Downtown Cornerstone Blog
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

…………………………..

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.

…………………………..

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

Nov 15
2019

Dear Our Next Music Leader (2019)

News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Dear our next potential music leader,

Nine years ago, as we set out to plant Downtown Cornerstone (DCC), we did not have a music leader. In fact, we didn’t have anything. So, I wrote an open letter in hopes of discovering someone gifted, and gutsy, enough to be part of planting a new gospel-preaching, Jesus-treasuring, bible-teaching, people-loving church in the heart of downtown Seattle. By God’s grace, we found him. He and his family have been faithfully at the plow ever since, but he is now in a season of healthy transition.

That’s where you come in.

DCC is now eight and a half years old and we need a music leader/pastor yesterday. The Lord has been kind to us over these years. We are now a thriving, diverse, dynamic, church planting church located in the Belltown neighborhood. Upwards of 700 people, from every corner of the city, gather with us each Sunday in a former nightclub. The Lord is forging us into a joy-filled, mission-minded, disciple-making, prayer-dependent, truth-seeking people. But, there is still much work to be done.

I know you’re probably looking for a church in a city that sees the sun periodically and has a winning baseball team. Why would you want that? I don’t know.

Seattle has the great outdoors in our backyard. We have the Puget Sound, Olympic National Park, and Mt. Rainier. We have Vivace coffee and Top Pot Donuts. When it rains, it pours. When the sun is out (both days) there are few places that are more beautiful. We have Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, Facebook, Google and the University of Washington. We have the Seahawks, Sounders, and Huskies. We’re among the most educated, literate, and over-priced cities in the U.S. We have great homegrown music. We recycle. We like baby seals. The people of Seattle are very tolerant—provided you agree with them.

We also have a tremendous amount of brokenness. We have prostitutes who were once little girls with the wrong kind of men in their lives. We have immature grown men who were once little boys with the right kind of men absent from their lives. We have a large gay population that have made Seattle home because they’re running from the Church. We have proud and self-righteous business people who make a living downtown and then safely retreat to the comfort and security of suburbia. We have proud and self-righteous homeless people who attempt to make a living downtown and then safely retreat to the comfort and security of their tents. Seattleites tend to think progressive politics will usher in the new heavens and new earth. This is probably why we’re among the least-church, and most post-Christian, cities in the country.

We are also one of the few churches in the downtown corridor that remain orthodox. The last great decade for church planting in Seattle was in the 1880’s, though we currently seem to be experiencing a bit of a resurgence.

Fact: California has nicer weather, winning sports teams, and surfing.
Fact: People will actually sing along with you if you plant in Texas.
Fact: The cost of living will be lower anywhere other than Seattle.
Fact: Life and ministry is difficult in an urban context.
Fact: You will be called to do hard things.

You must know what it means to lead worship through song, plan gospel-rich gatherings, develop bands, and lead teams for the glory of God. In other words, we are not merely looking for a guitar player or talented musician. We are looking for a man who can lead an urban congregation in worshipful song to their God week after week. We’re looking for a man who knows how to use music as a gospel witness to non-Christians who join us on any given week. We’re looking for a man who gets Seattle music. We’re looking for a godly, responsible, masculine, gifted leader who understands the gospel, enjoys God, and loves people.

We will pay you enough to live in Seattle, though not enough to rob you of your treasure in heaven. I commit to personally taking an interest in you and discipling you. We will leverage whatever resources we have at our disposal to get you out here and settled. I will pray for you regularly. I will seek to develop your current strengths and cultivate new ones. I will spend time with you, welcome you into our community, and support you.

We are looking to get you out here soon. If you are looking for something hard, but fulfilling, consider joining us in downtown Seattle.

Call me,
Pastor Adam

P.S. You can find the job description here.