On December 17, HOPE CITY IS SHUTTING DOWN!!!
But only for one weekend. lol. (Hey, at least it got your attention right?)
Look, the following information is RIDICULOUSLY important, hence the click-bait, so even thought it's long and detailed,
please make sure to read it carefully.
In light of the Christmas season, one of the things that we really wanted to do was find a way to serve our new community in a really tangible way. Obviously, providing a Christmas worship experience is good, but we wanted to take it a step further.
So this year, in addition to our normal Christmas festivities, we are partnering with the Camino Community Center, and a local radio station on
DECEMBER 17, to host a COMMUNITY TOY GIVEAWAY.
We've decided to "shut down" what we normally do on a Sunday, and in lieu of that, host this MASSIVE CITY-WIDE toy giveaway. Now obviously, toys aren't the point, JESUS is. So we'll be utilizing this opportunity we have with toys to also share the Gospel with thousands in our city. It should be an incredible chance to make a huge impact this season.
So, here's how it will work.
Volunteers from several local churches including ours will sign up to BE the church on that Sunday, rather than simply ATTEND church. There will be numerous specialized volunteer areas to serve in on that particular day to make it a success. Our hope is that EVERYONE who had planned on attending church that day would take that time to serve these kids and families instead.
On SATURDAY NIGHT, DECEMBER 16 from 5pm-7pm, we will host a night of prayer, worship, and training. Since we won't get to worship together like normal the next morning, we'll spend some time that night doing that. We'll also spend some time praying for the event itself and for those that will come. Finally, we'll group up with our specific volunteer teams for that day, and walk through all of the logistics of our particular area. (And we'll even have you out in time to go grab dinner. ) But this night will be EXTREMELY important because this will ensure that expectations and instructions are clearly given out ahead of time for what we hope will be a MASSIVE day!
Then, on Sunday morning, the 17th, we will arrive at the time instructed by our volunteer team coordinator, and will begin preparing for a 9am start time. Based on attendance, and the number of toys we have available, we will probably host 2-3 experiences. Every family will take part in a Christmas worship experience, after which they will be released by age, and gender to pick up a toy.
***Important note*** EVERY CHILD GETS A TOY. Even volunteer kids! We want to be sure we don't make people feel singled out or ostracized in any way. So we'll have everyone sit through the service, and every kid will get a toy.
Due to the demographic of those that will attend, the entire experience will be bilingual, in Spanish and in English.
We WILL have a nursery available that day, however, the service will be family friendly. So, our hope is that most kids will either attend with or serve with their moms and dads. The nursery is there for those that don't feel comfortable bringing a small child in, or to make it easier on those who wish to serve and volunteer at the event.
This is an event that the community center and the radio station have done for years, and based on their experience, they are expecting a HUGE turnout! What better way to celebrate the Christmas season as church, than to give ourselves away to something that has a history in making an enormous difference in the lives of so many families in our city!?
So below, you will find a link to a form, where you'll see all the different areas available to serve in. Go ahead and fill it in, so we can be sure to get all of our areas covered. And mark you calendars now for Saturday, December 16 from 5pm-7pm, and Sunday, December 17, from 9am-12pm.
This is going to be a LOT of fun. And if you know a family whose kid would love a toy, bring them along!