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City Ministries Overview

Click through the headers below to learn more about featured City Ministry Initiatives

VISION

For The City

In our work for the city, we seek to embody compassion, mercy, and justice — that people made in God’s image would be treated in a way that matches their status as image-bearers from birth to death.

10 Areas of Compassion, Mercy, & Justice

01. Unborn Rights
02. Adoption / Foster Care
03. Public Schools
04. Poverty-Impacted Families
05. Racial Reconciliation
06. Sexual Exploitation
07. Mental Health
08. Recovery
09. Incarceration
10. End of Life

At Cornerstone Church, Christ-followers are encouraged to contribute to the needs of others by giving of their time, energy and resources. We naturally enjoy serving within our church and connection groups. But as God’s people, we are also called to bring the good news of the Gospel through proclamation and demonstration. We go outside our church walls and form relationships with our neighbors. When the opportunity arises, we serve people the rest of society tends to overlook…the orphan, the poor, the vulnerable, and the powerless. The poverty-impacted.

In fact, throughout the Bible, God continually denounces religious activity that does not give attention to the poor or marginalized (Isaiah 58:1-3, 5-7, James 1:27, 1 John 3:16-18). Jesus himself spent time with outcasts (lepers), powerless (children), and “sinners”. He did this because it was integral to his mission to “seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10). There is not one of us who can reach all of these people and solve all of the issues we see around us, but as individuals within a larger church body, we can each find our place. We know we are no more better than anyone else, and perhaps can’t even offer “solutions.” But we also know we can be present, listen and love others, and steward the gifts the Lord has given us for His purposes.

SERVE

Ways You Can Get Involved

There are lots of ways to jump in with City Ministries. 

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Supporting Education and Educators

We desire to invest in our community schools and bless those serving in them. Each local school has both a liaison serving as the point person for each school and a team of people that are willing to meet needs and bless each school.

FOSTER & ADOPTION

Supporting and Blessing Families

We have a deep investment in the Foster Care and Adoption systems and those operating within these systems: from funding, providing community, assisting with programming, and blessing these families.

If you’d like to have a more in depth conversation about (adoption or foster care), reach out to Mel Pearson at [email protected].

CORNERSTONE RECOVERY

Community for the Hurting

Meets on Mondays at 6:30p in the South Auditorium. Childcare provided.

Cornerstone Recovery is not a book or curriculum. It is a Gospel recovery ministry designed for the local church to help those who are recovering from hurtful circumstances and addictive behaviors: divorce recovery, codependency, mental health issues, chemical addiction, emotional abuse, family hurts, anger, trauma, domestic violence, sexually addictive behavior, and other issues.

The Recovery environment is uniquely designed as a safe place to find love, acceptance, and the hope we find only in Jesus and the power of the Gospel. 

FAITH & FINANCES

Resources for Financial Literacy

Meets on Sundays at 10:00a at Cornerstone. Class registration is required. Current class runs from Jan 14 to Mar 31.

Faith & Finances is a great financial education resource for people who:

  • are just starting out learning how to manage money
  • don’t have a lot of extra money to spare
  • desire to overcome financial obstacles
  • want to save more and pay off debt

Each participant in the class is partnered with an ally that takes the class alongside them, offering support and community. 

HOME FOR AWHILE

Transitional Housing

Several churches in the Ames area have partnered together to create Home For Awhile — an organization that seeks to reduce homelessness in our community. Families who have been recently evicted or are nearing homelessness are eligible for three months of subsidized housing through Home For Awhile. Various local relief agencies refer families, and qualifying families are selected by the Home for Awhile leadership team. 

Home for Awhile currently has three apartments, with one becoming available each month.

BENEVOLENCE

Meeting Complex Community Needs

Deep and complex needs often arise amongst families. One focus of City Ministries is to come alongside people connected with a Cornerstone ministry when they need help. These needs may include unexpected financial burdens, automotive & home repairs, counseling appointments. We are eager to partner with individuals to help care for their spiritual, physical, and material needs!

Cornerstone has a van ministry that offers people in Ames a ride to church for second service each Sunday. Contact Mel Pearson at [email protected] if you’d like to ride the van or become a volunteer driver. 

YOUTH MENTORING

Investing in the Next Generation

Cornerstone’s youth mentoring program connects youth that could use some extra investment with Cornerstone mentors that have a desire to be an encouragement for youth in our ministries. Mentors and mentees meet at the church a couple of times a month, frequently connecting during Cornerstone youth on Wednesdays or between Sunday morning services.

Get Connected

Lunch & Learns

Join us for lunch and for the opportunity learn about a partner of City Ministries. We share on the 2nd Sunday of each month after second service, around 12:00, and we wrap up around 1:15. We will meet in the equipping room. Lunch is free!

City Lunch & Learns

Foundations Learning Center
January 21, 12:00p

Also Upcoming

Feb 11

Mar 10

Apr 21

City Ministries

Partnerships

In addition to the programs Cornerstone owns and runs, City Ministries is always seeking to partner with solid organizations committed to the Ames community. Below are some of the great partners with whom City Ministries regularly collaborates.

The Unborn

Partnered

We partner with Obria Medical Clinics to serve women and protect the rights of the unborn.

Foster & Adoption

Owned

We have a deep investment in the Foster Care and Adoption systems and those operating within these systems: from funding, providing community, assisting with programming, and blessing these families. 

FOSTERING

The Process

If you are interested in foster care, keep an eye out for Cornerstone info meetings. These meetings are a great starting point to set expectations for the entire process and get advice on how to move forward. You can then fill out the application and, once approved, take the TIPS-MAPP (a 10-week certification course).

