Pastor John's Newsletter

6-27-2020

Restart Announcement #2

Hey, Cobblestone,
 
Watching a televised major league baseball game, back when that could be done, I once saw the same Chevy truck commercial in five straight breaks between innings. Not five Chevy truck commercials, but the same Chevy truck commercial five times straight – and I says to myself, “Self, that’s how advertising is done these days.” I don’t care for it, don’t want to mimic it, and it hasn’t caused me to by a Chevy truck, or any truck for that matter. But I am willing to dedicate one more weekly newsletter to the cause of simply announcing some of what will be going on in the next month or so.
 
  • Tomorrow, June 28 at 6pm, we will gather in the yard across the parking lot from the church building, to worship the Lord and enjoy one another’s company. The exact spot is marked by a large white tent. Simple food will be served in low-contact fashion. We hope to laugh a lot, since the joy of the Lord is (our) strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
  • Wednesday, July 1 from 7-8pm, there will be prayer and worship in the sanctuary, as there has been for the past two Wednesdays. These have been our first in-person services. Leading the reentry with prayer and praise seemed utterly appropriate, and hopefully, the Lord has been pleased.
  • July 12, Sunday worship services will resume in the sanctuary at the church building. More details will follow in due time; for now, what can be said is:
    • There won’t be coffee service, but that’s no big deal, since during quarantine we’ve learned to like our home-brew best (I’m having some at this moment).
    • There won’t be childcare or kids’ ministry; kids are welcome – and eagerly anticipated – in the sanctuary.
    • There will be every opportunity the Lord provides to worship Him, and we’ll do our best to take advantage of those opportunities.
    • The physical layout of the sanctuary will be different, not because of covid-19 guidelines, but because of something we believe the Lord wants us to try.
    • There’s no shame if you don’t come, and no shame if you do. The elders are leaving in the hands of reasonable people the decisions they should reasonably be able to make. Listen to the Lord, Church, and make your choice.
    • Online content will continue through the summer, though the technical details are yet to be hammered out.
 
No one now living has had to lead a church out of a pandemic. Only a few churches are more than a week or two into reentry. Some have added services and are cutting back already; others might be looking to add more (though I haven’t heard of any of those yet). I know of at least one that’s hunkering down for another 6-12 months, with total online content. Anybody who thinks he’s got this figured out is fooling himself.
 
Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
    but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand (Proverbs 19:21).
 
We already know that not everything we try will work. Failure isn’t the worst thing that can happen; ignoring the Lord’s purpose is. Cobblestone’s elders will not ignore the Lord’s purpose. We will certainly be slow in discovering some of the details of His purpose, but we won’t ignore it. And if God chooses – as he has so many times already – to draw this church into His purpose through something that didn’t work… well, what good would it do us to argue the point?
 
I’d like for each of you to become living, breathing Chevy truck commercials, filling the space between innings, getting the word out to the rest of the family. Any other form of advertising is a distant second, at best, to word of mouth. No purchase necessary.
 
I’ll confess to thinking, at times, that much of what we’ve built at Cobblestone was solid, maybe even permanent. “Permanent” has finally been amputated from my vocabulary, except as it applies to God and His purpose. The point being driven home with more force than anything else, to any Christian who’s paying attention, is that we seek the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God(Hebrews 11:10). Nothing here is permanent, and getting it right the first time is not the point. Getting home is the point…
 
…and taking as many with us as we can.
 
 
Grace and Peace (and a peek into the city),
 
John