September Prayer Update
We are four months into this gospel project. This monthly update is coming a little late, but I still want to fill you in on all that happened throughout September. It is incredible to think of everything Jesus has empowered us to accomplish in so little time. We are humbled and excited. September was an important month and a turning point for us. As we’ve done from the start, we focused on cultivating our launch community, wrapped up our study of the Gospel Centered Life and continued to live with gospel intentionality in the city. Some have moved downtown. Others have changed jobs. It has been exhausting and encouraging. To those who have been praying for us: Thank You! If you’re just jumping on board, welcome. You can read our last prayer update HERE. You can also receive email updates of new blog content by entering your email in the “Subscribe to Updates via Email” box in the right column.
Here are some snapshots of the past month:
Official sending by Mars Hill and Acts 29. Sept 19th.
On Sunday, September 19th, Mars Hill Church (via Pastor Steve Tompkins) and the Acts 29 Network (via Pastor Scott Thomas) officially sent us to plant this new gospel work in the heart of downtown Seattle by laying hands and praying over me. The act of laying hands on those being sent on a mission is a sign of approval, support, release and blessing. It’s also symbolic of the nearness and presence of the Holy Spirit who empowers, leads and supports the Jesus’ mission through the church. I am humbled and honored to be simultaneously sent from Mars Hill Church and Acts 29 Network. You can read the original planting announcement (April 2010) posted by Mars Hill Church here.
Vision Sunday, September 26th.
Of course, the highlight of the month was our vision/info gathering we held on September 26th. The purpose of the event was simple: gather skeptics, friends, neighbors, coworkers, or the curious together and share our vision for a new work that Jesus is unfolding. Jesus was gracious to us, giving us a free gathering space, borrowed gear and chairs, and a worship leader just five days before the event (!) We had a great turnout, generous offers of prayer/financial support, and a handful who expressed interest in giving their lives to seeing this church planted.
Acts 29 Boot Camp. Sept 29th & 30th.
The big national Acts 29 Boot Camp in Seattle was held the week following our vision gathering. We had seven guys from Downtown Cornerstone attend, some of which hope to plant a church some day. It was a great time of teaching, praying, and applying what we learned to our immediate context. If you’re not familiar with Acts 29, visit them here at their website. We’ve benefited greatly from being networked, resourced and equipped alongside like-minded churches around the country.
First Thursday Art Walk, Sazerac, and Prayer
Since we first started meeting we’ve had a two-fold strategy that consists of gathering on Sundays (for vision, prayer and worship) and connecting during/throughout the week (for community, mission, and service). It’s been an eventful month from participating in First Thursday at the Seattle Art Museum to happy hour at Sazerac to taking an evening to pray for our city These times have helped shape us as a newly forming community, while providing many opportunities to invite people in. Follow us here at the blog, under events, to find out what’s happening this week.
Two Couples from Brazil.
Back in May I went to Brazil to help with the first Acts 29 Church Planting Foundations conference there. While visiting, I met two couples: Josh & Analice Block and Giulian & Christy Giusti. As God’s providence would have it, Josh and Analice are now in Seattle considering becoming part of Downtown Cornerstone. On top of that, Giulian and Christy flew up and spent a week with us as they too considered whether or not to move to Seattle. They called yesterday to inform me they are! We’re excited to welcome them to the team. I never thought I’d be recruiting for our launch community in Brazil. God works in mysterious ways.
Relationships and Networking.
I’ve been on a networking tear meeting with anyone who loves the city that will talk to me: Christians, not-yet-Christians, businessmen, locals, transplants, friends, baristas, bartenders, grocery store clerks and many neighbors. It has been a joy to be on mission in the city. We feel at home and that we’re supposed to be here. Though critical questions about what we’re doing inevitably arise, we’ve been accepted with Seattle caution. These have been great opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ.
This Fall: The City of God (life as it should, and one day will, be)
This fall we’re going to have three preview gatherings (10/24, 11/21, 12/19) as we unpack “The City of God“ through which we’ll examine what it means to be a people, rescued by the grace of Jesus, who are sent to love, serve, and challenge this city by pointing all who will hear to the God of the city to come. We want to leverage these larger, public gatherings to invite others in, build our communities, continue fundraising and networking, and work on ironing out our production/logistic wrinkles. We hope to build enough momentum through the fall to go to a weekly public gathering format in January.
We’ve lived downtown for nearly two months now and are beginning to settle in. Jen and the kids are adapting to our smaller space and feeling right at home. The cardboard boxes are gone – almost. We’ve begun to meet many people in our apartment complex who we’ve already grown to love and befriend. We’ve managed to be consistent with our family days, visiting the Puyallup Fair and spending considerable time adventuring around Seattle. We hosted numerous friends and family from across the US. I wrapped up physical therapy on my knee. Best of all, Jen is doing well with the pregnancy. There are, miraculously, no complications. Please pray there will be no bed rest required with this pregnancy as there was with Macy. The due date is April 15th!
For October, please pray that:
- We would continue to be a church marked by a deep love for Jesus.
- Jesus would continue to build his church by bringing 100 people to join his mission by December.
- Many souls will be saved and lives transformed through this new gospel work.
- We’d experience favor in Seattle.
- All of our financial needs will be provided for.
- Jesus-loving, talented musicians and artists will join this work (!)
- A central, strategic, well-known, yet inexpensive, gathering location for us would open up (!)
- Seattle would be loved, served, challenged and changed through the gospel.
- Many Gospel-centered Jesus-loving churches would be planted.
- 100 people, outside the church, to pray for us daily.
Thank you for your prayers and support!
The story continues…
In Christ Alone,