Every four years during our GOD IS… curriculum in Kids Church, we take the last Sunday in January to focus on God’s faithfulness to Cornerstone by sharing the history and some of the miracles that God has done in the life of our 17+ year old church. Psalm 78:4 says, “we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power and the wonders He has done.” That is exactly what we did in Preschool up through 5th grade. We heard stories, walked around the building, saw pictures and videos and even had some of our church members who were on the facility/building team come in and share about the praying, planning, fundraising, construction, dedication and all of the praise and thanksgiving we gave to God as He transitioned our church building to what it is today.
Kids’ Team members were given the opportunity to reflect back on memories they had of Cornerstone during those earlier years. Here are some responses:
“Our first nursery was in the Hill Middle School music room. There was not a Sunday School established yet, so we had children up to 7 years old at first. Every week we had to pull the supplies out of the storage pods and set up the nursery, cover the musical instruments, and love and entertain our kids as we grew in size and scope.”
“One of the biggest miracles was the fact that this building actually became ours. The owner of this property sold us the building for $1 million under market value. Then, he gave us a year to raise funds for a down payment. We also walked in with a ready-made tenant with CSULB Long Beach covering our entire mortgage payment for several years. And to know that this building is now paid in full? Wow, God!!!”
“Cornerstone has always been a fellowship of believers, rather than a physical church. As Pastor Jerry often says, ‘We were a church out of a box.’ Everything was portable, pulled from a trailer or a storage unit – things like sound equipment, nursery carpets and toys, even coffee pots and folding tables. All of these basics were set up early Sunday morning and then taken down and loaded back into the trailer after the services and Sunday School. Also, VBS was birthed out of Mrs. A’s car trunk. I can remember many an afternoon in the church office multi-purpose room (used for choir rehearsals, youth group meetings, and social gatherings) when Mrs. A. and I would sit on folding chairs with stuff from her trunk, discussing how to organize and put together the first Cornerstone VBS in 2004.”
“I remember when a group of us were at Bethlehem Lutheran Church one night (this was prior to Hill Middle school). A voice from behind us (Pastor Jerry) spoke. What a blessing from our Lord! We have been blessed ever since.”
“I remember meeting Sue Rueb for the first time in the hallway at Hill Middle School (aka Cornerstone church). I also remember squeezing into the small student seats in the school’s auditorium where we had the worship service. Those were fun, foundational times!”
“I remember, with fondness, toting my Sunday School curriculum in a small suitcase with rollers on it each week. Our 2nd and 3rd grade children sat in chairs that were designed for middle school children. The curriculum hasn’t changed... our focus is still on God’s Word, and the truth that Jesus loves them and gave His life for their redemption. (I also loved the opportunity to use all of the open space & grass area for fun games and expelling energy!)”
“I remember doing VBS over at Hill and taking care of babies in the band room. Even teaching Sunday School in preschool was different. We had to get our supplies out of bins. I remember how exciting it was to finally move into our permanent home!”
“In the purchase of our present location and then dealing with the City of Long Beach, we experienced God's miracles, when permits and other necessary building documents were given to us without delay. Normally it would have taken many months to receive those. To God be the glory for everything He has done in the last 17 to 18 years at Cornerstone Church and beyond!"
“I loved being led by Pastor Jerry from Hill Middle School to our new church with a shepherd's staff in his hand. This was a gift given to him by a familiar radio voice I'd learned to love, Rich Bueller. We gathered in the sanctuary and were given markers to write our favorite verse on the cement floors that would be covered with carpet. That was so very special!”
1) Scriptures written on walls and floors. Ron and I wrote Scriptures throughout our classroom ( as did others) from the entrance to where we sit to teach. Also MPRs, worship center etc. God’s Word surrounds all who enter.
2) on one of our CCLB anniversaries ( I think the 10 year mark), we wrote Scriptures on stones reminiscent of Old Testament Times, reminding of God’s faithfulness for future generations. (They are currently below the cross in the prayer room)
Personally, I know the Lord gave me a patience and vision that was beyond my power for what He had waiting for us in Kids Ministries. From having an “office” in the trunk of my car, to the three offices before my fourth and final office location in the building, and the excitement of having an actual Kids’ Resource Center available to all of the many Cornerstone Kids teams, I joyfully give praises for what God has orchestrated at JUST His perfect timing. The dramatic transition of the Nursery going from a hard, band room floor to a padded, carpeted floor for our babies was so great to see, as well as waiting to actually have separate girls and boys restrooms built within the Kids area. He has brought together an internal Kids staff and a prayer team to walk this ministry with me. He continues to bring children and their families who want to be fed from God’s Word as well as children that will never hear the Holy name of Jesus except for entering these doors. And, of course, to be able to see the amazing team of volunteers that He has brought over the years, being used to fulfill His purposes in bringing children closer to Him, I say “YES, YES, YES!” We will continue to tell the next generations of His faithfulness so they can see for themselves what a great God He is. The Lord has grown this ministry infinitely farther than what man could ever do and that continues to blow my mind! TO GOD BE THE GLORY.
Is VBS on your 2019 calendar?
Monday – Friday, July 15-19, 9am-noon
For kids 3 years-old & potty-trained through entering 5th grade