COVID-19 Update

March 20, 2020

 


March 16, 2020

Dear Cornerstone Family,

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 

I thank my God for you as I remember you in my prayers, asking Him to give you a growing knowledge of Himself, a greater grasp of His infinite love, and an increasing transformation into Christ-likeness.

I am writing to give you an update on Cornerstone’s Sunday services. Our mayor mandated the cancellation of all gatherings of 50 or more as a means of mitigating the reach of COVID-19. In response to that mandate, and to live-out God’s instruction to “be subject to the governing authorities”, we as elders have made the following decision.

Sunday services are canceled, effective immediately, until further notice.

In light of the rapidly changing and evolving information regarding this situation it is difficult to estimate how long this Sunday service cancellation will be in effect. Currently the cancellation runs through March 31st. If that date is extended, you will be informed.

In response to you no longer having opportunity to come to us, we are coming to you. We will stream our Sunday services while this cancellation is in effect. You will be able to access this stream through our website here. Click on the rotator at the top of the page that says “Sunday Morning Online”. You can also find us on our Facebook page here.

As elders and pastors, we want to assure you that we are committed to the following:

  1. Prompt, Clear Communication: We are continuing to watch the situation closely. Decisions made for ministry that affect you will be promptly disseminated through our website and various social media platforms.
  2. Proactively Meeting Needs: Our leadership is seeking God's wisdom through prayer and joint discussion on how to effectively minister to the church body during this time, particularly to those that may have significant need. As those methods come to light, we are committed to doing what we can, and all that we can to meet the needs within the body.
  3. New Ministry Paradigms: There is an obvious challenge before us - the call to practice social distancing to combat the spread of COVID-19, and the biblical commission to make disciples within the context of community. How can social distancing and community co-exist? We are working diligently and thinking creatively on effective ways to decentralize the way we do ministry. I am grateful for the talented, intelligent, and Spirit-led team of elders and pastors at Cornerstone. The Lord is bringing creative ideas to the surface which we will implement as they are refined.

A Redeeming Opportunity

I encourage you (spouses, parents, and singles) to utilize this time of social distancing to practice the privilege of relationship-building and disciple-making within your homes among family and close friends.

What a powerful and impactful Christian response to this pandemic … to turn the consequence of COVID-19 (social-distancing) into the fruit-producing practice of Christ-focused, truth-saturated, home-based centers of discipleship.

And by the way … that has been the plan from the beginning!

Deuteronomy 6:4–7 4“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

Continuing in prayer with and for you.

Pastor Brad

 

WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO KNOW FOR COVID-19

We are pointing people to two websites to stay current on COVID-19 and the impacts on our country and state.

The Center for Disease Control - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services - http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/default.aspx

 


March 15, 2020

Two brief statements to guide our minds and hearts regarding COVID-19

  1. Don't Fear the Future.

Psalm 34:4 4I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

             God does not want you to live in fear. He wants to deliver you from all your fears. Don't fear the future, trust the good God who writes it, even when you don't understand the script.

  1. Don't Ignore the Facts.

Here is one general overarching fact with which to face every situation.

John 16:33 33I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

            This world and troubles are close friends, they hang tightly together. To expect anything different is to disbelieve this explicit statement of Jesus. Those who walk this globe will walk through difficult times. As a believer do not be surprised and upset by difficulties. Trust the overcoming Lord.

Where to go and what to know for COVID-19

We are pointing people to two websites to stay current on COVID-19 and the impacts on our country and state.

The Center for Disease Control - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services - http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/default.aspx

A Few Facts Regarding COVID-19
  • The segment of society that is at a significantly higher risk of becoming seriously ill are older adults and individuals with serious chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease. If you fit within those parameters, you need to take extra care and precautions to reduce your risk of contracting the disease.
  • An infected person can be free of symptoms for an extended period of time, and many of those infected experience only mild symptoms. These two facts contribute to the rapid spread of the disease due to it not being taken seriously.
  • You do not have to be around an infected person to get infected. It can survive for a number of days on a variety of surfaces. Therefore, cleaning and disinfecting high-traffic services is a best practice measure for prevention.
Early symptoms of COVID-19 symptoms (incomplete list)

Fever, cough, runny-nose, shortness of breath. If you are experiencing those promptly seek medical care.

Preventative Measures
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes nose and mouth.
  • Avoid shaking hands and limit physical contact with others.
  • If you are sick, stay at home, except to seek medical care.

What is cornerstone church doing to mitigate the potential of spreading the corona virus?

  1. We are evaluating the situation day by day keeping informed of recent developments.
  2. We are practicing due diligence in the sanitation of this facility.
  3. We have suspended some programming until we see what develops in the weeks to come including:
  • Our children's AWANA program
  • Mid-week youth programs and youth winter camp
  • Our women’s conference.

We will keep you informed of any additional changes and keep up-to-date information on this page and our social media platforms. If we decide to cancel our Sunday morning services for a period of time you will find that decision promptly reflected on those platforms. We have also begun live streaming our services on Facebook for those who will not be able to attend.

We are praying for you and trusting in Jesus.

Pastor Brad Sutter and Elders of Cornerstone Church