Worshipers of almost 1,000 people gather for Calvary Chapel Church's annual outdoor baptism at Newport Beach's Corona Del Mar State Beach on Saturday, September 12, 2020.
As California deals with the COVID-19 restrictions, churches have been conducting outdoor "spiritual revivals" like religious services, worship sessions, and outdoor baptisms. Pastor Jack Hibbs described it as "biggest to date" and Church Director Gina Gleason said the turnout at this year was "remarkable" considering the typical turnout to be of around 300 attendees.
Outdoor baptism was common in the church scene before the COVID-19 pandemic but it is even more popular now that the pandemic restrictions are preventing church members from gathering indoors. The group, "Saturate OC" held worship session every Friday night to give the opportunity to "hear the gospel."
Worship artist Sean Feucht described the outdoor worship session scene as the result of not being able to be in churches. "We are kind of forced to be outside of our buildings and forced to be innovative and creative and come up with alternate solutions," Feucht said.
Amidst the pandemic restrictions, Calvary Chapel is offering congregants the oportunity to worship in person and online for their all-day social media event, "Come Back California" campaign. Pastor Hibbs encouraged people to turn their "homes and churches in sanctuaries of prayer and worship" to seek "a radical move of God" in California.
The event is introducing daily focus topics for California. On Monday, prayer for "purity and holiness within the church" as well as "spiritual revival and salvation to spread throughout California." On Tuesday, prayer for California's "governor, state, and local leaders." On Wednesday, prayer to "examine God's prophetic Word in light of current world events." On Thursday, prayer for "military, law enforcement, and first responders." And the week is planned to conclude on Friday with prayer "against sins and injustices of our nation" and "for our president, national leaders, and the upcoming election."