Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Aug 30
2018

Classes Are Coming This Fall!

Discipleship, News, Teaching | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

DCC,

I’m writing to update you on an important change coming this fall: classes. Let me explain how this came about.

COMMUNITY IS CRITICAL

Outside of our Sunday gatherings, the best way to to get plugged into the life of DCC is through a Cornerstone Community. In community we’re able to build friendships around the Scripture, prayer, mission, accountability, and service. Being in regular relationship with other followers of Jesus helps ensure that what we believe doesn’t merely remain in our head, but actually takes root in our lives. This is all the more important in a church of our size, where it is easy to remain unknown. 

BUT, SO ARE CLASSES 

But, as important as communities are, they can’t do everything in the life of a Christian. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Nothing can do everything—not even the pulpit. Where will we learn about evangelism, or church history, or biblical theology, or counseling care, or how to disciple, or financial stewardship, or spiritual disciplines, or parenting, and more? The only answer to that is “classes.” So, this fall we are going to begin offering a handful of classes.  

THE HEAD IS THE WAY TO THE HEART

The purpose of offering classes is not to create big heads, but big hearts. However, the way to our hearts is through our heads (Rom. 12:2). Spirit-filled thinking about God results in Spirit-filled feeling for God. After all, to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8) we must know who this Lord is and exactly why he is good. That makes learning-well crucial to loving-well—and loving is the heartbeat of worshipful change. All Christian learning should be viewed in that light.

OUR FALL CLASS OFFERINGS

Therefore, this fall, we are offering six classes over a ten-week period. Our Sunday classes will begin on Sunday, September 30th. Our midweek classes will begin on Wednesday, October 3rd. Most classes will meet for one hour over five weeks and will be taught either by pastors, staff, or members. Our fall class offerings will be: 

Foundations (Five weeks)
Our Foundations class is the first stop for folks seeking to learn more about DCC and/or becoming a member. The purpose of this class is to walk through what we believe (doctrine), why its important to belong (membership), who we are (vision, mission, values), why we are here (context), and how we function as a church (leadership, ministries, partners, finances, etc). This class will meet on Sundays, during the 9am gathering, starting September 30th, for five weeks (and will then repeat) and will be taught by DCC pastors and staff. This class is required for membership with DCC.

Dynamics of Biblical Change (Five weeks, every other week)
This is a for-credit, or for-audit, class through CCEF (Christian Counseling and Education Foundation) that focuses on the heart-level dynamics of how people change. This class offers a combination of online and onsite training. The onsite class will meet every other Wednesday, starting October 10th, for five weeks and will be led by Lisa Pratt, a certified CCEF facilitator. 

Meeting with God (Five weeks, every other week)
Would you like to grow closer to God, but you’re not sure where to begin? This class will provide a biblical understanding of the how and why of meeting with God through the spiritual disciplines on a daily basis to grow in deeper communion with Him. This class will meet every other Wednesday, starting October 3rd, for five weeks and will be taught by Pastor Craig Sturm.  

Unity and Diversity (Five weeks)
Can there truly be unity and diversity in the local church? This class approaches diversity through a biblical lens, while grounding us in our unity in Christ. Teachings will address the need for diversity and unity, the role of the local church, and practical next steps for each believer. This class will meet every Wednesday over five weeks, beginning October 3rd, and will be lead by Justin Keogh, DCC’s Director of Communities and Mercy Ministries. 

Church History (Ten weeks)
Have you ever wondered how the church got to where it is now? This class will walk through an overview of the history of the Church. Teachings will cover prominent figures, key events, and important movements from earliest days of the Church in Jerusalem to today in Seattle. This class will meet every Wednesday, starting October 3rd, for ten weeks and will be taught by members Marco Ribeiro and James Rayment.

Following Jesus (Five weeks)
Are you a new, or renewed, follower of Jesus and looking for a place to start? What does it actually mean to follow Jesus? This class will walk through the “basics” of what it means to be saved by God and walk in his ways, from the gospel, to listening to God, to meeting with God’s family, to living in hope. This class will meet every Wednesday (except the week of Thanksgiving), starting November 14th, for five weeks and will be taught by members Pierce Martin and Kyle Dunn. 

