The Easter Bunny might be a little disoriented by working in the summer, but the Rev. Dr. Gary Karwoski says that he will be at the Cornerstone Community Church, 9008 Fairview Ave. in Brookfield, early on Sunday, Aug. 23, distributing colored eggs all around the church building in preparation for an Easter egg hunt which will begin at 9 a.m.
“Easter for almost all churches is the biggest day of the year, and this year we missed it, because of the lock down,” said Karwoski, pastor of Cornerstone Community Church. “So we pushed our Easter service off until this month, so we can celebrate it in person, the way it should be.”
He added that unlike Christmas, Easter is celebrated on a different date every year, because the day is determined by the lunar calendar, like Passover is for Jewish people. As a result, it’s not as big a deal to move it to a different spot on the calendar.
The pastor of Cornerstone Church is also hosting the event as a way of bringing new families into his church. Unlike 50 years ago when, adults tended to worship in churches of the same denomination in which they grew up, these days there is more of an open religious marketplace where, intentionally or not, churches are in competition with each other for members.
“We need young families,” Karwoski said. “We’ll put many of the eggs in the space where we have our children’s ministry, so that as parents follow their kids, they will see what we are doing with our children.”
To get the word out to these potential members, Karwoski has distributed prayer cards to his congregation, because he believes that good things happen when people pray. He also has given church members invitation cards they can use to invite friends and neighbors to join them at the church for the special day, because he also believes that good things happen when people act.
Cornerstone will get contact information from all who attend Easter in August, and will follow up with them, inviting them to a seven-week series of video presentations and discussions called “In Pursuit of Jesus,” through the lens of global cultures.
In all of its publicity, Cornerstone Community Church is emphasizing that visitors will be entering a safe environment. All who attend will have their temperatures checked (touchless) and be required to use hand sanitizer when they enter the building.
Gloves and masks will be made available for everyone. The pews are 12-feet long, enough to maintaining a six foot distance, and every other pew will be empty.
Before being ordained in 1986, Karwoski worked as a pharmacist for 11 years, even while attending the Dallas Theological Seminary where he eventually earned his Doctor of Ministry degree.
The service, which begins at 10:30 a.m., will be less than an hour with the message lasting about 20 minutes. Karwoski is not only the preacher, he’s also the leader of the praise band, which includes him on guitar along with others on drums, piano, bass and guitar. The band’s repertoire of 350 songs includes both traditional hymns and contemporary Christian music.
Karwoski came to Brookfield in 2005 and started Cornerstone Community Church as what is known as a “church plant.” The congregation that owned the building at 9008 Fairview Ave. at the time was the Brookfield Baptist Church, which was shrinking in membership. They approached Karwoski about forming some kind of partnership.
After exploring the matter for several months, the two congregations found that they were compatible on many levels and decided to merge the two congregations in 2006.