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TWO CHURCHES & THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC - Update June 1, 2021

Hi! If you are visiting our website for the first time, welcome! And thank you for taking the time to check us out!

With the events of 2020, many of us (including our Pastor/Rector!) experienced virtual online worship for the first time - wow, was that different! Now, after over a year of fluctuating ability to meet for in-person worship, it seems we are unlikely to return to an "only online" worship. Hallelujah! However, we will continue to live-stream our worship services, and for the time being offer curb-side communion for those who are more comfortable maintaining a little more distance. If you wish to join us online, check out the link to our Facebook page - worship will be streamed via Facebook Live. Videos of past worship services will remain available for streaming at any time, and links to the appropriate worship bulletin are posted on the Facebook page each week.

Our building occupancy and use has been, and continues to be determined by the Episcopal Pastoral Directive and recommendations from our ELCA Bishop, by the status of COVID-19 infection rates and orders issued by various governmental authorities. We are still in Phase 2 of the Pastoral Directive, and so we’re allowed a total of 25 people in the sanctuary (including the Altar Party). We have arrangements for overflow seating for persons #26 and up in St. Michael’s Hall (our fellowship room), where they can watch the service on a large ceiling-mounted TV and may still receive Holy Communion there.

Here’s a recap of our current guidelines for in-person worship:

  • Please take your temperature before leaving home. If you’re not feeling well, if you're immunocompromised, or just feel the risk is too great; you’re encouraged to stay home and join us on the Two Churches’ FaceBook page as we will continue to Live-stream the worship services. (that big yellow box is a link to the FB page!)
  • Masks must be properly worn over the mouth and nose the entire time you're in the building - regardless of vaccination status.
  • Bulletins will be available for you to pick up (the usher will not hand one to you).
  • Pews will be marked off, and the sanctuary will (as much as possible) be filled from front to back; and physically-distanced seating will be observed for those not in the same household.
  • There will be live (organ or piano) music, and we can now go to masked singing (we realize this may not be easy so we're going to start slow with this!)
  • The Offering Plate will not be passed. It will sit on a table by the door with the Little Church Bank. You may drop your pledge envelope in when arriving or leaving.
  • The Peace will be shared ONLY in place, with no hugs, handshakes, fist or elbow bumps.
  • Celebrations and birthday blessings will be offered from where you sit. (No candy will be given out, as we have often done in the past)
  • Spiritual Communion is available for those who cannot be with us in person. The prayer will be in the bulletin for those at home to pray. In-person Communion in one kind (wafer) will be administered (and our denominations are very clear that when we receive in one kind, we receive in both kinds).
  • Individuals or households will come forward one at a time. Rev. Mike will place the wafer in your hand. Please walk back to your pew, and once you’re seated you may raise your mask and consume the wafer. When you or your household are seated, the next individual or household may come forward.
  • Announcements will be made.
  • When you are dismissed, the sanctuary will empty from back to front (maintaining six feet distance between individuals or families). There will be no receiving line. There will be no coffee hour. Please exit the building.
  • Restrooms will be available for one person at a time; and when you are finished, someone will go in and sanitize for the next person.

  • We look forward to seeing (or meeting!) as many of you as possible. We truly do believe that God's love is for all people, and you will be welcomed here. Please prayerfully consider our church as a family you would like to worship with as we continue to grow in God's amazing love. And please contact us if you have any questions.

    Welcome to Two Churches

    In a spirit of community, Two Churches brings together people from all walks of life. Our congregation believes in justice and equality, love and responsibility, and breaking down denominational tribalism. Here you will find ancient traditions yet modern language, authentic sermons, and open doors. No matter who you are or where you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here. Please join us for one of our worship services.

    “Together in faith, bringing God’s love to the world.”

    What you'll find

    Two Churches is a community of Christians who practice an ancient faith through a modern lens. We come together to bring the love of Christ alive in Kentwood.

    Worship is both traditional and modern, with scripture readings, a sermon, & prayers. There's typically a Eucharist (also known as Holy Communion — the presence of Christ in the forms of bread and wine), and you are invited to join us at the Lord's Table. Due to the pandemic, we are currently offering a 10 AM virtual worship service via Facebook Live, and joining together with a prayer for Spiritual Communion. While there may be some background organ or piano music provided at times, there is currently no singing.

    When we return again to in-person worship, if you are able to join us at the church, please feel free to wear what’s comfortable. You’ll see a wide range of styles here, from business casual to jeans and shorts. Whether we are able to worship in-person or not, we will continue to stream our service online via Facebook Live, and we hope you can join us. Our worship is also often followed by a "virtual" coffee hour held via Zoom. Subscribe to our email notifications to get the link for the Zoom meeting, or contact the church office. Either way, we look forward to meeting you!

    Ministries

    Two Churches strives to make a REAL difference in the community around us.
    "What happens at Two Churches does not stay at Two Churches!"

    Diaper Depot

    Low-income families with infants & small children often have to choose between diapers and other necessities such as food or transportation. Diaper Depot helps those families stretch their budgets by offering a free package of diapers, and currently serves an average of 173 infants & children each month. Due to COVID-19, a small but dedicated crew of volunteers have been operating our Diaper Depot as a "curbside" service each month so we can continue to serve our neighbors, whose needs are greater now than ever!

    Feeding Ministries

    Much of our community ministry efforts focus on supporting organizations that seek to find solutions to poverty, and more specifically food insecurity. This includes the Green Apple Food Pantry (formerly John Knox Food Pantry), ACCESS of West Michigan, and St. Mark's Cafe. Our ministries include monthly collections as well as special events. During the pandemic, our monthly collections continue as able, and we are supporting many of our ministry efforts with "virtual" events. Even our 16th Annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser went virtual!

    Other Ministries

    Matthew 22:36-40 teaches us that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, and it is our understanding that this means EVERYONE. We strive to show that love in a tangible way through a variety of programs and volunteer events. Reflecting a key phrase of the ELCA, this is "God's Work. Our Hands."

    Who we are

    Two Churches is The Church of the Holy Cross (Episcopal) & Ascension Lutheran Church (ELCA), two Kentwood congregations with a long history of collaboration, who came together in 2014 as one Christian community, worshipping and “being church” together in one building. We are inclusive and ecumenical. We are both Lutheran & Episcopal, yet many of our members & friends come from other backgrounds as well, all finding welcome here. Together, we seek to better understand God’s unconditional love for us all, and to share God’s message of love with the community around us.

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    Meet us Sundays at 10 AM