COVID Information Page

Policies, procedures and expectations for building use

(Updated June 1, 2022)

Thornapple wants to be known for promoting life, loving our neighbors (especially the weak), and working for the common good. Philippians 2:3-4 is a guiding verse: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Thornapple is responding to COVID by
  1. Following public health guidance (CDC, Michigan Health & Human Services, Kent County Health Department): our current county level is at Green (low)
  2. Moving in concert with our community (similar venues, other churches, school districts and recreation centers)
  3. Keeping things consistent in the church (meaning we won't have men's groups do one thing but women's studies do another - we move together)
As of February 26, 2022, we no longer recommend mask wearing indoors at our facility. This is in accordance with aligned public health guidance detailed below. Please continue to be respectful of the choices of individuals and families that differ with your own.
  • On February 25, the CDC established COVID-19 Community Levels - a new tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. 
  • On February 17, the Kent County Health Department issued a statement regarding the Recovery Phase in Kent County that aligns with the MDHHS phases. Per this statement, “There are no other public health orders related to COVID-19 presently in effect from the Kent County Health Department.”
  • On February 16 Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated masking guidance stating Michigan is entering a post-surge recovery phase of the cycle. The guidance includes continuing to practice masking in high-risk congregate settings (including long-term and health care facilities, jails and correctional facilities and shelters).
  • As of February 14, Forest Hills Public Schools K-6 students and staff are no longer required to wear masks.
We use several methods to clean our facilities: disinfect hard surfaces with chemical cleaners, strategically place non-chemical units to provide continuous surface decontamination and air purification, eliminating 99.98% of viruses, bacteria, mold, allergens, VOC, smoke, odors and fungi. Our HVAC system is set to regularly bring in fresh outdoor air. Sanctuary chairs are distanced more than normal. The bulletin is available in a digital format. Communion is celebrated using individually wrapped elements.

We realize that whatever Thornapple does with pandemic response will not satisfy everyone. Some will think we are going too far. Some will think we have not gone far enough. We are doing our best to help slow the spread of COVID and doing our part to bring the pandemic to an end by following CDC and local guidelines.

For those uncomfortable with our pandemic protocols, we offer an online worship experience that can be viewed live or on-demand. The Thornapple app is the most centralized and convenient way to engage offsite.

Church Vehicles
We will continue to follow CDC travel guidance when using our church vehicles.