Fall Plans at Forest Grove Reformed Church

Plans and Guidelines – Fall Programing and Schedule Update

Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We hope and pray that you are doing well in the midst of this unique season that we are in. On behalf of the church staff and Consistory, we want to sincerely thank you for all of your grace, patience, and encouragement during this season. While the building may have been closed for a season, the church has never closed. Together, we are the church no matter if we are gathered around a screen for a livestream or we meet together in the parking lot. Thank you for being the church by loving each other and your neighbors well during this pandemic.

For several weeks now our staff, Executive Team, and Consistory have been meeting to imagine together what this fall will look like for our ministry here in Forest Grove Reformed Church. Through many conversations, a couple things became clear to us as we worked on this plan. There was a deep desire to move to an indoor worship service. But just as deep as that desire was and is, there was also a desire to do so in a way that puts forward the health and safety of everyone. With that said, we are excited to share that we will be moving inside on September 27! Below are some details as to how our worship service will work as well as other fall programming.

important fall dates

Sunday Worship:

  • We request that everyone observe 6 feet of social distancing. We don’t ask this out of fear, but out of love for one another. We all have an obligation to try to protect our church family just like we would try to protect our own family. Please honor this request regardless of how you feel personally about the threat of COVID-19 for the sake of others.

  • In order to social distance, we are going to sit in every other pew with 6ft between families. To accomplish this, we will have two worship services. The first will be at 8:30 and the second at 10:30. An online registration will be shared closer to September 27 which will give you the opportunity to sign up for the service that works best for you and your family. Spots will be limited. If you do not have internet, feel free to call the office to register.

  • As an act of loving our neighbors well, masks are highly recommended when entering and leaving worship. During the worship service, you can remove your mask, but we still encourage you wear one. If you are not going directly to a seat or immediately leaving the building (i.e. going to the bathroom, attending Sunday school, etc) we respectfully ask that you wear a mask until you leave the building. If you don’t have a mask or forget one, there will be some available when you come into the building.

  • When you arrive, we ask that you enter through door B (door by the carport) where someone will welcome you by opening the door for you. We ask that you refrain from shaking hands.

  • Once inside, we ask that you go directly to a seat. If you have a “favorite” seat, please know that it might not be available.

  • You will notice that the Bibles and Hymnals have been removed from the pews. We encourage you to bring your own Bible or use a Bible App. However if you would like to use a Bible or Hymnal, there will be some available at the back of the Sanctuary.

  • After worship, you will be dismissed by row, similar to what you probably have seen at weddings. This will help us to stay social distanced. When dismissed, please leave the building immediately unless you are going to be participating in Sunday School.

  • Two offering boxes will be available in the narthex for you to give. You will still be able to give online too.

  • The nursery and children’s worship will not be available, but a cry room with a live-stream of the service will be made available.

  • If cases of COVID-19 significantly increase in our community, the Executive Team may have to move our worship online. They will consult a variety of resources to make these decisions if necessary. Let’s all do our part so this doesn’t need to happen!
Sunday morning worship

A note from our pastor:

As we put this plan together, we recognized that we are living in a very volatile moment and no matter what decisions we made, some people will disagree. In order to make this plan work, we ask that together we maintain a spirit of unity as a body and for ongoing grace and patience as we continue to learn how to navigate this moment.

Because of the measure of risk involved we are asking all those who are in higher risk categories to carefully consider attending, as a way of protecting yourselves and your loved ones from exposure to the Coronavirus. This includes: 1) the elderly; 2) those with compromised immune systems; and 3) those with other health histories or conditions that warrant extra precaution. If you have any symptoms, even from a common cold, or are running a temperature, STAY HOME. We encourage each family to take careful and honest stock of their personal situation, and make an informed decision that weighs all the factors in this. We will continue to livestream via Facebook at our 8:30 service, and a replay can be watched throughout the day.

We look forward to worshiping with you outside for a few more weeks before we move inside on September 27. To celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness and the end of our time outdoors, we will be having our church picnic at church following our final 9:30am worship on September 20. We hope you will be able to join us!

Grace and Peace,

Rev. Dan DeVries on behalf of the 2020-2021 Consistory

GEMS and Cadets:

  • Gems and Cadets will kick off their year on October 14.
  • If they meet inside, they will need to meet in groups of no more than 10 including the leader.
  • Just as our students have to wear masks in school, we respectively request that masks be worn when inside.

Youth Group:

  • Youth Groups will start meeting in September.
  • If they meet inside, they will need to meet in groups of no more than 10 including the leader.
  • Just as our students have to wear masks in school, we respectively request that masks be worn when inside.

Adult Ministries (AWFT, Quilters, etc.):

  • These groups can start meeting in September.
  • If they meet inside, they will need to meet in groups of no more than 10.
  • We respectively request that masks be worn when inside.

Sunday School:

  • The start of Sunday school will be delayed until October 4 to allow families to adjust to changes at school. This will also provide us time to learn best practices from school, make necessary adjustments, and recruit additional volunteers.
  • Due to the size of our adult classes, our adult classes will be held online via Zoom. Times and options will be shared at a later date.
  • The maximum class size will be 10 people including leaders.
  • We respectively request that all children Kindergarten and older wear a mask during Sunday School.
  • Sunday School will run from 9:45 to 10:15am.

The Office:

The church office is currently open Wednesday and Thursday from 9am-3pm. If you would like to meet with a staff member, we encourage you to email them or call them to set up a time. In cooperation with and support of the Christian Learning Center, we ask that anyone moving around in the church building please wear a mask. Masks are required if you need to enter the basement.