»»TO LEARN MORE OR REGISTER FOR A CLASS GO HERE.

If you have any questions, email us at classes@downtowncornerstone.org. 

Christ is all, 
Pastor Adam

P.S. FAQs regarding classes can be found below.

—————————————-

FAQ

Q: When exactly will the midweek classes be offered? 

Most midweek classes will begin on Wednesday, October 3rd (be sure to check for your particular class). The building doors will open at 6:00pm. Classes will begin at 6:30pm and end by 7:30pm.  

Q: Where should I begin if I am brand new? 

Welcome! We encourage you to to jump into the Foundations class this fall. 

Q: Do I need to take Foundations before taking other classes? 

That would be our recommendation. Foundations is a soft-pre-requisite. Will we stop you from taking other classes? Of course not. But, we want you to know more about us as a church before digging in too deep, so Foundations makes the most sense as your first stop. 

Q: Will the classes require homework? 

Outside of the Dynamics of Biblical Change class, there will be no homework required in order to eliminate any potential barrier to participation. However, most classes will offer some form of optional reading and/or writing to process what you are learning.

Q: Can I still sign-up if I know I will miss a class or two? 

Yes, please do. While we encourage you to prioritize your schedule around the class you take, in order to maximize your learning, we understand there will be conflicts. Please register and join as you are able. 

Q: Can I jump into a class if I don’t register? 

If you plan on taking a class, we highly encourage you to register. But, if you were not able to register, do not let that stop you from participating. Join the next class and let the instructor know. (There are exceptions to this, such as the Dynamics course which requires advanced registration.)

Q: Should I participate in a community or take a class?

Our answer to that would depend on your particular situation. Are you new? Join Foundations. Have you been on the fringes and are now looking to get more involved? Again, Foundations is for you. Are you involved in a community yet desire to take a class? Our first recommendation would be to do both if your schedule permits (after all, most classes are only five weeks). But, if you can only do one, and really desire to take a particular class, then feel free to take a temporary hiatus from community. Or, your community may decide to take a class together. There are lots of options. 

Q: Will Kids ministry be offered for midweek classes? 

Initially, there will be no Kids ministry offered on Wednesday nights. This will allow us to leverage the Kids space for classes. However, our hope is to eventually offer Kids. If you would be interested in helping to lead, or be part of, that endeavor please let us know. 

Q: So, what should I do with my kids if I’d like to take a class?

There are a number of options:
1) You could bring your kids to a class,
2) One parent could take a class while the other stays at home with the kids,
3) You could make sitter arrangements or swap with another family, etc. You could also pray that we’d get a bigger building, along with a robust Kids volunteer team to staff midweek! 

Aug 22
2018

An Invite to Our 8th Annual Summer BBQ

Baptism, Event, News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

This coming Saturday, August 25th, DCC will be hosting its eighth Summer BBQ & Baptism at Myrtle Edwards Park, from 11am-2pm, on the Seattle waterfront. We invite you to join us. 

This is a unique annual event in the life of our church where the entire church gathers to enjoy God’s common grace in a summer barbecue and God’s saving grace in baptism. 

This is a great opportunity to: 

• Connect outside of our Sunday gathering rhythm
• Make new friends and reconnect with old ones
• Invite family, neighbors, and coworkers to hear the gospel
• Use your culinary skills, or simple generosity, to bring something to share
• Steward your grilling techniques that you’ve been mastering all summer
• Revel in the ongoing saving grace of Jesus at work among us

In the past, we’ve held these barbecues on a weeknight. We’re not opposed to that. However, we discovered that with work, traffic, parking, family schedules, high tides, and racing sunsets it could help to shift this event to a weekend. 

That said, this is the first year that we’ve held this event on a Saturday afternoon. Therefore, we hope even more of you will be able to join in the celebration. We encourage you to make a long afternoon of it. Bring your lawn chair or blanket—and maybe one to share. Break out your favorite lawn game. Dust off your frisbees. Come prepared to enjoy God’s creation and God’s people. 

Parents, we’ll also have plenty of activities for the kids, including bouncy houses, face painting, giant bubbles, and more. 

