Ways to Get Involved
Discover Your Place in Our Vibrant Community
We believe there are 4 key components to being a part of Cornerstone Church…
It’s a simple (but not simplistic) process, as easy to remember as the ABCs:
Adore God: We believe the best place to start growing in a relationship with God is during our weekly corporate worship service on Sunday mornings. We gather to adore God in prayer, praise, and in the hearing of God’s Word.
Belong to the Family: We believe weekly fellowship in a Cornerstone small group is necessary to develop loving relationships and to grow in deep intimacy with brothers and sisters in Christ.
Contribute to God’s Work: We believe ministry both inside and outside the local church is a healthy outgrowth of a growing relationship with God. Each of us has the privilege of using our time, talent, and treasure for the Kingdom of God. (More info on financial support here: https://cornerstone-marion.org/donate/).
Draw others to Jesus: We believe God desires all His children to develop a lifestyle of formal and informal evangelism and discipleship. This final “step” has no end point. This is the journey God has for us–to be salt and light for those around us.
See also the Pastor Recommended Reading List at this link: https://cornerstone-marion.org/docs/Recommended_Reading_List.pdf
God’s Plan for Salvation
Do you know God’s purpose for your life? God loves you and wants you to experience peace and life – abundant and eternal. If you want to learn how to receive what God wants to give you, these Steps to Faith will help explain how to do just that.
God’s Purpose: Peace and Life
God loves you and wants you to experience peace and life–abundant and eternal.
The Bible says…
- “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” -Romans 5:1
- “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” -John 3:16
- “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” -John 10:10
Why don’t most people have this peace and abundant life that God planned for us to have?
The Problem: Our Separation
God created us in His own image. He did not make us as robots to automatically love and obey Him. God gave us a will and a freedom of choice.
Our first parents, Adam and Eve, chose to disobey God and go their own willful way. We still make this choice today. This results in separation from God.
The Bible says…
- “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” -Romans 3:23
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:23
Our Attempts to Reach God
People have tried in many ways to bridge this gap between themselves and God…
The Bible says…
- “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” -Proverbs 14:12
- “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” -Isaiah 59:2
No bridge reaches God…except one.
God’s Bridge: The Cross
Jesus Christ died on the Cross and rose from the grave. He paid the penalty for our sin and bridged the gap between God and people.
The Bible says…
- “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.” -1 Timothy 2:5
- “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” -1 Peter 3:18
- “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8
God has provided the only way. Each person must make a choice.
Our Response: Receive Christ
We must trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and receive Him by personal invitation.
The Bible says…
- “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” -Revelation 3:20
- “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” -John 1:12
- “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is LORD,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” -Romans 10:9
Where are You?
Will you receive Jesus Christ right now? Here is how you can receive Christ:
- Admit your need (I am a sinner).
- Be willing to turn from your sins (repent).
- Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.
- Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit. (Receive Him as Lord and Savior.)
How You Might Pray
Dear Lord Jesus,
I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
God’s Assurance: His Word
If you prayed this prayer with sincerity and faith in Jesus Christ,
The Bible says…
- Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” -Romans 10:13
Did you sincerely ask Jesus Christ to come into your life? Where is He right now? What has He given you?
- “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” -Ephesians 2:8, 9
If you have any questions or want to share your decision we encourage you to contact anyone at the church.
Receiving Christ, we are born into God’s family through the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit who indwells in every believer. This is called regeneration, or the “new birth.” This is just the beginning of a wonderful new life in Christ. To deepen this relationship you should:
- Read your Bible everyday to know Christ better.
- Talk to God in prayer every day.
- Tell others about Christ.
- Worship, fellowship, and serve with other Christians in a church where Christ is preached.
- As Christ’s representative in a needy world, demonstrate your new life by your love and concern for others.
SOURCE: Billy Graham Evangelical Association, 1999
Believer’s baptism is one of the two ordinances commanded by Christ. It is a time of special meaning for each person being baptized as well as for the whole church that shares this time of joy. We want to make each baptism service one of the most memorable spiritual experiences of your life. Baptism is a public declaration of a believer’s commitment to Christ. The symbolic meaning is explained in Romans 6:1-4 and is best portrayed in baptism by immersion. When a person goes under the water, he/she identifies with the death of Christ to come up out of the water is symbolic of the resurrection of Christ out of death. Baptism is an act of obedience (Matthew 28:18-20).
