Gracen Gueldner
KU Statehouse Wire Service 
Concerns over COVID-19 have prompted church closures across Kansas, but some facilities are getting creative with their worship services. On March 22, Nexus Church in Lenexa invited parishioners to a park and preach in response to the stay-at-home order.
“With everything happening in the world right now, a lot of churches have closed down and went to live stream,” said Candace King, assistant to Pastor Jon Purkey. “The Lord really spoke to Pastor Jon Purkey that we really need to gather together during this time.”
Park and preach allowed community members to park their cars and safely hear the sermon through the speakers in their vehicles.
Once worshippers arrived, Nexus team leaders hooked bags onto mirrors containing the Nexus TV broadcast schedule, fill-in-the-blank sermon outlines, an offering envelope and communion cups. King said she believes worship is what people need in the midst of crisis.
“There are so many people right now that have been living in fear. The cool thing about park and preach is that people can be safe and leave confident after the sermon,” King said.
Nexus Church had such a large turnout they had to upgrade their parking lot to a space with approximately 350 parking spots on March 29.
Shawnee resident Jonathan Anaekwe went to both services and said in a phone interview that the church is doing amazing things for the community it the midst of fear.
“I’m thankful that people in Kansas have an outlet like this to lean on during this difficult time. God is doing great things for the state of Kansas,” Anaekwe said.
“This is bringing lots of joy and hope to people during this time. It has been so cool to see,” King said.
Gracen Gueldner is a University of Kansas Senior from Olathe, Kan., studying journalism.