Cornerstone exists because of Jesus. We are a people who have been transformed by the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God has forgiven us and adopted us into his family. Now, we have a whole new life.
Through the gospel, God redeems us, forgives us, and adopts us into his family. The good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection makes each one of us a new creation and gives us a new identity: children of God. This is why we can never think of the church as an organization or a building. The church is actually a family—God’s family, filled with redeemed sinners that are now his children.
Through the gospel, God forgives us, adopts us into his family, and makes us his disciples. This means that the church is not just any family. We are a family formed by God—and sent out with a purpose.
The church is a family that ministers to one another, cares for one another, and builds one another up. Each member of the family is a child of God who is uniquely gifted to bless the family and to be a light in our city.
Just like a vine grows best with a good trellis, our church family grows best with good programs. Our programs and ministries are tailored to support the community and mission God has given us.
“May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” - 2 Thessalonians 3:5
Fawn has been a regular contributor to our website and has recently moved away from LA. We are thankful for her contributions to the culture of Cornerstone and the equipping of our church body. This is her farewell letter to you.
Thank you, Cornerstone (and before that, Shoreline) for being my family for the past 8+ years. You are, collectively, one of the loves of my life. Which sounds cheesy and perhaps a bit insane, but it's true. As I'm packing up my boxes of stuff (mostly books) and getting ready to leave Los Angeles after almost a decade, the thing that makes my heart ache most of all is leaving Cornerstone.
Yes, I will also miss my amazingly wonderful friends and coworkers who haven't attended church with me all these years. I will also miss the fact that I can pretty much get any kind of food I want delivered to my doorstep any time I like, and getting every movie released in theaters a few blocks away, and gems like The Last Bookstore, food trucks, and outdoor movies. I'll miss being a few miles from the ocean, from dozens of world-class museums, and just a train ride away from my LA Kings.
But, most of all, I'll miss living in community weekly, even daily, with my fellow church members. I tried to get Pastor Scott to agree to move Cornerstone with me, and he said he would but only if every single member unanimously agreed to it. Something tells me this isn't going to happen, since I'm moving somewhere a little less attractive than LA. So, I must say my goodbyes. For now, anyway.
As a church, from the pastors, elders, and community group leaders, to the ministry and worship teams, to the greeters and tech assistants, to the missionaries and counselors, to the members themselves, this church is filled with love for God. It fuels every effort of this group like the gasoline to a car or food to a body. This love for God reveals itself in the deep respect Cornerstone has for God's word. Yes, as a church full of flawed humans, the love for the Lord cannot be a perfect love, but it is true, passionate, deep, and growing.
I know I am often not easy to love. I am opinionated and brash and can, at times, be arrogant and stubborn. But Shoreline adopted me years ago when I showed up alone to a Westwood movie theater one Sunday morning, a bit nervous and defensive. The pastors took the time to talk with me. At meet and greet, people actually MET me. A few years later, First Baptist merged with a bunch of young(ish), scrappy, passionate Christians to become Cornerstone WLA and again, I felt adopted into a bigger part of God's family, and loved.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” - John 13:34-35
The love for God and of one another is acted upon at Cornerstone, not just felt or talked about. Community groups have been its spine, holding up and supporting the rest of the body as we try our best to function. From the Kleinhans' group years ago, to Rochester, to Colby, my community group has encouraged, admonished, rejoiced, wept, and laughed with me. They've helped me move twice already, have prayed with me as I've wrestled with hard decisions, have called me out when I've been a brat, have grieved with me in loss, and walked with me through depression. They've brought me NyQuil and tissue and soup when I was ill, and have celebrated with me when times were good. We've grown up together as young adults in this chaotic city, and it's been a true joy to go to the many weddings, cuddle the new babies, rejoice in new careers, and pray and pray and pray together. Each drive to LAX to pick up or drop off a community group member, each girls' night, each meal together, each Bible study, and each community group hang-out time has been integral to my walk as a Christian and my survival in our wondrous city.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” - Acts 2:42-47
Like most people, I can get incredibly nervous in big groups. My first time at Shoreline was marked by a pit in my stomach the entire time as I sat there, arms crossed, closed body posture, and probably with an inadvertent scowl on my face as I fought back the urge to flee the premises. I was challenged in my first few weeks to get to know people, to put myself out there instead of wait for people to come to me, to pick a community group and go, to accept invitations to go out for lunch with groups after service. I was not allowed to slink away on my own. Later, a year ago when I was struggling with some depression, I withdrew from my community group. But they never let me slip through the cracks. The women still called, texted, e-mailed, went to dinner with me, and slowly, graciously, kindly encouraged me to reemerge. At one point, when discussing my absence from my community group, Pastor Scott said "Fawn, I don't care where you go, you just have to go somewhere and go regularly." Looking back, I appreciate his calling me out on that and not mincing words. I needed to hear it, and my time back has been beautiful.
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” - Galatians 6:1-2
I could go on and on for pages about my love and thankfulness for the body of believers that is Cornerstone West LA. Thank you. My heart hurts when I think about having to start over again at a new church after I move. But I will, because God uses community to help transform us daily. If you have yet to dive into the family that Cornerstone has to offer, I challenge you to do everything you can to do so. Start by finding a community group in your area and just go. Go as often as you can make it. Go with an open mind. Go ready to commit. Start there.
Fawn currently works as the Client Services Director at a local pregnancy center and serves Cornerstone in the Biblical Counseling ministry.
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