Cornerstone is often referred to as a community. You hear that word mentioned a lot on these campgrounds. What does it mean? If you’ve been coming to Cornerstone for several years, then you probably know about JPUSA, the organization that sponsors the festival. JPUSA is an intentional community in Chicago, IL made up of Christians who live together, minister together, work together, and worship together. It is a radical approach to Christianity that most would not be up to. These principles of working and living together that make up JPUSA’s way of life translate to life on the festival grounds every summer. Here are just a few examples of community in action that I have witnessed over the years coming to Cornerstone:
Four years ago, I brought a big group of people in a church van. Just after arriving, our van got stuck in the mud. A group of people camping around there sprang into action summoning help, rope, and an ATV to pull us out. All they asked in return was if we saw someone in need during the week, to help them.
There is a lady here on the grounds who for the last several years has been offering free ramen noodles to anyone who wants them. She’ll even provide the stove and propane to cook them. All she asks is that you clean up after yourself.
Just today, I had lunch at a restaurant in town with two guys who are here playing in a band on generator stages. This means they are not getting paid and are playing because they love music and want to share it with others. On the second day of the festival, they hit a deer with their van and really messed it up. They spoke of the outpouring of love and support from people at the fest who had come to their aid helping them with the van and helping them with food.
No telling how many countless teenagers over the years have made it home due to donations from strangers who helped them out when they ran out of money.
This year, I am camping in approximately the same spot I did last year. My neighbors are the same people I camped with last year. Being alone at the fest, it is nice to have familiar faces to speak with when I am at the campsite.
This list could go on and on. What instances of community in action have you experienced at Cornerstone over the years?