Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Jul 8
2019

An Invitation to Serve the City | July 13th, 2019

City Life, Serve the City | by Pastor Justin Keogh

This Saturday, July 13th from 9a-1p, we’ll gather at Gatewood Elementary School as a body to serve and bless the Seattle Public Schools (SPS) through our 7th annual Serve the City event.

Many of us regularly look forward to Serve the City each summer as we work together to make a big impact in a short time while making meaningful connections with others. It’s a time of joyful labor and fellowship. If you’ve never had the chance to serve with us, July 13th is a great time to jump in! Here are just a few things to consider as we gear up to serve:

WE LOVE BECAUSE HE LOVED US

We love and serve others because we have been loved and served in Christ. 1 John 4:10-11 says this: “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” When the love of God in Christ grips our hearts, it overflows in responsive love to God, his people, and all who bear his image.

LOVING OUR NEIGHBORS

The apostle Paul writes: For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Gal 5:13-14) We see that the outworking of God’s love for us is love for others.

SERVING TOGETHER WITH JOY

The author of Hebrew tells us to consider how to stir up one another to love and good works through continued fellowship and encouragement (Heb 10:24-25). As we serve together, not only do we get to enjoy one another’s company and comradery, but we are also encouraged to further love and good works!

With this in mind, let’s serve with a humble and joyful posture of heart, working heartily unto the Lord.

REGISTER TODAY!

So we can plan accordingly, please register to let us know you’re coming. If you’re interested in being a team lead, please indicate so when you register. Bring your communities and friends!

All of the details, directions, and registration can be found here.

For the glory of our King and the good of many,

Pastor Justin

Oct 1
2018

Mercy Ministry Update | September

City Life, 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.

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” – Isaiah 55:1

“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive…” – John 7:37-39

We are often prone to forget the deep wonder of God’s grace for us in Christ. Israel would have heard the promises Isaiah spoke of—promises of forgiveness and restoration and peace and love—and hoped in them for hundreds of years before the fulfillment of these promises in Jesus. If we are honest, we too have felt that deep thirst and longing, which we can only be satisfied in Christ. And Jesus tells us that as we drink and savor God’s love for us in Christ, our hearts will be fountains of living water by the Holy Spirit (cf. John 4:1-15), and that the same joy, satisfaction, and love which we are filled with will also flow outward from us. This imagery of a fountain and of flowing waters richly and beautifully reflects our call to love others as we are loved in Christ. We serve because we have been served by God. We have compassion for others because God has compassion for us. We love because we are a people profoundly and eternally loved by God.

MERCY FOCUS HIGHLIGHT: SEX TRAFFICKING AND REST
As a church we support and partner with several mercy ministries and want to share and highlight their on-going work.

Sex trafficking is a major issue in our city, with an estimated 3,000 individuals are being trafficked in Seattle every night. Our primary partner in this area of focus is REST: Real Escape from the Sex Trade. REST was founded in 2009 with 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. Every one of those individuals is a person made in the image of God and every story matters. God has done and is continuing to do amazing things in people’s lives, and it is a joy and a blessing that he gives us the opportunity to lovingly serve those in need.

DCC will be hosting an Info Session with REST this Sunday at 1pm, where you can learn more about the issue of sex trafficking in our city; the work that RESTdoes in caring for sexually exploited women, men, and children; and the ways you can partner with DCC and REST to care for these image-bearers!

UPCOMING EVENTS
Not all events are sponsored or hosted by DCC, but serve those in our focus areas. See linked details for each.

PARTNER PRAYER REQUESTS

  • REFUGEES | Let’s be praying for the image-bearers around the world fleeing oppression and destruction, that they would find refuge and justice, that the true King would establish his throne in steadfast love, in faithfulness, in justice, and in righteousness, and that God would give us opportunities and courage to be the advance guard of that kingdom. 
  • ORPHAN CARE | This month our prayer focus is the global orphan crisis. Please consider a particular nation as you pray for families in that nation to be strengthened, Christian families to adopt and/or foster children in need, churches and NGOs to partner and seek restoration, and that God would ultimately adopt the fatherless into his family.
  • SEX TRAFFICKING & REST | Pray for the young and vulnerable girls who have run away from home and become targets for traffickers. Pray also that they, along with other women, would find shelter in REST’s services including the emergency center.
  • HOMELESS & UGM | Pray for the men and women experiencing homelessness in Seattle, especially that those who have contact with UGM will be able to pursue recovery and treatment as needed. Pray also for UGM and its leaders as they undergo a search for a new Mission president.
  • JUVENILE DETENTION | It has been really encouraging to see God soften stony hearts and draw some of the young men and women in the detention center closer to Him by sparking curiosity in His word.  Please pray that He would keep this desire burning in their hearts and that they would read and study His word with a desire to know Him, that would continue as the leave detention.
  • LIFE & CARENET | Pray for the girls returning to school this year facing unplanned pregnancy, that they’d find life-affirming options through CareNet and other pregnancy centers. Pray for the launch of CareNet’s Smart Programs this year in schools.

