A Note From Chris - February 3, 2022

As much of the Midwest and beyond deals with Winter Storm Landon, I’m stuck writing to you from Phoenix, AZ! Our Lead Team came out for a two-day conference to help us focus our systems around our mission and vision in a greater way. After our third attempt in two days to get home was thwarted this morning, we are hoping to get through the snow tomorrow. In the meantime, we will suffer through the Arizona sun.

Throughout this pandemic, I’ve heard people say things like, “I just feel like things are out of sorts…something’s not quite right.” It’s a feeling of misalignment or frustration with all the ups and downs of these last few years, and I think we’ve all felt it in various ways. Have you? Perhaps it’s not just a vacation we need or fewer/more regulations, or less “bad news.” Perhaps our souls need some healing.

Next weekend, we start a new sermon series called, “Soul Keepers.” It is a series focused on understanding and caring for our souls. Maybe you don’t think about your soul, aren’t concerned about your soul, and don’t do anything intentional to care for your soul. I hope through this series as we look through various Psalms we will come to grow together in what God has already shown us regarding our souls, this sort of mystical but critical part of our lives that drives so much of who we are. According to Scripture, we not only have souls, but we are soul keepers, the ones who are responsible to make sure our souls are healthy. When our souls are out of line, other areas will soon be casualties. I’ll save the rest of the details for the series, but I do hope you will plan to lock in with us over the next 6 weeks as we journey it together. During each weekend of this series, we will teach through one or two Psalms. Each message will highlight the bigger underlying concept, or soul, found within our selected focus for that week.

I’m confident that “Soul Keepers” will be life-transforming for us, as it also falls within our 100 Days of Prayer. This is also a great series to invite a friend to attend with you. Whether we know it or not or pay attention or not, we all have souls, and they all need care. Jesus even said you can LOSE your soul. So pray about which One you will invite, then send a text or have a conversation about them joining you for the series launch on Sunday, February 13.

Along with sermons on Sunday, we are producing small group facilitator materials and asking all of our small groups to align for a few weeks and focus on Soul Keepers as well. You know we’ve been asking you to prayerfully consider joining a group, and then get registered for perhaps an on-campus group in Shiloh or O’Fallon. These groups will take a deeper dive into the conversation on the soul and specifically on various Psalms different from the weekend. A short video teaching will set things up for us, then study and table discussion will help us each grow deeper in The Word together. If you haven’t signed up for a group, this is the last week of our Groups Expo and a perfect time to jump in. I truly believe you won’t regret it

This weekend, we wrap up our Pass It On series talking about the final “S.” I look forward to Sunday every week, because talking about Jesus and worshipping with our church are my favorite things to do. I hope you will join me for worship at Shiloh or O’Fallon, and if you are unable to make it in person, online at Cornerstone Anywhere.

Yours & His,
Chris VandeLinde

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