Policies, procedures and expectations for building use

(Updated October 27, 2020)

Indoor Gathering Guidelines

Contact Angel Baum to reserve a space for your group.

Upon entry, everyone will

  • Sign in (symptom screen, temperature, contact info)

  • Wash/Sanitize hands

  • Wear face covering

  • Maintain 6’ distance between households


Gathering in rooms requires

  • Wearing face covering

  • Maintaining 6’ distance between households

  • Room capacity determined by 50 sq. ft per person (to be posted)

  • Hand sanitizer available

  • Avoid congregating outside of rooms

Community Center (Gym) Sports

  • Wear face covering

  • Maintain records (sign-in)

  • Maintaining 6’ distance between households

  • Room capacity of 50 sq ft per person (to be posted)

  • And limit to 25% of space’s capacity per fire marshall

  • Thornapple ministries only through January 1, 2021



  • Childcare/nurseries

  • Kitchen/coffee service/drinking fountains

  • Food (unless packaged for individual servings)

Sunday Morning Worship

  • Online Worship at 9:00am (or watch any time after) | Worship band and sermon, online (watch at home or in small groups offsite)
  • Indoor Worship at 10:30am | Acoustic worship, sermon, in person with social distancing precautions (see below), including everyone wearing masks while in the building, reservations needed

What to Expect for 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.

Are masks required?
Knowing this is a highly challenging topic, we ask for your grace as we set expectations.

Masks ARE required when anyone is inside the church building. We recognize there are varying opinions on mask wearing but this is what Thornapple’s leadership is requiring for services to move inside. As a church community, we desire to put others first and engage this conversation with humility and respect for those around us. We are grateful in advance for your respect, care and consideration in light of this requirement.

Will we be singing?
Yes. There will be congregational singing as part of the worship service, with the congregation wearing masks.

Will there be Children’s Ministry (Nursery/Sunday School)?
No, not at this time.

Great online family content will continue to be provided here. Starting in October, each family will be receiving a box for the month that includes simple teachings about Jesus and activities to do as a family or that kids can do individually. The box will have supplies that are not common household items to make it as easy as possible. There may be a few surprises as well! Since we are not doing ministry as usual this fall and maybe into the spring, we want to provide resources for you to do “church at home.” We are gathering a team of delivery folks who would love to say “hi” if you are home, but if not, they will leave it on your doorstep.

Will there be limited capacity to allow for socially-distanced seating?
We will begin to gather at 20% of official occupancy, meaning 120 people for services in the church Sanctuary. Seating will be set up to allow for social distancing between rows and household groups and as you enter the building, ushers will help your group find a seat, appropriately spaced. Visit our Reservations page to save a spot for your household.

Does my family need to reserve a seat?
We are asking all people make a reservation for EACH WEEK they plan to attend. When you reserve a seat, you will be able to see how many people have signed up to attend that Sunday. We will explore options for increasing capacity as the need arises. We desire to make room for first-time guests, attendees who do not have the ability to register or others who simply show up and were not aware of need for a reservation and have build in a number of seats to remain open for this purpose within the reservation system.

What cleaning/sanitizing precautions will be in place?
The Lobby, Sanctuary and bathrooms will be disinfected before and after each service. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the building. Complimentary masks will be available upon entry if you have forgotten yours.

Will there be beverages?
No, we will not be serving beverages as this time and ask that you leave your cups and water bottles in your vehicles so you can keep your mask on while inside the building.

How will we give our offerings?
We are encouraging everyone to continue giving online. If you would like to give in-person, there will be an offering box in the Lobby. Checks can also be mailed directly to the church office (6595 Cascade Road SE; Grand Rapids, MI 49546).

Will online worship continue to be available?
Yes! We are encouraging people to continue “attending” worship at home as in-person worship at this time is really for people who long to be together in person and feel safe in participating in in-person, indoor worship. Online worship will continue to be available on Vimeo, here on our website and on our Facebook page.

To keep up the regular rhythm of corporate Sunday morning worship, we are encouraging people to view the service at 9am each Sunday morning, but in reality (because it pre-recorded), online worship is available as soon as we are able to edit it together and post it online (typically by noon on Saturday afternoon).

What happens if someone was confirmed with COVID-19 after they attended a worship service?
We will notify attenders via email when/if direct exposure to a confirmed case has occurred (this is why we ask for email and guest names during the reservations process). We will relay the date, time and location of the confirmed case.