Pastoral Notes for Sunday, December 3, 2017

You’ve probably noticed the work going on just to the right of the chapel—the dirt work, the pipes, and the slab of concrete. In case you were wondering if the colorful, submarine-looking pipes are going to remain exposed, they’re not. A steel box is going to be placed over the pipes sometime fairly soon, which will ensure safety and, hopefully, ease the look of things. The truth is that sometimes you have to mess things up in order to make things better! In other words, that “mess” you see is actually a sign of progress.

If you’re new with us, you might be wondering, “What exactly are we progressing toward?” Well, about a year ago now, the antebellum home next door, Lillie Belles, was purchased by an investor and leased to the owners of the very successful Nashville restaurant, Biscuit Love. As a part of the renovation process, Biscuit Love is putting in a sprinkler system as required by Franklin Fire Marshall’s office. As most of you know, the Fire Marshall is requiring us to do the same thing. Very graciously, our new neighbors offered to pay for the underground utility work for the project and are allowing us to tap into the new sprinkler water line. That gesture of kindness saved us thousands of dollars!

Now that all the underground work is complete, the same contractor who did Biscuit Love’s work has added us to their active project list. We are currently revisiting initial estimates for the project. Once that work is done we will meet again with the Fire Marshal to begin the approval process, and the permitting process with the Franklin Codes Department will follow. If there are no setbacks along the way, our sprinkler system project should begin late winter or early spring. We are hopeful that this new sprinkler system will ensure the safety of our congregation as well as preserving our building in the unlikely event of a fire.

Speaking of safety, I mentioned three weeks ago that a team of Cornerstone officers and volunteers were working on making several significant advances to our onsite security plan. Two weeks ago the Cornerstone leadership met and approved a full security assessment with Agape Tactical, a faith-based organization that provides comprehensive and actionable security plans for churches in order to protect persons, facilities, and information. During our regularly scheduled worship services this last week, representatives from Agape Tactical conducted a full security assessment of the church. Our security team met this week to review their recommendations and to prioritize next steps.

If you’d like to learn more or even volunteer to serve on our security team, please reach out to Jim Robinson at If you are interested in learning more about the sprinkler upgrade, please contact Jim Smith at These brothers would be delighted to answer any questions you might have about either project.

Please continue to pray with us as together we strive, with the Lord’s help, to make Cornerstone a better and safer place to gather, fellowship, learn, and worship.