Fueled by the gospel, Cornerstone strives to be a gathered family that is outward-facing; building up the next generation of the church – these values are what motivate the continual development of active ministries within the church, the community, and abroad.
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
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.
God is a God of justice and mercy. He is the great motivator.
There is blessing in looking out for the poor and needy.
Isaiah 1:11-17; 58:1-7
True worship is to seek justice and mercy.
True worship is to seek justice and mercy.
Jesus came to be a servant.
Jesus came to free the oppressed, give sight to the blind.
Woe to the self-satisfied.
True worship is looking after the orphan and widow.
1 John 3:16-18
This is a main way in which we live out the love that was shown to us.
What Every Church Member Should Know About Poverty
by Ruby Payne
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty and Suffering without Hurting the Poor…And Yourself
by Steve Corbert and Brian Fikkert.
by Tim Keller
by Brian Fikkert & Kelly M. Kapic
Why is justice and mercy close to the heart of God?
Why should we help the physical and felt needs of people? Why not just focus on sharing the Gospel with them?
Ask the group whether or not they catch the vision of having a place to serve locally and if they think it is important.
Go around the room and ask people if they already have a natural third place opportunity in their life.
If some folks do not have a natural place to serve, encourage them to check out this website to find opportunities.
See if there is any crossover in interest within your group to help and encourage one another.
We partner with Obria Medical Clinics to serve women and protect the rights of the unborn.
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 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.
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.
Partnering with Ames and surrounding school districts through volunteering, mentoring, Raising Readers, donating backpacks & school supplies, and contributing to school project funds.
Though we live in what seems to be a very middle class region, there are some incredible needs in our community that are reflected in the schools:
As we consider how to help tear down the systems that perpetuate poverty, we as the body can serve at local schools by (1) promoting literacy, (2) providing good role models, (3) supporting teachers, (4) encouraging school attendance, and (5) connecting those with physical needs with people who can help them.
We all live near an elementary school, and we can all serve at least one other family and see a collective difference as we serve together.
Consider the following questions:
If so, consider initiating relationship right away. There is no need to go through Cornerstone for this! Start serving in the name of Christ and commission others into the same service.
Sometimes our children have unique insight into where material needs might exist in their schools. Consider partnering with them to see how you may be able to enter in.
There are multiple ways to get involved in your school consistently to meet students, support teachers, and be on-hand to notice potential avenues for further service. Fill out a volunteer form to get started.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Faith & Finance is a great financial education resource for people who:
We are in pursuit of unity and partner with Ames churches (BCC, Friendship) with a heart for the multiethnic church and racial reconciliation.
We partner with Wings of Refuge to support and care for survivors of sex trafficking.
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.
Celebrate 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.
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.
We value providing care with dignity until the very end of life, partnering with Hospice Connection and funeral homes.