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

Jun 25
2018

Stories of Grace | Treasuring God’s Design

City Life, 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.”

Three years ago I was on a plane, flying out of Honolulu. In the last week, I had stayed in a high-rise resort, dined at five-star restaurants, and visited the most exclusive venues. From my first-class seat, the ocean below was otherworldly, a perfect blue.

It was just another business trip: days overflowing with meetings and projects, and very little sleep. On these weeks, my colleagues and I arrived at the airport on Sunday morning at 5:00am. I traveled a few times a month – once, five times in five weeks. At home, I lived alone. In the office, I alone knew Jesus.

Before, the weekly presence of God’s family in my life had been constant. They were the people with whom I learned, sang, and prayed on a regular basis. Now, time together was rare. I read and prayed alone, and listened to hours upon hours of sermons. In isolation, luxury, and fatigue, the months passed in a blur.

This work was never meant to be a long-term situation, just a stopgap while I figured out what to pursue after college. But work and worry closed around me like a trap. The breakneck pace and all-nighters that were supposed to end after graduation only increased. I was too busy to let anyone into my life, too tired to have any profound time in the Word, and too stressed to think about making a change. Underneath the glamour, my heart felt deeply anxious. I knew, and learned again, that not even professional success can satisfy the deep places of my soul like Jesus can.

One year in, I took a long-planned mission trip with a small team. During those two weeks of kingdom work in Christian community, I knew more joy, more clarity, and more peace than I had known in months. God graciously gave me time to pray deeply with people, enjoy his company, and consider the direction of my life. Shortly after, I decided to trust God with my priorities, leave the familiar safety of my job, and move to Seattle after my projects ended to be closer to family.

The terrifying thing was that I didn’t know what was next. I had no job and no plan. But week by week, Jesus was with me as I prayed, thought, and researched. He encouraged me with his promises to sustain me and provide for me (Matthew 6:19, 25-34). A friend offered me a place to stay outside the city while I looked for housing. Two days before the move, God gave me a great job downtown. I unpacked and got involved with a gospel-teaching church near my friend’s house. All seemed to be falling into place.

But in the next few months, my social safety net unraveled. Best friends got married, moved churches, and drifted apart as they either neglected or forgot to live out the gospel and show grace to each other. I also struggled as a friend and roommate; the long commute and a shared room left little time for me to be alone with the Lord. After months of looking for an affordable place, and heartache over all the personal and relational failure, I moved into the city. I learned that not even my greatest friendships are as trustworthy as Jesus’ care.

It was wonderful to have my own room and to cut an hour each way off my commute. But it was very challenging to get to the suburbs during the week in time for community, and then back to the city. I asked Jesus what he wanted me to do.

A few days later, a work errand brought me past a large “EASTER” sign posted on a nearby building. Surprised to find a church two blocks away, I read its doctrinal statement and discovered with joy that it taught the gospel and the whole Bible. The first visit confirmed that it was indeed home. My church in the suburbs sent me off with their blessing, and I have been with DCC for the last two years.

My life is so simple and quiet compared to what it was three years ago. Instead of jet-setting for demanding projects or rushing through a work-filled week, I have time to be with the Lord and his people. For the past year, I have relished living in a house with four dear sisters in Christ and a family downstairs. We pray for each other, challenge each other, and delight in giving grace to each other. We host coworkers, family, and friends, making connections between them and disciples of them. I am daily in awe of God’s kindness to us. It is a mighty gift to know that my life’s greatest accomplishment is simply to know and love him and others in the ins-and-outs of life.

Two months ago, we were on the plane, flying out of Boston. A dear DCC sister and I had just spent a week walking, laughing, and learning about this city and each other. Every morning, we took time to be alone with Jesus. The trip used the last of my frequent-flyer miles from business travel. It was a special chance to celebrate not only a sweet friendship, but also the gracious way the Lord taught me to treasure his design of life together, for his glory and our joy.

