Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Jan 3
2020

How To Grow With Us This Year

Community, Discipleship | by Pastor Justin Keogh

Hello!

As we head into 2020, there are a number of ways to grow with us – and we hope you will take full advantage of all that God has prepared for you this year! It is our prayer that all who consider DCC their home church would be relationally connected, intentionally growing, meaningfully serving and giving, missionally engaged, willingly accountable, and known by a pastor. Fundamentally, we are a local people in gospel-forged relationships who desire to know Jesus and make him known. To that end, I’d invite you to consider what your next step would be to grow in 2020.

NEW WITH US?

If you’re new to DCC, join us this Sunday, January 5th, for our next Newcomers’ Coffee. This will be held after both gatherings and is an opportunity for you to meet a pastor, connect with leaders, hear our story, learn what we believe, ask any questions you may have, and identify your next steps—along with others who are doing the same (No need to RSVP).

I’d also encourage you to join us for the Foundations class on Sundays at 9 am, starting on January 12th. This five-week class covers the essentials of who we are as a local church and is the primary relational on-ramp into the life of our body. Throughout the class, we’ll discuss who we are and what we believe while building relationships and community together. Learn more and register HERE.

LIFE WITH DCC

For those who have already taken the Foundations class and have been participating with us for a while, we invite you to further embed in the life of our church through:

CLASSES & DISCIPLESHIP

Lastly, as you consider how God is calling you to take the next step in your faith, our upcoming set of classes are a great way to grow in your knowledge and love of God and all that He is for us:

  • Session 1 begins this Wednesday, January 8th: Systematic Theology II, Financial Stewardship, and Unity & Diversity.
  • Session 2 begins February 12th: Systematic Theology II (contd.), Parenting, and Missions.

Learn more about these classes and register HERE.

For the ladies especially, there are two unique opportunities this winter:

  • Women’s Bible Study: Wednesday mornings from 10 am – 12 pm, starting January 8th. This will be a 13-week study on Ephesians, with childcare incorporated. Learn more and register HERE.
  • Women’s Discipleship Day: Saturday, February 1st, from 9 am – 4 pm. This will be a relational, interactive day with singing, mingling, discussion, and times of learning, reflection, and prayer. Learn more and register HERE.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at justin@downtowncornerstone.org. I am praying that this next year will be one of growth in your knowledge, love, and trust of the Lord!

Blessings,
Justin

Dec 19
2019

Mercy Update | World Relief Advent Drive

Advent Drive, Mercy Ministries | by Pastor Justin Keogh

World Relief Drive

In Seattle, we have thousands of neighbors who have arrived as refugees, asylees, or immigrants – often fleeing persecution and arriving with only the clothes on their backs. For those who are fortunate enough to be able to navigate the complex immigration system and be resettled in Seattle, they still face an uphill battle to learn to live in a new culture, with a new language, amidst the pain and confusion of trauma they’ve faced.

It is in this space that World Relief Seattle steps in to provide holistic, gospel-motivated, services that range from physical resettlement, language and cultural education, immigration and legal services, economic and employment training, and spiritual empowerment. As a church, we’ve partnered with World Relief Seattle to help serve those vulnerable image-bearers arriving in our city with the love of Christ. We do this because God has loved us in Christ while we were spiritually dead, apart from Him and without hope in the world.

CHRIST: OUR ULTIMATE REFUGE

God calls us to love others because, in Christ, we recognize our own spiritual need and the value of others as His image-bearers. In Deuteronomy 10, we see God connect His character with those who are sojourners. He speaks to ancient Israel, His adopted people who were to bear witness to God’s love, this way:

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:17-19)

God tells Israel about His great love and awesome glory. But He does more than simply tell them; in His wisdom, God reveals His love for them and His power over all things by weaving into Israel’s story a sojourn in and rescue out of Egypt. Israel’s time in Egypt, and their redemption by God out of Pharoah’s hand, serve as undeniable, historical declarations of God’s power and love for His people. These attributes are rooted in His character, and He weaves them into Israel’s story, and then He calls them to love the sojourners in their midst.

The same is true for us in Christ. Ephesians 2 heralds this good news: God’s love for us and power toward us are just as profound, bringing life to dead sinners, bringing those who were far off into unity with God in Christ. Like Israel, we were sojourners, apart from God. Like Israel, we have been given God’s love and grace in Christ. And like Israel, God calls us to live a life that is transformed by His love, a life that glorifies God in the way we love others.

ADVENT DRIVE

This Advent season, we’re hosting a drive with World Relief to purchase physical goods for our refugee, asylee, and immigrant neighbors resettling in Seattle. In 2019, World Relief Seattle has helped resettle almost 200 families (585 individuals). Our goal for this drive is to provide 20 families (or more!) with all of the physical essentials while they resettle in Seattle. That includes everything from toothbrushes and trash bags to bedding and cookware.

In order to make the greatest impact, we’re going to collect financial donations together as a church and then purchase these items in bulk.

WAYS TO PARTICIPATE

We invite you to prayerfully consider a gift toward serving these new neighbors, as God’s beloved image-bearers. 100% of the gifts collected will go directly to the material needs of the families served by World Relief.

  • A gift of $25 can purchase the cleaning items for a family of 4
  • A gift of $75 can purchase essential kitchenware
  • A gift of $250 can provide linens & bedding
  • A gift of $500 can provide a full package of essentials for a family of 4

You can contribute through a financial donation using the online giving button below, or by marking a monetary donation as “advent drive” and giving on a Sunday through December or by mailing it in.

