As you no doubt are aware, our president and his Cabinet have taken decisive action in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that he has shown great leadership in this time and that the government is making the best decisions that can be made given the circumstances.

The action taken affects how we usually interact as citizens and how we meet and interact as a church community across our city. Furthermore, the action taken minimizes our risk and should put us at ease that something is being done about this pandemic in South Africa.

This morning, the Cornerstone city-wide elders met to discuss how we will respond to the announcements made last night.

Our response is encapsulated in one word: LOVE. People will be asking questions about God in these times. What an opportunity to share the gospel! Who knows? This actually might be the ‘birth pains’ of revival!

This is also a great time to show love to your neighbour in ways you never have before. Perhaps you don’t even know who lives next door? It’s time to get to know them. What about that couple that are vulnerable, perhaps unable to get groceries or even afford hand sanitizer for their family? This is the time to help out. What of the single mom who has to still work but the change in the school calendar will affect her? You can make a difference! What a great opportunity to see walls come down between us and work in solidarity as South Africans!

Remember last year we made a easy-to-read-and-understand booklet that you can use to share the gospel? Now’s a good time to use it! Access it here. Print a copy (or you can get copies from the office) and share the good news!

We must respond in love and not fear. Perfect love casts out fear! (1 John 4:18.) Our love for others will help them to walk through their own fear.

We must respond in prayer. Pray for your neighbours. Pray for our city. Pray for our nation. Pray for the doctors working tirelessly in our city and around the world. Pray for the research teams working into finding a cure. And pray for people to be healed! Step out and pray!

And pray about our collective fear. It’s not just COVID-19 that people are scared of but what it means for our economy. We need to be prepared for what is transpiring worldwide as far as economies go, but remember, the Church has gone through this many times and God will turn it together for the good!

This is an opportunity for the gospel, so let’s use it!

Practically, we are having NO meetings this week at all our sites (including all Life Groups meeting in homes). This also means NO Sunday meeting this week at your site. This is due to the government ban of all meetings of 100 people or more. We will, however, be live-streaming a worship meeting this Sunday from Bedfordview on our Youtube channel. Remember, we don’t “go” to church but “are” the Church, so let’s “be” the Church!

The details of how we will meet going forward will be communicated tomorrow. Remember, things can change in the next few weeks and we are relying on our government to inform us. We’ve met as elders and come up with a plan for us as a church community across Johannesburg, and we are putting the info together in a way that’s clear and easy to digest.

Please remember to filter the news through the Bible and not the other way around! There is no need to panic, and please do not spread misinformation or rumour!

For information on the virus, hygiene and what South Africa is doing, the website has the best (and official) information. You can also WhatsApp “hi” to 0600-123456.

We love you all!
– The Cornerstone elders