“He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.” – Psalm 18:19

– Megan Addison, DCC Member

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

Apr 4
2018

Stories of Grace | Family Found

City Life, 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.”

Almost eight years ago, my girlfriend at the time made a choice to pack her bags and leave the sunny shores of California for an internship opportunity in New York City.  She was confidently pursuing a dream that she had held for a very long time. I knew better than to be the one to stop her.

While Amy and I had talked about what it would look like for me to move to the East Coast as well, I was extremely hesitant to leave behind my very comfortable surroundings. Both of my parents were from families based in California. I had grown up my whole life in Orange County. Since as early as I could remember, I had been blessed in knowing and being known in church families that were integral parts of my life. From Christian summer camp friends, to small-group men that became roommates when I first moved out, I was never without friends and family close-by.

Yet despite all of these undisturbed comforts, God had begun to put on itch on my heart to leave California and follow Amy to New York.

Skipping many of the details of the way God “parted the sea” for my extremely effortless move to New York — which, talk to anyone that’s moved to New York from out of state, it’s not easy! — I soon found myself living in Brooklyn, only a block away from Amy. It was fall and the Christmas holiday was quickly approaching.

Amy and I spent Christmas together in New York that year. After doing our best to recreate the traditions we would both do with our families, we quickly realized how far removed we were from being with those people who were closest to us. We were those annoying family members who called and asked to be passed between all the relatives and family friends so we could feel like we were there.

Despite meeting numerous people over the next year, often we still felt like our closest friends were on the other side of the country. This stopped us, in many ways, from being fully present in several of the relationships and opportunities that God put before us.

Building into this same story, we were slow in finding a church to be a part of. Now, to be clear, we were going to church every weekend. In fact, we found the biggest reformed Christian church in the city and loved attending and soaking up the riches of the Sunday sermon.

But something was still missing. We were “attendees” of a church, and not creating relationships beyond the weekly meet and greet. Funny enough, the church was so big, we used to joke it wouldn’t matter if we remembered the names of the people sitting behind us, because the likelihood of actually seeing them again was so slim.

Having grown up in a family that was highly involved in the local church, I knew what we were doing was not “church’’. Going to church does not mean you are a part of the church. Even more so, we were going to church but had no desire to give back to the church.  It wasn’t until a year later when we were able to realize the joy of being a participating member of the church family. And what a difference it was.

By our second year in the big city, we stumbled upon another church we had heard about through the grapevine. It was another reformed gathering that had great music, good teaching, and people in similar stages of life as we were. The difference was it also had community gatherings, and the leaders often spoke about it and encouraged people to get plugged into these. Amy and I, now engaged, had never been a part of a community gathering in this type of sense.

In our remaining two years in New York, our Brooklyn community became a core source of support and friendship. And these were not just friends we would occasionally bump into. These were friends we would celebrate holidays and birthdays with, babysit for, ask for moving help from, road-trip with, call with heavy decisions to make, and much more. And yet, I will tell you emphatically — and this is not just because New York attracts the most unique people — we could not be more different from one another.  Something bound us together in a very fitting way.

I learned this is one of the hidden mysteries of Christ. Outside of any job or set of hobbies, any gender or ethnicity, any hometown or parallel past, Christ was the common bond that always rose above.  I had found a family of people that loved God and loved me for the imperfect sinner that I was.  We longed to do life with one another.

Reflecting on this experience reminds me of the verse in Revelation 7:9-10 that says, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

God, by His grace, continues to reveal this mysterious truth to me, even now in Seattle, where we’ve been for nearly three years. There is always a family, a local church, that God has prepared for us.  Always a family that is welcoming me “home” even if it is 3,000 miles from where I just was.

After learning the joys of being a part of community, you only can imagine how eager Amy and I both were to find a community when we first came to Seattle. In fact, I sent several emails to local churches asking to hear more about their community gathering.

I received a reply from the community deacon at DCC.  He excitedly connected me to the community leader in Queen Anne. Before I could even finish typing my “thank you” response, I received an email from the local community leader, himself. He wanted to know what service I typically attended so we could meet up that Sunday.

Once again, I am beyond blessed to say I have found a family like I could never have anticipated or imagined here in Seattle.  And this, I confidently know, is something God has prepared for any and all of His disciples wherever they go.