What does the doctrinal statement of the Evangelical Free Church of America say about baptism?
“… The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.” (Article VII)
Why Become a Member
At Cornerstone, we make a distinction between “members,” “regular attendees,” and “guests.” The word “member” is a rich Christian word that goes back to the early Church. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:12 “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ” (ESV). As such, members are those who have covenanted to share in the life and ministry of the body of Christ here at Cornerstone Church. If you’re not a member, then you’re choosing to remain to some degree separated from our church family, and separated from the maturity, protection, accountability, and care that comes with being an active part of the church. This may not make much difference for visitors and non-Christians, but Christians who consume rather than commit to a local church do a disservice to Jesus’ body (the church) and themselves. Members, on the other hand, participate as the church: sacrificing time, talents, and treasure; committing to the care and community of their fellow members; and submitting to the authority God has established to lead our congregation (Hebrews 13:7).
What are the Responsibilities of a Member?
All Church Members should consider it a duty and a privilege to:
- Attend congregational services and meetings regularly.
- Use their spiritual gifts for the furtherance of God’s work through this congregation.
- Endeavor, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to grow in Christ-likeness in order to honor Him and reflect His character to the world.
- Pray regularly for the pastors and elders, the congregation, its ministries and missionaries.
- Give regularly of their tithes and offerings to support the work of the Lord through this congregation.
How do I become a Member?
To become a member of Cornerstone Church, we ask that you attend a Membership Class. These classes are offered on a need basis. When a few people have expressed interest in membership, we will host a Membership Class. This class is a great way to learn more about what Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church believes and also the history of our church. All born-again believers who feel God has led to them to be part of this church body are encouraged to attend this class. Contact an elder or Pastor Matt if you are interested in becoming a member of Cornerstone Church.
What is child dedication?
A child dedication is a short element of a Sunday morning worship service where a child (often a young infant) is dedicated to the Lord and prayed for by parents and the church. The dedication of a child to the Lord is an important statement by the parents and the church family. It says that this child belongs to God and that the parents are covenanting before God to raise their children to know, love, and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Likewise, during a child dedication service, the body of Christ promises to come alongside the child to help them believe and follow the Lord. Salvation, however, is only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. The dedication is simply an act of faith on behalf of the parents and faith community. Thus, dedicating your child to God does not guarantee them a place in heaven.
If you are interested in having your child dedicated in a worship service, please contact Pastor Matt or an elder. If you’d prefer listening to a 15 minute sermon on “What is a Child Dedication?” you can click this link and download a message from 2012: www.cornerstone-marion.org/ser
What does dedicating a child mean for the parents?
In dedicating their child to the Lord, parents are stating that they are willing to provide a spiritual nourishing environment in their home. Accomplishing this is a challenge that will take great spiritual exertion. Providing the home our children require will demand:
*participation of ourselves in the things of the Lord;
*preparation of ourselves to live godly lives
*planning how to educate our children regarding the things of the Lord.
That will not happen automatically. If we are not intentional as to how we will teach them, it may not happen.
Our guide is what Deuteronomy 6:4-7 tells us. It informs us that as we go about life, when we sit in our house or when we walk along a path or when we lie down to rest or when we rise up, we are to teach our children the truths of God. Proverbs 22:6 adds to our understanding by telling us (paraphrased),
It is the duty of the parents, through prayer and the moving of God’s Spirit, to create a taste or desire for the things of God in a child, in accordance to him, to his peculiarities, his interest, his individuality, his ability, and his age level. Then Lord willing, when the child becomes mature, he will not depart from his spiritual training.
As parents agree with and desire (with the Lord’s help) to commit to the above, we stand ready to affirm them in their desire by the public dedication of their child before our congregation. We also commit to providing Biblical instruction and loving care to nourish children in the ways of the Lord. We will pray that each child, at an early age, will come to personal faith in Jesus as Savior and commit to following Him throughout his or her life.
How is child dedication different from infant baptism?
