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Weekly Update 4/2/2020

Friends,

We have lost our natural rhythms of life. We’ve lost our normal patterns of giving and receiving encouragement. We’ve lost our normal ways of serving people with our gifts. And yet, Christ’s Church is a body made up of many invaluable parts (see 1 Corinthians 12). Together we use our gifts to build up the body and serve the LORD. If we quit using our gifts for one another, our souls will shrivel and we’ll miss out God’s plans and purposes for good works (Ephesians 2:10). 

With normal and natural ways on hold, would you creatively think of fresh ways to use your gifts and serve the LORD? For example, could you commit to make 5 personal contacts each day, such as, write a letter, initiate a video chat, make a phone call? Would you offer to shop for someone in need? Give blood? Sew some masks? Donate to an organization or ministry? Post a video or write a message sharing how God is sustaining you in this season? May God use us as we use our gifts for Him.

1) I’m preaching Job 19 this Sunday during our Facebook Live service at 9:30AM–https://www.facebook.com/cornerstoneefca/ (service bulletin attached, join us online 5-10 minutes in advance to say “hello”).

2) Another mid-week pastor encouragement video has been posted on YouTube: https://youtu.be/pwyR1P6urp0

3) Join us online at 6:30PM tomorrow (Friday, 4/3) for Church Family Encouragement and Prayer. Instructions on how to participate here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NmJHOA3M6D0vxO8Y8lg2Fr8yHSMEm9axThhGhNA6MAk/edit

4) Our Good Friday Service with Northbrook Baptist will be held on our Facebook page at 6PM, Friday April 10.

5) Pray for Resurrection Sunday. Most likely this will be held online, and we’ll have to wait for a joyful corporate gathering down the road. We grieve over this, but we grieve with hope.

6) Thanks for your continued prayers and financial support of Cornerstone Church. We’ve already assisted two families and expect more opportunities in the coming weeks. To give, you can use online giving options (http://cornerstone-marion.org/2017/07/20/give-online/) or you can send any checks to 925 Blairs Ferry Road, Marion 52302. Our finance team is counting monies received every Wednesday.

Nothing is meaningless, no labor is in vain,

Pastor Matt

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We CAN worship together this week…

Dear Church Family,

I miss you; your faces, smiles, prayers, and praises. Know that the LORD is near the brokenhearted, and He promises to draw near to all who draw near to Him.
Here are some ways to stay connected to the life and ministry of Cornerstone Church:

1) Join us for a Live Online Worship Service, Sunday @9:30AM – If you go to our church’s Facebook website around 9:25AM (https://www.facebook.com/cornerstoneefca/videos), we will have a live service beginning at 9:30AM this week. Click below for bulletin.

A few other details:   

1) You DO NOT have to have Facebook to watch  (if you don’t want to create an account just close out the suggestion from Facebook).    

2) If you do have an account, make sure you like Cornerstone Church’s Facebook page and feel free to share our plans with others.    

3) If you have problems listening or viewing, the video will be on Facebook immediately at the end of the service and we’ll post an audio of the service A.S.A.P. on our website.    

4) Please reach out to anyone you know that could use help getting technologically set up. Maybe they could join you in your living room.

#2: Online Church Family Encouragement and Prayer Service, 7PM this Wednesday 3/25. We are going to use the platform GotoMeeting (you do not have to pay anything to use this tool).

#3: Online Resources:  The elders are committed to your spiritual encouragement. You will find various Covid-19 updates and 2-3 personal and family devotionals added each week to this webpage: http://cornerstone-marion.org/about-us/cornerstone-social-distancing-resources/

#4: Church Finances? Some people have asked about money matters related to our church. First off, the LORD has provided a buffer in our savings account for such a time as this. So too, we are committed to help meet the financial needs of those in our church family. If you plan to give throughout this season without public gatherings, you can send checks in the mail (925 Blairs Ferry Road, Marion, Iowa 52302) or give online. Click here for more details.

God will hold us,

Pastor Matt

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Encouragement from Pastor Matt

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Cornerstone Gatherings & the Corona Virus

Hello Cornerstone Church family,
If your week has gone anything like mine this week, you’ve been hearing all kinds of things about the Covid-19 coronavirus. It quickly took over the news cycle and has been on the mind of almost everyone I’ve talked to. I have a new life verse after this week: James 4:8. It begins “Come near to God and he will come near to you…” I’m thankful that in this time of high anxiety all around me, I know that God is always with me and never runs away. But the verse continues: “Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Good advice! Who says the Bible isn’t relevant to our daily lives!
In all seriousness, I did want to write about a few things you might consider as we gather together this weekend for worship.
1. Elbow bumps instead of hugs: That’s good advice whenever you’re sick or might be, but especially at this time when there is a higher level of anxiety, it’s really best to follow the CDC’s recommendation and avoid close contact. Some of the folks that attend on Sunday are at a higher risk of complications from any infection, coronavirus or otherwise, and in respect for them and for others, let’s try fist bumps, elbow bumps, even foot-fives. 
2. If you’re sick, stay home: That’s been my mantra to my employees this week, and that’s my encouragement to you as well. We love you and will miss you for a week, but for the good of others and for your own good, it is really a good idea to stay home if you have any signs of sickness, especially a cough or a fever.
3. If you’re anxious about being in large groups, it’s okay to stay home. Hebrews 10 tells us to not forsaking the assembly together, but if you are concerned about being in a large group at this time, it’s perfectly okay to take a week or two off. We understand.
4. Take communion in a new way: Pastor Matt wrote about how we are doing things a little different this week with communion. Instead of reaching your hand into the plate for the bread, you can receive the bread by having an open hand and the server (with exceptionally clean gloves hands) will give you a piece. Of course, we already have single serve cups, so that won’t change. 
Also, if you would rather pass on communion for awhile, that is perfectly acceptable.
5. Be not afraid. God is with us. The world around us loves to make people worry. Someone said Worry is the act of “imagining a future without God in it.” But our God is more powerful than any virus or any crisis. We can trust Him. Come near to God and He will come near to you.
I hope you understand that this email is not written out of fear, but is just our desire as an elder board to let you know that we care about you, and we want you to feel comfortable at Cornerstone, knowing that we all can love each other well. I pray that all of these precautions will make us creatively interact with each other in love. God can even use Covid-19, that will in the next several weeks drive communities apart, to bring us together in hope and love.
If you have any questions or concerns about this weekend, or about Cornerstone’s response to what’s going on, please feel free to reach out to an elder individually or by writing theelders@cornerstone-marion.org.
Love you all. God bless.
Randy Pospisil – for the Elders of Cornerstone Church

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Pastor Post: Sickness, Sovereignty and Covid-19

Dear Friends,

Psalm 90, verse 12, teaches us to number our days in order to walk with wisdom. For most of us, death is a far off land that we plan to never visit. Others face it everyday. The global and local arrival of Covid-19 has us all aware that life is a precious and fragile gift held in God’s sovereign hand. You and I will live all the days the LORD has planned for us–no more, no less. As Jesus walked the earth, he was approached on a certain occasion to speak to some national crises. This is how Luke covered this encounter:

Luke 13:1-5 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them– do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.

There’s something worse than dying of the coronavirus, something worse than dying at the hands of evil governments. We can die unrepentant before the LORD. We can die without hope. We can die without the forgiveness Jesus purchased on the cross and declared good and certain for all who believe at His resurrection. Unless we repent, we will all perish. But if we repent, we will never really die; we’ll live forever with our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, forever and ever, Amen.


Click Here to Read an Important Announcement Regarding Covid-19 and Communion (and some other church items)