From Cornerstone Festival, via email:


May 15, 2012

Dear Cornerstone Festival Family:

We are so grateful to have been able to share with you the gift that has been Cornerstone Festival all these years. Our annual gathering in this truly special community has shaped and illuminated our journeys together and apart, beginning in 1984, when the first Cornerstone drew 5000 people to a small fairgrounds outside Chicago.  Through our peak years in the 90s when tens of thousands celebrated this festival’s amazing unity-in-diversity amid the Midwestern countryside, to more recent belt-tightening days, we’ve traveled our ups and downs together in a way that will be a part of our lives forever.

In 2012, we’ll be celebrating one final Cornerstone Festival together.  Based on a range of factors – including changes in the market and a difficult economy – the timing seems right.  This was obviously a hard decision, wrestled with over years and particularly over recent months.  But with the decision made, we have the opportunity to come together one last time and bring to a happy, grateful – if tearful – close to this chapter of our lives.

Given this change, we’ll be making some adjustments to the lineup and schedule in the days ahead. Without giving too much away, we can say that we’d like to make this a special gathering to remember, to share stories and encourage one another with the vision of Cornerstone in ways that look back and ahead toward new things God is doing.  Along with activities like art workshops, kids' programs, seminars, games, movies – and MUSIC, of course – Cornerstone 2012 promises to be a time of thankful reflection and sharing among people who’ve walked this significant part of their life’s journey together.

Keep checking our website and Facebook page for changes and latest information.

Most of you know that Cornerstone Festival grew out of a labor of love from our church and community, Jesus People USA.  The festival emerged from JPUSA’s Cornerstone magazine and Resurrection Band.  Our community continues to operate one of Chicago’s largest homeless shelters, also bearing the name Cornerstone.  We remain confident in God’s faithfulness and grace to lead us on to new chapters in our ongoing journey.

Thanks again to everyone who’s been a part of this amazing journey with us!  What a privilege it's been. Most of all, thanks to Jesus: the stone rejected that became the true Cornerstone.  Amen!

We look forward with mixed sadness and joy to seeing you all this summer, one last time on our Bushnell campground, for a very special Cornerstone Festival 2012.

In His grace,
Pastoral Team, Jesus People USA – Evangelical Covenant Church
and The Cornerstone Festival Staff,
Genesis Winter & Scott Stahnke, directors


Last Norma Jean post, I promise… but this is the best one.  This is the video from the official Cornerstone film crew.  It was really cool that the Festival officials sent them over to our stage, along with the security crew from the Main Stage.  There are some really great shots from this video, and you can get a good feel for our stage and how it went.   We were really able to connect with a lot of people this way, and God used it in the ways He always does. 

I can't believe it's ending...

Cornerstone Festival has transformed my life in so many ways. My first year attending in 2005 introduced me to some of my best friends that I can’t begin to fathom life without… Subsequently, in 2009, after spending 5 Cornerstones with these people I moved halfway across the country to live with one of those friends (which then turned into living with 2 of those friends and now means living in a town with 6 individuals that I met at Cornerstone over the years). Since 2009, I have used Cornerstone as a means to see my family and friends from back home and continue growing the family that I gained while at the fest.

I can’t imagine summer without thinking of those circus tents, late nights with The Chariot flailing on a stage, fireflies in the cornfields, trips to the Macomb Wal-Mart, and promising myself that “Next year, I’ll play Cornerstone.”

Words fail me. But I’m so fortunate to be attending the 28th and final year of Cornerstone. I hope to see you there.


to this day i still dont understand why i laugh so hard while watching this