Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Jul 6
2017

Stories of Grace | Diving In & Digging Deep

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.” 

Like so many who live in Seattle, our stay here will not be permanent. I’m relocating my family back to California after living in the Emerald City for four years. This decision has been years in the making, and it is one that I have had to approach with prayer and careful consideration.

For whatever reason, our lives are marked by constant travel and transition. When Sarah (my wife) and I first met, she lived outside Chicago and I lived in southern California. She traveled the country for work and stayed in one place from just a few weeks to a few months before moving on. I was a young attorney working way too many hours each day. We dated long-distance and flew to meet in various places until we got married in California a year later. After only a few months I transitioned to my company’s new office across the country in Washington D.C. And then, only two years later, we moved back across the country to Seattle. Throughout these first six years of marriage, we’ve both traveled an average of 100,000 domestic air miles annually.

In Washington D.C. we became members of a remarkable church called Redeemer Church of Arlington. Even though we both came from lifelong faith backgrounds, it was the first time we joined a body of believers where passionate and theologically rigorous teaching was the main focus. In addition, meeting with small groups of believers in our neighborhood was a church priority and we jumped right in.  With this church Sarah took a public step of faith through baptism because she found a new understanding of scripture and a reorientation of her faith. We made lifelong friends who challenged us to work constantly on our theology and to live ordinary life with gospel intentionality.

When we landed in Seattle in 2013, I already had a short list of church bodies to check out, but nonetheless I was concerned about where we would land. Having come from such a life-changing body of believers in Washington D.C,. we were understandably nervous about finding another church body strong enough for us to continue strengthening our understanding of Scripture, and that would guide us in intentionally living life through robust faith in Jesus.

Downtown Cornerstone Church was the second stop we made, and it immediately felt like home even though it met in an AMC movie theatre downtown. The theologically rigorous teaching and passion for Jesus Christ even stepped up a notch from our past experiences. We eventually became members of the church and learned an incredible amount through the teaching of the pastors and the focused commitment to mentorship and creating solid disciples of Christ. In fact, we actually completed the membership process around the time we started discussing whether we needed to move back to California.

I’m sure you are wondering why this life story matters, and why this guy is so long-winded. The point of all of this is that we learned the importance of being present, wherever the Lord has us. Both Seattle and Washington DC are transitory places by nature, where you can expect to be for a handful of years before moving along. When you know life will likely take you elsewhere, there is a strong temptation to limit involvement in your local body of believers and keep people from getting close. We like to use the excuse that we are saving people’s emotions or making sure not to use up limited church resources, or whatever. Taking that track will rob you, and rob others, of remarkable things that the Lord will do. We recognized that it is imperative to be where you are, when you are there.

Life does not start at some point in the future; life is what you are living right now. Don’t use the excuse that you’ll commit to a place once you get married, or have children, or buy a condo, or reach a certain point of financial or career stability. Commit now to the place where the Lord has you living and dive right in. I remember several moments where we made specific decisions to be present and not keep the church at arm’s length even though another move was imminent, and that decision yielded unfathomable results. We made genuine and deep Christian friendships in both Washington D.C. and Seattle, participated in church leadership and mentoring (on both sides), contributed to the start of brand-new community groups, learned the depths of Scripture at a new and exciting level, experienced true discipleship through rigorous education programs and cohorts of believers, and truly became Christians that we think non-believers like and respect. Had we taken a seat in the back row at the church gathering and bided our time, we would have regressed instead of enjoying the riches of God’s kingdom. All of this is remarkable evidence of the Lord’s grace in continuing to mold us in His image regardless of the ways we try and limit His ability to work.

Be present where you are when you are there, dig into the people God has placed around you, and allow the Lord to work. Don’t hold back waiting for some unknown future time to join in, because you will choke out the things He has in store.

There is always some trepidation at moving to another city when you have advanced in your faith. Not all bodies of believers have the same vibe, and not all teaching is as rigorous or intentional as others. Yet God, in His wisdom, created and provided church families for us to connect with and belong to in meaningful and substantial ways even during transitory periods. What’s holding you back from digging in and trusting all that He has for you where you are right now?

