Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Jan 25
2018

Supporting REST in our City

Advent Drive, City Life, Service | by Micah Rickard

REST: Real Escape from the Sex Trade was founded in 2009 for the purpose of powerfully serving and loving victims of sex trafficking by providing prevention, intervention, and restorative services. The nonprofit has served over 1,580 individuals and assisted over 100 in exiting the sex trade for one year or more.

Still, the statistics are devastating: one study in 2008 showed that on any given night, up to 2,000 individuals are being trafficked in Seattle. The average entry age for sex trafficking victims is 13 years old, and studies estimate that 1 in 3 runaways will be trafficked within 48 hours.

For every statistic, there is a story. For every number, a person, made in the image of God, bearing dignity and worth. Each and every story matters. One survivor, Alina, said this about REST “When I called the REST Hotline, my whole life changed. REST has become my family, giving me the support I never had. This place has saved my life, and I didn’t think I could be anything more than a prostitute before I met REST.”

To the glory of God and by his grace, REST has been a transformative tool in the lives of youth and women throughout Seattle. One of the ways that REST serves our community is by providing a Drop-In Center, with workshops, classes, support groups, meals, and peer support. Additionally, REST provides essentials to victims and survivors who often lack clothing, especially for winter months.

Throughout the season of Advent, we partnered with REST to provide them with winter clothing which will go to the women they serve. In total, we collected over 400 items including winter coats, gloves, sweaters, sweatshirts, underwear, socks, beanies, scarves, toiletries, and gift cards. The staff at REST were overjoyed by your generosity!

Paul encouraged the church in Corinth to give generously for the needs of the believers in Jerusalem, writing,

“You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God” (2 Cor. 9:11-12).”

I am deeply and richly encouraged and humbled by the donations that we were able to give to REST in support of their ministry, and I hope you are too! God is doing incredible things through REST, and He has given us the wonderful chance to partner with them! If you are interested in learning more about the issue of sex trafficking in Seattle or about REST’s ministry, or want to continue to support REST, I encourage you to visit their website at www.iwantrest.com. Consider volunteering, giving financially, or participating in their upcoming “Raise ‘em for REST Poker Tournament” on March 8.

Thank you to everyone who gave generously and partnered with REST in support and through prayer!

– Micah Rickard 
Deacon of Mercy Ministries

Jan 10
2018

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

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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 events@downtowncornerstone.org 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
2018

New Connect Group Begins January 10th

Community | by Pastor Craig Sturm

Friends,

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 community@downtowncornerstone.org and we’ll follow-up!

Expectant and prayerful,

Pastor Craig Sturm