Child dedication makes no claim of salvation for the child, nor does it symbolize entrance into the church body. Infant baptism was developed in early church history as a means to insure the salvation of infants before they could make a personal decision to trust Jesus Christ and become Christians. It was believed that if a child died, through baptism, he or she would be assured of a place in heaven. We believe, however, that Scripture suggests that if infants should die before they reach an age at which they can understand the Gospel, God’s grace receives such ones to His care. As in 2 Samuel 12:23, when King David, after his child dies said, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
Scriptural examples regarding Parent/Child dedication.
The tradition of Parent/Child dedication has ancient origins in the Bible. The Israelites, on the 8th day of a child’s life, brought their children to the priest for a blessing. Hannah brought Samuel to Eli, the priest, to dedicate him to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:21-28). Mary and Joseph brought baby Jesus to the temple for his dedication (Luke 2:21-40).
We support these missionaries and organizations:
Kent & Jan McKinnon, with International Messengers and T-Net. They explain their own ministry with these words: Our hearts are to love people to Jesus. We practice lifestyle evangelism and are always looking to connect with neighbors, grocery shop clerks, postmasters, people we meet as we do life. It’s a wonderful journey.
Larry & Jill Couch are full-time missionaries with ReachGlobal and their current assignment is in Greece. They work with a ministry team to provide church planting, worship and outreach/discipleship opportunities.
Steve & Meg Collier are full-time missionaries serving with Send International in Ivano-Frankivsk Ukraine. They engage in youth work, church planting, and pastoral encouragment.
Eric & Miriam Hesse have been serving in Berlin since 2015. The colead Novo’s Berlin Team (www.novo.org). Their vision is to see God transform Europe through catalyzing disciple-making movements among the 190+ nations in the Berlin metro area. Eric is a team leader for Novo & works in pioneer church planting and training leaders through MultiplyBerlin. Miriam is a Spiritual Director serving missionaries around the world.
Ethan & Heidi Ford work for The Navigators under the Collegiate Department. They work with Coe and Mt. Mercy students. Their vision coincides with the Navigator’s calling which is, “To advance the gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom into the nations through spiritual generations of laborers living and discipling among the lost.
A ministry of Bethany Christian Services, Safe Families for Children provides host families to children whose parents are experiencing a temporary crisis. Host families include singles, married couples with children of any age, and empty-nesters who make room in their hearts and homes for children in need. If you are interested in learning more about SFFC, please contact them at email@example.com or visit www.safe-families.org.
Love INC (In the name of Christ) of CR. It networks with churches across denominational lines and leverages our collective impact to bless those in need in our community. Cornerstone partners with 9 other churches in the Cedar Rapids Metro Area. Visit their website for more information.
Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center exists to empower choices for life through Christ-centered education and support. More info available at: http://bridgehavencr.org/
Representing over 50,000 people from 75 unique churches, ministries and businesses, Serve the City promotes unity and collaboration to see our area won for Christ. Launched in 2004, STC is composed of 25 different Christian traditions, all working together to reach the greater Cedar Rapids area with the love and hope of the gospel.
The purpose of Serve the City is to pursue unity and health in Christ that leads to collaborative efforts of prayer, care and share. It is our belief that we are “better together” in honoring Christ and seeking the good of our city. Serve the City exists to unite believers, provide a forum where unity in Christ can be demonstrated, and live out who we are in Christ in order to honor God, point people to Christ, and, most importantly, to the local church. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” (Psalm 133:1 NKJV)
Serve the City exists as a platform for pastors, church leaders, businesses, ministries and other followers of Christ to practically serve their neighbors together. STC is a “way” to answer two important questions: What can we do together that we can’t do alone? What can we do better together?
Serve the City has monthly speaker meetings – most are luncheons with two breakfast meetings this year. Other concerts and events are scheduled throughout the year. For more information, go to https://www.servethecity.org/ or contact MaryLou Erlacher at maryouerlacherATgmail.com.
In 2016, we launched our Faith and Work Ministry, though a generous grant from the Kern Family Foundation.
The purposes of the Faith and Work Ministry are to strengthen our Cornerstone Family by providing:
· a broader look at God’s Story through the lens of Faith and Work
· a more profound understanding of our roles in God’s Redemption of His Kingdom.
