Downtown Cornerstone Blog
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 Pastor 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.

Jul 11
2018

Stories of Grace | Community Over Comfort

Community, Stories of Grace

“The Stories of Grace series is intended to capture snapshots of God’s grace and glory amidst our every day lives. They are real stories of real people who have seen the fingerprints of God amidst the ordinary—God’s favorite canvas. Each story is personal, unique and, often, unfinished. Through it all we get glimpses of God’s steadfast love, sufficient grace, and ongoing presence with his people.”

I sink onto the stained and faded not-so-white carpet, surveying the cardboard boxes stacked half way to the ceiling. My fearless toddler free-climbs the newly formed summits. I call to her to descend and decide to leave the boxes hungry while I rest. Though tired and a bit overwhelmed, I pause to thank God for this entirely unexpected but miraculous move.

I’ve never lived alone. Born the youngest of three kids, I immediately moved into a full house. After high school, I moved into college dorms. I shared a house with six women and then my husband. I moved six times in less than four years, but not once did I reside on my own.

The summer following my senior year of high school I had no residence to call my own after my family’s house, the only home I had ever known, was foreclosed, and we were evicted. It was that summer I first lived with my friend, Anne Johnson.

I crashed on her couch until the dorms opened. We were roommates throughout college, which is where we met our respective husbands, who also happened to be high school best friends. We intentionally sought to be next-door neighbors, both couples renting apartments above our church’s gathering space in Pittsburgh, PA. When Ben and Anne moved to Los Angeles, we figured our co-residing days were past. But God had other plans and brought us all to Seattle.

We shared an apartment in South Lake Union until Ben and Anne were ready to become foster parents. God provided a home for me and Justin just two blocks away so we could continue to do life with the Johnsons. During our sabbatical, we asked God “What’s next?” He answered by providing a four-bedroom house in the heart of Capitol Hill so that Justin and I could begin our family while living with the Johnsons.

Many single people cut costs by communal living, and some married folks do as well. But two families living together seemed unique to many, enticing to a few, and flat-out absurd to others — namely our Washington State Foster Licensor. She sat across our dining room table, eyeglasses situated sternly on the edge of her nose, staring at us in disbelief.

“I just couldn’t understand why two families who were unrelated would ever want to live together. I thought you all were crazy. But now that I’m talking with you, I see what you have here is really quite special.”

God not only changed our licensor’s mind but He also moved mountains of paper work and bent bureaucracy to create our co-joined foster home. He fashioned a family that shares no DNA but dinner around the table every night. And then He nudged us to grow more. God laid it on the Johnsons’ hearts to extend hospitality to more children in need of a home, but we had run out of space in ours. We either needed to live apart or do the impossible of finding a five-bedroom house within our budgets in Capitol Hill.

With the unlikelihood of us finding such a house, the comforts and conveniences of living apart crept into my mind. I began to linger on how I could put things where I wanted them and not have someone else move them. I thought about a fridge full of food only I wanted to eat and having no parameters around using shared space. I could finally build my own little kingdom unchallenged by anyone else.

But as I pressed into prayer over our next living situation, the Spirit changed my plea from “Lord, provide a place for me to build my kingdom,” to “Lord, what will bring You the most glory? Living together or living separately?” As I prayed, I became confident He would provide the exact residence that would give the glory to Him rather than to me.

After several weeks of looking for our “unicorn” house in vain, we decided to stay in our current house until God provided a bigger space. Letting go of my fantasies of the control and comfort of living as separate households did not come immediately or easily, but I trusted this was the best option even if it felt like a sacrifice. But the Johnsons still wanted to grow their family, so as a last-ditch effort, we reached out to our landlords to see if we could convert the basement into a fifth bedroom.

“No. That’s totally illegal,” they responded, “but we have another larger four-bedroom house if you want to check it out.”

Though it lacked the essential extra bedroom, we agreed to look at it. The house happened to have a second living room space, which we asked if our landlord would be willing to convert to a fifth bedroom.

“Sure. I could do that. It’d take me a weekend to put up a wall and a door.”

We were astonished. Our God, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence that which did not exist, created the exact house we needed. And in doing so, He obliterated any bases for me clinging to my comforts over the narrative He was unfolding between our two families living together.

If you’ve ever done it, you know living with others can be tedious and frustrating at times. God has used those moments of unwashed dishes, misplaced items, and damaged property to again and again reveal the depths of my own selfishness and idolatry of comfort. Community living provides regular occasions to die to myself and out-do my brothers and sisters in showing honor, whether by taking out the trash or cooking a meal. Living with another person helps challenge the happy delusion that I’m in control and the world revolves around me. Multiply that by two families living together and the opportunities for conviction are constant.

But living in community with fellow believers yields far sweeter fruit than my creature comforts could. We enjoy a house filled with laughter and prayer, singing and always an extra set of hands, others to pick up the burden when one of us falls sick or exhausted. We play board games; we talk about what we’re reading in the Word; we sharpen one another.

There are days I’m still tempted to believe that conveniences of living as a single-family-unit outweigh the riches of living together. At those times, I recall how God has gifted us this house and that He is building His Kingdom, not mine. So I join Him by praying, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, in our home as it is in heaven.”

– Jen Keogh, DCC Member

If you are a member with DCC and have a story of grace to share please email info@downtowncornerstone.org.