Growing in Christ,

Jonathan Lamb, DCC Member

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

Jun 22
2017

A Family on Mission | Serve the City

City Life, Event, Serve the City, Service | by Pastor Craig Sturm

“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” – Jeremiah 29:7

Downtown Cornerstone,

We’re about three weeks away from our Serve the City event! If you haven’t already, I’d encourage you to register and invite two or three neighbors, friends, family, or co-workers to join in as well!  

If you’re new or haven’t been around for a while, you may be wondering, “Why are we serving the city in this way?”As a church, we want to proclaim the Gospel in word and demonstrate it in deed. Because of that, here are three reasons why we are serving the city this summer, and why you should consider joining us:

1. WE’VE BEEN SERVED AND LOVED

Romans 5:8 says that even while we were enemies of God, Christ died for us. As a church, we believe that we’ve been infinitely loved and served by God, through the person and work of Jesus. Because of that, we believe that the good news of the Gospel is not only shared in word, but demonstrated in deed. Serving is not just “giving back do-goodism”, but a tangible expression of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – serving as we’ve been served; loving as we’ve been loved, in Christ.

2. THERE’S A NEED

The Seattle School District has only 5 groundskeepers to maintain 34 schools in the South Seattle school district. This leaves many of the schools without adequate funding and manpower to maintain the properties. As such, these schools heavily rely on volunteer efforts to come alongside and help maintain their properties and facilities. We asked Seattle Schools where their greatest need is, and they told us Gatewood Elementary. We desire to be humble, responsive, loving, service partners with the school district.

3. WE’RE A FAMILY ON MISSION

Often when we think of the church, we think of it as a family, and it is (Eph 2:19, Gal 6:10), but more importantly, the church (us!) is God’s primary vehicle for the spread of the Gospel (Eph 3:8-11). We call that mission, or the “great commission” (Matt 28:18-20). God sent His son to seek and save the lost, and He sends us as His people, across the street and around the world – with the good news that Jesus offers forgiveness of sin and new life with Him, beginning now. The whole purpose of doing events like this is to not only love and serve the city, but create space to invite others to participate with us, and love and serve others as Christ has loved and served us.  

Practically…

1. Who can you reach out to this week and invite them to serve with you? 

Be praying now for good conversation, open doors, and that the Spirit of God would use something as simple as serving the city together to change the hearts and lives of our not-yet-believing friends for all eternity! 

2. How might you weave this into the rhythm of your community’s summer schedule?

It would be cool to see whole communities serving together, extending their connecting beyond just their regular meeting times. Talk with folks in your community about making this a summer priority!

That our joy in Jesus would be tangible to our city,

Pastor Craig

Here’s the video from a few years ago to help whet your appetite!

Screenshot 2014-07-15 10.21.00

Jun 21
2017

Stories of Grace | The Game is Not the Point

City Life, Service, 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.” 

We’re playing Bingo, and the caller announces “B 4” into the microphone. I’m tempted to crack a lame joke and respond, “Before what?” But I resist.

It’s Friday afternoon and we’re at a session of Bingo at Bayview Retirement Community. Three gals in their twenties, two baby boys in their onesies, and a table of aging seniors with varying, but mostly limited, communication abilities—really, a table of adopted grandmothers for our sons. Oh, how they love our boys.

It started off pretty easy: two mamas with a sleeping baby in each stroller, helping seniors through the game of Bingo. Perhaps there was an occasional nursing session or a wheeling of the makeshift crib to calm the cries. But there was always a guarantee of adult conversation and the biggie: a reason to get out of the house.

As our babies grew, our Bingo play cards reduced from two, to one, to none. Our ability to help residents through the game followed a similar drop, though we are somehow able to improvise a tag team dance of kid-watch along with the help of the Activities Coordinator and a friend who joins us monthly. What started as a relaxing, adult-focused outing while our babies snoozed has morphed into a monthly rhythm that requires a determined and patient heart. I get out of my house to perform a workout of sorts that requires entertaining a curious toddler for two hours amidst Bingo calls, wheelchairs, and so many things he can’t touch. I am no longer just helping residents complete a game of Bingo, for the person sitting next to me actually has a complete Four Corner Cluster and we both forgot to call it.

