'Drive-thru prayers' hit the streets in south Minneapolis

Thousands of people drive down France Avenue in south Minneapolis every morning, and now a church on that street is reaching out beyond its walls to help those drivers start their day out right.

In the hustle and bustle of modern life there are drive thrus for everything from banks to fast food -- now anyone driving near 50th and France can add a pit stop with a higher power to that list.

Every Wednesday morning during lent Karen Walhof brings 'god to go' to the plaza at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shephard.

She or another volunteer approaches every car that comes through and asks the driver their name and what's on their mind. They then share a short prayer before the driver goes on their way.

"I think it is one way we can reach out to our neighbors and be a witness on France Avenue where we have thousands of cars that drive by every day," Walhof said.

Pastor Debra Samuelson said the drive thru isn't meant to replace putting people in the pews on a Sunday, but in our fast paced society where it is hard to find time for anything… making prayer more convenient can be a godsend.

"I'm absolutely thrilled with whatever way we can reach beyond our walls to a hurting and broken world," Samuelson said. "Hurting and broken people."

Walhof came up with the idea after a fellow church member told her about a congregation in Atlanta doing the same thing.

"When I thought about this, I didn't think that lent can be a pretty chilly time," she said.

But reaching out to the flock of drivers passing by is the perfect way for Good Shephard to live up to its name.

"I don't know how popular this will be, but it's worth doing," Walhof said.

The drive thru prayers happen Wednesday mornings from 7 to 9 during lent. But if it goes well, the church may keep them going.

This isn't the only way the church is reaching out, it's also live-streaming its Wednesday night services on its website through lent as well.

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