– Dave Osborne, DCC Member

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

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

Dec 7
2017

The Power of REST

Advent Drive, City Life, Service | by Pastor Craig Sturm

“I am worth love.” Piper, a resident at the REST House, firmly declared. “[REST] has been a God-send. I feel it’s kept me alive,” she said, explaining the hard work she’s put in on her path to leaving behind commercial sex exploitation, toward sobriety and a different life. Prior to coming to REST, Piper was living out of a motel, using opiates heavily, and prostituting her body along with her sister. When her sister wanted out of prostitution, she connected Piper with an advocate at REST. From there, Piper began to build life-transforming relationships with REST staff members and guests

Her testimony these days?

“I feel so loved by God. I feel loved by the staff. I feel loved by the roommates. I feel loved by my family again. I feel loved by the prayers that are said for me. I know God put my advocate in my life for a reason because I was supposed to meet all these people. I was supposed to be sitting here doing this to get better. I feel loved.”

A JOYFUL PARTNERSHIP

On any given night in Seattle, hundreds of individuals are sold for sex. REST: Real Escape from the Sex Trade was founded in 2009 to build pathways to freedom, safety, and hope for victims of sex trafficking and the sex trade in Seattle and beyond. Downtown Cornerstone is partnering with REST this Advent season to help outfit the REST House. The donated clothing items will help REST welcome women hoping to transition out of the sex trade into a life of freedom and restoration.

Jesus is our ultimate source of rest and invites all who labor and are heavy laden to come to Him (Matthew 11:28). Let us follow His example and give joyfully out of the rest and abundance Christ has given us to tangibly serve these young women this Advent season! Details on how to give are outlined below –

WHO. Young women (18-25 years old) in restorative housing in the REST House.

HOW. Needed items can be purchased from the Amazon Wish List. Similar items may also be purchased individually and donated through donation bins placed in the Commons. In addition to the items listed, gift cards for grocery and clothing stores such as Safeway, Target, and Ross are also needed!

WHERE. Items purchased from the list will be shipped directly to Downtown Cornerstone. If you would like to donate similar items not on the list, please place them in the donation bins in the Commons or give them to your community lead to donate.

WHEN. Through the month of December.

Learn more here.

REST FEATURED ON BBC.com

In a very Seattle way, REST is leveraging chatbox technology to help further their passion to bring freedom, safety, and hope to young women (and men) caught in the sex trade. This feature appeared on BBC.com and highlights how the tool is beginning to impact Seattle, and hopefully other places across the globe!

 

Oct 11
2017

Stories of Grace | New Soil

City Life, 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.”

When you move from one city to another, they call you a “transplant”. As if it’s easy to just lift and reset into new soil. In truth, it’s pretty complicated and messy even when you’re dealing with actual plants; root systems struggle to establish themselves and the plant will sometimes experience a bit of shock right at first. You certainly wouldn’t expect them to yield any abundant fruit or blooms just after being transplanted.

But I didn’t know this when I was new to Seattle. I had just lifted my roots from Northwest Arkansas with all its rolling, bluegrassy hills and had transplanted to the land of gray skies and glaciers. It was all very exciting and I expected to transfer all my “thriving” from one home to the next.

Come to find out, I didn’t transfer so effortlessly. All the things that I wanted to love—neighbors and church and even the landscape around me—werestill foreign. My heart ached for the sense of belonging that came from having years of deep roots in a place. Seattle life was strange and unfamiliar and I felt dissonant in any attempt to recreate what had worked in Arkansas.

But God—there’s not a place we can go where He is not watching us, loving us, and desiring to work all things together for our good and His glory. I prayed for a friend and a ministry, and He began working it all out.

It began with blackberries, which is funny in hindsight because blackberries are the poster-child for a fierce and fast-moving root system. But I didn’t know that then. I just knew that I felt a close-to-spiritual peace when I was in the neighboring vacant backyard, feasting on wild blackberries with my 4 year old. The yard belonged to an English woman that had recently moved into a local nursing home and I had gained permission from her nephew to forage.

And then one day, a little idea sprang into my head: what if I took some blackberries to the old woman? She would adore tasting the fruits from her old backyard, and it would give me something to do. So we arrived one day with high hopes, a bouquet of flowers, and blackberries. Hopes were immediately dashed when the blackberries were scorned, the flowers were unappreciated, and she seemed almost annoyed at the breach of her privacy. But something inside me refused to be scared off and when I offered to return the following week, she accepted.

