May 28, 2020

Dear Cornerstone Family,

First of all, I want to tell you how much I miss seeing you!

Lots of folks have been asking, When are we going to reopen?  First, let’s remember Cornerstone never closed!  The work of the church has not taken a break!

Do you realize we have many people joining our livestream service who have never been in our building?  And some who have never attended any church regularly?  Praise God for how he is using this season!

God has a purpose for us in the midst of our current situation.  He continues to work in us and through us.  One of the things I have prayed often for you, is that you would have a sense of what Jesus is doing in your life during this difficult time.

I keep reminding myself that the better question to be asking is not, When is this going end? but rather, What is Jesus doing through this right now?  Let’s keep our eyes focused in the right direction, church!

As our situation continues to change and restrictions are being lifted, we are considering what it will look like for us to enter the next phase of our reopening plan.  I want to answer a few questions you might have.

What is our general plan for reopening our doors?

Here is a general outline of what we anticipate reopening our doors will look like under Governor Wolf’s Reopening Plan. As we enter each phase, we will release specific guidelines for each phase. 

Do we have a date set for our first in-person worship service?

No, we haven’t set a date yet.  We are committed to gathering in person together again as quickly, safely, and legally as we can.

Why don’t we have a date set?

Right now, Chester County is still in the Red Phase of Governor Wolf’s Reopening Plan which means the “stay at home order” is still in place.  Last week the governor announced that he expected to move Chester County into the Yellow Phase on June 5.

Will we be able to have an in-person worship service under the Yellow Phase?

No.  Since gatherings are limited to 25 or less under Yellow, we would not be able to have an in-person worship service.

What about an outdoor service?

I continue to believe this could be a safe option for Cornerstone if we are not restricted from doing so.  As the Yellow Phase is worded right now, there is no distinction between indoor and outdoor gatherings, and so we would still be limited to 25 people or less.

What will we be able to do as a church under the Yellow Phase?

The pastoral staff team has been working this week on some detailed guidelines for ministry under the Yellow Phase.  These will be presented to the elders early next week and once there is agreement, those guidelines will be released to the congregation.

Why are churches in Delaware and Maryland holding in-person worship services? 

Because the governors of both of those states have set specific guidelines that allow for churches to meet.  We are paying close attention to these churches that are opening and are eager to learn all that we can from them.

How did we make these decisions?

Lots of prayer.  Lots of meetings.  Lots of prayer.  Lots of phone calls.  Lots of consultation with other pastors and leaders.  Lots of reading.  Lots of prayer.

What would Satan like to do during this time?

Cause disunity in the church.  Tempt you to judge others for “walking in fear” or for being too “simple minded.”

I realize that some of you will think we are moving too quickly and others that we are moving too slowly.  And while this may be the case, I want to commend the congregation for the unity I have witnessed in our church amidst this pandemic.  There are no easy answers.  There are no quick solutions.  And still my strong sense from the congregation is that you have borne this all with great patience and grace.  Praise God!  Let’s continue to work out Paul’s words in Philippians 2:3-4:

3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.


grace & peace-

Pastor Billy