Every Sunday at 10:00 a.m.
What to Expect
UPDATE 01/25/21: We are worshiping both in person and online.
Church looks a lot different in 2021. We spent last summer worshiping on our front yard, with plenty of space between households. The weather has turned cold, though, and we have moved indoors and beefed up our live stream.
On Sunday mornings at Discovery, you can still expect a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Wear whatever is comfortable to you — typically, our members are dressed in jeans, khakis, skirts, dresses, T-shirts, polos, button-ups, sweatpants, slacks — seriously, come as you are. But because we’re now living in a pandemic, we ask that you also wear a mask. Don’t have one? We’ll offer you a new disposable one at the door.
Walk in the doors and you’ll be greeted warmly and directed to a worship folder with a timeline for the morning’s worship service so you can follow along. For now, we have the coffee bar closed; you’re encouraged to bring your own coffee or tea. Feel free to drop your young kids off in the nursery downstairs, or keep them with you in the sanctuary. We always have at least two people working in the nursery and everyone who serves has passed a background check. Learn more about what’s available for kids.
Find a seat and sing along! We’ll have groupings of chairs set up so your household can sit distanced from others. If your family needs more chairs than you see in a grouping, grab a few more from the stacks along the walls. If you’re coming by yourself, we ask that you sit on an end of a grouping so that there is room for someone else to sit on the other end.
Our worship services begin with a few songs interspersed with Scripture reading and prayer. The lyrics will be on a screen, so no worries if you’re not familiar with the music.
Before the talk, children 2 ½ through 5th grade will be dismissed to their own worship time downstairs. Our leaders will share an age-appropriate story and discussion, pray, and then offer some response time of crafting or solo reading. If your child would rather stay upstairs with you in the sanctuary, that’s just fine, too!
Most Sundays, we hear a talk from Pastor Paul Sausser, our lead pastor. Usually he preaches for about 30 minutes, and then we close the service with another song. During this song and after the service, you are welcome to head to the back of the sanctuary to receive prayer from a couple of volunteer members.
Typically, we include communion — or The Lord’s Supper, or the eucharist, or whatever term you’re familiar with — every six weeks. Pastor Paul will explain how to receive the bread and juice when the time comes, but you are certainly welcome to stay in your seat while others partake. People will be coming in and out of their seats, so no one will notice if you remain.
At Discovery, we know that it doesn’t matter what you look like inside or out: there is no need to pretend or hide. God meets all people, even those who are far from perfect (and aren’t we all?).
Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, we encourage you to come. You will experience God in praise and worship and people who accept you with love and grace. So join us for singing, ask questions, but most of all… Come as you are.
Do I need to pre-register to attend worship?
NO. However, to maintain social distancing requirements, space will be limited. Seating in the sanctuary will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. We have 86 chairs available in a social distancing arrangement. Chairs are able to be moved or groupings added to, but please keep other people’s comfort and social distancing into account. If needed, it could work to broadcast the service to the big room downstairs, depending on Children’s Ministry needs. If the service overflows, we will look into next steps.
What if I am not comfortable coming to a service yet?
That is okay. We know everyone has a different level of comfort, and different levels of safety for people they care for, so please do what you feel is best for you and your family. You may come in person or watch the service at home on YouTube.
Is everyone required to wear a mask during worship?
Yes. Everyone is required to wear a mask except for children under 2. If you have a health condition serious enough that it prevents you from wearing a mask during the entire worship service, we ask that you avail yourself of the opportunity to worship with us online. Wear your mask into the building. If you forget to bring one, we have masks available at the door. Out of respect for others and in the spirit of love, please continue to wear a mask during the singing portion of worship.
Will my temperature be taken as I enter the building?
No. We ask that individuals be responsible to monitor how they are feeling. Please stay home if you have any symptoms associate with Covid-19. Please see the final FAQ for further guidance.
How are the facilities being cleaned and prepared for worship?
Extensive cleaning and disinfecting procedures will take place in the building. Hand sanitizer stations will be available at entries and exits. Our worship and interaction will be intentionally touch-free (e.g., no hugs or handshakes for now).
How is the air ventilation system at church?
Our facility has no filtered air recirculation system. In the sanctuary we have one attic fan that can be used to draw fresh air into the building. However, in cold weather if we open windows to bring in outside air, the boiler will not be able to put out enough hot air to keep us comfortable. Everyone should dress for colder than normal inside temperatures. Based on the guidance of those who know our building, we will have the fan on at some times, but likely not always.
What will the services be like?
Everything you are used to in our Sunday worship will be there—inspiring worship and singing, a great talk with personal application, and friendly faces. Hopefully in the near future, we will provide added safety measures so we can offer coffee and pre-packaged snacks. In the meantime, Bring Your Own Coffee (BYOC).
Can I socialize?
Yes—wear a mask in the building and maintain a 6-foot distance as much as possible.
Will we go back to having everyone meet virtually at some point?
Maybe. We’ll keep monitoring news and reports from people and places like the governor’s office, the CDC, outbreaks locally in schools, the Kent County Health Department, and our own local medical advisor.
We all are working together to keep you safe. Church goers will stay home and participate online if they:
- Have any of the following symptoms: fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, chills, sudden loss of taste or smell, unexplainable headache;
- Have come into close contact in the past 14 days with someone else who is experiencing: fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, chills, sudden loss of taste or smell, unexplainable headache;
- Have been around somebody else that has been diagnosed or is being tested for Covid-19 due to symptoms;
- Have been around somebody else that was told they might have come into contact with a person with Covid-19.
Discovery has child care and youth programming for birth through fifth grade during Sunday worship. All of our nursery attendants and Children’s Worship teachers pass regular background checks and are equipped to share God’s Word with your children. You can find the nursery and Children’s Worship classrooms on the lower level of our building.
0 – 2 years: Nursery (you are welcome to bring your child at any time before or during the service). During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are short on volunteers. Nursery will be available on the Sundays when we have volunteers available and when Safe Church standards (for example, more than 1 person from different households) are met.
2 years through Fifth Grade: Children’s Worship (children will be invited downstairs after opening worship in the sanctuary; listen for an announcement from our worship leader.)
Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers have events throughout the year when they safely meet in a large group with their mentors.
At Discovery, we encourage all ages to worship and participate as full members of the church. Youth are welcome to take Communion (at parents’ discretion) and serve in areas that interest them.
A Week at Discovery
The Christian life isn’t just about attending church on Sundays. Being the Church is more than just being in the building one day a week.
So where & when else can you see Discovery Church?
Find us on the third Wednesday of each month hosting the Feeding America Mobile Food Pantry — no matter the weather.
Find us on every Wednesday evening in the fall eating, chatting, and learning through Alpha.
Find us every Thursday morning praying for our church, neighborhood, and city.
Find us one week in July every summer for Create, engaging the kids of our neighborhood with play.
Find us meeting in Bible studies, discipleship groups, and youth groups throughout the week.
Find us serving on mission trips around the country and in Grand Rapids.
Find us hosting various neighborhood events throughout the year, like our Block Party in the spring or summer, the Back to School Bonanza where we provide school supplies and enjoy a pork roast, the Thanksgiving dinner in November, and the Christmas Carol Sing in December.
Find us in schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods every day.