Pastor’s Corner – Looking Ahead

Dear Friends,

Thank you all for your prayers this week as the elders and deacons met to plan next steps for welcoming people back to Cornerstone. 

As of today, we have no official date that we will resume congregational worship. Our leadership has decided that we will wait until we hear from State health officials on when gatherings of more than 10 can begin to take place again. We are hoping this is some time in May. It is our desire to begin meeting together again as soon as it is safe but we want to do so in a responsible, well-planned manner. 

As we make these decisions and plans there are some things that I would like to highlight for you:The Session does not want anyone to feel compelled to come back to church. If you are elderly or otherwise at risk, show any symptoms (fever, cough, etc.), or simply would feel safer at home, then we encourage you not to come. We will continue to stream our worship services online.We are planning to offer more than one worship service when we do resume congregational worship. We will reduce the number of chairs significantly in the sanctuary to ensure social distancing.Sunday School will be be suspended through the summer.This will also help us accommodate two services. Our Sunday School leaders are looking for opportunities to meet virtually. A survey will be sent out next week to understand you and your families willingness to return to corporate worship. Please respond to this survey so we can plan accordingly. The Session welcomes all church small groups under 10 to gather in person as long as they observe CDC guidelines. Of course, groups should continue to meet virtually if that is in the best interest of the group. We live in a highly politicized day and age. Everything anybody does, whether in government, church or small business, is highly scrutinized and will continue to be in light of the current state of our world. We are continuing to get mixed and confusing messages all around us. One day we hear one thing that is “fact” and the next day we hear a different message that claims to be “science” and “fact.” So how do we decipher between all these mixed messages? I would like to offer a few thoughts that are helping me process all of these things:Now, more than ever we need to be listening to the voice of God. The way that we do that is by reading, hearing, meditating and studying the Scriptures.  “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.”  (Psalm 119:160 ESV) It is the Word of God alone that is true, unchangeable and is our rule of faith and life. Let us process everything we hear through the enduring Word of truth.Theology is not against science. In fact, good science is good theology. God created the world and everything in it and he gave man wisdom and knowledge to understand and observe His creation. As Christians, we can be champions of good science as a means that God has given us to live in this fallen world and be a part of God’s plan to redeem this world. May the Lord continue raise up good scientists to bring hope and healing to our world! It is perfectly right and biblical for you to hold multiple positions, multiple thoughts and multiple concerns at one time over this present crisis. It is ok to take COVID-19 seriously. It is ok to be concerned about the economic devastation and people’s well-being. It is ok to be worried about government overreach into people’s lives. Let’s don’t fall prey to the temptation that it is not ok to be confused over everything going on in our world. All the more reason we need to look to the one who is good and true – the Lord Jesus Christ! Last, I want to encourage you to continue to ask, “What is God teaching me and my family through this crisis?” God is up to something big. Something big in our lives and something big in this world. May He give us ears to hear and eyes to see what He want us to learn. Below are some wonderful articles that I think will be a great blessing to help you process this question. O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord, with your faithfulness all around you?  (Psalm 89:8 ESV)

By His grace and to His praise,

Pastor Wilson 
Preparation for Worship – April 26, 2020
This Sunday’s sermon: “Jesus is the Good Shepherd” – John 10:1-18
Click here for this week’s bulletin. 
In preparation for the sermon:  “Jesus wanted the doctrine of election to ring in their ears and bring them comfort: “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” Their love may prove fickle, inconstant, and weak. But his never changes.” – Ligon Duncan
Hymn of the week:  His Mercy Is More
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Wilson’s Weekly
It’s Not Often in Life You Get a Do-Over (So Take the Do-Over!)
24 Questions Your Church Should Answer Before People Return
3 Doctrines that Sustain Us in Suffering