We have 3 main initiatives:
- The B.L.E.S.S. learning Community: A 10 month long leadership development course for those wanting to better understand “Vocational Faithfulness” to serve home, work, neighbor, and nations.
- Reading Groups: Small gatherings of those seeking to better understand how Monday-through Saturday connects with Sunday faith.
- Praying for and celebrating vocation in our corporate worship services.
If you want to learn more about Faith and Work Integration, here are some resources:
Our Calling and God’s Glory by Gene Edward Veith
Cornerstone Youth Group (7-12th grades)
Mark Eades and our volunteer staff host weekly gatherings (usually 7PM each Wednesday night) and various ministries for our middle school and high school students. There are also holiday events, retreats, and service opportunities throughout the year. See the bulletin and calendar for upcoming events.
11:00AM Sunday School
We offer a variety of classes for kids, youth and adults.
Our current main lessons for our Pre-K through 12th graders comes from Truth78. The “78” comes from Psalm 78. Psalm 78 reinforces the vision of one generation faithfully passing the truth on to the next so that the next generations will indeed, “set their hope in God” (vs 7).
Current Classes/Lessons from Truth78
HIGH SCHOOL: OPEN MY EYES.
MIDDLE SCHOOL: THE BOOK OF MATTHEW.
UPPER ELEMENTARY (~grades 2-5): IN THE BEGINNING, JESUS.
LOWER ELEMENTARY (PREK-1st grade): JESUS, WHAT A SAVIOR
NURSERY (3 years old to PREK): JESUS, WHAT A SAVIOR.
Our nursery ministry is available each Sunday during the 9:25AM worship service and 11AM Sunday School. There is a changing station and a Nursing/Quiet Room available in the nursery for your convenience. Our nursery is open to infants through age 3. If possible, go grab your kids between the end of the worship service (approx. 10:40) and the start of Sunday School to give our nursery volunteers a quick break.
Children’s Church is a children’s ministry during the sermon portion of the Worship Service. If you have children ages 4-5, they are welcome to join Children’s Church for a short Bible story, songs, snack, and playtime. Listen for the announcement during the worship service that dismisses the children (usually prior to the message).
One of the core ministries of Cornerstone Church is our small group ministry. We desire each person to be in community with 6-12 people on a regular basis, praying together, reading God’s Word together, and ultimately sharing life with one another to the glory of God. These groups meet throughout the week. Many of these groups are intergenerational. We don’t have groups designed for particular life stages, but we do have a place for you whether you are single, married without kids, married with kids, or an empty-nester.
Some of the key verses that speak to the need for Biblical community are:
Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Ephesians 4:2-3 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Don’t forget Sunday School every Sunday at 11AM. More info here: https://cornerstone-marion.org/sunday-school/
Other adult ministries include: Retreats, conferences, accountability groups, prayer groups, baby showers, men’s and women’s outings.
Cornerstone Church provides premarital and married couples invaluable support and encouragement to grow closer to Christ and one another.
This ministry focuses on three kinds of couples:
1) Fragile couples: these couples are devitalized and need some insight and encouragement at a critical point in the marriage.
2) Flourish couples: these couples need coaching to take their marriage to the next level of intimacy, commitment, and Biblical fidelity.
3) Future couples: these are couples either dating or engaged who desire to understand the fundamentals of a Christ-centered marriage.
To request a mentor or find out more information, please contact Pastor Matt or David and MaryLou Erlacher.
At Cornerstone, we believe giving is an act of worship and a way to honor God. Whether it’s a tithe, an offering, or a donation, we believe that every contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in the lives of those we serve and in furthering God’s work in the world. We understand that everyone’s financial situation is unique. We encourage our community to share what they can with a joyful and grateful heart. We are grateful for your support and thankful for your generosity.
We also want to emphasize that giving should never be a source of stress or pressure. Giving should come from a place of abundance, not scarcity. If you cannot share now, we completely understand and encourage you to prioritize your needs and financial well-being. Our church community is here to support and uplift each other, regardless of our individual financial circumstances. So please, do not feel any pressure to give beyond what you can. We are grateful for your presence and participation in our church, regardless of your giving ability.
For those looking for it, our online giving area can be found here.