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A few months before COVID-19 complicated our lives, Cornerstone received an eviction notice from our rental facility.  At that time, God gave me this promise from Isaiah 55:12:  “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.”  God’s blessing of joy and peace was evident at our Leadership Team meeting this week.  We gathered to consider input received from the Home Group Survey.  In addition, we shared personal interactions and other information collected about potential rental options.  As a result, we are prayerfully presenting you with three areas of focus for the road ahead.

Keeping our focus on in-person worship services

On September 6 we will meet at Webster’s Corners Park for a worship service picnic.  For the balance of September, we will continue to have in-person worship services at Maple Woods gym.  We are exploring a couple of options for rental space in October and beyond.  UPDATE:  September 8 we received word that SD42 has resumed renting facilities.  We are awaiting confirmation for the rental of Websters Corners Elementary School, starting on October 4.

Continuing our focus on online worship services

For those unable to meet in person, the online worship services will continue to be on our website and YouTube channel.  We are looking into creating a virtual group in which people can participate in online worship together.  If rental space for in person services is unavailable we will accept this limitation and just provide online worship.

Renewing our focus on home group ministry

As a Leadership Team we concluded that it is best not to shift the model of our church.  This means that we will not initiate the Home Group Strategy which proposed dividing up the congregation to meet in homes as decentralized “missional communities”.  Instead, along with our Sunday morning worship service we are renewing our focus on small group gatherings.  Though we have had a couple of “home groups” recently, we need to strengthen and expand these mid-week opportunities for Bible study, fellowship, prayer and outreach.  We are pleased to have Murray Moerman lead a “Home Group Leaders Workshop” on September 8 to help us toward this objective.

It might be helpful to remember that Jesus utilized three realms for His ministry.  Think of times when He taught or celebrated with large groups.  Of course, much of His ministry was spent training a small group.  And He had many one-to-one connections, such as His interaction with Nicodemus.  At Cornerstone we recognize that we cannot rely only on the “large group event” on Sunday morning.  We need Home Groups where we can make disciples who make disciples.  And we also need one-to-one mentoring and accountability opportunities.

Obviously, we need wisdom and even creativity to sustain ministry on each level, given pandemic conditions.  For example, we have created COVID-19 SAFETY guidelines for our services and small gatherings.  And as we remain responsive to God’s guiding voice He will lead us down the road ahead with His joy and peace.