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NJ church holding drive-thru Palm Sunday worship, offering branches to homebound members

NJ church holding drive-thru Palm Sunday worship, offering branches to homebound members

Westminster Presbyterian Church of Middletown, New Jersey. | WPC Photo Library

A church in New Jersey is offering Palm Sunday branches and cards with Psalms written on them to drivers and is also delivering these spiritual items to homebound members.

“We hope that the Palms and Psalms will provide the comfort and strength that the Cross and Word of God offers in the present crisis situation,” the Rev. Joseph Hein, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church of Middletown, told The Christian Post.

The One Hour Drive-through Palms & Psalms event is being held after its 10:00 a.m. online Palm Sunday service. Volunteers wearing Personal Protection Equipment will also deliver palm crosses in packets that have been sanitized to some of their homebound elderly members.  

Hein said that the event was “born of Westminster’s’ strong evangelical faith and emphasis on local mission work.”

“By placing the Cross and The Word of God in our members and neighbors’ hands, we seek to comfort and strengthen. The cross and resurrection is a reminder that God has defeated death on the Cross and that love and life lives at the center of the universe.”

For the event, local residents and church members alike are welcomed to drive slowly through the church’s U-shaped driveway and receive a palm cross and a card with a Psalm written on it, while remaining in their vehicles.   

Volunteers wearing PPE will also visit a nearby hospital in order to distribute the sanitized palm crosses and Psalm card packets, as a way of encouraging healthcare workers and their patients.

Hein told CP that he considered the Palm Sunday events as part of his congregation’s history of giving comfort to the neighborhood during times of crisis.

As an example, he spoke about how volunteers helped the community after Hurricane Sandy, also called “Superstorm Sandy,” hit the region in 2012.

“Seventy-five Westminster volunteers entered local neighborhoods the morning that the storm ended, praying with our neighbors and providing hot coffee and soup from the back of our SUVs,” explained Hein.

“Our disaster-relief response continued as a congregation for 18 months, strategically visiting the most affected local neighborhoods to set up tables where we prayed with residents and distributed literally tons of relief supplies generously provided by the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Agency.”

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