But I’ve realized: the game is not the point.

When we enter the activity room on these Friday afternoons, the residents do not light up and smile because they think they might win a round of Bingo with our help. No, the game is not their joy; rather, seeing our boys is their joy (and sometimes they like hanging out with us, too). There is a lady who smiles, lips closed but eyes bright, every time she sees my son, Oliver. We always introduce ourselves. He waves, and she looks at him with adoration. After roughly eight visits, I was sitting at the table with Oliver in my lap. He had a toy and was seconds from squirming out of my hold and onto the floor to grab the microphone cord when from across the table she said it: “Oh, I know him!”

It was the first time I had heard her speak. She remembered us. She knew us.

God, could you work in her heart to know You, too? Could we aid in that introduction?

The hope was that this would be missional somehow. Since our community visits monthly, we ladies with weekday availability thought it would be helpful to also attend these Friday Bingo sessions. Another chance to get to know the residents, to deepen relationships, to be a help, and ultimately to share the love of Christ. While I’ve yet to navigate how to craft simple (and loud!) truth statements about God to seniors who have sadly lost much of their ability to hold a conversation, I hold out hope that something we are doing here is speaking of God’s love for them. I do know that we are helping to love and recognize a group of individuals often overlooked in our city. For God instructs us to love the widows and orphans, the vulnerable and down-trodden.

If an opportunity did arise where I could speak of Christ, perhaps the connections would be more quickly made. As they have seen us enter into their lives, they could see how Christ, the holy and eternal God, has entered into our human, mortal lives on earth. As we listen and play and assist, drawing near to them, perhaps they could know that God draws near to us. He is always present, ready to welcome and re-welcome sinners into His care.

So we continue with these Friday Bingo sessions at Bayview, two toddlers in tow. We have no idea what we’re doing, but we desire to love those that Christ has placed around us. We know God is continually shaping our hearts to love others more—especially those unlike us—and to depend on Him for all those awkward and inconvenient moments of service. Amazingly, he might use us to bring the good news of Christ to those in this nursing home. He may yet bring salvation to an old sinner.

It is not easy to love and serve the oppressed and the downtrodden. It can be hard, awkward, uncomfortable, and inconvenient. But there are so many groups of people in our city who need to experience the love of Christ. What would it look like for you to serve as He has served us? Who is in your life that may be overlooked or unloved, and how can you begin to look and love on them? May we be an encouragement to one another as we draw near, pray, assist, serve, and yes, play Bingo.

– Beth Boyd, DCC Member

May 24
2017

Re-creating a Missional Culture

City Life, Discipleship | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

One crucial element of our church’s DNA that we’re aiming to re-create this year is a missional culture. That is, a culture in which relational evangelism is the norm. From our earliest days as a church our goal has always been to cultivate a culture in which everyone sought to build meaningful relationships with not-yet-believers in order to love them to Jesus. Yet, over the last six years, amidst growth, pastoral care issues, personal emergencies, changing venues, local mega-church implosions, and more, a bit of that DNA was lost. By God’s grace, we are seeking to change that this year.

When we talk about creating a “missional culture” we are not talking about a program that is run by leaders of the church. Rather, we are talking about a reality in which we are personally cultivating relationships with unbelievers, while seeking opportunities to graciously share the good news of Jesus. The vast majority of people do not trust Christ on Sunday-alone but through meaningful personal relationships with real-life followers of Jesus. That means we must think about this relationally. So, in light of that, I offer the following six ways for us to go about re-creating a missional culture among us: 

#1 Pray

It is easy to underestimate the importance of prayer because we are, by nature, self-reliant. That is why, I believe, God chose prayer to be one of the primary ways by which we relate to him. Prayer requires humility. Prayer requires dependence. Prayer requires relinquishing self-trust. That’s the point. This is particularly true when it comes to sharing the gospel with our not-yet-believing family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. God alone opens hearts to see his glory (2 Cor. 4:6). We don’t do that. So, do not underestimate what God can do with your prayers for the lost—in your heart and in theirs. Ask God to give you a heart for the lost around you. Pray for unbelievers by name. Ask for opportunities to build meaningful relationships with others. Above all, pray. 