“What is the schedule?” 

11:00am Mingling 
12:00pm BBQ lunch
1:00pm Baptisms 
2:00pm Mingling

“What can I bring?” DCC will provide the staples but, if you are able, we invite you to bring a dish to share. You can sign-up to bring something here

“How can I help?” As you can imagine, an event like this requires all-hand-on-deck, from greeting to grilling, from set-up and tear-down. You can sign-up to help here

See you all on Saturday, Lord willing!

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam

P.S. Go here to get a sense of what last year’s BBQ & Baptism was like. 

Jul 26
2018

A Culture of Care

Discipleship, Scripture, Teaching | by Pastor Craig Sturm

This month we’ve been exploring the transforming power of God in our lives through a sermon series called “Transformed: How Jesus Changes Lives.” My goal has been to help us see how the gospel of Jesus is active in pursuing real change in our Christian lives. I’ll land the plane of the series this coming Sunday – thinking through how we develop a culture of care within DCC.

EVERY CHURCH HAS A CULTURE

This is important for us to think about, because whether we realize it or not, some type of care culture is always active within our church. My prayer is that it would be a Jesus-centered, gracious culture in which people are receiving and extending gospel-saturated care to one another because that’s part of what it means to be the family of God.

Consider for a moment the various ways people in our church family would describe the struggles and hardships in their lives. You will hear terms like confusion, fear, anxiety, hopelessness, numbness, shame, guilt, anger, bitterness, injustice, betrayal, unforgiveness, loneliness, discontentment, and feeling overwhelmed. If the worship songs, liturgy, sermons, and conversations during a Sunday gathering or in community never address these struggles then people may wrongly conclude that the gospel is irrelevant, not offering hope for their reality.

We need to strive to make sure that the gospel that we read, sing, and preach Sunday after Sunday reorients and reshapes us as God’s people. Only God and His realities offer real hope in the difficulties of life.

A CULTURE OF CARE ROOTED IN THE GOSPEL

It’s good news to know that the gospel that changes hearts of stone to hearts of flesh is the same gospel necessary for caring for God’s people. It’s good news that we, as a church family, can develop a culture of gospel care regardless of the number of elders, staff, members, attendees, and budget. It’s good news that we have access to the wisdom, love, and power needed to develop a culture of gospel care within the church.

“When any person’s struggles are rightly understood, the mercies of Jesus Christ directly connect. The Savior of the world is specifically relevant to personal, interpersonal, psychological, emotional, and behavioral problems. God meets people in the very places they are weak, confused, wandering, and self-absorbed. The Holy Spirit causes faith, love, and wisdom to flourish in the very places where anxiety, anger, anguish, and addiction consume us.” (David Powlison)

A CULTURE OF CARE ROOTED IN THEOLOGY

Our vision for a culture of gospel care stands on firm theological grounding. The following is a snapshot of some of the central theological commitments undergirding our vision and practice of gospel care.…

  1. It aims to be Centered on Jesus. (Rom. 5:6-11).

  2. It aims to be Rooted in Scripture. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

  3. It aims to be Grounded in Theology. (Rom. 11:36)

  4. It aims to be Dependent Upon the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 5:17-18)

  5. It aims to be Focused on Change. (Rom. 12:1-2)

  6. It aims to be Embedded in the Local Church. (Gal. 5:6)

  7. It aims to be Founded in Love. (1 Jn. 4:19-21).

  8. It aims to be Attentive to the Issues of the Heart. (Eph. 4:17-24)

  9. It aims to be Comprehensive in Understanding. (Prov. 20:5)

  10. It aims to be Thorough in Care. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

  11. It aims to be Relevant in Methodology.

  12. It aims to be Missional in Orientation. (John 3:1-15)

A VISION FOR A CULTURE OF GOSPEL CARE

We believe God builds His church as we love Him and others, specifically as we bear one another’s burdens and encourage one another to follow Jesus by faith. Therefore…DCC Care exists to help people know and experience joy in God so that they can live by faith and obedience in the midst of life’s struggles and help others do the same.

