Category: News

Christmas 2020 Events

Don’t let these next six words come off trite. God loves you. I love you. We have an amazing God, and I am so thankful to be a part of this church family.

Now onto Christmas…Though the Christmas season may look a bit different in 2020, our great teams and volunteers are working hard to make each week special. Let me highlight 5 ways you, your family, and hopefully some of your friends can join us to reflect on Jesus Christ this season!

#1: Mid-Week Pastor Encouragement Devos – Every Wednesday @12PM  Jump on a short 15-25 minute Zoom call each Wednesday (FIRST ONE TOMORROW!) to hear Pastor Gary or me speak a word of encouragement from God’s Word. Join Zoom Meeting: (Go and download Zoom to your device if you don’t already have it; you can attempt to call in, but sometimes sound issues develop: (312) 626-6799 – Meeting ID: 825 4310 8027 – Passcode: 617256

#2: Join us for our Sunday morning Advent worship services.

#3: A Christmas Carol Singing Night: For those up for a night of singing traditional Christmas carols, we will meet Sunday night December 20th from 4:30-5:30PM. Invite those who love the hymns of Christmas 

#4: A Family Christmas Video: Our amazing worship planning team is putting together a simple 15-25 minute Christmas video that you can use with your immediate and extended family whenever your family meets to open presents, eat, and celebrate Christmas. The video will retell the story of Christmas and be a helpful resource for Christians and those not yet in the Christian faith. You may choose to pass it along to the friends and family you won’t be able to see this year. Look for this around December 22/23.

#5: Christmas Eve Service: We’re planning a “traditional” Christmas Eve service on December 24th at 6:30PM at the church building; we’ll also stream it live via our Facebook page and have overflow seating in the foyer.
I love you. God loves you.

Immanuel has come! Glory!

Pastor Post: November 24, 2020

Dear Church Family,

In the bleak midwinter of sin, doubt, and shame, 

Our Father sent His Son, to bring glory to His name.

A holy life lived as the sacrificial lamb,

Our propitiation before the great I AM.

Savior, He is, Savior, He was, Savior He will be,

A gracious gift of love for you and me. 

We’ll have two gatherings this week…
   #1: Join us at 10AM on Thanksgiving for a “Good Morning Church” Zoom Call:
   #2: We’ll meet Sunday at 9:25AM for our Church Gathering in-person, online, and in our overflow room (no change to our Covid-19 protocols).

I also dropped a new YouTube encouragement video: 

I’m thankful for you!

-Pastor Matt

Recent Marion Mask Proclamation & Cornerstone (10/1/2020)

Dear Cornerstone Family,

Blessings to you as we continue to walk through these very unusual days. We have been so encouraged to see how you are pursuing God and caring for one another in the midst of such great challenges. We trust you are in a good place; if there are some felt needs, let us know. We seek to be with you and help in any way we can.

We also wanted you to be aware of the recent proclamation by Nicolas AbouAssaly, Marion’s mayor, regarding face coverings (attached). The Mayor writes to “urge, strongly advise, and recommend” the use of face coverings in all public spaces (with a few listed exceptions). Our heart is to honor this request. Our practice will remain the same as before; we leave it up to you as to how you personally proceed. You will notice as you enter the building this Sunday a sign on the door calling attention to the Mayor’s recommendation.

Update (11/1/2020): Moving forward, we ask that our people wear a mask entering and exiting our foyer. *People with breathing problems, non-school age kids, and those who can’t remove the mask without assistance should not wear one.* We have a mask-only worship space set up in our foyer; our sanctuary worship space will remain mask-optional.

Please know that the Facebook live stream continues every Sunday and is available to you if you are unsure of attending in person.

May the world see Christ in us as we extend the same grace we have received to each other. We do this in the way we love one another as Jesus commanded us (John 13: 34-35).

Blessings to you all,

Pastor Gary for the Elders

Pastor Post: 8/27/2020

Dearest Church Family,

Our Sovereign Lord reigns over hurricanes, derechos, riots and viruses. He pours grace down on the broken-hearted; he sustains the weak. The world needs to know our crucified and risen King; we need to know Him and find daily life through Him. To that end, our fall ministries are not incidental. Rather, these are God’s means of grace to hold us together as a church family and to hold us up as children of our heavenly Father. 

