Emmanuel Community Park to begin DRIVE-IN Church Services

(Naples/Golden Gate Estates, FL – May 27, 2020) Emmanuel Community Park is at it again. The Park, located at 2770 Oil Well Road near Naples, has offered several community driven events this past season including drive-through ashes and prayer on Ash Wednesday; cars driving through the park to pick up their weekly orders of fruits and vegetables from Eldridge’s Produce; and now, cars will be pulling into the park for Emmanuel Community Park’s first drive-in church service.
The first drive-in church service will be held this coming Sunday, May 31 at 10 a.m. and is open to the public. No church affiliation is required, and all are welcome according to Rev. William Kittinger, Associate Pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Naples.
“We had been offering monthly outdoor ‘preview’ services since last Fall and had planned to rollout weekly worship Easter Sunday, however, COVID-19 happened,” says the Rev. Kittinger, pastor-developer of the new congregation at the park. “Our planned gathering-model for worship is no longer practical given the current situation, so — we are going drive-in style.”
Cars full of family members or those driving solo will follow pretty simple instructions to tune into their car radios to hear the service per Kittinger. The service will feature instrumental solos, hymns to sing along to from your car, and a Pentecost sermon from Pastor Kittinger.
Everyone is encouraged to wear a red shirt for Pentecost and asked to consider bringing a red flowering plant to donate to the park. Plants may be left on car hood or next to cars during the offering time, and will be picked up at that time and planed later at the Park.
“My sermon will be on the gifts that God gives us through the Holy Spirit, and why we are called to practice them in our everyday lives, especially at work,” added Kittinger.
Kittinger, a Florida native, recalls his younger days attending an after-school program at a Presbyterian church in his hometown of Venice, Florida. Kittinger said that congregation began in the 1960’s with drive-in services.
“Recently, my folks sent me a Holy Week article from their local paper, and it had a picture of the original two-story structure where the pastor preached from – it can be done. It gave me the idea for the Park and we are making it happen. Our ministry at the park has a specific focus, and that’s on connecting your faith to your work and your daily life,” says Kittinger. “When you recognize that God’s Word can transform your life and your work, you’re unstoppable. It’s my calling to help you get there – to help you connect your Sunday to Monday and beyond.”
For questions about the service, please email EPC@naplesemmanuel.org or call 239-352-0118.
ABOUT Emmanuel Communities, Inc.: Emmanuel Communities, Inc. is a non-profit organization that was founded by Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Naples to create a community park that fosters an environment of family, faith and community experiences. Phase one of Emmanuel Community Park is now complete and open to the public. Emmanuel Communities is a Blue Zones Project recognized organization.
The park is located at 2770 Oil Well Road in Naples (west of Everglades Boulevard). For information call (239) 261-0894 ext. 315 or visit www.emmanuelcommunities.org.
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This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.