Fredericton — Last Friday, New Brunswick began the first phase of lifting the COVID-19 public health restrictions. Among the changes, outdoor or “drive-in” religious meetings will now be allowed to occur. Leaders in the religious community are embracing the idea, with many proposing new ways to encourage people to join them for services.
“I’ve been hearing many scholars refer to the post-COVID-19 era as the Great Reset,” stated Father Brennan of St. Dunstan’s Parish in Fredericton. “So I started wondering how we could reset religion too. I spent many hours in prayer, asking God how we could get people excited about Him again.
“Finally, the Lord spoke to me and said, ‘Meet the people where they’re at.’ He then showed me a vision: a long lineup at Cannabis NB. The people in New Brunswick have been coping with the isolation by using copious amounts weed. If we want to get them off the couch and back to church, we need to welcome their totally legal habit, as long as it takes place within the confines and comfort of their own vehicles.”
Father Brennan partnered with other clergy members in the city, who will all be inviting community members to “Have a Joint with Jesus” each Sunday as the religious leaders deliver their sermons.
Father Peters of Holy Family Catholic Church further elaborated on some of the other changes attendees will enjoy.
“Since it isn’t sanitary we can’t pass an offering plate anymore. So instead we’ll encourage family members to just puff, puff, pass the joint. And communion is definitely out of the question so it’s BYOB for now. Parishioners will likely be getting the munchies after all of that toking, so they can bring their own wafers or even potato chips if they like. Finally, all drivers will be required to wear a mask to ensure everyone in the car makes it home safely.”
Among those excited for the new services was 22-year-old Todd Landry.
“Duuuuude, I haven’t been to church in years, but man, I can’t wait to hotbox the car with my brother Sam,” said Landry while taking a puff of a big fattie. “Imagine how amazing those hymns will sound when we’re right out of ‘er!”
“It’ll definitely give a new meaning to Ash Wednesday,” snickered Sam as his older brother passed him the joint.
Some have criticized the new religious gatherings, calling them disrespectful and even sacrilegious. Council member John Perry from Our Lady of Fatima disagrees. “You know, Jesus was the original hippie. He was so cool he even turned water into wine! He called us to love one another and what better way to do that than by getting totally baked? I know I can’t wait to partake!”
Pastor Matt from the local Wesleyan church scoffed when asked whether he would be hosting a similar service.
“No, of course not. Wesleyans don’t smoke; it’s a sin! We’ll be doing edibles at our Sunday service.”