043033 UC Ingalls Mental Health Awareness Month Ad Reoirter

Parking lot is safe haven for St. Mark parishioners

pastor jay photo 5 7 scaled
Photo by Joe Boyle
The Rev. Jay Trygstad, pastor of St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church in Worth, holds an outdoor service wearing a mask and gloves on Sunday morning. The pastor has been conducting outdoor parking lot services since Easter Sunday during the pandemic. Parishioners remain in their vehicles during the services.
By Joe Boyle
The Rev. Jay Trygstad, the longtime pastor at St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church in Worth, felt a different approach was necessary to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
While the church doors remain closed through at least May under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home orders due to the spread of the virus, Trygstad, who has served as pastor for 24 years at St. Mark Church, 11076 S. 76th Ave., thought there had to be another way to reach out to parishioners for Sunday services.
Since the church doors are closed, Trygstad invited them to arrive in their vehicles and park in the lot. The pastor has conducted services to a parking lot full of parishioners in their vehicles who listened to him speak by turning on the radio to 106.9 FM.
A traditional service is held at 8 a.m., followed by a contemporary gathering at 10 a.m. Since Easter Sunday, two services have been held each week. Trygstad said the Sunday outdoor services have been well received, However, he gave the idea considerable thought before going forward.
“We didn’t know how this would really work,” Trygstad said. “We didn’t want to put people at risk. That’s why we want everyone to stay in their cars and practice social distancing. We knew some services took place at other churches in the beginning and the virus spread. We wanted to follow the mandate to keep everyone safe. No one gets out of the car and we keep that six-foot distance.”
Trygstad began thinking of the idea of a parking lot service as the virus spread through the U.S. He wanted to see if he could still conduct services safely. He contacted Worth Mayor Mary Werner and Palos Hills Mayor Gerald Bennett for feedback. Both mayors had no objections.
“The church is not the building,” Trygstad said. “The church is the people. In this case, the church is the parking lot.”
The pastor admits that adjustments have had to be made since the first outdoor services on April 12. Technical hitches have occurred with the audio. However, Trygstad said he has adjusted his speaking style so that the parishioners in their vehicles can hear him on the radio.
“It’s a work in progress,” Trygstad said. “The audio is only good for 300 feet. But by and large, everything has gone well. I’ve found that when I speak slower, people can understand me better.”
This past Sunday, a large crowd attended the 10 a.m. contemporary service, which was benefited by sunny skies and 70-degree temperatures.
“Good morning everyone,” Trygstad greeted the congregation, who responded by beeping their car horns. “God is good.”
The pastor said the tempo of the services improve each week and the number of participants have been steady. Sunday’s service was one of the largest crowds since Easter.
“They pretty much seem to be favorable,” Trygstad said of the response by parishioners. “Some people have had some concerns. That’s understandable. We wanted this to be safe for everyone. We didn’t want to do anything reckless.”
The service was like most gatherings at St. Mark, except that it was outdoors. The parishioners in their vehicles are reminded of the pandemic as Trygstad greets them at the south entrance of the church wearing a mask and gloves. Parishioners sat in their vehicles and most of them also wore masks.
Trygstad also suggests that parishioners bring their own bread for communion to keep the social distancing mandate. The pastor also said that the outdoor parking lot services will continue as long as the pandemic exists.
“We will make decisions based on what is going on,” Trygstad said. “But based on what we know, this will be going on for awhile.”
Until that day comes, Trygstad said he will continue the parking lot services. He believes this is a good way to stay in touch with the St. Mark congregation.
“It’s a good parish,” Trygstad said. “We have a lot of good people here.”

Local News

John Kosmowski

Feds indict Summit police chief, building inspector

Indictment says they shared a bribe over liquor license for the Mars Bar A federal grand jury this week indicted Summit Police Chief John Kosmowski and building inspector Bill Mundy with sharing a bribe from a business owner in 2017 to facilitate the transfer of a liquor license for the Mars Bar. The indictment returned…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound May 25, 2022

regional orland memorial day 2022 preview

Orland Park to add 7 names during Memorial Day ceremony

The Orland Park community is invited to join the village this Memorial Day in remembrance of those who have given their lives for our country. The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 30, at the village’s memorial, Ara Pace – Place of Peace, located outside of Village Hall at 14700 S.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Girls Soccer: De La Salle tops Bremen for program’s first regional title

By Steve Millar Correspondent De La Salle coach Carlos Nunez has seen his teams come up a bit short in the postseason repeatedly over the years. The Meteors had never won a regional championship in girls soccer. Until this year, that is. “I’ve been in every single one that we’ve lost in,” Nunez said. “We’ve…

Mallory Pugh, middle, moves the ball during the preseason. She played her first NWSL game Sunday and had two goals and an assist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro soccer report: Pugh tallies twice return in Red Stars’ win over Orlando

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Mallory Pugh gave a sample of what could be a big 2022 season when she scored four goals in the exhibition Challenge Cup series. But the Red Stars scoring threat missed the first two games of the NWSL season with an injury, and the team split decisions against Louisville and…

Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 8.23.03 AM

New ward map OKed

Reflects Madigan’s power By Tim Hadac The City Council this week approved a new ward map that, among other things, will see all of Clearing and most of Garfield Ridge shifted to the 13th Ward. Midway International Airport also would shift from the 23rd Ward to the 13th. Monday’s 43-7 vote means the issue will…

Sandburg's Jeremy Johnson, the hero of a semifinal win over Homewood-Flossmoor, legs out a hit in a 6-3 loss to Lockport on Saturday at Ozinga Field. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Sandburg takes 2nd at Bajenski tourney

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer The Sandburg baseball team has had more downs than ups this season. But the Eagles finished the regular season on a strong note with a run to second place at the Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Tournament, which wrapped up May 21 at Ozinga Field in Crestwood. To get to the…

Sandburg's 3200 meter relay team of (left to right) Sean Marquardt Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Brock Rice ran the third-best time in the nation Thursday at Lockport and finished in second place. Photo courtesy of Sandburg High School.

