by: King Smith
1 As the deer pants
for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.
5 Why, my soul, are
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
There is something deep within the people of God that creates a desire to worship Him together. Of course, I believe that is the Holy Spirit. Our God is relational, so it makes sense that we would be relational as well. Whether we are naturally extroverted or introverted as individuals becomes irrelevant. There is an emptiness we feel when we cannot meet with other believers. Some need this connection almost daily. Others can go a long time without it. But eventually, every believer feels that “tug” to be part of the festive throng.
Our country is facing its greatest crisis since 9/11. For those that were around then, we remember how churches were packed for at least a month following the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon. Unlike that crisis, we are unable to meet! It’s wonderful that we have live streaming, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, and a host of technological advances that allow us to connect with one another. BUT! There is no substitute for face-to-face interaction. And, the unfulfilled desire to go to the ‘house of God’ in the company of our brothers and sisters in Christ creates an emptiness that can only be described as a “downcast soul.” We long for the day where we can meet together again as the body of Christ and worship together.
The Psalmist says, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” The day is coming when we will meet again and worship together! We want you to know that the day for Cornerstone to meet together is near! The following is our TENTATIVE plan. Let me emphasize the word ‘tentative.’ There are several “ifs” in this plan. They must all fall into place in order for our timeline to be enacted. If there are any delays on even one of them, our re-opening schedule will be pushed back.
Before I lay out the basics of our timeline, I fully acknowledge that not everyone will agree with what we are doing. Even on our Board, there was a wide range of opinions from wanting to meet immediately this Sunday, to waiting until June. We all have different backgrounds, different needs, and different perspectives that make up the basis of our opinions. Coupled with the deluge of information on this pandemic, both right and wrong, it is difficult to say what the “perfect” time to open would be. So, show grace to those with whom you disagree. And, if our timeline doesn’t work for you, that’s okay. We are not forcing anyone to return to worship services before they are ready. In fact, we would encourage you to stay home until you are comfortable gathering with others again. That being said, here is our tentative timeline and requirements to meet that schedule.
Our plan is to begin meeting for services on May 17. We will limit services to 60 people in attendance, most likely adding another service to try to accommodate everyone. There will be fewer seats in the sanctuary and at least 10’ between rows. There will additional responsibilities of attendees that we will share in future communications.
Requirements for timeline: First, we need to change our internet service provider. It is important for us to continue to livestream our services for those unable to attend or not ready to attend; and, we currently do not have the upload speed necessary to do that. We are working on this, but I do not have a confirmed installation date. We also need to be sure that we have an adequate supply of hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and other cleaning supplies to clean between services. It would also be good if we could provide masks for those that do not have their own. These are the minimums! If any of this falls short, we will have to delay our re-opening.
So, that‘s our plan. We long to worship with you again IN PERSON! It’s hard not to be able to meet together. We would ask that you continue to seek the Lord during this time. He knows what is best and we submit all of our plans to Him. We pray that you continue to grow in His grace and provision; and we pray His greatest blessing on each of you as we look forward to worshiping in the house of the Lord together!
- Pastor King -
3 Comments on this post:
"Any possibility for outdoor service?"
"So we not sure if there will be the livestream like we have had during the shutdown? Is that correct?"
I think I can answer both of the questions with the same answer. We will not resume services until we can live stream the services from the church. Currently we live stream from a private residence in Ames where we have the upload speed necessary to do this. Our current upload speed at the church prevents us from live streaming from the church. Only when we can continue to live stream from the church will we resume services at the church. There will still be too many people stuck at home who wish to participate, not to include them. Outside services also depend on our ability to live stream. There are also other logistical considerations for outside services. I won't rule out holding outside services, but there may be too many hurdles to over come for that to happen.
Any possibility for outdoor service?
So we not sure if there will be the livestream like we have had during the shutdown? Is that correct?