Hebrews 10:24-25. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
With the recent "stay at home order" for our county, our consistory met to discuss and pray together about how we should respond to this new restriction as a Church. We agreed that Cornerstone church will continue to provide in-person and online worship services until further notice.
As the elders of Cornerstone, it is our conviction that Cornerstone's ministry and outreach must stay open and active as an "essential" service to our community. We believe that the virus is real and we encourage everyone to practice diligent caution and consideration for one-another. We also believe we must continue to meet together to worship our mighty God, behold the beauty of the Gospel and stir each other up to love and good works.
We respectfully contend for the essential value of the gathered Church; believing that the emotional, spiritual, and physical effects of isolation for many people far outweighs the risk of gathering in-person for Church. It is our conviction that the gathering of the Church is a necessary and essential antidote to the darkness of this virus. While some people can participate and connect with their Church family effectively through our online gathering for a season, there are many who are deeply affected and isolated when the in-person service is not offered.
Please understand, we believe we are called to a posture of loving humility and gentleness, we do not wish to broadcast any sort of message of defiance, or contempt for our governing authorities or those who disagree. Whatever your opinion may be about this decision, we exhort you to embrace this posture in all your interactions. We remember the exhortation in Scripture to be "quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry", we believe this is the posture and way of the Kingdom Jesus calls us into. It is our prayer that we are known as a Church that loves our God unashamedly AND loves our neighbor radically. We do not believe these two values to be mutually exclusive.
With that said, as you consider how you will join us in worship, please note some of the adjustments we will be making to be sure that we are being as diligent and careful about limiting the spread of the virus at our in-person events.
- We encourage face coverings for all inside services, especially when entering and leaving the sanctuary.
- We encourage all attendees to practice social distancing and avoid congregating inside before and after services.
- We ask that if you have been exposed to the virus or are experiencing symptoms to stay home and worship with us online until the recommended quarantine time is complete
- We encourage people without children to consider attending the 10:30 am service to even out the number of people in attendance (there is a much bigger crowd a the 8:45 am service, we would like to have a better balance of numbers)
Finally, I would like to add my own personal note as your pastor. I know that many of the restrictions are a point of contention and frustration (especially masks). I hear you and I feel you! But please consider and pray about the message of defiance we send when we violate restrictions that are uncomfortable but not particularly difficult to obey. As stated earlier, we want to have an attitude of humility and love, what a wonderful picture of love to see someone wearing a mask in Church, not because they think it is helpful or necessary, but because they want everyone who worships with us in-person to feel safe and know they are loved. Perhaps this could be the kind of picture Paul paints for us when he writes about "offering ourselves as living sacrifices--which is your spiritual worship"? (Romans 12:1)
With that said, however you worship with us, we hope you will join us at one of the services, whether in-person or online! This is what we do, we must continue to be devoted to the rhythms and ways of the Kingdom!