Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - Update
I am sharing today's update as early in the day as possible. And I am encouraging you to talk with friends you know connected to Cornerstone in some way who are not on our email list, to contact the church office and be added. Email is presently our easiest platform for reaching the most people!
We had a meeting this morning that included pastoral staff, part time ministry staff, and support staff to discuss direction moving forward. It was a very good time together. I am so appreciative of our staff and our leadership team/governing board! Here is what we discussed and decided shared as briefly as possible. But there is a lot going on so I hope you take the time to read all of this! :)
As of today, there will be no ministries or activities here on campus until further notice. We will be providing a full blown live-stream worship gathering each week at 10:15 AM to which we invite you! Invite friends to do the same. Following the live-stream, the worship gathering (complete with all that we normally include in a worship gathering) will also remain available on our youtube channel. Hopefully, we will send out the link each week for connecting. But you can also go to Youtube and search Cornerstone Alliance Church Marion and find it that way. And we are already wrestling with creative things to do for Good Friday and for Easter!!!
We will not be printing a weekly bulletin until further notice but will simply include any announcements in our regular email updates. We will be putting together the weekly prayer insert that has been used by the Wednesday prayer groups as well as been available in the lobby literature display. If you would like to receive this, simply email the church office and it will be sent to you. We will be sending it only to those who request it!
Thank you so much to many of you who have already stepped up to mail in offerings or begin to give online. Sue will be sending out a separate email explaining additional ways you can give. We will be freezing general fund spending (beyond paying staff and utilities and the like). Any additional general fund spending will require specific approval. We realize that for some of us, our available income will be reduced in days ahead, and so that means our giving will be reduced as well. Please know that we are praying for each individual situation and for our church as a whole, that God will supply our needs in Christ Jesus. And where that provision comes from us being the hands and feet of Jesus, let's be faithful! If we need to address cuts for staff here at church at some point, we will do so cautiously and compassionately.
It was just this past Sunday that we announced the transition process that has been set in motion to eventually replace Marlene and me as the senior pastoral couple. The May 2-3 ministry weekend will almost certainly be moved back as will our August 30 hand off. We are committed to making sure this transition is done well, no matter how much longer it may take. We will trust the Lord's timing.
Finally, but very importantly, we wrestled this morning with ways to care for the body during this time. Here is what we came up with:
1. Encourage people more than ever to email prayer requests and praises so that we can rejoice and pray together!
2. Scott Mason, our crisis care coordinator, is making himself available to meet practical needs for those who cannot. He will gladly get groceries for you for example or stop by to help with something you need to have done. We are asking that you contact him directly at his cell number- 629-204-9018. If this gets overwhelming, he will recruit assistants! Please do not hesitate to call if you have a practical need. (Scott will also be overseeing food pantry distributions).
3. We are asking ministry leaders--growth groups, small groups, youth group, children's ministries, Bible study leaders, etc. to keep in contact with those in their groups...make sure they are ok and more. For some, especially if this drags out, talking on the phone together or face timing etc. will be an important care ministry!
4. In addition to the weekly live-streaming of worship gatherings, we hope to put together encouragement/update videos from time to time to send out. And as we become aware of certain resources (from worship music to blogs to great articles) that might prove encouraging during this time, we hope to pass them on...though we don't intend to overwhelm you, so we will stick to that which really stands out to us!
As I have said several times to others today, I don't think this is an adventure I would have asked to have, but I am delighted to go on this adventure with such wonderful people as you! God is still good! Christ is still risen! The Spirit is still at work, longing to draw all people to real hope in Jesus! Be wise! Be light!