LATEST UPDATE: Outdoor Sunday Services

Irvine, CA // Service Times: 8:30 & 10:00 AM

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Outdoor Sundays

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We are excited to be back together as a church family on Sunday mornings. Here's what you need to know about Village Church services this summer: 

OUR COMMITMENTS:

As we continue in our reopening plan with smaller outside gatherings, here’s a reminder of what your Village Church Pastors are committed to:

LIVESTREAM – Doing our best to provide a livestream for anyone who is unable to attend or more comfortable watching from home during this season. We’ve heard from many of you about how important a livestream service would be, particularly for those who are immunocompromised or high risk because of other factors. As a church family, we don’t want to move forward to gathering again in any way that might leave others behind. We have spent the last couple months working to make sure we can livestream our service with good quality audio and video for our church family who will be at home for a while.

MAKING ROOM – Your Pastors are committed to doing what it takes to say yes to anyone who wants to gather for an outdoor worship service. While we are committed to being cautious and limiting the number of people per gathering in order to allow plenty of space and ease back into our gatherings, we are committed to offering as many of these smaller services as is necessary.

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SERVICE PLAN: 

  • OUTDOOR – We love our building, and we are very grateful to have a building. But in this next season, we believe the best decision is for us to gather outside. Rather than try to do services indoors with a modified version of our normal services, we are just heading outside for something unique and fun. We have chosen a couple service times that should give us a bit more shade and cooler temperatures. We will have a variety of easy ups and umbrellas in the parking lot. You can just choose your spot. 
  • PICNIC STYLE – We are opening up the parking lot for individuals and families to spread out with their own beach blankets, chairs, etc. and then grab their stuff when they leave. This will allow our church to gather in a more natural and simple way, and our cleaning volunteers can focus on cleaning fewer spaces throughout the morning, like the bathrooms and nursing mother’s room. 
  • FAMILY FRIENDLY – During this time without our usual Village Kids classes, families are encouraged to sit together. Our plan is to have kids sing together with their parents during music, and then we will give families a couple minutes to get their kids settled with their own lesson during the adult sermon. We are providing a 12-week workbook for kids that has activities that will go along with a 10-15 minute video lesson they can watch on a device each week. 
  • SIMPLE – To keep things simple, our outdoor services will have just a few songs and a shorter message (around 20 minutes) to help families with younger children, and to allow us to add more services as needed.
  • OPEN – If you've never attended a Village Church Sunday service, we want you to know that you are welcome to join us! Feel free to click the registration link, reserve your spots, and we look forward to meeting you on Sunday. 
  • SAFE – We believe that God’s people are to do all things in love. We don’t gather as a church just to make a statement. We gather as an act of love, in obedience to God, to declare His Glory to each other and to the world. In order to gather in a way that is loving to our church family and loving to our neighbors, we ask that everyone follow these guidelines:
    • Practice social distancing before, during, and after the service
    • Stay home if you have experienced any sickness or symptoms in the last week
    • Stay home if you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19
    • In accordance with state guidelines, please have a facemask with you for situations where you are unable to stay distant, and if you need to go inside the building to use the restroom or nursing mother's room 

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QUESTIONS + ANSWERS:

What should I bring?

You will want to bring camping or picnic style chairs to sit in. If you have kids, you probably want to bring a tablet or device with headphones so they can watch their Village Kids lesson during the outdoor sermon.

We will have plenty of easy ups or umbrellas for you to find some shade, but you could also bring other types of picnic/beach shade canopies. If you really want to step up your game, you are welcome to bring a blanket, a cooler full of drinks, mister fan, solar powered espresso machine, Belgian waffle maker, massage chair, or one of those inflatable sofas from the 90’s

What exactly are the kids supposed to do?

Older kids and youth students who are comfortable sitting through a 45-minute service are welcome to just enjoy the service with their parents. For younger children, we suggest using the resources provided by Village Kids. You can pack devices and headphones for kids, along with their workbooks, pens, crayons, etc.

Will there be coffee or donuts or anything?

For now, we won’t be serving any donuts, although anyone is free to bring their own snacks and drinks from home, or grab some donuts on the way to church.

Our plan is to have just small bottles of cold water available throughout the morning.

Will the restrooms be open?

Yes. Our restrooms will be open and accessible from both sides of the building. Restrooms and baby changing rooms will be the only shared spaces on Sunday, so we will be cleaning them regularly throughout the morning.

Is this going to be awkward?

Although we will be following social distancing, you can still be personable with each other, and enjoy saying hi to your church family after being apart for so long.

It won’t be awkward. It could be a bit warm, and definitely a bit different. But we are excited to be together as a church family again.

Will there be room to sit or stand in the back?

Anyone who would prefer to sit or stand in the back can definitely do this. The layout of the parking lot will allow you to sit or stand in a variety of places. You could even park your car along the sidewalk and stay in your car, as long as you aren’t blasting smooth jazz on your radio. We will be putting together some videos and a map this week to explain everything better.

Can I climb a tree and watch the service?

Yes. We have about 3-5 trees that are available. These are premium seating, and require a reservation. Anyone who arrives on Sunday morning in full rappelling gear is free to use them. But seriously, if you want to sit in a tree, we have some good ones.

Anything else I should know?

We’ve never tried anything like this before, and we are learning as we go. We are really grateful for all the encouragement and grace in this process as we try our best to walk in wisdom.

Please don’t hesitate to share any feedback with us or ideas, and know that we are planning to learn a lot during this first Sunday and make adjustments as needed in the future.

Is there anywhere I could just park my car and still be near the service?

There are a few spots along the street where you could stay in or near your car and still participate in the service. We will mark these spots with cones and signage to be reserved for our drive-in church guests. 

Will the nursing mother’s room be open on Sunday mornings?

Our regular nursing mother’s room will be closed because of its smaller size, but we have set aside our nursery classroom to be a larger nursing mother’s room that will also have a changing table available. This room will be cleaned throughout the morning.

Will the playground be open?

The playground will be closed for now.

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RESERVING A SPOT:

Asking people to “sign up” for attending a church service is not something we ever planned to do or wanted to do. As always, we want to just gather to worship together with anyone and everyone.

For this season, we will need to begin with outdoor services of 50 - 75 people. In order to plan accordingly and make sure there is room for everyone, this will require pre-registration.

Each week, registration will open on Wednesday night, at 8pm and close on Friday at midnight.

Please select the total number of people in your household who will be attending, including any children. If the services are filled up, you can just sign up for the waitlist, and we will get you added to one of these services if we have room, or an additional service to be added.

Your Pastors are committed to doing what it takes to gather for worship with anyone who desires to worship together with us.

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Questions? You can email David at davidhughes@villagechurchirvine.com