Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Jan 10

A Note from Jani Ortlund, 2018 Women’s Retreat Speaker

Event, Teaching, Women's Retreat

Dear Ladies of Downtown Cornerstone Church,

I’m looking forward to our time together in February at the Women’s Retreat! Why? Because I love to be a part of women gathering together with open hearts and open Bibles, freed from the demands of daily duties to eagerly seek the Lord. I have the sacred privilege to lead us in those times in God’s Word.

Who is this woman leading you? Well, I’m Jani (rhymes with Annie) Ortlund, married for 46 years to A29 church planter Ray Ortlund. We have four married children, producing the most irresistible granddarlings—13 at last count! I spend my days much like you do, trying to figure out why God made me and how best to serve Him this side of Heaven. Part of that service involves speaking and writing about Him!

The theme for our weekend together is delighting in Christ. What does it mean to be “in Christ”? How do we come to rest there—to stay there? What is God’s part and what is our part as we muddle through our hopes and heartaches? How can our identity in Christ expand from one of duty to delight? And what can we trust Christ for in those inevitable dry and barren desert experiences?

How can you prepare for this time together? Please pray. Ask God to meet with us individually and corporately in fresh and significant ways. Pray that you will see Jesus, not Jani.

Meditate on Psalm 62:1 and Psalm 36:7-9, and read through Isaiah 41:17-21—our three texts for the weekend.

Oh, and definitely pack some chocolate! I strongly believe that chocolate makes for a better weekend!

Prayerfully, expectantly, and lovingly,

– Jani Ortlund


Ladies, this retreat is a unique opportunity to hit “pause” on our daily rhythms and gather together to be encouraged, equipped, and strengthened in our faith. We know there’s a lot to coordinate – from carpooling and childcare, to saving up for the cost, and giving up the bulk of your weekend. We encourage you to give your concerns for the weekend to Jesus, embrace all that He has waiting for you, and join us in the following:

1) Begin praying for the weekend.

2) Register online in advance!

3) Invite a friend and encourage ladies to join you.

4) Email if you have any questions, concerns, or barriers.

A reminder that we’re offering a 50% discount to all students. Use the code collegestudent (lowercase, all one word) on your registration form before submitting.

Excited for all that God will do!

Jan 4

New Connect Group Begins January 10th

Community | by Pastor Craig Sturm


I hope you’re doing well and enjoying God’s gift of a new year!

As you plan and establish rhythms for the new year ahead, I want to encourage you to prioritize the local church and create space for God-centered, biblical community in your life. It’s our desire to see all our people connecting, sharing life, and forming communities that are deeply rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We’re excited to launch a new Connect Group format to help foster this type of community and invite those who are brand new with DCC or have been participating with us for a while but have yet to get connected to community to jump in. The Winter Connect Group is kicking off on Wednesday, January 10th and is a great opportunity for those looking to build meaningful relationships within our church body!

The Connect Group is an introductory, 8-week group on Wednesdays at 6:30pm where you can meet new people, learn about biblical community, open and discuss the Bible, pray together, develop meaningful relationships for yourself and your family, and learn how to take steps for connecting with a long-term Cornerstone Community. The primary purpose and hope for this time is…

  • Belong. Providing a place for you to begin to build meaningful relationships for the purpose of discipleship.

  • Discover. Laying a foundational understanding and giving you a hands-on taste of biblical community.

  • Grow. Providing encouragement and steps for connection into a long-term Cornerstone Community.

Whether you’ve tried to jump into a Cornerstone Community before, had a hard time getting connected, or want to take the next step of getting plugged into meaningful relationships with our church, we invite you to jump into the Winter Connect Group.

Learn more about the content & schedule, and register here. Have questions? Email and we’ll follow-up!

Expectant and prayerful,

Pastor Craig Sturm

Dec 7

The Power of REST

Advent Drive, City Life, Service | by Pastor Craig Sturm

“I am worth love.” Piper, a resident at the REST House, firmly declared. “[REST] has been a God-send. I feel it’s kept me alive,” she said, explaining the hard work she’s put in on her path to leaving behind commercial sex exploitation, toward sobriety and a different life. Prior to coming to REST, Piper was living out of a motel, using opiates heavily, and prostituting her body along with her sister. When her sister wanted out of prostitution, she connected Piper with an advocate at REST. From there, Piper began to build life-transforming relationships with REST staff members and guests

Her testimony these days?

“I feel so loved by God. I feel loved by the staff. I feel loved by the roommates. I feel loved by my family again. I feel loved by the prayers that are said for me. I know God put my advocate in my life for a reason because I was supposed to meet all these people. I was supposed to be sitting here doing this to get better. I feel loved.”


On any given night in Seattle, hundreds of individuals are sold for sex. REST: Real Escape from the Sex Trade was founded in 2009 to build pathways to freedom, safety, and hope for victims of sex trafficking and the sex trade in Seattle and beyond. Downtown Cornerstone is partnering with REST this Advent season to help outfit the REST House. The donated clothing items will help REST welcome women hoping to transition out of the sex trade into a life of freedom and restoration.

Jesus is our ultimate source of rest and invites all who labor and are heavy laden to come to Him (Matthew 11:28). Let us follow His example and give joyfully out of the rest and abundance Christ has given us to tangibly serve these young women this Advent season! Details on how to give are outlined below –

WHO. Young women (18-25 years old) in restorative housing in the REST House.

HOW. Needed items can be purchased from the Amazon Wish List. Similar items may also be purchased individually and donated through donation bins placed in the Commons. In addition to the items listed, gift cards for grocery and clothing stores such as Safeway, Target, and Ross are also needed!

WHERE. Items purchased from the list will be shipped directly to Downtown Cornerstone. If you would like to donate similar items not on the list, please place them in the donation bins in the Commons or give them to your community lead to donate.

WHEN. Through the month of December.

Learn more here.


In a very Seattle way, REST is leveraging chatbox technology to help further their passion to bring freedom, safety, and hope to young women (and men) caught in the sex trade. This feature appeared on and highlights how the tool is beginning to impact Seattle, and hopefully other places across the globe!