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The Return of Drive-In Christianity


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Just in time for Mother’s Day, Deer Park Church, has re-opened the Drive In!

With the lifting of the provincial ban on Drive-Ins in Alberta by the Dr. Hinshaw last week, Deer Park Church re-instituted their popular Drive-in style church services in Red Deer.

Despite inclement weather, more than 60 vehicles and 120 individuals filled the parking lot.

“Remember to stay inside your vehicles and follow the recommendations,” said Pastor Ben Elliott at the beginning of the service.  “We all want to visit but at this time we will not be having a potluck social or a greeting time.”

For several weeks, the Drive-In theatre service had been suspended as per provincial orders.  Behind the scenes, discussions with the province were ongoing.

On May 6, 2020, that changed when Deer Park’s Facebook post released the following information.

“Drive-In Services are back on!! We have received permission to start these again using safe social distancing practices when we gather. So, this Sunday at 10:15 am, you can choose to gather with us at our Online Service or at our Drive-In Service! Yay!”

Drive in Theatre, Toronto

During the service, Elliott spoke on the unique ways that God calls people to himself.

“In Acts, chapter 9, God called three people in three different ways,” he said.  “Paul was blinded by a heavenly light and taken to Damascus.  Ananias, a Syrian believer, was called by God to care for Paul during prayer, and two unidentified men were inspired to rescue Paul by lowering him in a basket over the city wall.”

He went on to say that Jesus calls people in all ways and he reflected on the present situation.

“We are called to not give up hope and to answer the call of God wherever we are,” Ben added.  “During this time, we are being challenged in our faith walk and according to Micah 6:8 we are to ‘do justice and to love kindness and walk humbly with (y)our God.”

Saying farewell

Across Canada, other churches have experimented with similar formats, most notably Aylmer, Ontario, Fort Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Clive, Alberta and Jeddore, Nova Scotia.

Meanwhile, as families drove away from the parking lot and waved at their friends, smiling faces said it all.

“Happy trails, until we meet again next week.”

For more information on Drive In Christianity, please go to:

Drive in Christianity!  Coming soon to a church near you!


Tim Lasiuta is a Red Deer writer, entrepreneur and communicator. He has interests in history and the future for our country.

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Southside Dodge donates new van to Ronald McDonald House

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Matt Swainson (Vice President & General Manager, Southside Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram) -left , Lori Rechlo (General Manager, Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta – Red Deer House) – right

Submitted by Sarah Heibein, Stakeholder Relations Manager, Central Alberta Ronald McDonald House

We’ve received a donation of use of a Dodge Caravan from Southside Dodge- they’ve been an incredible support of us over the years.  Attached is the photo we took at the dealership when we picked up the keys on Friday.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta, Red Deer House is truly grateful to Matt Swainson and his entire team at Southside Dodge for their steadfast support of our work to keep families together during the unimaginable hardship of the need to travel for medical treatment for their sick or injured child. Our House is not a nice to have, but a need to have, and we are honoured to work with such an amazing community partner in Southside. The use of the 2021 Dodge Caravan will help us to keep our operating costs down so that we can focus on our work to keep families close.

We have operated in the city for over 8 years, ensuring there is a safe and comfortable place for families to rest while they focus on the recovery of their child(ren).

We are grateful to everyone in Red Deer who supports us!  😊

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Smiles Thru Lindsey reaching out with a new video message and urging Albertans to look out for each other at this challenging time

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The holiday season is well behind us, we’re heading into the coldest part of the winter, and although the days are starting to grow longer there’s still a definite lack of daylight in our lives.  The winter blues are a real thing and this year we have COVID, a whole new serious problem to add to our mental health issues.

COVID is also the reason the Smiles Thru Lindsey team has not been able do public events for many months.  Unable to reach out physically through school visits and fund raisers, Smiles Thru Lindsey is reminding Central Albertans to check in on each other.  Also, please follow the Smiles Thru Lindsey Facebook page .  They’ll lead you to the resources you or your loved ones need right away.

Meet Lindsey and the Smiles Thru Lindsey team in this powerful video.  …And remember to check in on the people in your life.

If you’d like to help Smiles Thru Lindsey with a donation please click here.

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