Cornerstone Communication Regarding Coronavirus (3/14/2020)

3/14/2020

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Cornerstone Faith Family,

This is a follow-up email from my previous email that I sent on Thursday morning. Paul, Stephen, and I met together this morning for a time of prayer and to discuss our ongoing response to the coronavirus as a church. We are not afraid, because Jesus is Lord. However, we can assure you that we are taking this seriously, and we do want to proceed cautiously to limit any transmission of the coronavirus out of love and care for one another and our neighbors. Unless something drastic changes in the next 24 hours, Lord willing, we will still gather for worship tomorrow morning at 10:30 AM. We are assessing the situation day by day, but at this moment, with the precautions that we are taking and the guidance provided by local officials, we believe gathering for worship is acceptable. We came to this conclusion based on the following reasons:

1. At this time, the local officials have not mandated that events and gatherings of our size (< 200 people) cease. To honor our governmental authorities, we will heed all gathering restrictions implemented by the local government as well as heed state and federal guidance as well.

2. NISD, PNGISD, and PAISD are all planning to have regularly scheduled school on Monday. That the community still deems it safe for children, teachers, and other workers to report to public school is a good indicator for us whether or not meeting puts us at risk.

3. There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Southeast Texas and no reports of community spread. (Please note, that just because there are no confirmed cases in our area, because what has happened in previous weeks in other countries, we should assume that the virus is present in our community. Proactive measures should be taken now to prevent any possible spread, as reasonable.)

4. We are taking several precautions for our gathering tomorrow and making significant modifications for how we will interact with one another.

• Implementing social distancing; greeting one another with waves and fist bumps instead of hugs and handshakes.

• Modifying the manner in which we will serve Lord’s Supper to significantly minimize any possible contamination.

• Cancelling all pre-church children’s classes until further notice (ROCK kids and K-1st children’s discipleship class).

• Until further notice, there will be no food, mints, or coffee provided on Sunday mornings. Bottle water will still be made available as usual.

• Ensuring that no one present in our gathering is sick or has any reason to think they have been exposed to the virus.

5. We believe that once we are no longer permitted to meet for worship, it will be several weeks at minimum before we can gather together again. While we have the time that we do, we want to gather together as brothers and sisters in Christ to sing, study God’s Word, break bread, and pray. For those of you who have compromised health conditions or are at risk for severe illness, we encourage you to stay at home and worship as a family.

If you believe that to protect and care for yourself and your family, you should not meet with us for worship, please do so freely without any guilt. The entire worship services will be recorded and uploaded on SoundCloud as soon as possible.

In all of these trials and tribulations, our ultimate hope is rooted in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were made and nothing was made apart from Him. He is sustaining all of creation, and He will hold us fast until He returns or calls us home. Times like these make us long for the day of His coming more and more. Come Lord Jesus, come quickly!

We love you, and we are praying for you. Please pray for us and that God will direct the decisions we need to make for us as a church family.

In Christ,

Ryan, Paul, and Stephen


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