DONATE
All contributions are tax-deductible, and World Relief will receive 100% of your donation, less any processing fees (if applicable). A gift acknowledgment will be included in your year-end giving statement.

Visit downtowncornerstone.org/relief to learn more.

Pastor Justin

Nov 21
2019

Meet Our Newest Elder Candidate: Marco Ribeiro

News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Downtown Cornerstone,

On Sunday, we presented Marco Ribeiro to the church as an elder candidate.

Therefore, we are taking the next month to give you time to meet with him, ask questions, and/or express any concerns you may have. One of the over-arching qualifications for a pastor is that he must be “above reproach” (1Tim 3:1). While we have done our homework, this waiting period is an additional step to ensure all bases are covered and you have an opportunity to speak into the process.

The office of pastor (or elder) was created by God, for the leading, feeding, and protection of his flock, the local church. Therefore, we treat the testing, equipping and installation of such men with great seriousness – and joy!

Marco will not be on DCC’s pastoral staff (i.e. vocational pastor), but will serve as an elder in a volunteer capacity (i.e. non-staff pastor). Therefore, by necessity, the scope of his pastoral involvement will be limited when compared to a staff pastor. However, his service will be equally significant. As a non-staff pastor Marco will be involved with preaching, teaching, counseling, officiating weddings and funerals, elder meetings and practical leadership (which currently includes leading a Cornerstone Community).

Our aim is to raise up many non-staff pastors, like Marco, as it helps diversify and strengthen the elder team and, therefore, the church. Marco will be our second non-staff pastor.

Marco is a good man with integrity, love for Jesus, and for Jesus’ church. As elders, we believe he is called, qualified, and ready to be appointed as a pastor. However, we are taking this time in case you know something that we do not.

That said, would you pray for the Ribeiro’s in this season? Would you also pray for our church? It is a sign of God’s grace to us that we have men, like Marco, being raised-up to lead, feed, and protect Jesus’ flock. Let’s ask Him for more.

Provided nothing arises that would cause us to pause the process, which we don’t foresee, we will install Marco as a pastor on Sunday, December 15th. It will be a great celebration and a joyous moment.

What follows (below) is a short interview with Marco so that you can get to know him a bit better.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, you can email me directly at adam@downtowncornerstone.org.

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam
On behalf of the elders of DCC

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Q: How did you meet Jesus? How has he changed you?

MR: I was an atheist at college and thought that religion was just a crutch for stupid people. I became friends with a guy who loved and cared for me in a manner disproportionate to our acquaintance, and was shocked when I discovered that he was both a Christian and intelligent at the same time. After a couple of years of interacting with him and other Christians I met, I had an experience where I felt a supernatural conviction of sin, and an amazing peace after I decided against sin. This experience made me become an agnostic, and from there it was another number of months until I finally surrendered to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Before this point I was an inveterate liar, angry, sad, proud, sexually immoral, a blasphemer who cursed at everything. Jesus is still changing my heart on a constant basis, but the fact that I was so bad made the initial change rather dramatic, both outwardly and inwardly.

Q: Tell us a little about your family.

MR: Sara was one of the Christians I met at college during my long conversion process — we were in the same major. In her own words, she let me become a friend because I was so bad that there was absolutely no chance of romantic involvement. She got to observe my conversion and growth in the Lord while remaining a close friend, and we started dating a few years later. We got married and moved here in 2013. I am very thankful to God for giving me an amazing partner who I love deeply, a true companion who complements me well. In 2017, our first son (Samuel) was born, followed by our second (Lucas) earlier this year.

Q: What are you most passionate about?

MR: God, followed by my wife and kids. As it pertains to eldership, I am most passionate about seeing others grow in the love of God, being transformed by the Holy Spirit and becoming fully mature in Christ.

Q: How did you get involved with DCC?

MR: We were looking for a church when we moved here in 2013, and DCC was the first one we both liked. We quickly got involved in community and serving, and became members as soon as we had the opportunity (the membership class was longer back then). During this time, we have grown a lot in our love and appreciation for the church, and in our understanding of service and mission together.

Q: What are your current areas of oversight?

MR: I currently lead a community, periodically teach classes, and engage in personal discipleship.

Q: How did you determine you were called to be a pastor?

MR: Initially, being an elder was not something that was even on my radar. Pastor Adam invited me to participate in an elder development class, and I accepted. Through the class and afterwards (as he challenged me), I started to consider it more carefully.

Initially, I thought I had certain gifts that could be useful to others (I read a lot, I can teach a little bit, etc.) but did not think of myself as the kind of person fit to be an example to others. After many conversations (with Sara, the elders, other members of DCC and of the church at large), the desire to serve others in this way grew in me, and so did stronger feelings of love, care and esteem towards God’s people in the local church. Through this process, many people were brought in to assess my fitness and qualifications, and I have gotten much encouragement and suggestions for growth.

It is hard for me to say that I have ‘determined’ that I am called to be a pastor, as I know I have many areas to grow in. What I can say is that I desire to help others follow the triune God, that He has been working in me for a while, and that I have additional confirmation from many faithful men and women in the church, who think that I am qualified and can be useful.

Q: How can we be praying for you and your family in this season?

MR: We would love if anyone prayed the following and applied it to us:

“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” — 2 Thessalonians 1:11–12

Also, please pray that we would be able to sort out our visa situation and get green cards, so we can stay in Seattle for the foreseeable future.

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Let’s be praying for the Ribeiros and our church during this time!