Sunday, November 22, 2009

Iowa City

Well, it has been a crazy few weeks. There's so much I've been wanting to write, but haven't had any spare moments, and much of what I have been processing wasn't ready for the world wide web.

A couple weeks ago, Jeff Dodge and Troy Nesbitt asked me to consider planting a Cornerstone Church of Iowa City, along with Salt Company at the University of Iowa. I told them I'd pray.

That whole week, every page in my Bible seemed to say, "YES! GO!" It came less as a command, and more as an invitation to a journey. My mom had some great insight on this- this is what God seemed to be saying, "The path you're on is a good path. But Mark, what would you think about going with me off the path onto a trail you can't see? Follow me. You're going to love the view. Let's go."

I went in to Jeff and Troy a week after I was asked to pray about it (I don't sit on decisions for too long), and said, "Let's do this. Count me in."

The day after, Andy and Amanda Sage were visiting TSC. I asked Amanda what she thought of the night. Staring at the 700 dispersing students with a look of heaviness, she said, "I couldn't help but think this whole time... 'What if this never existed? What if Cornerstone and Salt Company was never here?'"

In the millisecond I had to think, a thousand names went flooding through my mind (Leatha, Rachael, Wally, Martin, Mark, _______ (insert your name here; I probably thought of you!)

If she only knew how prophetic that statement was to me.

As if it weren't enough, she followed it with, "I just wish there was something like this in Iowa City for my brother."

It's as if God put the exclamation point on the decision. "YES! GO!"

There are so many more little pieces to the puzzle, but this summer we will be moving to Iowa City to plant Cornerstone Church of Iowa City (First services early September) and Salt Company at U of I (TSC kickoff on August 26).

Since it was announced at Salt on Thursday and Cornerstone this weekend, over 100 people have said, "I'm thinking God might be calling me to go with you. Please pray for me." Wow.

There will be much more to come. But for now...

Anyone want to buy our house?


Brenda Rae said...

Wow Mark - We are excited for you to come to this side of the state - the view is pretty and the harvest is plentiful. But can you wear a Hawkeye shirt? Jason can't.

dannyandjessie said...

That's awesome news, another big school with huge impacts all over the world! We'll be praying!

Anna said...

Noah and I were so excited to hear this. Too bad we just moved from IC a year ago! It would be awesome to be in on God's plan for that city. My little cousin Emma plays Volleyball for the UofI and knows Trisha, and my other cousin Henry is getting recruited to play FB there. Neither know Christ, and I'll begin praying that God will make your ministry the outlet He uses to make Himself known to those two specifically. WOW!

I was raised a Hawkeye, and never understood why I went to ISU when I was adament to my parents that I would never attend there. After graduating and our move to IC, I knew it was because of TSC and Noah. So glad that UI grads will be able to say the same thing... well, minus Noah! Tell Leatha I will be thinking of her, and praying for her as she prepares to move your family.

Alyssa said...

Mark-- I went to Salt & Cornerstone for the past 5 years, and recently moved to Cedar Rapids. I've struggled finding a church here that fits for me. I am so pumped C-stone will be in Iowa City! Just yesterday I went to the church I've been going to and I was practically crying, just knowing that I didn't quite fit there. My heart just aches for Cornerstone--the worship, the solid teaching, the community. You will see me in IC! :)

Ed Noble said...

I'm stoked about what God is going to do. Psalm 65:5


Kiki said...

Mark, my first thought was wahoo! That is so great. We'll be excited to support you from afar through prayer or whatever we can do!

erin said...

Brian and I will keep Iowa City as a very strong possibility for where to move after I am done with grad school here in Chicago (2011). We are so excited about all that is going on and miss Cornerstone dearly. You are in our thoughts and prayers!

Erin Scott

rachwrites said...

This is a bold move, but definitely something I can see God working through already! I instantly started thinking of all these people in IC who are believers I could connect to this and many others, like my second cousins, who go to UofI but are atheists. What a great opportunity! It is really sweet to see God working on your heart and many others' contemplating/preparing to move in faith. Many thoughts and prayers for all of you!

Shea said...

As Ranel and Wally may have told you was my response: YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!!! Iowa City needs Cornerstone's authenticity and willingness to be truthful, even when it's hard. I've watched Cornerstone from afar and during visits to Ranel and Wally, and every time I've left there wanting more--wanting my own Cornerstone. I am so very excited to be part of this opportunity!

cathryn said...

I've just started to attend Cornerstone on Sundays sporadically, since usually I go back to Des Moines to be with my family on Sundays... Tonight was my first Salt Company and heard all this talk about Iowa City and it made me wonder what was going on.

God has intervened in my life this year, in a way he never has before. Every week for the past couple months God has been acting in my life, big. Finally among all this I made the decision to transfer to Iowa and realized I wouldn't be able to go home to Des Monies on the weekends and scared I wouldn't be able to find a place like Cornerstone in Iowa City.

I came home tonight after Salt wondering what was going on and googled "Cornerstone Iowa City" and found this. I just want to say I'm glad you are starting this adventure and I will be there in the fall!

Let me know if there is absolutely anything I can do to help!