Category: News

Kids SS – Paul’s Joy in Prison

BIBLE PASSAGE: Philippians 1:12-30
MAIN POINT: While he was in prison, Paul told the Philippian church to be joyful.
KEY PASSAGE: Philippians 1:20-21
BIG PICTURE QUESTION: When should we tell others about Jesus? We should always tell others about Jesus even when it is difficult

Paul wrote his letter to the Philippian believers when he was a prisoner at a house in Rome. Paul had planted the church in Philippi about 10 years earlier. The letter begins with thanksgiving and joy, a remarkable response in light of Paul’s lengthy imprisonment. He was waiting to present his case to Caesar, the emperor of Rome.
People began to hear about Paul and why he was a prisoner. The whole imperial guard knew that Paul was in chains because he followed Jesus. Despite what seemed like a series of setbacks, the sufferings Paul faced actually advanced the gospel—and for this reason, Paul was joyful.
No matter what chaos or suffering surrounded Paul, these realities were constant: the gospel was being spread, Jesus was Lord, and Paul knew Him. This eternal perspective was essential to Paul’s peace and joy. God used Paul’s difficult circumstances to spread the gospel and build the church. Paul knew that because Jesus suffered to bring salvation to the world, believers doing God’s work would suffer too.
As you share this story with your kids, remind them that joy is one of the qualities seen in the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22) Explain that joy is delight that comes from knowing and serving God. Paul’s joy was not self-generated. He didn’t muster up joy because he was super-spiritual or naively optimistic about his circumstances. Paul had joy because he was focused on Jesus.
Think about suffering in your own life. How do you typically respond to suffering? What does your reaction to suffering reveal about what you believe about God? What does it reveal about what you most treasure in life? Remind your kids that joy in suffering does not discredit grief and pain, but it gives hope in difficult times. This joy is rooted in the faithfulness of God, who ultimately does everything for His glory and our good. 


Kids SS – The Shipwreck

BIBLE PASSAGE: Acts 27:13-44; 28:11-16
MAIN POINT: God protected Paul in the shipwreck so he could stand before Caesar.
KEY PASSAGE: Philippians 1:20-21
BIG PICTURE QUESTION: When should we tell others about Jesus? We should always tell others about Jesus even when it is difficult.

Paul was in Roman custody because the Jews said things about Paul that were untrue. Paul had stood before rulers in Caesarea and invoked his right as a Roman citizen to appeal to Caesar. So Festus the governor arranged for Paul to go to Rome.

Paul got onto a ship going toward Rome. As if Paul’s journey to Rome had not already been delayed and complicated enough, the ship was caught up in a terrible storm. Paul had warned the crew not to sail from Crete because they would lose everything and die. But they didn’t listen. But Paul still gave them hope. An angel had appeared to Paul. He said Paul would make it to Rome and all of the people with him would survive.

Paul urged everyone on the ship to eat so they would have energy. The sailors planned to run the ship ashore on an island, but the ship got stuck on a sandbar. The waves battered the ship and it broke into pieces; however, all of the people survived and made it safely to shore.

Paul suffered for Christ. In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul listed the kinds of things he faced: beatings, stoning, shipwrecks, various dangers, hardship, sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, nakedness, and other daily pressures. (See 2 Cor. 11:24-29.) Again and again, Paul saw evidence of God’s control over his life and the gospel was advanced.

As you talk with your kids about this story, emphasize that Paul trusted God to keep His promise to rescue them from the storm. He also encouraged the sailors to trust God too. God calls us to trust in His Son, Jesus, who died to rescue us from sin and death, and to tell others this good news. We can encourage others to trust God because we know He is good and in control.


Pastor Post: August 23, 2019

Dear Church Family,

I’m as excited about this year’s fall launch as I have been in a long, long time. We’ve taken some important steps over the past 2 years to strengthen our leadership, focus our mission, and what an amazing gift it has been to see the building transformation and the hiring of Pastor Gary. 

