Cornerstone Fellowships Flock Notes March 2013 | Monthly Newsletter of Cornerstone Fellowship of Mill Run www.cornerstonemillrun.com What Are You Hunting For? Your Monthly Pastoral Rant by Pastor Steve Olivieri Mark Your Are you as tired of the snow, wind, sleet, & cold as I am? I know this is probably something that will get a universal “amen” but seriously the Calendar weather in central PA is bipolar Im convinced! Its constantly up & down March 14 – 16 10am - 4pm and when it gets cold usually theres a pretty big storm followed by lots of Church Bake Sale @ Twice Cherished clean up for days afterward. Maybe this is just my cabin fever talking, but Im ready for spring, how about you? Childrens Consignment Boutique Despite my very evident case of cabin fever spring in not my – located in the Ollies Outlet Plaza in favorite time of the year. I love fall! I love football and all things Pittsburgh Steelers & even despite the recent bad press I love the Penn State Nittany Duncansville, Pa Lions. My wife has yelled at me more than a few times for throwing things at the TV when either of the two previously mentioned teams are losing. March 24 – Palm Sunday Just to give you an idea of my devotion to the black & gold. My son Ethan # Dedication of Makayla Hope Olivieri came home from the hospital after just being born wearing a no 43 Troy Polamalu jersey. My love of football is only surpassed by my love ofNew Member Ceremony: Connie Hufford hunting. I am an avid bowhunter. Also, at least personally the first day of buck season is equal to or even greater than Christmas day. When I was a kid hunting & sports was my life. Some would argue March 31 – Easter Sunday not much has changed. This was how my family spend quality time together growing up. Some of my favorite memories included waking up Sunrise Service: 8:30 – 9:15 early with the brothers & my dad getting the layers upon layers of clothes Community Breakfast: 9:15 – 10:15 on to brave the elements. All three brothers piling our gear into Dads pick- up, talking about all the deer we saw the week before as we drove to meet Easter Egg Hunt: 9:45 – 10:15 up with cousins & uncles to hunt with us. W alking for mile after mile sitting and staring out in eager expectation of a big bruiser whitetail buck for hour Main Easter Service: 10:30 – 11:45 after hour. It didn’t matter that an overwhelming majority of the time the *Baptisms & New members officially only thing we got was cold, exhausted & hungry. It didn’t matter you just sat in 15 degree for 9 hours just to see 2 does at daybreak. It didn’t matter joining the church will occur at all. W hy? This was and is one of the favorite ways my family spends during the Main Service time together. This is what our family loves to do. For as long as I can remember my family was also always very involved in the church. Its no surprise then I was very active in youth group growing up. My youth leaders didnt have bible degrees & were just
What Are You Hunting For?And the rant continues...volunteers. Yet they taught me things no bible class ever around the campfire and make each one of us say at leastcould. They taught me the most effective way to reach one thing we learned that week. During this sharing time I feltsomeone with the gospel is by having a GENUINE God tugging on my heart for the first time that Im suppose torelationship with them first. They invested themselves tell people about Jesus for a living.personally in each kids who walked through there doors Well whats my point with all of this? The relationshipfor youth group. Having a genuine friendship with a I had with my youth leaders & kids in my youth group arebunch of naïve hormonal teenagers, that’s not easy! right near the top of reasons why Im still in the church & As a youth group the single event we all looked want soo passionately for others to know Jesus instead offorward to going to the most was the Creation Music going down a more destructive path.Festival in Mount Union, Pa. For those deprived souls Did you know, according to a Barna group poll, thatwho have never been to it, Creation is the Christian 59% of teenagers who are active in their youth groups todayversion of W oodstock. It is held the last week of June will stop attending church at some point between ages of 18every year in which 100,000 people camp out for up to 5 & 29? Looking back at where the kids of my old youth groupdays in the fields of Agape farm. During these 5 days are now I’d say that statistic is pretty accurate. The bigCreation hosts dozens & dozens of the biggest Christian question is what in the world happens between the ages ofbands and motivational speakers in the country. 