Human history (God’s history!) has never had a day where His people didn’t face plague, natural disasters, political unrest, and persecution. It is in these very times when God’s people of light stand in contrast to the darkness that envelopes the world. Now, as much as ever, we need to cling to Christ, to one another, and to our mission to make disciples. So, how will you serve? How will you invest? For whom will you pray, share, and minister?

Opportunities abound…

#1: Fall Sunday School Classes start this Sunday (8/30)! – Sunday School will run 10:50AM-11:50AM. A large adult class studying The New City Catechsim will meet in the sanctuary to allow for social distancing. Another adult class called B.L.E.S.S. that focuses on training you for personal ministry will meet in room 101. PreK-high school will have their own classes. Note that the ability to social distance in the younger classes will be unlikley. You can choose to exclude your child or have them wear PPE.

#2: Small Groups launching in September!  Click below for a full list of small groups and bible studies. Please check with the group leader(s) if you plan to join them. Groups are launching in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd weeks of September.

#3: Alpha begins Sunday night September 13th @5:30PM! Many of you met new neighbors in the aftermath of derecho; others of you have family and friends disconnected from God or a church home; and others have coworkers interested in spiritual things. Alpha is a perfect first step for people wanting to investigate the big questions of life, God, and Christianity. Would you invite them to join us Sunday nights in September? (Free meals, childcare, and open conversations will be available every week!) We’d love for people to sign up in advance to be prepared for food and childcare. So sign up here: More information on Alpha is available at

Please stay in touch; know that I love you.
-Pastor Matt

Derecho Recovery Update – 8/20/20

Dear Cornerstone Church,

Derecho came roaring through our city and taught us a major lesson: Any thoughts we had of control were only an illusion. Our hope is in trusting the One who is in control – the Almighty God – who loves us and always has our best interests at heart for His glory.
I am grateful for all of you, the members and friends of Serve The City, who display our hope in a sovereign God. Thank you for being the church and serving our community in the aftermath of Derecho’s destruction. We will continue sharing information with you to assist you in getting help or for you to know how to serve our community.
NEW: Linn Area Partners Active In Disaster (LAP-AID) PDF

Church Storm Resources PDF — Updated Aug 20, 2020
City of Cedar Rapids Storm Resources PDF
I am thankful Marcus Bratsch, associate pastor at River of Life Church, has volunteered to be our Derecho Storm Recovery Coordinator. Charles Daugherty, former STC Executive Director, will be assisting Marcus. Any inquires can be directed to Marcus via his phone: 320-905-0279.
On another note, our search for a new Executive Director continues on with applications being accepted until August 31.
Please pray for our search committee and board to recognize the person God has raised up for this position. This a critical time for the Kingdom work God has for us to accomplish. More than ever, we need to pursue unity and health in Christ that leads to collaborative efforts of prayer, care, and share to win our city for Christ. 
Abiding in Christ,
Bob Westfall, Chairman
and your STC Board
Thursday, Aug 20, 2020
Chainsaw Training
Eight Days of Hope is doing chainsaw training. This is primarily to train folks to serve on their teams going out and cutting trees throughout the area. Beginner classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm at St. Mark’s. They need to call the hotline at 662.255.7565 to register.

Salvation Army
The Salvation Army needs volunteers. Major Halstrom needs people who specifically have these skills: Food service experienceCooking/culinary experienceEmotional and spiritual careIf churches or non-profits have these folks, have them contact the Salvation Army directly at 319.364.9131 or

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief has chainsaw teams in Cedar Rapids. Requests for Chainsaw Teams are being taken in the hallway between our buildings at Immanuel Baptist (1900 F Ave NW), or by email to or by phone at 319-360-4256. If requesting in person, please wear a mask and observe social distancing.

Linn Area Partners Active In Disaster (LAP-AID) – United Way
See the LAP-AID PDF for the latest information from the United Way of Eastern Iowa about volunteering, donations, shelters, and food resources.