Pastor’s Heart (July 5th)

From the Pastor’s Heart,

I hope everyone had a blessed Independence Day yesterday. It is good to be reminded of the conviction and courage of those who at the risk of their own property and lives signed the Declaration of independence in 1776. Had their mission failed all of them would have likely been hung for treason. But by Gods grace it succeeded and the United States of America was birthed and in time became the most powerful nation in the world.

Last Sunday the ministry team met to discuss matters pertaining to the congregation. One of the things that came up had to do with our worship celebration. In our discussion it became clear that not everyone has the same expectations. But I was encouraged by the willingness to have an open healthy discussion about it. Differences of opinion are not always looked at in a positive light in the church but the reality is that there are and always will be differences. The challenge is to work through differences in a healthy way. One way to do that is through open honest discussion. I appreciate the willingness of the ministry team to do that. One comment I heard at the end of our meeting was, “this was a good meeting.” I look forward to more good meetings.

I mentioned in the sermon Sunday that worship is sometimes referred to as the war department of the church. This seems to be especially true when it comes to the music. Some like it loud and some like it soft. Some like it longer and some like it shorter. Some like traditional hymns and some like contemporary songs. Some like external public responses and some like internal private responses. Some like a faster, more directive service and some like a slower, more spontaneous service. Some like to start and end at a set time and some like to keep it open ended.

None of these differences are wrong or bad in themselves. The truth is that a healthy worship experience should contain many different elements. In the message this coming Sunday I want to explain what has developed into what might be called a Cornerstone format for the worship celebration and the reason why. Hopefully, it will help us in dealing with the differences we may have about how it should be done.

Last week I met and talked with the pastor of Life Journey church that meets in the intermediate school in Crozet. The school is not available on July 30. So we talked about the possibility of doing a combined service using our facility. i told him I could lead the service and he could preach. He tested it with his elders and I run it past some of our ministry leaders and everyone seemed to favor the idea. So, I’m kind of excited to announce that Life Journey and Restoration Cornerstone churches plan to meet together in a combined worship celebration on Sunday, July 30. A few details still need to be worked out but I wanted to give everyone a heads up.

We plan to attend the prayer service Friday night. I hope to see many of you there. Our plans are to stay over for the weekend and we look forward to visiting more of you in your homes or we can meet at the church if you prefer.

Thank you for being part of our church family. Keep praying

Bless you

Pastor Gerald