Let me take a brief moment to update you on a few recent transitions in our leadership at Cornerstone. First, our dear brother Mr. Marty Smith recently stepped down from the diaconate. Marty has served faithfully for three years as a deacon. Some of his chief contributions during that time were regular maintenance of the churchyard and serving as chairman of the Welcome Team. After a season of transition in life, Marty decided to move home to Bowling Green, KY, to be close to his family. But don’t worry! Marty is not going to disappear. He will be in Nashville regularly for work, and so expect to see him worshipping fairly regularly at Cornerstone. For that, we are very thankful.
Secondly, we’re thrilled to welcome Mr. Gene King back to active duty on the diaconate! Very wisely, Gene requested a sabbatical this past year in order to better meet the increased needs at work and home. Thankfully, Gene and his wife, Damaris, both believe now is the time for him to ease back into the work of the diaconate. In consultation with our deacon chairman, Mr. Larry Thompson, the elders agreed and unanimously voted last week to reinstate Gene King to active service. We are glad to have him back on the team!
Finally, the elders also voted to reinstate Terry Cheney to active service on the eldership. Hearing that might confuse some of you. “Terry Cheney was on a sabbatical?” Well, yes. Sort-of. But not really! What do I mean? At Cornerstone, there is a regular sabbatical rotation (or rest cycle) for all officers. Ordinarily, after four years of active service, an officer is eligible for a sabbatical. As the word indicates, the purpose of the sabbatical is to allow officers the opportunity to rest spiritually and recharge and hopefully return refreshed to active service on the officer core.
This past year was Terry’s regular sabbatical, and though he stepped away from a few things, he maintained a very active presence among the elders. He did this, in large part, because we needed him! Some of you will recall that we lost two elders unexpectedly this past year. Mr. Brian Phillips was called away to be an Assistant Pastor at our mother church, Parish Presbyterian, and Mr. Steve Green moved away to Atlanta, GA. Being shorthanded, Terry sacrificed his sabbatical to serve the church in its time of need. I’d like to publicly thank Terry for the way he stepped up this year, for how he took up the interests of the church ahead of his own interests. It’s a beautiful picture of what true love for Jesus Christ and the church looks like.
It is true that I could say what I just said about Terry about each of our elders and deacons. True, these men are not perfect. Far from it! They have faults and flaws like the rest of us. They are only men after all. But, they love God and the church. They really do. It brings joy to my heart to witness it. Even more, it brings joy to our God. And that’s most important, isn’t it? Yes, but I do hope it brings more than a little joy to you, too. Let us pause now and thank God for faithful shepherds.
Before I go, it’s appropriate for me to briefly update you on our search for an Assistant Pastor. We believe we’re nearing the finish line! God has brought us some really excellent candidates, and in the deliberate process we’ve undergone to find the right man, God seems to be rewarding with his grace. Please continue to pray for us. We hope to be able to share more with you very soon!