18 & 29 that so many leave the church altogether?!? Just For youth groups it is an opportunity to open imagine 3/5 of the 100,000 crazed campers at Creation, byyoung impressionable eyes to experience first hand how the time there my age (31), aren’t going to church anywhere!big this Jesus thing really is. It is a life altering Rick W arren, pastor of the Saddleback church in CAexperience to see almost 100,000 people jumping up & & author of Purpose Driven Life, thought these stats weredown like lunatics as a band plays songs proclaiming soo troubling he set up a conference to understand why. Inhow awesome Jesus is. this conference teens themselves were some of the keynote Beyond the bands & speakers, for a teenager speakers so pastors & church leaders around the worldwithout any money you can only hide from everyone for would hear from there own lips why their leaving the church.so long. Camping out like this forces fellowship. It forces Teens described that when they walk in the frontyou to learn how to live peaceably in the midst of others. doors of the church it seems so archaic at times they felt like Even more than just learning how to not avoid the theyve enter into a time warp transporting them 30 yearsworld & kill each other. Our youth group leaders made us back in time. They continued that while technology & thelive out our faith in fellowship by doing chores, cooking image of the church needs updated, the gospel messagemeals for one another as well as making sure certain cannot be watered down or masked with smoke & mirrors.kids didn’t set off illegal fireworks & get us all kicked out. Kids & young adults today are cynical by natureThey also made us go to seminars & listen to speakers questioning everything & can spot hypocrisy a mile away.each day. They yearn for a rational faith that is able to answer tough Now my old youth leaders had flaws just like the questions. They despise the sugar coated superficial versionrest of us. Overall though, they taught us in simple yet of church where everything & everyone is perfect & has it allprofound ways HOW to grow in our faith and live it out, together. They are looking for real hope & a fellowship ofnot as isolated individuals but in community. believers that will walk with them & help them make Godly On the last night of Creation my senior year in choices instead of condemning them for mistakes. They arehigh school something happened that changed my life. looking for family. If they dont find it in the church theyll findThe last night every they would get everyone to sit family somewhere else. It seems many are doing just that. Scripture of the Month 1 Corinthians 3:7-9 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are Gods fellow workers; you are Gods field, Gods building.
The rant is almost finished I promise…Even those young adults who try to connect with the broader church came to realize the church most of the timedidn’t know what to do with them. Because they didnt look or act like most who attended they constantly felt like anoutsider. They were told if they want to serve they can run the sound equipment in the back. Bottom line: youngadults lost the family that kept them attending when they were in youth group so many left the church. If we are called to make disciples out of the nations, how good of a job are we doing as a church if 3/5 of ouryoung people stop attending? This is the kind of stuff that will cause a pastor to lose sleep at night. If churches reallywant to make an impact in our cynical culture we need to develop real relationships with people, not just hand them agospel track & head off to our next target. St. Francis of Assisi has the famous quote, “Preach the gospel at all times.If necessary use words.” As a pastor of a small church I dont have all the ministries, resources & an army ofvolunteers like a large church does. The way a small church reaches the lost is by developing real relationships withpeople & personally walking along side of them showing them Gods love through the ups & downs of life. Chancesare if you hand that same person a track, they have already heard that line before & frankly may not believe you. Its true. Another mind-blowing statistic is that 94% of Americans have heard the gospel message before &less then half attend church. There are many reasons why. One reason comes from the book I’m reading on sexualpurity. It says growing up in America we’re taught NOT to rely on others for help from birth. Americans have this builtin sense of, “I can do it on my own thank you” independence. From Rocky to Rambo to the Marlboro Man when itcomes to facing problems, we’re taught to talk less, tighten up your boot straps & just fix it. We’re taught real mendon’t cry. Heaven forbid you actually go to counselor or think about joining a support group. Counseling is only forthose who are “really messed up” & support groups are only for drug addicts & abusive alcoholics. Im not that bad! Things arent that bad, yet suicide rates for teens & young adults are skyrocketing. Obviously then we