When it comes to thinking up creative ways to engage the local community during the ongoing COVID crisis, the Mountain View church in Vernon, Vermont, pretty much sets the pace in the Northern New England Conference.
Back around Christmas, the church created a drive-through nativity, complete with live animals. Members of the community drove through the working farm of Art Miller, the church’s pastor, and his family, and stopped at different scenes that had been laid out. The community flocked to the event, creating a wildly successful bumper-to-bumper outreach event at the farm.
Building on that success, the Mountain View church partnered with another community church, the Advent Christian Church, and together they sponsored an event which was something between a car rally, an Easter sermon, and a community arts display.
The two churches created a 12-stop car tour of the Vernon area, with each stop featuring large original art that portrayed scenes from the Bible or the underlying Easter messages. The “heavy lifting” to pull the event off was done by Ang Miller and her team of six-to-eight volunteers. At each stop on the driving tour, drivers and their passengers could listen to a narration and short sermonette before traveling on to the next stop. Both the brochure for the event and the recordings for the 12 stops were Internet-based and accessible with a smartphone. The stops on the tour were designed to powerfully bring the events of Christ’s death and His redemption of us to vivid life. More than that though, they made His life relatable.
The display was in operation from April 2 until April 4. Community members could start the tour at the Miller farm if they wanted to or could start at the first stop on the driving tour. They could also choose whether to end the tour at the Advent Christian Church or the Adventist Church. At each church, greeters and elders were on hand, and guests and members alike were invited to partake in Communion. According to Miller, some 200 people started the tour from his farm and the effort received quite a lot of positive feedback.