A Note From Chris May 20, 2021


Ephesians 4:29 ESV “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

I’ve known that verse most of my life, and I must say, it never ceases to be a struggle to bring all of the thoughts, words, and expressions that well up in me into obedience in Christ so they come out not as simply a good point, a true statement, a thought-out perspective, even unfortunately at times a negative comment or criticism, but instead as words that truly give grace.

I love that phrase, give grace. It’s not the way I learned the verse. I’ve always known the phrase to read, “that it may benefit”. That’s different. A strong point said in a harsh way could arguably benefit the other party over the long haul. But did it give grace?

As you likely heard, last week the CDC released an update on the mask recommendations, and Illinois followed suit. Today, I want to share a brief update on how those changes affect Cornerstone moving forward.

Let me first say that we are thrilled to be moving in the right direction. Lower and lower positivity rates, fewer and fewer people locally hospitalized and seriously ill, and less and less masks! As we have throughout this pandemic, we want to be 1) God-honoring in everything we do, 2) provide what we believe to be the safest setting for our folks, and 3) be considerate of and as best as possible be in line with the CDC and Illinois guidelines for health and safety. All needs and sides of the spectrum will be respected. I’m hopeful we always give grace to each other and our guests, especially considering the types of decisions we’ve had to make this past year that we never dreamed of making as a church, like closing services, distancing/not touching, and wearing masks.

Here are a few updates regarding masks at Cornerstone as we move forward together:

1) We will remove our mask requirements for folks who are fully vaccinated, but encourage those who have not been vaccinated to continue wearing a mask on our campuses during worship services and in the gathering areas. Children are no longer asked to wear a mask, but of course can do so as preferred.

2) We will require all staff and serving volunteers to wear a mask during their serving duties. This does not include their time in corporate worship or those serving on stage.

3) Our ushers will continue seating folks at Shiloh, and we will provide a designated area for those who prefer to be seated around others who will wear their mask throughout the service. Please, just let our ushers know if you have that preference.  

We are moving forward, and that is a really good thing. My request is that we work to honor Ephesians 4:29 as we navigate each leg of change together.  We give grace to those who perhaps see things differently than us or make a different choice. We give grace to those who seem to share a different opinion. We give grace to one another as we unite under the banner of Christ and the desire to see him lifted high.

One simple way to choose that sort of unity is to push through some of the barriers and be in person for worship this weekend! I hope to see you there as we discuss John 9 together. Love you all!

Yours and His, 
Chris VandeLinde

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