Resources & Support

Since Cornerstone is home to many foster families, respite and resource needs can often be met by connecting with someone in this community of support. Cornerstone also hosts regular gatherings for foster & adoptive families that include training and peer support.

ADOPTION

The Process

If you are interested in adoption, please find this detailed overview (written by one of Cornerstone’s adoptive families). 

Resources & Support

You can find a list of suggested resources here. Cornerstone also funds an Adoption grant, which you can learn more about or apply for here. Also keep an eye out for Cornerstone-hosted gatherings for foster & adoptive families with training and peer support.

If you’d like to contribute financially to adoptive families at Cornerstone, you can do so here

Public Schools

Owned, Partnered

We desire to invest in our community schools and bless those serving in them. We’ve created opportunities to serve our schools through tutoring, lunch buddies, the teacher spotlight program, and supply donations. We also partner with amazing local organizations like YSS and Raising Readers.


Lunch Buddies:
We want to be a faithful presence in our community, and being a lunch buddy is a simple way to do this. School administrators and/or teachers nominate students they believe will benefit from a little extra one-on-one time with an adult; often, these students are facing difficulties in either the classroom or outside of school. As a lunch buddy, your job is simply to show up and eat lunch with your student each week; during this time, you can get to know and encourage them while being a Gospel light. The time commitment is 30-45 minutes per week, from late-September through the beginning of May.

School Volunteering:
Another place to be a faithful presence is in our local school buildings. From playing with kids at recess, running copies in the office, writing notes of support, or working with small groups of students, our schools have a multitude of places to serve.

Mentoring:
We partner with Youth Shelter Services (YSS) to train and equip mentors for local public schools. You can find out more about the YSS program here. All of our volunteers are trained at Cornerstone.

SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER IN SCHOOLS

SIGN UP TO BE A MENTOR

Our local school employees work incredibly hard every day–often with very little recognition. If you know of a classroom teacher, administrator, or district employee that deserves some praise for their faithful work, let us know so that we can celebrate them!

NOMINATE AN EDUCATOR

School employees often spend their own money to purchase much needed supplies for their students. As a church, we participate in different supply drives throughout the year, but there are also consistent daily needs. All donations can be dropped off at the church office; simply label them “School Donations.”

VIEW SCHOOL SUPPLY NEEDS

 

Poverty Impacted

Owned, Partnered

We’ve created several programs to provide support for poverty-impacted families: Home for Awhile, Foundations Learning Center, Benevolence and Finances classes. We also partner with great organizations like Wheels for Work, Mechanics Ministry, Bridge Home and MICA. 

HOME FOR AWHILE

The Program

During the three months the tenants live in an HFA apartment, they meet regularly with an ally who assists them in meeting their goals of finding employment, managing their finances, or working through any other issues that caused the family to end up in their current situation. The goal of Home For Awhile is to provide the opportunity and motivation for a family to re-establish financial stability and find permanent housing.

Home for Awhile currently has three apartments, with one becoming available each month.

APPLY FOR AN APARTMENT

Get Connected

Be a Tenant Ally

Adopt an Apartment

Give to Home for Awhile

BENEVOLENCE

The Program

When we repent and believe in Christ, not only are we brought personally from death to life, but we are also adopted into God’s family. As fellow believers, we are called to look out for our new family and serve each other in love. It is from this foundation of a healthy family that we can best serve the community around us. 

At Cornerstone, the best expression of this family is seen in connection groups. It is here that believers challenge and encourage one another as they grow in their knowledge of and obedience to Jesus.

However, deep and complex needs often arise within this family context, and one focus of City Ministries is to come alongside connection groups in times where members need help. Connection group leaders can refer members to our missions team for unexpected financial burdens, automotive & home repairs, counseling appointments. We are eager to partner with connection groups to help care for their spiritual, physical, and material needs!

APPLY FOR ASSISTANCE

Get Connected

Sign up to be a Benevolence Ally

FOUNDATIONS LEARNING CENTER

The Program

Foundations Learning Center is a ministry of Together for Story County, Inc. We were established in Spring 2021 and are currently in the process to become a 501(c)(3) entity.

Our dream is see families in our community flourish spiritually, emotionally, and physically – specifically by coming alongside children and families in the area of early education and development. Story County was recently deemed as a “childcare desert” due to the lack of openings available for children to participate in quality care environments. Additionally, in these “deserts”, poverty-impacted families tend to experience the most difficult time identifying safe and affordable care providers.

LEARN MORE

Get Connected

Apply for an Open Position

Make a Donation

FAITH & FINANCES

The Class

Faith & Finances is a great financial education resource for people who:

  • are just starting out learning how to manage money
  • don’t have a lot of extra money to spare
  • desire to overcome financial obstacles
  • want to save more and pay off debt

REGISTER FOR THE NEXT CLASS

Racial Reconciliation

Partnered

We are in pursuit of unity and partner with Ames churches (BCC, Friendship) with a heart for the multiethnic church and racial reconciliation.

Sexual Exploitation

Partnered

We partner with Wings of Refuge to support and care for survivors of sex trafficking.

Mental Health

Owned

We started the Cornerstone Counseling Center to provide clinically-informed, Christ-centered mental health care to the community. We also have a high school counseling location.

Recovery

Owned

Cornerstone Recovery is a Christ-centered recovery program designed for the local church to help those who are recovering from hurtful circumstances and addictive behaviors, meeting every Monday at 6:30p at Cornerstone.

Incarceration

Owned, Partnered

We partner with the Matthew 25 House and Butterfly Freedom House in Ames to provide post-incarceration support to men and women in the community, as well as bible studies within the Story County Jail.

End of Life

Partnered

We value providing care with dignity until the very end of life, partnering with Hospice Connection and funeral homes.