DECATUR, Ill.; WEST DES MOINES, Iowa—In a curbside event, Riverside Baptist Church in Decatur gave potted flowers to all the mothers in its congregation Sunday, May 10. Soteria Des Moines hosted a similar drive-through event the day before, giving roses to each mother and an ice pop to each person in her vehicle.
At Riverside Baptist, mothers arriving to the church parking lot were greeted by members of the church family holding handmade signs for the occasion. Nancy Estep, a member of the church, says, “Thanks to all who made my Mother’s Day special. I appreciated all the posters and people waving at me as I drove around.”
At Soteria Des Moines, the drive-through event ended up being an opportunity for much more than the staff’s original purpose of giving flowers to the mothers. The event “provided unique moments for connection and care during a time when people in the church are not gathering in person on Sundays,” says Julie Mason, women’s ministries director, who organized the event with Kim Leichty, children’s ministries director.
“People were so happy to see the familiar faces of those that serve in the church and hear how much we have missed them during this time,” Julie says. “That connection is important to us as a way to communicate the love we have for the people in our church. During this unique time, we want to approach our people with humility and kindness and remind them that we are still here, praying for them, and anticipating the day when we can gather as the church again.”
Typically on Mother’s Day, Soteria Des Moines gives the mothers gifts and leads a contest in the worship service. “We didn’t want to let you have a Mother’s Day without that this year,” says Pastor Mike Augsburger. So with the flowers given curbside, the church included a photo contest in its online worship service May 10.
During the week preceding the service, the church’s families had submitted photos of their best and worst moments in quarantine—either staged or real moments and either humorous or touching. Then in a video from their home, Trent Hol, counseling and family pastor, and his wife, Lydia, announced the top three winners during the online service and showed all of the photos that had been submitted.
Both churches consider themselves privileged to have helped families honor their mothers during this unique time.