Church at the Ballpark: The Insider’s Guide
Five days. FIVE DAYS, people. Five days is what’s on the old countdown clock as we prepare for Church at the Ballpark ’13, arguably the largest worship event in the Summit’s history.
And with large events usually comes large confusion. Unless you landed here. In that case, you’re going to be in the know, smarter than the average bear, and the coolest kid on the Durham Bulls’ block come Sunday. That’s because you’re getting the inside scoop on everything in 3…2…
When & where? CatB happens Sunday, September 15th, at 10:30 AM, but you should arrive earlier than that. Much earlier. We suggest getting downtown at 9:15. Gates will open at 9:30 AM, and we’ve got a full slate of goodies prior to the service’s start time that you won’t want to miss. We’ll be at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in downtown Durham, which is an easy drive from anywhere in the Triangle. Map it. And by the way, there are NO services at any Summit campus on September 14-15 (although we’ll have a few people armed with flip cams just to get your stunned reaction when you show up to an empty building because you haven’t been paying attention for the last week or seven).
Parking. We have access to all decks of the American Tobacco Campus. When you arrive downtown, you’ll see our parking army outfitted in neon vests and ego-boosting radios. They hold a lot of power, so you should follow their instructions. Trust them, and they will get you to the closest possible spot. Ignore them, and your car will be sold on eBay while you worship. All parking is free in the three ATC decks on Sunday.
Accessibility. Handicapped parking is available on Blackwell Street, adjacent to the stadium. Blackwell will be one-way this Sunday, so you must enter from Jackie Robinson Drive, and you must have an official handicapped placard. Those spaces are first-come, first-served, but there’s also handicapped spaces available in the ATC South Deck.
Fill the trucks. We’re partnering with two local organizations who serve the homeless population in Durham. We’re asking every CatB guest to bring one or more of their needed items. Those trucks will be located on Blackwell Street just to the left of the main gate…fill ’em up before you fill up the stadium.
First Time Guests. If this will be your first visit to a Summit service, we have a special experience just for you. Stop by one of our eight First Time Guest tents (they’re both outside and inside the gates) for a gift and a personal greeting. Summit regulars who try to pass themselves off as a FTG just to get free swag will be subject to fingerprinting and church discipline.
Childcare. We’re taking care of kids ages six weeks through 23 months old. The childcare area opens at 9:30 AM, and is located in the VIP suites overlooking the field. Families with strollers can access that area through the elevators inside the gates and to the left. Non-stroller families can access the suites from seating sections 207 & 208.
Bigger kids. We’ve set up a family-friendly section close to right field and just below Wool E. World. Watch for our Summit Kids team – they’ll be distributing white goodie bags with enough stuff to keep your kids happy and you sane. In addition, Wool E. World will be open before and after the service so that your home team can run off some energy.
Seating. We nearly filled the stadium in 2011, and this time around we’re expecting to overflow it. That’s why we’re bringing in thousands of extra chairs, and why we need you to follow the instructions of our 200+ person seating team. Please scoot to the front and center when you enter the stadium and fill in all empty chairs so that no one is left without a seat. If you’d like to meet up with your family, small group, biker gang, etc., we simply request that you gather in the concourse before entering the seating area.
Deaf / Hard of hearing interpretation. We’ll be providing assistance in section 114, just to the side of the right field dugout.
Baptisms. They’re back, and we’re excited. We’ll be offering the opportunity to celebrate baptisms in front of thousands of your closest friends. If you’re interested in being baptized, all you have to do is show up. We’re providing decision counselors, clothing, towels, photographers, hair gel, you name it. (Just don’t name arm floaties, because we’re not providing those.)
Concessions. We’ll open the concession stands at the end of the service. You can get several items for a buck (hot dogs, soft drinks, popcorn, etc.) as well as traditional $26 ballpark nachos (those had better be some awesome jalapeños). Bring some money and plan on hanging out with your Summit family for the afternoon.
Merchandise. The Summit’s resource table will be located at the top of the front entry steps, in front of the MVP suite. We’ll have the newest CDs from Matt Papa & Hank Murphy, as well as souvenir CatB t-shirts. Please note: we can only accept debit or credit cards at the merch table, no cash this weekend. (Our sincerest apologies to Dave Ramsey.)
Social media. Bring your Instagram, bring your Twitter, bring your Facebook, bring your MySpace if you’re still stuck in the 90’s. #ChurchAtTheBallpark is our official hashtag. Help us spread the excitement all over the interwebs.
Serve. If you still haven’t signed up to serve this weekend, we don’t want you to miss out. Visit the sign up form and let us know you’re coming. That form will officially close on Thursday at noon, so jump in.
Everything else. We’re blanketing the park with hundreds of people that can help you. If you have a question or need assistance, simply find one of our volunteers in the gray shirts. We’d be glad to serve you!
You read the book, now see the movie. Want to get all of this info in living color? Check out the helpful video below. No, we don’t know who that dashingly handsome man is, but look at how awesome he is at sucking in his stomach!
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