Dear Friends:

There is a song from the children’s show Veggie Tales titled “God is Bigger than the Boogie Man.” Junior Asparagus is struggling with monsters under his bed and Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber come to teach him a lesson about God who is bigger than whatever Junior is afraid of. The song is memorable, meant to teach children about God’s power and God watching over their lives.

But sometimes we adults need a reminder, too. I know I do. Maybe your boogie man isn’t a monster under the bed but a health crisis, a struggling marriage, financial stress, or fears, anger, or frustration about the state of the world and culture.

Over the next three weeks in worship, we will be hearing scriptures from the Lectionary, the same scripture passages that folks will be reading all over the world on the same Sunday. We will receive these scriptures as part of our worship series God is Bigger, looking at God who shatters our expectations, heals our brokenness, and challenges and empowers us to partner with God’s amazing work in the world.

This week we begin with Luke 6:17-26, examining how “God is Bigger than Our Expectations” as we receive the powerful words of the Beatitudes. We will share in a time of reflection on God’s powerful comfort and challenge in our own lives as we seek to be disciples of Jesus through worship at 9 and 11.

Something you may be anxious about is the upcoming General Conference of the United Methodist Church. Between services for the next two weeks, during the Sunday School hour, I will be available in the sanctuary for a time Q&A about the Way Forward and the upcoming General Conference if you have questions. I do not know how much I will be able to answer but I will answer what I can. However, what I do know is that God is bigger than the boogie man, than my anxieties, than the United Methodist Church. And we as followers of Jesus are called by God to do the work of God, like sharing food, caring for the sick, teaching children about Jesus, and all the work of discipleship.

So I hope you’ll join us Sunday as we pack food sacks for children together, as we sing together, as we pray together, as we ask questions together, and as we celebrate together that God is Bigger.

In Christ,

Pastor Kathleen


February 23 – 26 – General Conference
March 6 – Ash Wednesday/Last Wednesday Night Meal
March 26 – Finance Committee & Council Meeting
April 14 – 20 Holy Week
April 14 – Palm Sunday
April 16 – Finance Committee Meeting
April 19 – Good Friday Service
April 21 – Easter Sunday
May 5 – Senior Sunday
May 21 – Finance & Council Meeting
May 29 – June 1 – Arkansas Annual Conference
June 2 – 5 – Vacation Bible School (6 pm – 8:30 pm)
June 19 – OMP Staff arrives
June 23 – 27 Ozark Mission Project (Junior High Camp)

NEW BIBLE STUDY —  A Covenant Bible Study will be offered at Cornerstone beginning February 21. Russ Shain will lead the class. It will meet 9:30-11 on Thursdays and will last for eight weeks, ending April 11. Please let Russ (870-243-4512) or the church office know if you are interested in participating in the class or have questions.

The Covenant Bible Study is described by its publishers in this way:

THE BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF COVENANT speaks to an enduring commitment between God and God’s fruitful people. It’s a promise—to live in a loving relationship with and for each other. So the purpose of COVENANT BIBLE STUDY is to engage participants in conversations about this unique and special relationship—as well as our relationships with each other and the world around us—as we study the Bible together.

This spring’s study is entitled Creating the Covenant. Other studies in the series cover Living the Covenant and Trusting the Covenant.

Creating the Covenant examines how the covenant community is created and established, by focusing on several books of the Bible. It discusses the story of our origins in Genesis, the Exodus narrative, the teachings of Moses, the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, as well as other books from each Testament that focus on the foundation of Christian faith. In doing so, it lays out the framework for a life lived in concert with God and others.

 ASU WESLEY BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRY, the mobile Bread of Life Food Pantry, is also experiencing a time of great need. Anyone who would like to make a donation for them to purchase food can designate “Bread of Life” on their offering, and we will send a check from the church to help support their ministry. Below is a list of food items that we typically give to students:

-Dry Pasta
-Canned Soup
-Protein (peanut butter, tuna, Vienna sausages)
-Canned Vegetables
-Dry Pasta
-Canned Soup
-Protein (peanut butter, tuna, Vienna sausages)
-Canned Vegetables

WEDNESDAY NIGHT LIVE —  For February 20, our meal of breakfast for dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. Meals are $3 per person with a cap of $15 per family. We will have bible studies for all ages beginning at 6:00 p.m.

HELPING NEIGHBORS FOOD PANTRY — You may contribute food to Helping Neighbors by placing groceries in the cart at the back of the sanctuary.  Suggested for week of Week of 2/24 – Canned meat, 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. Ethel May Beall is our Accompanist (ebrook50@hotmail.com). Our Music Director is Laura Syc (music@cornerstoneumc.net).

WEATHER — In case we have inclement weather, always check your e- mail, Facebook, TV, etc. for lists of closings. Pastor Kathleen will make the announcements any time she feels that traveling would be too dangerous for us to attend scheduled events, church services, etc