Letter from Pastor Billy

November 19th

Dear Church Family,

If you’ve been following the news recently, you might already know that all 3 states in our tri-state area have recently implemented tighter restrictions as the number of COVID cases continues to rise.

In Pennsylvania the Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, issued two orders, a universal masking order and a travel order, both of which become effective this week.

Universal Masking Order

This order requires masks to be worn in a number of circumstances including “indoors or in an enclosed space, where another person or persons who are not members of the individual’s household are present in the same space, irrespective of physical distance.”

No changes will be required for us in our worship service Sunday morning as this is already our practice.  In other situations, such as Children’s Church and small group meetings for instance, we will now need to require masks to be worn even if you are physically distanced.

Travel Order

This order requires anyone coming into Pennsylvania from out of state, including Pennsylvania residents themselves, to quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID test.  While there are exemptions including travel related to work, the order makes no explicit reference for churches or other religious organizations.  The Department of Health has put out a FAQ on this travel order which can be found here.

This is particularly tricky for those us living for in the tri-state area.  The order makes no provision, for instance, for someone living in Landenberg to go to the grocery store in Newark.  And more importantly it makes no clear provision for someone living in Newark to travel to Landenberg to go to church.  I have reached out to the PA Department of Health and to our State Representative to ask for clarification but have not yet heard back.

As we have many families, my own included, traveling to Cornerstone from out of state, I thought it would be helpful to highlight some principles that I am thinking about as I consider how my family will respond to this order:

#1 Doing Our Part to Stop the Spread of this Virus

Jesus calls us to be “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13-14) in the dark world in which we live.  We pray that God will stop the spread of this virus and we look for ways to do our part. We do not want to be a stench to others in our community but salt and light.

#2 Submission to Authorities 

Romans 13:1 calls us to be “subject to the governing authorities” understanding that God is sovereign over all.  We cannot disregard those in authority over us simply because we do not like what they require of us.  We see in the New Testament that the apostle Peter knew when to take a stand against the authorities (Acts 4:19) and when to submit (1 Peter 2:13-14).  We need to ask God to give us the same kind of wisdom.

#3 Biblical Mandate to Meet Together

The author of Hebrews urges us not to neglect to “meet together” (Hebrews 10:25).  We know the importance of fellowship with one another.  We are thankful for the online venues we have but know that it is not the same as actually being together in person.

Let’s prayerfully consider how we respond to this latest restriction.

I want to remind you that our worship service is livestreamed each Sunday and we are committed to continuing to build out our online ministry.

I am so thankful for all the creativity, flexibility, and incredible work ethic that has gone into seeing Cornerstone move FORWARD TOGETHER.  Lots of prayer.  Lots of work.  Lots of love.  We will continue to work together to faithfully pursue all that God has for Cornerstone.

Know that your church family is here for you during this difficult and perplexing time.  Please feel free to reach out and let us know how we can care for you or your family.

 

grace&peace-

Pastor Billy

 

Indoor Worship Services

First time worshipping with us inside our building?  Watch this short video from Pastor Billy.

 

From Pastor Billy  |  22 October 2020

We have resumed our indoor worship services as we seek to move FORWARD TOGETHER this fall!

Thanks to a generous estate gift and the hard work of our volunteers, we’ve made some significant improvements to our sanctuary.  You’ll notice we have a new dual projection system which will allow us to seat people almost anywhere in the room (which is important as we practice social distancing).  We’ve also made some significant upgrades to our lighting which will greatly improve our livestream service.  And we are still at work with a few more updates including an expanded media room to house a second audio board which will also improve our livestream service. 

I recognize that not everyone in the congregation is ready to come back inside.  I want to encourage you to take your time in making a decision as to what is best for you and your family.  Know that your staff and elders remain committed to finding space for the worship of our God and for fellowship with one another.  We will continue to explore options — inside and outside of the box — to see this happen.

As we come back inside, please be sure to check out our Revised Indoor Service Guidelines.  We plan to evaluate these guidelines each week and may make some changes from Sunday to Sunday.

Here are a few important items to pay attention to as we move FORWARD TOGETHER:

 

-1- Masks are required the entire time you are inside the building Sunday morning.

We feel it is particularly important as we come back inside for the first time that everyone wear a mask the entire time they are inside the building.  This might change for future Sundays so stay tuned for more information.  Note that this does not apply to our children in children’s church who will be able to remove their mask once they are seated and socially distanced.

 

-2- There will be a few different spaces in the building to attend the service.

Based on the attendance at our outdoor worship services, we anticipate having plenty of room as we move inside.

Sanctuary: The service will be conducted as usual in this space.  We have an official capacity of 750 in here and with social distancing, we anticipate being able to hold about 175 people.

Fellowship Hall: We will have a livestream feed of the service in here.  This room has an official capacity of 250 and with social distancing, we anticipate being able to hold about 50 people.

Nursery Rooms: We have equipped 3 of our nurseries with a livestream of the service. Registration is not required but if you would like to reserve a room you can do so by emailing the office at office@cornerstonepca.com.

 

-3- Ushers will help you to your seats when you arrive.

We ask that you reserve the seats in the back for those at-risk so that they can be the first people dismissed at the end of the service.

 

-4- You will be dismissed at the end of service.

We ask that you not linger inside but enjoy fellowship outside the building at the conclusion of the worship service.  As the weather gets colder later this fall we will be working on plans for fellowship inside the building.

 

-5- You are invited to join us for our Outdoor Fellowship Time after the worship service.

Join us on the side lawn of the church closest to Gypsy Hill Road for our outdoor fellowship time.  We’ll have snacks and music.  Masks are required if you cannot maintain 6 feet of social distance.

 

-6- Reminder that our Livestream Worship Service will continue indefinitely.

We remain committed to having a quality livestream worship service each Sunday regardless of whether we are inside or outside for the indefinite future.  Thank you to our volunteers who have worked hard each Sunday to make this happen!

 

And with everything let’s keep living out Philippians 2:3 ~

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

 

 

Congregational Update Archives

May 28, 2020     |   UPDATE

March 17, 2020  |  UPDATE 

March 13, 2020  |  UPDATE

March 11, 2020  |  UPDATE