COVID Information Page

Policies, procedures and expectations for building use

(Updated August 20, 2021)

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)
  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)

On July 27, the CDC updated guidance for fully vaccinated people. When the level of community transmission in Kent County is Substantial or High, Thornapple will recommend that all people (including those who are fully vaccinated) wear a mask indoors, in accordance with this guidance. Appropriate door signs will be posted based on the level of community transmission.
On August 17, Kent County reached "High" community transmission - following public health guidance, we recommend that all people wear a mask when inside the church building until further notice. 
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 a robust 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
All persons traveling in church vehicles need to wear face masks at all times in accordance with the January 29 CDC order.

What to Expect at Indoor Worship

Our in-person service option looks different than we are used to and while change is sometimes hard, remember different is not bad, it is simply different. Below we’ve listed some questions/answers in anticipation of what you might want to know.

Will we be singing?
Yes. There will be congregational singing as part of the worship service.

Will there be Children’s Ministry (Nursery/Sunday School)?
Yes. For children 4-years-old through 5th grade, we will have Sunday school in the Community Center (at this time with masks). Nursery for three-years-old and younger is also available.

How will we give our offerings?
We are encouraging everyone to give online. If you would like to give in-person, there will be a place to leave your offering at the Welcome Center. Checks can also be mailed directly to the church office (6595 Cascade Road SE; Grand Rapids, MI 49546).