Dear Church Family,
I’m writing to you on behalf of the elders and ministry leaders of our church. Thank you for praying for us through this unique time. We’ve spent a lot of time over the past few weeks working through the various issues related to reopening our ministry and discussing potential options. Thanks to all of you who completed a questionnaire which gave us valuable insight into what would allow us, the church family, to gather together to worship – click here to view both surveys results. As you can see from reading the results, our family is unified in our desire to get back together but diversified in how we should do that. Our first steps will likely err on the side of caution but allow as many as possible the opportunity to worship and fellowship in a safe environment.

Here’s what we have done to prepare for reopening

  • We have prepared three venues for worshipping in our building – each with its own set of doors for entry and exit, hallways, lobby, and bathrooms. This will allow us to accommodate more people but also allow for differing views of what is safe.

  • Phill Shelner, our Facilities Manager, has been developing creative ways to set up our rooms to allow for social distancing and meticulously sanitizing the building in preparation for your arrival.

  • We will not provide children’s ministries during the initial weeks but our Director of Children’s Ministries–Bonnie Tanner–is working with parents and volunteers to reopen children’s ministries in the near future. Click here to see some of the data from Bonnie’s research (last page.)

  • Our services will be about 1 hour long and be similar to our current Livestream format. For now there will be no corporate singing because singing is a highly contagious means of spreading the virus.

  • We anticipate the need to offer multiple services to accommodate all who would like to attend – one at 9:30 AM and potentially at 5:00 PM. We will also be leading a service at First Baptist in Cedar Springs at 11:00 AM.

  • At this point there will be no live Sunday School classes but we are testing live options. We understand how important our Sunday School classes are and hope to reopen as soon as possible. 


Here’s what you can do as you plan to return to services

  • Consider the safety of others as a higher priority than your own rights.

  • Take personal responsibility for your own health and allow others the same privilege. Before you attend, please work your way through the health assessment checklist found here.

  • If you fall into a higher risk category we encourage you to continue watching the Livestream services at home – but recognize that is your decision to make.

  • Sign up to attend the service and room of your choice in advance. We can only allow so many people in each venue and seats will be given to those who register first. To reserve your spot, please click a service time at the bottom of this letter.

  • Wear a face mask when you enter the building and walk the lobbies and hallways. For those who choose to sit in the Family Room you will not be required to wear your mask when you are in your seat.

  • Observe social distancing guidelines and avoid physical contact (like handshaking).

  • Refrain from gathering around entrances and exits to allow others to pass without violating spacing restrictions.


Here’s what you can expect when you arrive at the church

  • You’ll need to enter the building through the appropriate doors assigned for your venue to prevent overcrowding in the hallways. Portions of our building will have “closed” signs posted and we ask that you not enter them. If you do our custodians will have to disinfect everything.

  • There will be signage posted to help you follow safe guidelines. Jim Wilterink and team will be ready to help as needed.

  • Doors will open 30 minutes before the service begins.

  • At this time, we won't be offering coffee and the drinking fountains won't be available. Please make sure you bring coffee or water for yourself, if needed.

  • As you choose a place to sit for the service please be wise. Allow 3-4 chairs in between you and the individual next to you and your family group. If you are a single person or couple, please select seats on the sides of the auditorium or the end of a row to maximize seating capacity.

  • At the end of the service the ushers will dismiss by rows to minimize crowding. 


We are fully aware that this feels like a lot to go through just to worship together...but it will be so worth it! If we all act in love and extend grace with these temporary restrictions we will be free to enjoy our new found freedoms. We will be reviewing our processes and options regularly with the desire to get things “back to normal” as soon as possible. All of us will need to make some sacrifices and exercise patience as we move forward. During this process let’s all focus on making the “main thing” the main thing. We are the church of Jesus Christ gathering together to worship the Lord and encourage one another on to holiness.

Pastor Doug

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5760 Cannonsburg Rd NE, Belmont, MI 49306-9089

616-874-6740 tel  \\  616-874-2843 fax  \\

© West Cannon Baptist Church