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Pastoral Notes – April 30, 2017 « Cornerstone Presbyterian Church

Welcome to Cornerstone Presbyterian

Thank you for visiting our website, and we hope that you will join us Sunday mornings for one of our worship services.

Please look through the website to find out what we believe, what God is calling us to as a church, and practical information about visiting. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions. We’d love to hear from you, and we hope to see you on Sunday.

Office: (615) 618-4707
office@cstonepres.org

Location: 136 Third Avenue, South
                    Franklin, TN 36064

What is the schedule for Sunday morning?

We have two corporate worship services on Sunday morning at 8:00 and 10:45 am. The sermon and the music are identical at both services.  We welcome children of all ages in the worship services. If you so desire, nursery (click here) is available for children under the age of 3.

Sunday school classes for all ages meet from 9:45-10:35 am.

Children’s Classes (click here)

Bucer Group (Youth) (click here)

Adult Sunday School Classes (click here)

 

What should I expect on a Sunday morning?

Don’t be surprised if someone greets you or says hello. The worship service bulletin can be found at either the front or side entrances and contains all of the Scripture readings and the music we sing. Although the worship service is historically rooted, it is presented in a manner accessible to where God has placed us in this time and in this culture. You can expect clear, penetrating, exposition of God’s Word in the sermon, and we celebrate communion every week. By the way, we do not pass an offering plate during the service, but if you’d like to give financially to the ministry of the church, there are boxes available at each entrance.

Adult Sunday School Classes

As part of the ongoing discipling and equipping of the saints for worship and service, we have a regular schedule of classes for adults during the Sunday School hour.

On Vocation in the Chapel

Koinonia with Larry Thompson (Kuyper 303)

God is a creator and He has gifted His people with the desire to create. Enjoying those things that are beautiful, well-crafted, and artfully formed helps us to understand more of God’s nature and character. In addition, working with the materials that God has made, we can rejoice in the ordering of those resources through the arts—color, movement, sound, time, language.

We place a high priority on the excellent but accessible music that we sing on Sunday mornings keeping beauty and aesthetics as part of our consideration. But we also enjoy exploring other realms of the arts through monthly literature discussions, regular film nights, trips to concerts, encouraging the visual arts, and hosting musical groups or ensembles.

Christianity has a long history of fostering the arts, and we want to more fully understand, embrace, and participate and continue this rich legacy.

 

Despite its medium size, Franklin has a small town feel.  The downtown community of historic sites, businesses, and restaurants enables the building of relationships and the promise of always running into someone you know. This is the context in which God has placed our church—not only as a quaint and homey environment but as a place to serve.

As a Bible-believing church in the heart of the town, we want to make the Word of God visible in every aspect of life. Living out this ministry intersects the downtown community through arts events, ESL classes, and hosting various ministries as well as the natural outgrowth of the church members living out their callings in downtown—whether in meetings at Merridees, fellowshipping at a coffee house or working in office space off of the square.

We desire to be Christ’s light in downtown Franklin as well as good neighbors. Being on mission begins in the immediate context in which God has placed us and then spreads out from there.

When Christ Community Church moved from downtown Franklin to its new facility on Hillsboro Road in the fall of 2001, the church retained the Historic Downtown Chapel with the desire that it could continue to be used for ministry purposes as well as for church planting. This hope was realized in December 2006, when Pastor George Grant along with elders and deacons from Christ Community planted Parish Presbyterian Church using the Chapel as its home.

Over the next four years, Parish grew to the point of needing three morning worship services to accommodate the congregation. One of Parish Presbyterian’s founding principles was the desire to continue to plant daughter churches. In the fall of 2010, Parish purchased property and a permanent home on Clovercroft Road in east Franklin. With that as a catalyst, Pastor Nate Shurden and elders and deacons from Parish remained in downtown Franklin to plant a daughter church, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church.

Cornerstone Presbyterian began meeting on January 16, 2011 as a church plant and received full status as a church in our denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America, in November 2011. We are grateful that God has blessed our fellowship with members of all ages—from children to large numbers of young families to grandparents.

The Historic Downtown Chapel was originally built by First Baptist Church in 1849. Although the building was damaged in the Civil War, it was rebuilt, then rebuilt again in 1890 after a fire. The First Baptist congregation moved about two miles away in 1988 and sold a collection of buildings, including the chapel, to Christ Community Church. In March of 2012, Cornerstone bought the Chapel from Christ Community as a permanent home.

click me

A Parish Church of the Presbyterian Church in America

Pastoral Notes – April 30, 2017

I had woken up that morning to a glowing iPhone screen with a text message that read, “I am praying that you will glorify God in all you do today!” It was from one of you. Amazingly, even before I was awake, you were awake remembering me before the Lord.

After the morning routine, I met with one of you for a sweet time of counsel and prayer before I hurried off to the She Reads Truth offices where I got the privilege of “preaching” an impromptu mini-sermon on the three uses of the law and how it applies to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. It was, as always, such an encouraging time!

Arriving back at the office, I ran into another one of you on the sidewalk outside the church. We stole 5 minutes to catch up on life, revel in the grace of God, and pray before I dashed inside to finish my (overdue) article for He Reads Truth and return some phone calls.

At 11:30 a.m., I met my parents and my Uncle Gary and Aunt Debra at the church to give them the grand tour of the chapel before eating lunch together. As we were walking to 55 South, I ran into one of you. After a few introductions (and some very important baseball talk), you insisted on buying our lunch and provided the means to do so. Astonished by your great kindness to us, we ate together giving thanks to God for your generosity.

I walked back from lunch on the phone with one of you. You were calling for counsel on a difficult situation in your life. Despite the challenge of what you’re facing, I was moved by the gospel resolve and patience God has given you. In more ways than I articulate, you ministered to me in that conversation.

Well, I could go on, but I’ll pause here. The hour is late and Christy’s already in bed. (Plus, I’m running out of real estate.) Let me wind this down by asking a question that’s probably lodged away in your head right now, “Why did I mention all this?” For only one reason: to give thanks.

Many pastors struggle to say a positive word about their congregations. I’m happy to say that’s never been my problem. In fact, I sometimes temper my praise and thanksgiving for Cornerstone in the presence of other pastors so as not to overly discourage them. The truth is this: it’s a joy to be your pastor. Thank you for giving me the privilege and suffering me so well. You have no idea how much it means.

Borrowing from the Apostle Paul, I say to you in closing: “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3-5).

 

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