held inside the church.

 

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As reported by The Indian Express, Rev Johnson V, pastor-in-charge of BAGCIWC, said, “Starting this Sunday, we will host six services — two each for those in their vehicles and two inside the church for those using public transport or those without personal vehicles.” Talking about the safety and social distancing measures, he added, “Common touchpoints such as seating facilities, toilets, canteens, and resource centres were not made available. The church also issued an advisory for the elderly and young children to stay at home and attend the service online.”

The Bengaluru church also made it mandatory to wear masks and undergo thermal scanning, while sanitisers were provided at all entrances and volunteers ensured a six-feet distance was maintained between cars, bikes, and individuals during all three types of services.

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