Important: Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we will be cancelling service gatherings for the foreseeable future. Sermons will still be posted online. Learn more...

 

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Navigating the coronavirus pandemic

Dear Cornerstone Family,

Greetings

     Who knew that the last time we gathered would be the last time for a while?  I know I didn't and am so thankful to have shared that service with those of you who were able to be there.  Like much of life, we don't realize how much we take things for granted until they are no longer available.  While we are still the church, the Body of Jesus Christ, our doors at the Cornerstone Building are closed for our gatherings.  

     I will be updating quarantine impact on Cornerstone gatherings weekly; as soon as the Quarantine measures are lifted everything will resume. In the meantime there will be no public gathering for:

  • Sunday Morning
  • Thursday Prayer
  • Women's Ministry
  • Youth Ministry
  • Any additional use outside of tenant / lease commitments are halted as well.

      We are still the church.  Our Mission has not changed in any way. Matthew 28: 18-20 is still our Lord's direction to His Bride.  My labor, as well as the Eldership to you all in Him remains the same (Ephesians 4:12 / 1 Peter 5:2). This past Sunday we talked about being "Agents of Hope" for such a time as this.  This week I've been uploading videos to help us draw strength, encouragement and direction for other Agent's of Hope found in the Bible.  Our Mission to be the Body of Christ still continues.  How we are doing this today looks different than yesterday; and may end up looking different tomorrow.  And that is ok.  

     During such a time as this we are invited to experience life as the early church had to from time to time.  Whether persecution, famine, disease- quarantine measures are not new with us.  In all of this they kept their eyes on Jesus, received His peace and loved each other well while continuing to reach out God's love as Agents of Hope to those around them.  Ultimately, God is on the Throne and all things are working toward His Will being done on earth as it is in Heaven.  I don't always understand this in how it plays out in life; but I put all of my faithhope and trust in Him.  I trust you God; and I continue to give you my YES!

     As I am writing this letter, Governor Phil Murphy has directed to not have public gatherings of over 50 people along with a curfew of not being out / on the road from 8pm to 5am.  Further, our President is asking Americans to avoid public gatherings of 10 or more people.  Further details can be found in Governor Murphy's Executive Order #103.

     Paul writes in Romans 13 that we are to be subject to the authorities God has placed over us, as He is the ultimate authority.  I know we have varying views on the legitimacy of this concern and measures being taken; however I want to encourage you to join me in leading the way among Christians to honor and pray for our authorities over us as we live these directions out.  As I shared in last Sunday's message; this is a shared human concern that allows us to shine as Agents of Hope in Christ.  We have a further complication with an Urgent Care sharing our facility; which also weighs on my heart with decisions of gathering.

 

What this will look like moving forward (possibly the next 8 weeks) 

     I want to ensure you that both the Elders and me are laboring over you in prayer, love and reaching out throughout the weeks to ensure your needs are met.  This includes physical as well as spiritual.  We want to encourage you to continue to love into each other the same way.  Call one another, text or message as the Spirit leads you to love each other well.  

 

Internally

  • Sunday gatherings are mandated in Scripture and an important ingredient to who we are.  I want to encourage you to keep the 10:30 slot open to connect with us online for worship and a message from God's Word.  Create "watch parties" online or as possible invite someone over to watch and share Jesus.
  • Please continue to worship through giving online.  This can be found on our website tab under giving.  If you are not able or comfortable doing this please mail to: Cornerstone Chapel 620 RT 23 N / Pompton Plains, NJ 07444.  Bills, ministries and our International workers (missionaries) are still in place championing forward God's Kingdom!
  • Purchase grape juice and bread; Observe the Lord's supper together with those around you.  If you are alone, share the moment with me online as we celebrate the family we forever are in Jesus.
  • Weekly emails will continue to keep everyone abreast on week to week expectations and links to all of this resource.  Website is being reformatted to help communicate and link online resources for you if you are not on Facebook.
  • Daily videos will be uploaded as a few moments of encouragement to own the day in Jesus.
  • Bible studies will be uploaded to encourage being in God's Word, Prayer and Community.
  • Thursday live Prayer service online.  I am working to get this up; I will be live on Facebook tonight from 6:30-7:30 for any to connect and post prayer need and just pray with me.  Next week I hope to have an online means where we can interact in place.
  • ZOOM is an online means to connect groups together live with video and vocal.  When I get this up I hope to be able to empower small groups to connect as well to continue to cultivate community as we love, serve and reach each other in Him.

 

Externally

  • God's Kingdom will continue to grow- continue to be a part of this!
  • Know your neighbors and check in on them.  Cultivate a sharing heart with resources you have.
  • Smile and share God's love when you go out to shop.  Many are looking down and determined to avoid interaction.  A smile bridges into anyone's life.  Further, a conversation about Jesus tends to happen after a smile rather than a frown or downcast eyes.
  • Reach out to me and let me know what God has placed on your heart.  Maybe a need arises that we can network together to meet.
  • Share Bible verses and videos that bless you if you are online.  God's Word is the greatest salve to wounds and beacon for hope- be encouraged to share it.  Write letters- yes mail still is moving!

 

Easter Services

I would LOVE to do an outdoor service.  I DESIRE to do an outdoor service.  I am PRAYING we can do an outdoor service.  

If we can we will.  So, dig out that outdoor chair and have it ready.

 

Celebration Meal

     The quarantine will be lifted.  When? God knows.  But I want to be ready.  Like the Wedding Feast we will be attending with Jesus, let us look forward to when we can all be together again to worship are Great and Awesome God!!  More on this will come soon.

     In all things we are to give thanks. Our lives have changed for the time being; some of us have become more busy than ever.  The Sabbath Rest was to be time set apart to refresh ourselves with our Creator; celebrating all that He has brought into our lives and our relationship with Him.  We still have this relationship; now God gets more of our attention.  Give that attention to Him.  Enjoy Him as He does you.

 

Closing

Jesus is still our SaviorSanctifierHealer and King.

Let us live as His Agents of Hope during a time such as this.

If you need anything please reach out to me.  As I noted, both the Elders and me will be reaching out to connect with everyone.  In the Army we had a system called "Buddy Check".  It was a simple way to make sure your buddy was ok.  

So when I call you may hear me say, "Buddy Check".

I and my family love you and are praying for you daily.


"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (self control)" -2 Timothy 1:7

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." -John 14:27

 

In Him Alone,

Damian Mericka