I pray that God will make us a people who are actively engaged in helping one another know and experience joy in God so that we can be a people living by faith and obedience in the midst of life’s struggles. By the grace of God, may He give us wisdom as we “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Heb. 10:24), as we “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2)

That Jesus would be our chief joy,

Pastor Craig

Jul 19
2018

Mercy Ministry Update – July

Mercy Ministries, Mercy Update | by Justin Keogh

The Mercy Ministry Updates are a regular snapshot of our Mercy Ministries in DCC, where we are working to serve and uphold the value and dignity of God’s most vulnerable image bearers in our city. Each update highlights one of our focus areas, as well as provide a listing of upcoming events, and current prayer requests across all of our focus areas.

Gospel Framework

The Bible, as God’s inspired word, displays God’s good design and our radical need for a savior, found only in Jesus, and calls us to live out our new identity in Christ as we engage the world around us.

         “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:26-27

        “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb… Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” – Psalm 139:13-16

In the first chapters of Genesis we see God’s creative work in creating men and women in his own image. This is the source of our intrinsic value, dignity, and worth – that we are made in the image of God. In Psalm 139, we see that God’s care for his children starts even before birth. God, in the depths of his love and riches of his grace, cares profoundly about human life – and for this reason so should we, as his adopted and beloved people, move in the love, grace, and truth which God has poured out on us through Jesus to protect, care for, and show compassion to the many children who have yet to be born and the mothers who are facing questions and doubts in the midst of their pregnancy.

Mercy Focus Highlight: Care Net

As a church we support and partner with several mercy ministries and want to share and highlight their on-going work.

Care Net Pregnancy & Family Services is the largest pregnancy crisis center/resource in the Puget Sound region (7 centers, 35 staff, 450 volunteers). Care Net provides confidential, professional, life-affirming services to clients at no cost, including medical consultations, pregnancy and STI testing, ultrasound, perinatal hospice, abortion recovery, and more. They have locations in Federal Way, Issaquah, Kenmore, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Puyallup, and Tacoma. In 2016-2017, we as a church had the opportunity to help Save The Storks spearhead and raise funds for a mobile ultrasound unit for Care Net, which is now providing resources for clients in certain Seattle areas. Recently, Care Net has also been able to acquire another mobile unit to serve the Bellevue area. 

If you are interested in ways you can continue to learn and get involved alongside others in our church, please join the Mercy Focus: The LIFEProject group on the City, which will be a go-to place for information and upcoming events! Also, please check out our Care Net Info Session, occurring this Sunday (7/22) downstairs at 1pm!

Upcoming Events

These events are not necessarily sponsored or hosted by DCC, but serve those in our focus areas. See linked details for each event.

Partner Prayer Requests

Please join us in praying for the people impacted and involved in each of these focus areas.

Refugees | With immigration policies and enforcement at the center of national media over the last month, let’s continue praying for wisdom and compassion for our leaders, and for God’s felt presence and great grace on families affected by the recent policy and enforcement decisions.

Orphan Care | When kids come from a trauma background (as all of the kids in the foster & adoption world do) it can be difficult for them to deal with changes in routine. This can effect how they regulate their emotions and how their behavior can change. Summer can be an especially challenging time because it means a change in school and routine. Pray that the families would be able to settle into routines and have a joyful summer.

Sex Trafficking & REST | Let’s give thanks for the recent increase in awareness of the issue of sex trafficking in our city, state, and country, and let’s pray that God will move in the hearts of people – politicians, organizations, ministries, churches, and all of us – to bring about real transformation for his glory and the good of those in need.

Homelessness & UGM | As the summer months are here, the winter shelters close and more people are sleeping on the streets in the hot sun without easy access to clean water. Please pray for these individuals and that God would provide the means for these men, women, and children to survive.

Juvenile Detention | Pray for the conversations between kids and mentors, that the gospel would be proclaimed, that God would draw the kids to himself, and they find hope in Christ.

Life & CareNet | Praise for an increase in clients visiting the mobile van around Seattle, and pray for even more who would come to choose life! Pray for grace in the communities they serve, specifically for a new schedule starting in July.

Stay Connected

Join the focus area city groups in order to hear more regular updates, events, and opportunities to serve.