Church family,

1) A Word on Biblical Community & Sunday School: 

Two of the first verses I ever memorized were from Hebrews 10, verses 24-25: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another– and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

I believed those verses 20 years ago, but after a 12 month dance with Covid-19, I feel the truth of these verses personally. I’ve seen just how hard it has been on individuals to be away from their church family. I’ve seen how disorienting it is to lose regular encouragement from God’s Word and God’s people. 

Losing Biblical community is like severing body parts; the body and each part can’t live long in isolation. Many of you have worked through the challenges of the past year; you’ve been creative in finding ways to press on together. Still, it has been a time of sorrow and grief.

Thankfully, we’ve been able to regather with some ministries in 2021. One in particular that relaunches Sunday March 7 is our 11AM Sunday School hour. What a gift to meditate on God’s Word and Christian theology with brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s like reoxygenated blood pulsing throughout the Body.

2) An Update on Cornerstone Church & Covid Protocols:

First off, I’m thankful to see plummeting Covid-19 cases and positivity in our county, state, country. They say anything under a 5% 14-day positivity is a watershed mark, and we’re at 4.3% statewide and 3.7% in LInn County. (For comparison, I read a Sept. 2020 NBC news report that the seasonal flu is normally around 19%) So too, I know a number of you have had a least one vaccination shot, and others have even had their second. 

How will Cornerstone respond to these positive changes? First, let’s remember forbearance is a virtue and fruit of the Spirit, so let’s be open to each other’s convictions on the losses/benefits of masks. Second, we will continue to provide a mask-required live-streamed worship space in the overflow area in our lobby on Sundays at 9:25AM. The general stance on the rest of the building, Sundays and throughout the week, will be that masks are optional. Most of the sanctuary will continue to have socially-distant places to sit. We also will wait a bit longer before we provide coffee or have any family meals. Lord willing, if these trends continue, we can open up more down the road…

All in all, it looks likely that Easter 2021 will not be Easter 2020; and yet the good news stays the same, Christ has risen from the dead!

I love this church family,

Pastor Matt

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