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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