That’s the parking lot shared by St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church and West Seattle High School. While students won’t be parking there again any time soon, the lot might be crowded two weeks from today, when St. John’s launches what, as far as we know, will be West Seattle’s first drive-in church service.
Along with more than 20 other local faith institutions (as shown on the list we publish Sunday mornings), St. John’s (3050 California SW) has been doing online video services for months. Parking-lot services have been allowable since Gov. Jay Inslee‘s guidance in May, but most churches don’t have access to a big-enough lot; St. John’s does, so it’s ready to try, 9 am Sundays starting September 13th. Everyone will stay in their cars, and listen to the service via a low-power radio broadcast – though part of the attraction is that you’ll be able to hear the church bells firsthand. They’re even recruiting volunteers for a “safety team” – parking-lot ushers, if you will.
St. John’s is not abandoning the online format, though. In fact, during that first parking-lot service on September 13th, Rev. Kate Wesch plans to include a “Blessing of the Devices” – inviting churchgoers to bring the phones, tablets, laptops, etc., that have become a lifeline more than ever in these pandemic times. One week later, on September 20, they’ll launch a new livestreamed service at 11:15 am Sundays, in addition to the 9 am parking-lot service.