Apple Valley, Minnesota

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Worship on the Lawn + More: A Grace-Full 4th of July

Greetings family of Grace,

It’s going to be one fun weekend at Grace. After hearing some clarity from the city of Apple Valley, considering the history of the 4th of July parade celebration and how and when our building and grounds have been used, and embracing the opportunity to be a presence in our community, we have a special morning planned for this Sunday, July 4th. We’ve designed this morning so our Grace family and community members alike can make a day of it – joining for worship, staying for some fun and a quick lunch, and then settle in for the Apple Valley Freedom Days parade.

Below you’ll find the important details and schedule of what’s happening Sunday morning. Even further below if you’d like to read it all, you’ll find more about the why and whats of this special Sunday. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to share Grace and grace with our neighbors, and we hope you’ll join us in person or online for all of part of the festivities.

9:30 AM Worship on the Lawn
10:10 AM Family Mini-Concert with GraceAbounds
10:10 AM Family Fun on the Lawn at Grace
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM Brat Sale + Chips & Water
1:00 PM Parade Starts

Worship on the Lawn
9:30 – 10:10 AM
Outdoors on the Northeast Corner of Grace

We’re moving worship outdoors this Sunday! We’ll be gathering on the lawn on the northeast corner of our property. This is the corner that faces the intersection of County Road 42 and Pennock Avenue. This plan is in place for both logistical necessity and a bold hospitality opportunity. We will have a compacted yet impactful worship service including communion, prayers, Scripture, a message on Mark 5 from Pastor Jen, and hymns lead on acoustic guitar from our GraceAbounds band.

Things to Know
We want to make sure everyone has a way to join for worship each Sunday and this is no different. We’ll be livestreaming the service, as always, to Facebook, YouTube, and our website at If you are joining in person, there is no need to sign up this week, as our outdoor seating capacity needs no limit. Parts of our building will be open for restroom purposes and as a path to the lawn for anyone who may need it. The current forecast is for a warm day, so there will be shade available underneath the large tree on the corner as well as a few canopy tents.

We’ll have communion using the individually packaged cups. We’ll have paper bulletins including an order of service and hymn lyrics, plus the Loop, our digital bulletin option, will be available. As we’re outdoors, masking will be optional for those fully vaccinated and encouraged for anyone not yet able to be vaccinated. We’ll have adequate space to spread out to keep distancing guidelines in place for those unvaccinated and ask everyone to do so. Please have a mask at the ready should you need to go in the building for any reason. There will not be a regular coffee hour time after this service – but the brat sale begins at 11:00 am!

How to Get There and Back
Upon arrival and parking, you can make your way around the building to the NE corner, or by going through the building’s east doors and using the east hallway to the corner. Ushers and greeters will be there to guide you.

In regard to driving and parking, we’ll be starting before a number of streets around Grace begin to be blocked off at 11:00 am. If you are still in the parking lot past 11:00 am, The back gates will be open to enter and exit from, and below you’ll find a map with the best way to get back to the main roads through the neighborhoods to the west and south of our building if you should need it.

What to Bring
Your favorite lawn chair (we’ll have extra chairs), a face covering in case you need to enter the building, anything you may want for the parade if you are staying through, a lawn game if you’d like to stay for the family fun time, and a friend or neighbor!

How You Can Help
The best thing you can do is to spread the word and invite a friend, neighbor, or family member. If you’d like to bring a tent to sit under for you or for someone else, come early to set it up.

Mini-Concert by GraceAbounds + Family Fun on the Lawn
10:10 AM
Northeast Corner and North Lawn

Our own GraceAbounds band will be helping lead hymns during worship, and afterward will hold a mini-concert with some Grace favorites and energetics tunes for kids of all ages to enjoy. Think of it as an extra-fun extended postlude, and wear comfortable shoes if you feel the need to dance a little.

We’ll also be putting out some family activities and lawn games along the lawn on the north side of the building. If you have a favorite lawn game, bring it! We’ll have things like bubbles, hula hoops, bean bags, and more. Parents will need to continue to monitor kids as traffic isn’t blocked completely until 11:00 am.

Property Team Brat Sale + Chips & Water
11:00 – 3:00 PM
Northeast Corner of Grace

Our Property Team has extended their Brat Sale to include Sunday from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm! You can now find a hot and ready brat, plus chips and water on:

Friday, July 2 from 4pm – 8pm
Saturday, July 3 from 10am – 6pm
Sunday, July 4 from 11am – 3pm

Proceeds go to support Grace’s physical spaces. Previous fundraisers have purchased lawnmowers, snowblowers, lawn care equipment, and more – all things that take good care of the space we’ve been blessed with at Grace.


Why did we make this shift?
This plan was created out of two things: a logistical and safety necessity and an outreach and hospitality opportunity. We had heard conflicting reports even up to last week as to if the parade was actually going to materialize or not. After gaining clarity from our city and considering how and when our building and especially our parking lot have been used in the past, we decided there were too many safety and logistical variables to hold our regular indoor, in-person service. We considered and ruled out options like canceling an in-person service altogether and closing, staffing, or zoning off our parking lot.

What is more, we have always believed God calls us to extravagant hospitality, meeting our neighbors with kindness and Good News. With our location and with this holiday being on a Sunday, we have an opportunity to be a presence of peace to the near 50,000 people that typically come to this parade. Our staff and leaders wanted to embrace this chance to bring grace to our community.

What if I have to leave the Grace parking lot after 11:00 am?
The roads around Grace including Pennock avenue, parts of Cedar Avenue, 153rd Street, and Whitney Avenue will be closed beginning at 11:00 am as parade participants begin staging. Once these roads are closed, our main parking lot entrance becomes inaccessible to cars. Click the button below to view the quickest route back to County Road 42 should you need it.

Where can we sit for worship and for the parade?
The corner of Grace is prime parade real estate! We often have community members joining us on that corner of our property. During the service you can set yourselves anywhere you can see and hear on that corner. As the 1:00 pm parade start time approaches. If you’d like, you can simply change your direction and stay set up for the parade, or move somewhere you can see better. You are more than welcome to stay on Grace’s property for the duration of the morning and parade. Join us is being a grace-full people to our neighbors!

Will the building be open?
Yes, parts of it. We will encourage everyone to stay on the east end of the building as we won’t have staff roaming throughout the space. We’ll use dividers to focus where people will be. The restrooms on the east end of the building will be accessible, and the east hallway will be able to be used for those who need flat walking ground to get to and from the lawn. Please plan to put on a mask when you enter the building.


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