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April 28th, 2020 Update

Good morning Church! Top of a Tuesday morning to you! Well, the the governor unveiled next steps yesterday in terms of dealing with COVID-19.  In terms of "large gatherings" nothing has changed.  We are being asked to continue to limit gatherings to 10 people.  It's anyone guess as to how soon and to what degree that might increase, but as a body we want to be considerate and prepared at the same time.  We have talked a little bit about this as an extended staff and will talk about it more as a governing board, but here is some of what has been "floating around." We can set up our worship center to accommodate about 110 people max if we honor social distancing.  Families could move their chairs closer together. We could offer multiple gatherings. People would be encouraged to wear masks? Hygiene stations would be set up. Offering plates wouldn't be passed. Greeting would be handled cautiously. Probably no separate growth group and youth or children's ministries for a while. Worship gatherings would include children and youth elements. Everything would be wiped down after each gathering.  Live streaming would continue for those not yet ready to return. As we pursue this, it would be very helpful to get your feedback! It would be wonderful if everyone reading this responded to these survey questions, either by replying to this email or sending a separate email to me at imthankful124@yahoo.com : 1. If we are able to return to joining together for worship gatherings in the near future, which statement most closely reflects your intent?   a. I/we definitely plan to attend.   b. I/we would consider attending, and especially if clear guidelines are in place.   c. I/we are unlikely to attend for some time yet and would continue to take advantage of live streaming. 2. If we were to offer a worship gathering at 9:00 AM and 10:15 AM (and stream the 10:15 AM one), and you are planning or at least considering attending, which would you usually attend? 3. If two worship gatherings were unable to accommodate the body with our revised seating options, and we added a Thursday night gathering, would you consider attending it? (Yes, No, Maybe). We are not planning to hold any more Wednesday night Park N Prays in the near future (though now that we know what we are doing, we may have a few Drive In worship gatherings this summer)!  We are inviting the 3 to 8 individuals who were a faithful part of coming to pray through the prayer update each week before the pandemic hit to come to the church and continue to do so, honoring safe social distancing. And we will be delighted to continue to send the prayer update for any to pray through on their own.  (It will be available each Wednesday). Our unofficial April statistics regarding participation and giving are as follows: 1. Views of April worship gatherings ranged from 286 to 405 to date.  We continue to estimate that roughly 450 to 700 different people are checking out the weekly gatherings, though there are some signs that such is starting to decline a little. 2. General Fund giving actually exceeded what we gave last April, and it is likely that we gave a little bit more than we spent this month, leaving us with a balance in our general fund of about $30,000. Thanks so much for your faithfulness!  The longer all this goes on, the more likely that giving will decline; but for now we are rejoicing!  Our governing board approved applying for the PPP loan/grant with the understanding that we would trust that the Lord's hand is in our receiving it or not.  If we are approved, it would be in the amount of roughly $50,000. 3. Alliance missions giving and other missions giving was at about 70% of normal again this month. :(  I continue to urge us to not take giving we regularly provide for missions and re-allocate it.  Generosity beyond our walls is always appropriate and God will always provide. 4. Special giving included $1,200 toward long term live-stream equipment. Pastor Brock has been able to complete his research on what we will need to do this well once people return, and the more official estimate than my previous guesses is up to $7,000.  If you would like to contribute to this need (again, not taking from other areas to which you regularly give), you may designate offerings for "live-stream equipment."  Our board will wrestle with other possible ways for funding, if appropriate. Do you ever wander just what the "new normal" might look like in so many different areas in days ahead?  We are slowing the curve, but this virus will be with us for quite a while and many more of us will likely get it.  Does that create any anxiety in your heart? Do you think masks will be the norm?  Do you think we will look back and say we got carried away or should have done more?  Do you think a simpler, less entertainment oriented lifestyle will continue to grow or that people will go after "the gusto" all the more once we think this has "passed"? Like the data we receive daily, it's all a little bit guess work, because there are factors we just can't accurately assess! Does that frustrate you or humble you or both?  All of my questions remind me, however, of one unchanging answer- Jesus is Lord!  God's got this! The Spirit is always at work!  Sorry to say this so often, but I am not beating a dead horse, I'm riding a live one! Often timing and/or perspective is almost everything in our lives.  May we be patient and faith-filled, loving and kind, salt and light, as we continue to press on! Oh, this Sunday coming we are in the book of Hebrews.  An apt subtitle to the book might be, "Jesus is greater than anything." I am always amazed how the written Word of God that culminates in the incarnate Word of God speaks so relevantly into the little words of our lives! :) In Christ, Pastor Tim

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ABOUT US

Cornerstone Alliance is a part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance network of churches. More information on the Alliance can be found at cmalliance.org

Join us Sunday Mornings at:

9:00 am or 10:45 am

Live Stream  10:45 at: https://www.youtube.com/c/cornerstonealliancemarion

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ADDRESS

2010 Marion Marysville Road

Marion, OH 43302

740-387-3565

 

info@cornerstonemarion.org

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