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St. Pete church hands out 'church-to-go' bags for members to hold church at home

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Posted at 11:24 PM, May 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 05:40:24-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — We’ve seen the online and drive-in church services, but one local church wanted something a little more personable for each of its members.

St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in St. Petersburg has been putting bags together that include their weekly sermons, then handing them out to members so they can hold their own church services at home. They call it "church-to-go!"

“Just drive through, hold down the window side and hand them the bag, and the plus side of that is we have a nanosecond to say ‘hey, you’re still alive, it’s great to see ya,’” said Gigi Conner, priest in charge at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.

St. Alban’s is a church with a congregation of anywhere from 40 to 80 people.

“I think most of our congregation is not an ‘online person,’ and I myself have only tried it once,” said Conner.

They wanted to make sure their members had an opportunity to worship while they’re away.

“We started out with a Holy Week in a bag, and people picked those up, and they had something to do every day of Holy Week,” said Conner.

They also throw a little humor in the mix as well.

“Two weeks ago they got toilet paper, cause we care for your physical and spiritual needs, and last week it was a mask,” said Conner.

The bags come complete with a lesson, blessed bread and wine, and today for Mother’s Day, a mini tea party.

“They get a Mother’s Day placemat, and our worship bulletin,” said Conner.

Honoring the women of their congregation, and also making sure all members know they’re thinking of them.

“It’s more personalized. Because everybody is an individual… we still belong to the church, we’re still a part of the congregation,” said Joan Elder, a member of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.

Gigi hopes to have the congregation back for in-person services by the end of the month.