HARLINGEN — A Valley church has created a new way to offer services during this COVID-19 era.

Worshipers are able to receive the communion and request prayers from the comfort and safety of their own vehicles.

The St. Paul Lutheran Church in Harlingen is offering weekly curbside communion and prayer services.

“We’ve been in the midst of the pandemic learning how to do ministry in some different ways, but still deliver the same truths of Christ Jesus, the gospel and the hope we have in him,” St. Paul Lutheran Church Pastor Nathan Wendorf said.

The services are held Wednesdays from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and Sundays from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. in Harlingen at 602 Morgan Blvd.

“It’s an opportunity for people to drive through and come by the church campus and for our pastoral team and others to pray with people,” Wendorf said. “It’s an opportunity for us just to touch base with people who for many things, they’re not going out at all.”

Wendorf said to celebrate communion with the public, the church has specialty designed sealed cups they ordered during the midst of the pandemic that have the wine and bread.

“We’ll do our words of institution and deliver that to them and then they can peel that off in the comfort and safety of their own cars so they can receive the bread and then on the other side they can receive the wine,” he explained. “We know some people, especially our regular worshippers who aren’t yet comfortable returning or have different medical conditions and aren’t in the worship service, come by on Sunday mornings so they can still receive communion.”

According to Wendorf, the church began the curbside communion and prayer services during the summer of 2020 and will continue to offer them.

“We do these set times to make it easier on people, but we also do it by appointment too so if some people are working or can’t make it during that time, we’re glad to do it at different times too,” he said.

According to Wendorf, the St. Paul Lutheran Church has been operating in Harlingen for almost 100 years.

“While we don’t know what 2021 will hold for us, for some it will be a better year and for some it’ll be a tougher year, but the good news is that we have Jesus’ promise to be with us always,” Wendorf said. “So no matter what we face, he’s there comforting us, strengthening us each day and giving us brave hope for tomorrow.”

For more information about the St. Paul Lutheran Church, visit www.stpaultexas.com or call (956) 423-3924.