Brothers and Sisters,
We are going to do a Livestream from my home tomorrow (Thursday, March 26) at 7:00PM. The Livestream will be available on Facebook Live. You can view the Livestream at https://facebook.com/pg/cornerstonecharlotte/posts.
As most of you know, tomorrow morning at 8:00AM, a Mecklenburg County Order to Shelter in Place goes in effect. Essentially, if you are a resident of Mecklenburg County, you are ordered to remain in your home and to only travel if absolutely necessary. Violation of this order is a Class 2 Misdemeanor punishable by 60 days in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. According to the order, with limited exceptions, there are to be no gatherings of over 10 people. Accordingly, all activities at our church are cancelled and our church is now closed. Churches, however, are considered non-profit organizations and have been given some exceptions to the order.
One exception churches have specifically been granted is permission to gather to Livestream their worship services. If a church chooses to do this, they must maintain the 10-person limit. While our church is closed, we are planning to continue to Livestream our worship service. We are going to move the time of our Livestream to Sunday at 9:30AM. There are three reasons we are changing the time to 9:30AM:
1. 10:45AM – 12:00PM is a prime time. Last week, because of the volume of churches utilizing Facebook live at that time, there was some delay and degradation to our Livestream that was outside of our control. By moving our Livestream to 9:30AM, we hope to avoid the volume and the accompanying degradation.
2. 9:30AM is a time that is familiar with most of our church members because it is the time we normally gather for Sunday School.
3. The Livestream will be recorded and available to watch at anytime after it has concluded. We hope to conclude by 10:45AM which will make the recording available not long after.
As a non-profit, churches are also given some flexibility in designating some of their employees as essential. I will share more about this during our Livestream tomorrow night, but at our church Ben and Lori will continue to come to the church facility at a reduced level. While the Mecklenburg County Shelter in Place Order is in effect, all travel to the church should be minimized. If there is a necessity for you to come to the church, please call first to make sure a staff member is available to meet you.
As I mentioned in my last email, we have established 3 ways to communicate information to our church family. Our first, and primary way is by email. We will also post our email messages to our Facebook page. Finally, for those who don’t have regular access to the internet or email, we will send out a phone message. Email and Facebook are free. There is a cost associated with sending a phone message. For that reason, unless it is deemed vital, we will not send phone messages to everyone, but only to those who do not have regular access to the internet or email.
As of today, we have added a fourth way to communicate with our church family and our community. Our church’s new webpage is now up and running. You can access our new webpage at www.cbccharlotte.com.
During this time, I want to encourage everyone in our church family, unless it is absolutely necessary, please STAY HOME! This virus and the threat associated with it is real. It already is impacting all of us, but if we don’t do what we are being ordered to do, the impact is going to be much more serious. Please, don’t go to the store to see what is there, only go if there is something you absolutely need. Stop all unnecessary travel! Practice social distancing. Now is not the time for backyard barbeques, children’s play dates, and any gatherings with family and friends. Please take every precaution to minimize your risk of being exposed, and the risk of exposing others. If you have a need, please contact your Sunday School teacher, your deacon, or you can email me at email@example.com. You can also call the church office and leave a message for Lori, Jerry, or me and we will return your call as soon as possible.
I want to thank all who gave last week by one of the alternate means available. During my Livestream tomorrow, I will outline some of the steps our church leadership has taken to reduce expenses during this time. Even with these steps, we still have expenses and needs within our congregation. Please, as you are able and as the Lord leads, continue to give even though we are unable to physically gather together for worship. There are three ways you can continue to give:
1. Give by mailing a check or money order to Cornerstone Baptist Church, 8947 Albemarle Road, Charlotte, NC 28227.
2. Give using your cell phone by texting “Eph220” to the number 73256. Once you send the text, you will be given prompts on how to complete your transaction.
3. Give by establishing an online giving account through Realm by emailing Lori Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling her at the church office. Lori will then send you a link on how to establish the account.
These are uncertain and unprecedented times for all of us. When I start to feel anxious, I shift my focus from my problem my provision, the Lord Jesus!! Just as Isaiah 26:3 tells us, “God will keep in perfect peace, those whose minds are stayed in Him!”
In His Love,