It was a beautiful thing to gather with the elders and deacons on Tuesday night and have five new faces around the table. With the addition of Gene King, Marty Smith, Todd Russell, Brian Phillips, and Steve Green to the officer core, we now have the largest leadership team we’ve ever had! I praise God for these new servant leaders, not only because we needed an increase of qualified, gifted, and called men on our leadership team, but for the fact that one of the leading signs of a church’s vitality is the continual multiplication of qualified servant leaders. Please join with me in giving praise to God for this evidence of life in our midst. Further, please commit to regularly pray for all the leaders of Cornerstone that we would faithfully carry out our calling to shepherd the flock of God (1 Peter 5:1-5). We desperately need and depend on your prayers.
I want to mention a couple of notable actions coming out of our Leadership and Session meetings on Tuesday night. First, in the wake of Joe Haworth’s transition from the diaconate to the eldership, a vacancy in the chairmanship of the diaconate was created. After much prayer and discussion, we asked Mr. Larry Thompson if he would consider taking up the diaconal chair mantle. For those of you who know Larry personally, you won’t be surprised to hear that he responded by saying, “I am willing to serve wherever and however is best for the church.” Sounds like Larry, doesn’t it? What a gracious servant he is. All the leaders enthusiastically received the nomination of Larry Thompson for chairman of the deacons, and he was unanimously elected.
Now, it’s fitting that I take a moment to personally and publically express my deep gratitude to God for the life and ministry of Joe Haworth. Joe has served tirelessly on the benevolence, finance, and personnel teams, while also providing direction and leadership to the entirety of the diaconate for many years. His steadfast efforts in caring for the physical needs of the church are a challenge and an example to all of us. We thank you, Joe, for how you’ve loved us so well for so many years, and we look forward to how the Lord will use you in the years to come among the elders.
Finally, during the Session meeting on Tuesday night, the elders had the privilege of sitting with Nathaniel and Emma Vroom. Nathaniel has served on staff at Cornerstone for two years, first as our Discipleship Intern and now as our Youth Director. As some of you know, Nathaniel has also been prayerfully exploring a sense of call to vocational ministry these last couple of years. On Tuesday night, the elders got the opportunity to hear and examine Nathaniel on his sense of call to ministry, while also hearing a report from Emma about her support of Nathaniel as together they make preparations for starting seminary. Again, I am pleased to report that our time with Nathaniel and Emma was deeply encouraging, and that the elders voted unanimously to receive Nathaniel as an under care candidate for pastoral ministry. Please pray for Nathaniel and Emma as they prayerfully consider their next steps in preparation for ministry.