Great Guest Basics
A warm welcome, a good cup of coffee, refreshing contemporary Christian music, a mission team sendoff, and an empowered sermon. Cornerstone Church provided this and much more during my May 23 revisit. The way Cornerstone treats guests and members ensures eager returnees.
Blame It On The New Sign
I've been attracted to Cornerstones new south-facing sign on the Seward Highway (below). To me, an infrequent guest, it provided real meaning, and...it's absolutely truth in advertising. Whoever dreamed this one up deserves the church advertising equivalent of the Pulitzer.
It Was Just a Pop-In
One of my enjoyments in church visiting is doing the "pop-in", a term popularized by Seinfeld. I love to do a quick pulse of congregations I've previously visited that have demonstrated warmth, vitality, Bible-based teaching, and great worship music. Inquiring if my favorite pastor, Brad Sutter, was preaching that day, I was informed he wasn't as he was off during part of May. Crestfallen and unprepared to stay, my greeter Mary encouraged me to stay and hear their new children's pastor, Matt Friese. Tempted to leave, I stayed on and was glad I did.
Praying With Music Team
Often I sit on the front row in large churches to obtain better pictures. Waiting there for the service to start, I noticed the music team gathering in front of me for their customary pre-service prayer. This is something unusual in churches I've previously noted in a Cornerstone post. One of the team said they seemed to be surrounding me or boxing me in, but then asked me to join them in prayer. As we held hands, one person prayed asking for the Lord's blessing on their music and on the pastor. I was blown away by this act of devotion to their music, church and God, and...for asking me to join them. I'll never forget this moment. Thanks team!
Music & Missions
An excellent music service commenced with good congregational participation during the 15-20 minute music service. A mission team, soon departing for Mexico, was asked to come forward and onstage for prayer. Wearing identical red shirts it was a touching moment of unity and shared joy for this congregation.
Matt Friese, a newer member of the pastoral team, took the stage. Obviously an avid outdoorsman and hunter, he talked about being away in the wild but bringing his Bible and a good book to read and study during these trips. He shared he would recite Paul's epistle to the Phillipians, not for personal glory but for the glory of God. Noting he might lose his way a time or two, he openly asked people to have their Bibles open, following along to help him if that happened. He did well with only a couple of lapses. It's wonderful to hear an entire book of scripture recited as opposed to hearing just a text here or there. It was an apostolic experience I thoroughly enjoyed. Friese's sermon tied to his recitation and can be heard here.
There are many churches in Anchorage but Cornerstone would be on my top ten list if I had one. I enjoy their warmth, hospitality, Bible-based teaching, and outreach. Their well-prepared bulletin is almost worth the trip. Cornerstone has one of Anchorage's best church websites. Everything members and guests need to know is there on the first screen page. Both the website and bulletin advertised a "Summer Body Building". Offered on Wednesday evenings, I thought it was some type of physical exercise routine, but discovered it was fellowship, food, brief worship, and group study. What a great idea! An equally intriguing idea for men was "Become Fishers of Men", a fishing trip on the Gulkana where church men were invited to bring a friend who did not yet know the Lord. Wow!
Thanks again Cornerstone for providing me with another great spiritual experience!