Catalyst is a two-day event held at Mariners Church in Irvine, CA. The event is a lively mix of great praise music and excellent speakers (both religious and secular), aimed at (re)energizing church leaders and helping them form a strong vision/passion for serving God and their churches more effectively.
The event begins at 8:30 am on a Thursday and concludes Friday before 5:00 pm. The first day is advertised as ending around 9:00 pm, but for the last two years the speakers and praise bands have kept going until 10:00 pm or later. It begins again at 8:30 am on Friday.
Food trucks are available onsite all day both days, and there is a nice cafe and religious bookstore on site, as well. One of the sponsors usually provides free coffee all day, both days.
Our pattern for the last two years has been to eat lunch off-site on Thursday at:
Fashion Island food court
401 Newport Center Dr,
Newport Beach, CA 92660
And the team meets for dinner after the event on Friday to debrief and avoid the traffic. We meet a mile or two from the event site at:
1380 Bison Ave,
Newport Beach, CA 92660
If you are driving yourself, please be advised there are toll roads involved and that you CANNOT pay the tolls while on the road. You have to pay them online NO MORE THAN 5 DAYS before or after the event. (Full instructions below.) If you wait too long, the cost skyrockets from about $15 to over $300! To pay the tolls:
Get your credit card ready and have your license plate number on hand.
Go to www.thetollroads.com.
Choose “Pay a one-time toll.”
Enter your contact/car info and hit next.
On the following screen, enter:
3/3/16 [dates from 2016, obv.]
Toll Road 73
Entry Point – I-5 Mission Viejo
Exit Point – Newport Coast
Toll Road 73
Entry Point – Newport Coast
Exit Point – I-5 Mission Viejo
The total for both trips will be $14.96
You will not use the toll road to get to/from the hotel or to any of the eating places.
Directions to Mariners
Take 1-5 North toward LA. (The Ted Williams/CA-56 west to I-5 has proved faster the last few years than going north on I-15 past Escondido and then taking exit 32 onto CA-78 west.)
Take exit 85-A onto CA-73 N to Newport Coast Dr. (73 feels more “west” than “north,” but the label is “N”/north.)
Take exit 11 for Newport Coast Dr.
Mariners will be on your right very shortly after you exit. If you keep going you will soon “T” into Bonita Canyon Dr. after passing the church. Turn right on that road and it takes you around the side of the Mariner campus. There is lots of good parking!
5001 Newport Coast Dr, Irvine, CA 92603
Last year we stayed at:
23192 Lake Center Drive
Lake Forest, CA
Tickets in 2016 were $219/person. That is the early bird special, which we got because we ordered most of the tickets in January. Full prices is around $269. We stayed two-to-a-room for about $55/person, with taxes. Also, as noted above, the total tolls are about $15 and of course there’s gas for a a 150 mile round trip.
In addition to sharing the information above, organizers should consider assigning a few tasks:
1. Seat savers. It’s a great idea to print out some page-sized seat savers that say Cornerstone Church or something on them. These can be laid on chairs to claim a row for attendees.
2. Photographer! Don’t forget to ask someone to capture a few images to commemorate the event.
3. Ride-shares. Set a leave time from the church and email all attendees. Let individuals work out the rides on their own/with each other. In past years, having one person coordinate this is somehow less efficient than just letting people figure it out amongst themselves.
4. Cell-phone numbers. Collecting cell phone numbers and starting a group message is a good way to send on-site, coordinating announcements or just keep in touch.