That was four years ago. It didn’t take long for the woman’s demeanor to change, and her stories and personality captivated me. Maybe it took her some time to decide that she liked me, or maybe she finally realized we weren’t going anywhere and she could drop her defenses. Since then I have had two baby boys who have basically become like royalty if you saw the way they are adored and swooned over by every grandmother in the building.

Hindsight has also shown me that this old English woman wasn’t just a lonely widow that needed someone to take her on as a service project. She was my very first friend in Seattle when I had none. She is my oldest friend here, you could say.

The answer to my prayers was unexpected. My early roots here reached down in a way I never could have guessed or designed myself. The whole thing showed me that God enjoys working things out in ways that astonish us. He is so good and He wants us to thrive! His wisdom, kindness, creativity, even His humor are waiting to be tested if we would surrender even the smallest details and let Him cultivate our lives to His glory and our ultimate delight.

– Britney Baer, DCC Member

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

Sep 7
2017

Stories of Grace | Planting Roots in a Concrete Land

City Life, Community, Kids, 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.”

People have places and place yields meaning; it’s easy to forget. Rivers have beds, houses have foundations, kings have thrones, and planets have orbits. Adjust any of these places and you will find fundamental shifts in the meaning and expression of the object. People aren’t all that different. Christian people are called to be pilgrims, to seek, but even we have places along the way. Like Florida, for instance.  

Florida — sunny, humid, beautiful, and weird, was home to my wife and me for the first three decades of our lives. Like all good Florida kids we knew the smell of suntan lotion from the earliest of ages and could pick out the venomous snakes from the harmless varieties. Yes, the logs have eyes and are called alligators, not crocodiles. Florida had family and friends, thirty years’ worth. It was our place. And we left it for Seattle.

More specifically we left a four-bedroom home in a subdivision on a cul-de-sac with three kids in tow and moved to a two-bedroom condo in a downtown neighborhood. Then we added another kid. Suburban to urban, cicadas to cyclists, red to blue, known to unknown. Why? The driving impetus behind the cross-country relocation was a call to serve a young classical Christian school in the heart of the city. But that’s not the part of the story we want to emphasize. Rather, we want to tell you about living through this call, what we as a family have experienced, and how Jesus has continued to demonstrate His kindness.

When others discover our living situation, family of six residing in downtown Seattle, they tend to focus first on what must have been sacrificed. Our people back in Florida typically note the amenities we no longer possess: multiple vehicles, expansive square footage, expendable income, a yard. Progressive neighbors either don’t know how to process the parade of children perpetually accompanying us or openly marvel at our choice to plant roots down here where dogs outnumber kids 2:1. Conservative neighbors, likewise, question the wisdom of exposing children to the vanguard of cultural redefinition. It’s not surprising that a person’s first reaction is shaped by the difference in their position compared to our own. But our experience has not been dominated by missing pieces or dysfunction. In truth, we have known community, family unity, and purposefulness unlike any other time in our marriage.

Seattle became home for us largely through our Cornerstone Community. Members of the church community, people we had not yet even met, were here on day one helping us to unload our moving truck. These friends have told us to go out on dates and freely babysit our children, approach us with straight exhortations from Scripture, invite us to know their hopes and hurts, and have effectually knit us into this place. It’s common to head out on the sidewalk and spot someone we recognize or hear our names called out by a passerby. Our children see firsthand how other adults in seasons similar or dissimilar to their parents seek to follow and serve Jesus. We couldn’t imagine leading life here apart from our Cornerstone Community.

One of the most common perceived drawbacks about family urban living we have heard is the concern over too little space. Surprisingly, not least of which to us, are the gifts we have enjoyed as a result of proximity both in and outside the home. Within 950 square feet it’s tough to avoid one another. But this closeness means we have to live life among each other. Contentious problems are rarely left unresolved, challenges with the kids are discovered early; it’s hard to keep skeletons in your closet when you don’t have any closet space. The absurdly restorative message of the gospel must, therefore, be present often.

As we strive and struggle to follow Jesus and raise up our children in the instruction and admonition of the Lord we find that our home in the city demands purposefulness. This is not to say that living with purpose is solely relegated to urban life. However, culture, what people do with creation, is typically innovated in the city. As our family encounters developments both beautiful and ugly we are pushed again and again to send roots down deep into the Truth and Goodness of God. Divisions, disparity, images, stories, change, appearance all vie for a place to stand in our hearts and the souls of our children. And we have the amazing opportunity to seek His kingdom amongst our diverse neighbors! Shoot, do you know the parental training opportunities provided by a protest? The old Story proves fresh, resilient, and life-giving over and in the pulsations of the city.

