A statement regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
from Pastor Todd Garman

Hello Cornerstone Church family!  I am writing today on behalf of our Leadership team of Elders, Council, Staff and Ministry Leaders.   Specifically, I want to inform you of steps we are taking as a church in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation.  

Let me begin with a reminder that we believe in and honor the Sovereignty of God and recognize He is in control of all things.  The Coronavirus does not surprise Him, nor does it cause Him to panic.  As followers of Christ, we have access to tremendous peace in remembering these foundational truths about Him.  We at Cornerstone are not panicked, nor are we embracing a "sky is falling" paranoia.  

In light of this, we do take very seriously His command to care for the people in His church.  We are to care for the vulnerable, the hurting, and the lost.  At this point, information about COVID-19 indicates that there are certain segments of our population that are more vulnerable to Coronavirus than others.  These include the elderly, the sick or those with previously existing medical conditions.  We want to take all necessary steps to minimize the risks to these most vulnerable members of our Body.  

Additionally, primary to our Mission statement here at Cornerstone Church is to Love our Neighbor.  We take very seriously the call on our Body to be proactive in our response to our community.  Part of that call is to consider our neighbors, classmates, co-workers, and friends with whom we share life.  

Furthermore, we as followers of Christ want to set a Godly example of submitting to the  authorities ordained by God over us as a nation, state and county.  There are numerous health and government officials advising limiting large-group gatherings to mitigate contamination and infection by this aggressive virus.  In fact, Ohio governor Mike DeWine recently announced a ban on gatherings more than 100 people.  While he indicated this ban does not include religious gatherings, we want to honor the principle expressed of considering the potential impact of our gathering on our community.  

In light of those three considerations - the calling upon us to care for our Body, our Mission to love our neighbor above ourselves, and our desire to set a Christ-like example of obeying our lawful authorities - we have decided to suspend all large group Cornerstone gatherings for the month of March.  This includes all weekend services, the family meal, the Newcomer's lunch, 657/Quarry and any scheduled event, activity or class.  The building will be closed to non-staff or essential personnel.

We appreciate that there may be some people who question this decision.  However, we would rather err on the proactive side of a response than a reactive one.  If the situation improves sooner than later, we will resume normal ministry gatherings sooner than expected.  If the situation worsens, we may extend the length of our decision to suspend gathering.

Please note:  this is NOT an announcement that ministry will no longer be happening, but rather that ministry will look a little different for the month of March.  We encourage people to continue to connect with one another in responsible ways according to guidelines set forth by health officials. (available at cdc.gov)

Part of our plan to continue ministry here at Cornerstone in spite of suspending all large-group gatherings will be to Live Stream our services beginning this weekend at our normal service times. (CLICK HERE for our YouTube livestream page) We recognize that staying at home and tuning in to a service on our computers or TV's runs somewhat counter to the heartbeat of Christian community to gather and celebrate together.  However, we see this as a temporary solution and not necessarily a long-term church practice.  We will do our best to keep you all updated as developments occur.

Some of you may have questions about specific areas of church life in which you serve or participate. Below you will find a contact list for all Cornerstone Ministry Leaders and their respective areas of ministry.  Please direct any questions to the relevant staff person or ministry leader.  

Cleaning/Prayer - Carrie Covey: [email protected]

Children's - Addie Tice: [email protected]

LifeGroups - Andrew Dempsey: [email protected]

Youth - Dan Greene: [email protected]

Outreach - Beau Bromberg: [email protected]

Events - Tina Milenovic: [email protected]

Livestream - Mitch Marczewski: [email protected]

Livestream - Caleb Sapp: [email protected]

Elders - Gary Orner: [email protected]

Council - Linda Staples: [email protected]

We are looking forward to seeing how the Lord is glorified and honored in these next few weeks.  It is an unusual time in our lives and the life of the church to be sure, but in all things we truly trust God to lead us, guide us and be our source for full and abundant life.  I am confident in our Leadership and our Body that we will remain pressed into Life with Him and with each other!  

Warmly in Him,

Todd Garman