At the dawning of this new year, Cornerstone United Methodist Church is active, vibrant, and healthy, and we are making a kingdom difference every day.  The spirit of this great congregation is amazing in how well you care for one another and those in our community.  Thank you, Cornerstone, for a job well done!

Our Present Reality

Attendance is strong, and we are currently enjoying a growth spurt.  73% of our total membership is regularly in worship services, and 69% of our average attendance is faithful in Sunday School and small groups.

This past year we gained 32 new members – 10 by Profession of Faith.  Already in these first few weeks of 2017, we celebrate 2 Professions of Faith, and several visiting families.

Financial Stewardship is vital and strong.  Our finances are stronger than we’ve seen in many years.  We ended 2016 with a gain of $10,058.46.  Not bad for a non-profit!

We are making our presence known in our community as we reach out in mission and outreach.  Food pantry staffing and support with Helping Neighbors…partnership with the Wesley Mobile Food pantry on ASUN’s Jonesboro campus…building handicap ramps…our sewing ministry for ACH pillowcases…UMCOR…Rice Depot…cookie ministry…and the list goes on!  Thank you for the being the hands and feet of our Lord Jesus in the greater Jonesboro community!

We still have a good bit of debt hanging over us that we hope to address this year.  With your help, we will remain financially strong and we will position ourselves to eliminate debt and to prepare for future growth opportunities.

Our Focus on Vision. 

Lovett Weems of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership recently wrote:  At every chapter in a congregation’s life, it must clarify the few things most important for it to take the next faithful step. The other tasks will still be done, but now everything must be viewed through the lens of the vision — that is, the form that the mission takes in this particular chapter, given the church’s context.

What is most important for us at Cornerstone?  What steps must we take to remain faithful to God’s call?  How will we step in faith this year?  What will we do here and now?

These are some of the questions our council will be addressing early this year as we begin to work our ministry plan.  Following our recent completion of a fantastic coaching process, we are ready to open a fruitful new chapter of faithful ministry.  The best is yet to be!

Our Focus on Growth.

In the words of Wesley, offer them Christ!  More than simply attracting new people, we must make disciples by nurturing them in the Word.  Worship, Sunday School, and discipleship groups should be made a priority.  We need to better develop a strategic marketing strategy to reach people.  And, we need an effective method of connecting newcomers.

God has a wonderful plan for Cornerstone, and we are striving to live into that plan daily.   Thank you for your faithfulness in a most successful 2016.  Thank you for your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness as we embark on 2017.

Let us keep in prayer as we discern how best to be a church where all people can worship, serve, and share in God’s grace for 2017!

In full hope and joy,

Pastor Chris