God was good to us on the cul-de-sac and He’s been good to us in the city. I don’t think our story is all that exceptional or inspiring, but it is true. Make our story less peculiar. Consider planting roots, sticking around, and raising your kids here as well. The challenges are real, but our Father loves to give good gifts. His church is called to bear and bequeath the beauty of Jesus in every square inch of this world.

– Luke Davis, DCC Member

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

Aug 21
2017

Beach, Burgers, and Baptisms this Thursday @ Myrtle Edwards!

Baptism, City Life, Event | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers [and sisters] dwell in unity!”
– Psalm 133:1

DCC family,

This Thursday, August 24th, we are gathering together at the beautiful Myrtle Edwards Park from 6:00-8:30pm for our annual summer barbecue and baptisms. We hope you can join us! Meat will be on the grill. The Olympics will be out. Music will be playing. Lord willing, the weather will hold. There will be activities for kids. You’ll make new friends. There will be a brief gospel message and we’ll be celebrating three baptisms! It’s going to be a great evening spent reveling in the beauty of our city, God’s glorious creation, and the reality of Jesus who continues to change lives. I don’t like hype, but you really don’t want to miss it. Come early. Adjust your work schedule. Carpool with others. If you don’t know anyone, this is a great opportunity to change that. Do what you can to join us for this special time. Since we gather across two gatherings on Sunday, we don’t have many opportunities to be together at the same time—this is one of them. We currently have 150 RSVP’ed. We’d love to see that doubled. We hope you can make it. If you have any questions, just let us know. See you Thursday evening!

WHEN.
Thursday, August 24, 6:00pm-8:30pm

WHERE.
Myrtle Edwards Park, 3130 Alaskan Way. We’ll gather in the field nearest to the beach (map below). Street parking is pay until 8 pm at $1.50/hr available along Western Ave, Elliott Ave, and Alaskan Way.

FOOD.
DCC will provide hot dogs and burgers, condiments, buns, chips, beverages, and paper products. If you’re planning on joining, please sign up for a side dish, burger topping, or dessert below.

You can RSVP, sign-up to bring a dish to share, and volunteer to serve here (we still need help!).

Christ is all, 
Pastor Adam

P.S. Be praying for those who will be sharing their testimonies and getting baptized. Specifically, ask Jesus to use their stories to draw others to a saving relationship with him.

Aug 3
2017

Video and Photos from Serve the City

City Life, Event, Serve the City, Service, Video | by Micah Rickard

“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” – John 17:3

Jesus begins his prayer for his disciples and all believers, recorded in John 17, with this brief and beautiful statement on what it means to be in Christ. Later in this prayer, Jesus prays, “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (v. 22-23). The reality that we are in Christ brings a transformational unity with each other, and God uses this unity to display his glory to the world, that others may know him and have eternal life. Paul highlights this when he refers to believers as “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20).

It is out of these deep truths that we are committed to building a great city, not just a great church. It’s why our desire as a church is to see gospel renewal take place from the avenues to the alleyways. We have been infinitely served and loved by Christ, and out of the joy and gratitude that brings, we get to serve together as God’s people to display his glory in our city!

Last month, on July 15th, Downtown Cornerstone had the opportunity to partner with Gatewood Elementary School in West Seattle to help out with a variety of grounds work projects, including repainting US and World maps, repainting foursquare and tetherball courts, turning up ground and laying down mulch to outline a new track, removing massive amounts of ivy from fences, weeding along edges and fence lines, and more!

One woman and her family walked past the school, witnessed our efforts, and were moved to tears to see us “carrying out Jesus’ mission to serve others.” She mailed a thank you note sharing her appreciation saying, “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for living the true Spirit of love and community. I will never forget your collective and individual kindness.” Her son will attend kindergarten at Gatewood Elementary this fall!

It’s stories like this that remind us we really are the hands and feet of Christ, sharing the love He’s given us with those in our community. With over 200 volunteers (plus kids!) serving a total of 800+ hours we accomplished an incredible amount of service and support for the students and staff at Gatewood! If the Department of Neighborhood approves the grant Gatewood’s Parent-Teacher Association submitted, they’ll receive an equal amount of paid hours toward additional improvements. What an incredible gift!

Thank you to all who came out to help! Share the video above and check out the full photo album from the day!

– Deacon Micah Rickard