A Note From Chris - January 5, 2023

Happy New Year, church!

This Sunday, I’ll share the “State of the Church” message that has become a bit of a tradition at Cornerstone. Of course, to cover every ministry or exciting story from last year in a *short* message time is impossible. But I am very excited to share what our team has prepared.

Specifically, we have some VERY exciting news about our future that I get to share with you Sunday. And while every Sunday is important, this one holds a bit more weight. It’s important for us to get the year started off right gathering together, and I want you to be there in person as we unveil some of the plans for this coming year. I trust you’ll be as excited as I am.

One of the things I’m sharing this weekend as a bit of a teaser is a new local partner called Restore Network. We have a serious need in our community related to foster care and children who are in estranged and challenging home situations. And while the state does have some resources, those entities are many times overwhelmed by the need with limited solutions. In Illinois alone, 4,700 children are removed from their homes by the state (DCFS) to help their parents get the help they need to provide the safety and attention for their children. Understandably, this is an incredibly unsettling situation for the child, even when their primary home situation is incredibly unstable. St. Clair County has one of the largest needs in the entire state, and they don’t have enough resources to answer the need. Friends, this is a church problem. God has given us the responsibility to care for every life. So the Restore Network is on the front lines in caring for children in foster care and helping churches serve in various ways the needs in our immediate community. We are excited about this new partnership. The Restore Network will be with us in person on Sunday to introduce this new partnership and hopefully meet many of you.

Take a look at this video, which gives a more compelling perspective on the need the church can uniquely answer regarding foster care in our community.

Cornerstone is hosting a 101 Workshop for anyone interested in considering some role in this new ministry outlet on January 23 at 6pm at the Shiloh Campus to have further dialogue with the Restore Network. Register for this event here.

This week, I read an article by a popular Christian blogger that really resonated with me about the trends we should expect in the church in 2023. Of course, most of this is predictive, but it helps us know how to approach loving and leading our church this year. While this article is directly intended for church leaders, I hope you’ll read through it and think through what some of his findings and predictions mean not only for our church at large, but for you personally. Here’s the article.

Can’t wait to see you Sunday as we worship together in person and online!
Yours & His,
Chris VandeLinde

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