What is Backyard Church?
Starting in August, Sunday morning services for Trinity Church will be held outside in small groups in each other’s back yards. Next week I will give more details on how this will be done safely, including instructions on social distancing, masks, and communion. But today I want to explain not only what Backyard Church is, but why I believe this is a good way to safely begin bringing the Body of Christ back together.
I took the above picture on my birthday, July 15, in the Blazquez backyard. The purpose of my visit was to see where the family dog, Jerry is now buried. I met Jerry in June through the backseat window of the Blazquez car at Drive-Thru Church. And now outside the Blazquez home, I was doing my best to keep 6 feet of distance from the four grieving family members, when 6 1/2 year-old Lina came and stood beside me. She then placed her tiny hand into mine. I decided to not let go. After a few moments of building silent trust, Lina looked up and asked: “Pastor Matt, can I lead you to the place where we buried Jerry?” There were several questions beside the garden grave about death, dogs, and heaven, and I could feel Lina’s brother Rhodes watching me carefully. He was watching to see whether I took seriously the gravity of his loss, as well as the hope that he felt. Once decided, Rhodes didn’t use words. He walked over, hugged me, and then went back to showing me the stones he helped paint to remember Jerry.
We need to see the stones in each other’s backyards.
That’s why we are going to safely try doing Backyard Church in August. We need to see each other’s stones. We need to hear each other’s stories. Despite the masks, we need to see each other’s eyes, and re-establish trust. We need to do this safely, so please read my email next week. In the meantime, please put into your calendars:
Thursday Night Zoom Talks - every Thursday in August @ 8pm
Sunday morning Backyard Church - every Sunday in August @ 10am
Pastor Carson and I will soon be contacting healthy families willing and able to be hospitable backyard hosts during these confusing times of COVID 19. If you are willing to be considered, please click the button below:
Our goal is to gather safely, in each other’s backyards, for a service combining 2 things:
Leisurely Time (while children play) for teenagers & adults to talk.
Liturgy, Prayer, & Communion with children (15 minute service).
Unless you are either ill or traveling, please dedicate these 5 weeks to reconnecting as the Body of Christ, and to building trust. If you are sick, or know your travel dates, please contact Amanda Brack at (210) 310-8922 before July 20 when we organize the Backyard Church Groups.
As your pastor, I am asking everyone to start praying that the Holy Spirit will use these outside-of-the-box Sundays to help us reconnect. Pray that the questions we ask, stories we tell, laughter we share, and careful hospitality we give will all be Christ himself ministering to each one of us, through each one of us. That’s the miracle of church. It can happen anywhere Christians put others before ourselves - anywhere we give each other the sacrificial love Jesus first gave us.
From my backyard to yours,