PASTOR’S WORD  —   What a fast and furious two weeks! As I begin my cottage meetings with small groups and begin attending my first ministry meetings, I am so excited to continue to learn all the life-transforming ministries of the Cornerstone family. I hope that if you have not signed up for a cottage meeting that you will call the church office, as we consider how to continue to grow what God is doing at Cornerstone to transform lives of our congregation and community. I have a friend who once compared going to church to going to the gym, or rather her reasons for not attending church to her reasons to not going to the gym. She said she feels like she has to already be in shape before she goes to the gym, that it is intimidating to see people who have it all together working out and she felt uncomfortable not being there yet. She said she feels like she has to be in spiritual shape to go to church, like everyone who goes to church has their lives together and they are there to praise God for that but she feels her life is a mess and she can’t come to church with all her baggage. We all have baggage that weighs us down. And among the community of believers, we should be able to bring all that baggage with us, to find hope and new life in Christ through the body of Christ, one another, the church.

This week we will continue the sermon series “First Things First,” looking at our priorities as believers individually and communally. We will be looking at the familiar story of The Woman at the Well, from John 4:4-30, and as we do we see Jesus’ meeting her exactly where she was and loving her where she was, baggage and all. And in the transformation with the living God, she found hope and new life she had never known before. I hope you will join us in worship this Sunday at 9 or 11 or join us online as we consider what it means to come as we are before Christ and be transformed.

Grace and Peace in Christ,
Pastor Kathleen

PS. I also want to extend a special invitation to prayer this coming Wednesday. Our denomination is currently in the midst of a lot of questions about the future, and over a period of 75 weeks, United Methodists around the world will be Praying Our Way Forward. Different churches commit to praying during 30 minute periods during those 75 weeks, for God’s work in the midst of turmoil in the United Methodist Church. I will be praying Wednesday, July 19th from 11:30am-12:00pm, and I hope you will join me wherever you are.

FIFTH SUNDAY BRUNCH — The Nurture Committee will host a 5th Sunday Brunch on Sunday, July 30 during the Sunday school hour (10 a.m.). Please bring a breakfast item and a friend or neighbor! We will also have a basket available for gift cards to “officially” welcome Pastor Kathleen to our church.

HOUSING ASSISTANCE NEEDED — The ASU Wesley is searching for housing for a new assistant to Pastor Sam. They need a low or no-cost option. He would be open to living with a family or individual. Please contact Pastor Sam if you can help.

BREAKING BONDS — Breaking Bonds Ministries  invites everyone to the Empowered Conference on July 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Wesley Hall, FUMC. There will be music, food, door prizes and several speakers. Childcare will also be provided. For more information, call (870) 333-5404.

NURSERY CARE (Birth – 3 Years) — Our nursery provides a warm, nurturing and well-supervised program for your infant or toddler during all Sunday and Wednesday night worship and activities. Andrea Newsom (nursery@cornerstoneumc.net) is our Nursery Director.

CHILDREN’S MINISTRIES (4 Years – 3rd grade) — This week in Sunday School we will be discussing one of my favorite stories from when I attended Sunday School, Jonah and the Fish! This story comes from the book of Jonah. This week I challenge our kiddos to think about what they would do if God called them to travel a long way away from their home! Abbeigh Rainwater (children@cornerstoneumc.net) is our Children’s Director.

LINK MINISTRIES (4th – 6th grade) —  LINK is a ministry geared specifically for the transitional ages of our 4th – 6th graders. They meet for Sunday School at 10:00 in the children’s wing of the education building. LINK meets after the Wednesday night meal for games and fun activities from 6:15 – 7:00 p.m. Crystal McDaniel (link@cornerstoneumc.net) is our LINK Director.

YOUTH MINISTRIES (7th grade – 12th grade)Sunday School is at 10:00 a.m. for both Junior High and Senior High in the children’s wing of the education building. United Methodist Youth (UMY) meets on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. with a special activity one Sunday a month. Taylor Noles (youth@cornerstoneumc.net) is our Youth Intern.

RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE — Cornerstone will host a Blood Drive on July 18 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. in the Education Building. Visit redcrossblood.org and enter: CORNJ to schedule an appointment or call 1-800- RED-CROSS. We will also need to provide refreshments. There is a sign-up sheet on the Visitor’s table.

HELPING NEIGHBORS FOOD PANTRY  — Thank you for helping us keep the food pantry stocked at Helping Neighbors. Drop your donations off anytime at the back of the sanctuary.  Week of 7/23- Cannedmeat,tuna,chicken,spam, ravioli, spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, stew.

MUSIC MINISTRIES —  All are welcome to play or sing. If you are interested, contact one of our music folks today.  Blake Smith (music@cornerstoneumc.net) directs our chancel choir, and Ethel May Beall is our accompanist (ebrook50@hotmail.com).

FISHER STREET FEEDING SCHEDULE —  July 21: Gary Rudder, Carolyn Rudder, Mary Montgomery, Shanon Brantley, Becca Farley, Barbara Blanchard. July 28: Linda Barnes, Bruce Barnes, David Midkiff, Kerri Felts, Margarett Gatlin, Bill Gatlin.

MEETINGS —  Finance Committee at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 17,  in the Conference Room.  Church Council at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 18, in the Fellowship Hall.

CUBAN MISSION TRIP —  First United Methodist Church in Jonesboro will be in revival Sunday, July 30, through Tuesday, August 1, at 6  p.m. each evening with the bishop and pastor from Cuba speaking. There will be free grilled hamburgers at 4:45 p.m. on July 30.  Cornerstone’s David Belk will be joining a group from First Church August 31 through September 4 for a mission trip to Cuba.