Track Postseason Report: Sandburg boys 3200 relay records nation’s third-best time in 2022

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer How good was the competition in the boys track Class 3A Lockport Sectional in the 3200 meter relay? Sandburg’s relay team of Brock Rice, Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Sean Marquardt ran a time of 7:42.42, which tied for the third-best time in the nation in 2022. And that was…

biz pop's beef logo

Pop’s to celebrate National Italian Beef Day with week of specials

Palos Heights-based Pop’s Italian Beef & Sausage is beefing up May this year with a week-long celebration of National Italian Beef Day at each of their locations. As part of the celebrations, Pop’s is hosting an interactive contest on their Facebook page during the week of National Italian Beef Day from Monday, May 23, through…

Members of the “Small Island, Big Song” presented educational workshops to students at Moraine Valley Community College. (Supplied photo)

‘Small Island, Big Song’ workshops enrich classroom learning at MVCC

From staff reports Coming from some of the smallest islands in the world, performers from “Small Island, Big Song” talked about climate change, indigenous cultures and island history from their homelands to students in select sociology and geography classes at Moraine Valley Community College last month. The group performed their musical and spoken word endeavor…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
John Kosmowski

Feds indict Summit police chief, building inspector

Indictment says they shared a bribe over liquor license for the Mars Bar A federal grand jury this week indicted Summit Police Chief John Kosmowski and building inspector Bill Mundy with sharing a bribe from a business owner in 2017 to facilitate the transfer of a liquor license for the Mars Bar. The indictment returned…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound May 25, 2022

regional orland memorial day 2022 preview

Orland Park to add 7 names during Memorial Day ceremony

The Orland Park community is invited to join the village this Memorial Day in remembrance of those who have given their lives for our country. The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 30, at the village’s memorial, Ara Pace – Place of Peace, located outside of Village Hall at 14700 S.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Girls Soccer: De La Salle tops Bremen for program’s first regional title

By Steve Millar Correspondent De La Salle coach Carlos Nunez has seen his teams come up a bit short in the postseason repeatedly over the years. The Meteors had never won a regional championship in girls soccer. Until this year, that is. “I’ve been in every single one that we’ve lost in,” Nunez said. “We’ve…

Mallory Pugh, middle, moves the ball during the preseason. She played her first NWSL game Sunday and had two goals and an assist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro soccer report: Pugh tallies twice return in Red Stars’ win over Orlando

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Mallory Pugh gave a sample of what could be a big 2022 season when she scored four goals in the exhibition Challenge Cup series. But the Red Stars scoring threat missed the first two games of the NWSL season with an injury, and the team split decisions against Louisville and…

Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 8.23.03 AM

New ward map OKed

Reflects Madigan’s power By Tim Hadac The City Council this week approved a new ward map that, among other things, will see all of Clearing and most of Garfield Ridge shifted to the 13th Ward. Midway International Airport also would shift from the 23rd Ward to the 13th. Monday’s 43-7 vote means the issue will…

Sandburg's Jeremy Johnson, the hero of a semifinal win over Homewood-Flossmoor, legs out a hit in a 6-3 loss to Lockport on Saturday at Ozinga Field. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Sandburg takes 2nd at Bajenski tourney

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer The Sandburg baseball team has had more downs than ups this season. But the Eagles finished the regular season on a strong note with a run to second place at the Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Tournament, which wrapped up May 21 at Ozinga Field in Crestwood. To get to the…

Sandburg's 3200 meter relay team of (left to right) Sean Marquardt Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Brock Rice ran the third-best time in the nation Thursday at Lockport and finished in second place. Photo courtesy of Sandburg High School.

Track Postseason Report: Sandburg boys 3200 relay records nation’s third-best time in 2022

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer How good was the competition in the boys track Class 3A Lockport Sectional in the 3200 meter relay? Sandburg’s relay team of Brock Rice, Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Sean Marquardt ran a time of 7:42.42, which tied for the third-best time in the nation in 2022. And that was…

biz pop's beef logo

Pop’s to celebrate National Italian Beef Day with week of specials

Palos Heights-based Pop’s Italian Beef & Sausage is beefing up May this year with a week-long celebration of National Italian Beef Day at each of their locations. As part of the celebrations, Pop’s is hosting an interactive contest on their Facebook page during the week of National Italian Beef Day from Monday, May 23, through…

Members of the “Small Island, Big Song” presented educational workshops to students at Moraine Valley Community College. (Supplied photo)

‘Small Island, Big Song’ workshops enrich classroom learning at MVCC

From staff reports Coming from some of the smallest islands in the world, performers from “Small Island, Big Song” talked about climate change, indigenous cultures and island history from their homelands to students in select sociology and geography classes at Moraine Valley Community College last month. The group performed their musical and spoken word endeavor…

DVN Les Brothers Restaurant House Ad
CRR NH Fireside Realty House Ad