What’s before us? “For the joy, despite the cost, for the family.” Together, let us seek the joy of our Heaveny Father, in sacrificing for King and Kingdom, to see the family of God grow locally and globally. The Church is God’s plan for history. God’s Kingdom will last forever. Let’s make our greatest investments in the Kingdom that will never end; let us do this together!

This Sunday we launch. Please join us for the kickoff celebration and meal at 11AM. We’ll gather in the Sanctuary at 11AM to hear about what’s happening this fall, and then the Church is providing a free meal for everyone! Invite your friends, family, relatives, coworkers, random strangers on the street, neighbors, check out clerks, and anyone you can find. God is up to something at Cornerstone–to God be the Glory!

Click here for a Fall Launch Info Sheet on everything that is launching this year. Sign up for things; pray for everything! 🙂

I love serving as a pastor of this Church!

-Matt



As you head to worship today…

Three Cornerstone Announcements:

1) Supporting Ukraine: Praise the LORD, all but $500 have come in for our 7-member team. A few final ways you can cupport the Ukraine Missions Team are…   

A – Please come to the monthly Congregational Prayer and Praise meeting tonight @6:30PM at the church. We’ll pray over our team.   

B – You can still place a support check in the Offering Box or give online (Memo-Ukraine):  http://cornerstone-marion.org/2017/07/20/give-online/    

C – You can lift up the team by name from now through our return August 10: Jonathan and Meegan Dyrland, Jeff and Laura Olson, Kim Pospisil, Colleen Garnder, & Matt Proctor. 

2) Safe Families for Children: Today, Brett Erickson, director of Safe Familes for Children will join our Worship Service and part of Adult Sunday School to share about this ministry to children, moms, and dads in need. He’ll have a table in the foyer before and after our service. There are many ways to come alongside Safe Families and live out “pure and undefiled religion that cares for orphans and widows in the distress” (James 1:27). More info here: https://iowacitycedarrapids.safe-families.org/


3) Sunday School for the next few weeks:     Today July 21 – Adults and Kids studying Hebrews 11-12     July 28 – Kids learning about Ministry in Ukraine and Adults/Teens having an open “Q&A/Ask Anything You Desire with Pastor Matt.”     August 4 – Kids and Adults separately praying for the Ukraine Team. 


Important Dates for Cornerstone Servants

Dear friends,
Some of you have had the opportunity to rest this summer; others of you still have your hand at the plow. I hope you can find some time to rest over the next several weeks because August is a heavy planning month and then Fall Ministries kickoff soon! I am ever so thankful for serving beside faithful servants of our LORD Jesus Christ. Christ builds His church; He is using you. The Church will last forever; what a privilege to be a part of the enterprise that will go on into eternity.

Leaders, please take note of these key dates (if you are not currently serving as a leader, would you please be in prayer for your Cornerstone servant-leaders?):

Leadership Summit – Monday August 12 @7PM – This is for all elders, ministry directors, ministry leaders, small group leaders, Sunday School lead teachers, and deacons. We’ll discuss the elders’ call to ministry that came out of our summer 2019 retreat, work through Pastor Gary’s plan to strengthen and clarify our volunteer recruitment and leadership development process, and spend time in prayer together.

Sunday School Training – Sunday August 18 @11AM – This is for all Sunday School teachers and helpers working in preK through adult classes.

Small Group Leader Training – Monday August 26 @7PM – This is for all small group leaders, co-leaders, and any perspective small group leader apprentices. Lord willing, we’ll have already started marketing our Fall 2019 small groups. Feel free to have small group kickoffs anytime after August 15 for fellowship, introductions, prayer, etc. We’ll use this time on 8/26 to focus on small group dynamics, small group multiplication of groups and leaders, and how to strengthen our groups’ commitment to Word and prayer.

All Worship Team Membersdon’t forget you have a meeting at 11AM on Sunday August 11th.

All of these meetings will be at the church facility.

You’re dear to me,

Pastor Matt