aren’table to just do things on our own. Newsflash! The bible is full of manly man & Godly women whose best quality wasrealizing they COULDNT DO IT ON THERE OWN ANYMORE! They needed God AND OTHERS for help & SO DOYOU! I feel this is really where the church needs to step up. W hat do I mean? I mean we all, no matter how perfectwe think we are, have skeletons in our closet. When was the last time you felt like you could share any of thoseskeletons without fear of rejection or condemnation? If I was a betting man, Id wager a months salary that most ofyou reading this article will probably say, if your honest with yourself, theres really NEVER been a time when you feltcomfortable enough with anyone ever to share stuff that sensitive with. Im not suggesting we be able to tell just anyone, anytime, anywhere our deepest darkest sins, but without theexposing those skeletons to the light we will never experience real & complete acceptance. W e will always have it inthe back of our minds, “if they really knew me, the REAL ME, they would get rid of me in a second.” Jesus says heloves us unconditionally!! He knows every skeleton, & still died for You. How amazing is that! How different wouldchurch be if we would stop hiding behind the masks & let others in to see the real us & were actuallyaccepted..without condition..AS FAMILY? How different would that feel? How absolutely wonderfully & powerfullyfreeing would that be? This is Gods vision for His people, His family, His church. Let this be our vision too. Cornerstone Fellowship Bake Sale!! 200 Hollidaysburg Plaza Duncansville, Pa 16635 (814) 695-2556 – located across from The Meadows in the same plaza as Wendys & Ollies Bargain OutletWhere: Right outside the Twice Cherished Childrens Consignment Boutique during there 30% off Spring SaleWhen: March 14 – 16th from 10am – 6pmHow to help: Please we need your help with baked goods, soups, & any other homemade goodies your willing to donate. *Also we need volunteers willing to help sell baked goods as well!
Prayers & PraisesArthur Burnham: Arthur had suffered a fractured hip and torn left rotator cuff afterhe fell through a roof & fell 10 feet during a missions trip to Peru. Praise God his hipis recovering very well. He is only needing a cane to help him get around. Herecently needed an MRI on his left shoulder which apparently will need surgery if heis going to gain full use of it again. Lord give Arthur peace & healing.Kim Clapper: Continue to keep her in your prayers as she continues on with lifeafter the passing of her husband of 42 years. She has some good days and somebad ones. Lord give Kim comfort daily.Sandy Morrison: Last friday Sandy had surgery to reverse the colostomy & putthings back together after she suffered a bowel obstruction last October. She is ingood spirits & is recovering very well. She hopefully will be discharged from the 415 Mennonite Roadhospital sometime late this week. Lord thank you for Sandys successful surgery! Altoona, Pa 16601JR, Latisha & Camryn Clapper: They are facing the daunting task of searching for Office: (814) 942-4003a home to buy. Lord give them peace & discernment. Pastors Cell: (703) 629-0441Makayla Olivieri: After spiking a fever on Monday morning she took another trip tothe ER at Childrens Hospital in Pittsburgh. Thankfully it was only a quick trip asdoctors said it was just a virus. Also pray for Sara that she will get some sleep & rest Sunday Servicesdealing with a house full of sick kids. Lord give the Olivieri family peace & rest. Sunday School: 9:30am Worship: 10:30amPatty Brandt: She is experiencing a lot of pain in her back with cysts discovered on Awana Club: 6 - 8pmher spine. Lord give her comfort & healing.Special Praise to all the new members joining this Easter Sunday: Thank you toDan & Sandy, Emily, JR & Latisha, Patty, Karen & John, Paul, Bobbie Jo & Jimmy, &last but certainty not least Connie for their desire to become members of theCornerstone Fellowship family. Lord thank you for their dedication & euthusiasm. Leteach one be accepted with open arms into the church family in Mill Run. Cornerstone Idea Corner – UpdateChurch Signs: Matt Clapper of Maverick Outreach/Discipleship Committee: OurGraphics has agreed to design & help first meeting is tentatively planned for midinstall our new church signs. Cost & final April. Exact date will be decided afterdesign are still in the working stages. Easter.New Secretary: Latisha Clapper is VBS 2013: VBS has been scheduled oncealready hard at work organizing the again with the Clowns for Christ June 17 –church office. She has help set up the 21st. This years theme will be running thepastors library & starting to help with the race with perseverance.church website & flyer designs. Goodwork Latisha! Cross & Nail Worship Service: The Hulses have agreed to help organize these worship services again after Easter.