#2 Think glory

The single greatest motivating reality for evangelism is the sheer glory of God. God’s glory refers to his incomparable beauty, or inexpressible excellencies, or unsearchable greatness. “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable” (Ps. 145:3). Our lives are driven and fueled by what we, deep down, glory in. Central to heartfelt, sincere, loving evangelism is a heart gripped by the unsurpassed glory of God. We love to share what we find beautiful, don’t we? “Have you read this book?” “Have you heard that song?” “Did you see the sun going down last night?” Glory is meant to be shared. How much more the One who is the source of all glory? Cultivate a heart that revels in the glory of God and you’ll have ample motivation to share the good news of Jesus. 

#3 Think relationally

To “evangelize” literally means to be a “bringer of good news.” I love that imagery. Don’t think of evangelism as a formula or rote script that you read. Think relationally. Build meaningful relationships with not-yet-believers who are sinners, like you, in need of the same saving grace of God, in Jesus. Some may say, “Doesn’t that mean you have an ulterior motive in your relationships?” Yes, an ulterior motive of love. It is genuine, heartfelt, sincere love for others that moves us to build relationships and talk about Jesus. Get to know others. Be patient. Ask questions. Don’t be pushy or weird. There is no pressure. Jesus is on the throne. So, be yourself, don’t give up, keep praying, and seek to be a “bringer of good news.”

#4 Think practically

How will you make space in your schedule for building relationships with unbelievers in this season of life? I say “this season” because this is something we need to regularly revisit. For example, in this season, our family primarily does this by meeting other parents through our kids sports and neighbors within our condo building. What about you? Think through how to create space in your weekly and/or monthly calendar. For example, on a weekly basis, what if we made it our goal to spend just one meal a week with an unbeliever? Or, on a monthly basis, what if we planned a group dinner, poker night, or social event of some kind? The options are endless, but if we don’t make intentional space for it in our calendars, as with anything else, it just won’t happen.

#5 Think missionally

This might seem redundant, but it’s not. What I mean by “thinking missionally” is to think evangelistically about what you’re already doing, wherever you are—at work, home, school, neighborhood, etc. Don’t think about evangelism as adding something else to your plate, but as a lens through which you view everything that is already on your plate. Ask God, “Who are the not-yet-believers already around me in my everyday life?” If we want to be technical, pre-evangelism is everything that goes into developing a relationship with a non-believer. Evangelism is the actual act of explaining the gospel of Jesus to others with the desire to persuade them. Mission is the term used to capture the entire process. Both pre-evangelism and evangelism are integral to participating in God’s upholding mission that he is calling us to join him in. 

#6 Think simply

Lastly, don’t over-complicate it. Our goal is simple, really: Talk with others about Jesus and his unique offer of forgiveness of sin and relationship with God. Keep in mind that this process is most likely going to involve more than one conversation with others. So, we need to have the long view in mind. You might ask, “What’s the first step I should take?” The simplest thing to do is to ask someone to read through one of the Gospels together (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John). Personally, I prefer the Gospel of Mark which is 16 chapters. Read four chapters and then get together to discuss. Then, repeat until you’re finished. Focus on who Jesus is, the claims he makes, and the response he calls for. So, don’t overcomplicate it. Think simply and keep praying. 

“Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent for I am with you…I have many in this city who are my people” (Acts 18:10). “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Rom. 10:15)

Christ is all,

Pastor Adam

Jan 26
2017

Becoming A Salty City Set On A Hill

City Life, Discipleship, Teaching | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Over the last two Sundays (1/15 & 1/22) we spent time considering Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:13-16, where he uses the images of salt and light to describe how his people are to influence the world together. Jesus’ point is that genuine faith in him is never purely private, but shapes and informs every part of our lives, from the inside out, in ways big and small. We all have a role in this. Together we are meant to serve as a living, dynamic, salty city, within our city, as a beacon of hope and help. This post is intended to follow-up on some of the themes that emerged over the last two weeks. This is particularly aimed at those of you who are new to DCC or have not yet connected to the life of our church.

How do we serve as a salty city set on a hill?

There are five main means by which we aim to be salt and light in our city. If you have additional questions, be sure to check our Fifth Year Prospectus in which we lay out who we are, what we believe, what we want to be known for, and more. I also recommend taking a moment to watch our Five Year Birthday video. Lastly, if you want to learn on-the-go you can download our app in which you can access sermons, blog posts, event information, and more.

#1 Making disciples

The biggest need for every person in our city is to be forgiven and brought into a vital relationship with the living God, in Jesus. That happens as the good news of Jesus is shared by us with not-yet-believers whom God has sovereignly placed around us. Practically, this means that we must continue to grow as a grace-saturated evangelistic people. However, the goal is not merely to know Jesus but to grow in him. (See Colossians 1:28-29) Taking these together, we define discipleship as the process of knowing and growing in Jesus. You might ask, “So, how do I grow with DCC?”

Sunday gatherings
Membership. (Learn more about our next class on 2/10-11)
Community
Discipleship Groups
Special Trainings

#2 Multiplying communities

We gather as a church on Sunday and then scatter throughout the week into smaller communities, which we call Cornerstone Communities. The best way to meet people and build real friendships in Downtown Cornerstone is to join a Cornerstone Community. Regular, life-on-life, relationships with other followers of Jesus around the Bible and prayer is crucial to our ongoing growth. Forming smaller communities around the city helps us to learn how to be family together, how to love others who are different than us, and how to mentor others and be mentored by others. It is a tremendous gift to live life with others who are seeking to follow Jesus with you. We know that not everyone will be able to participate in every season, as each life-stage is filled with its own unique challenges, but we encourage you to give it a shot. We currently have 19 communities with a great need for more. To request more information about our communities, email us at connect@downtowncornerstone.org.

#3 Engaging culture

There is no sacred-secular divide. This is God’s world – all of it. As Abraham Kuyper once famously noted, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” We agree. This means that Jesus’ people need to prayerfully and thoughtfully consider how to engage the culture in ways that highlight this reality. We need to ask, “How does the unchanging gospel speak to the ever-changing culture?” An important aspect to this is equipping Jesus’ people in the integration of faith at work, within the creative arts, and the civic realm. This is an area that we still have quite a bit of work to do. Let us know if you’re interested.

#4 Sacrificially serving

We want to build a great city, not just a great church, through justice, mercy, and relevant partnerships. We aim to be a people who faithfully declare the gospel and display its implications in our context. Jesus said that he “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) In other words, we serve because we have been served by him. His perfect life and sacrificial death on the cross, for us, should increasingly shape us as a sacrificial, servant-hearted people. As such, Jesus is both our model and motivation for service. This service can happen informally as we serve a neighbor changing a flat tire, or serving with the church, or serving through city-partnerships. You can learn more about opportunities to serve within DCC here. We’ll be rolling out more information about city-level involvement in the year ahead.

#5 Planting churches

We believe one of primary ways that the gospel spreads, and God’s kingdom advances, is through the planting of gospel-centered, Jesus-loving, Bible-teaching churches. We want everyone in our city, and the cities of the world, to know the incomparable news of Jesus. So, from beginning our goal was not just to plant this church, but through this church, plant many churches. To that end, we invest 10% of all giving received into church planting efforts. Together we have given literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to the planting of churches around the world. Second, we just hired our first, of what we hope is many, church planting resident whom we aim to invest in over a period of time and then send out to plant. Lastly, we also view ourselves as a teaching hospital. I previously wrote more about this here. If we’re going to be intentional about raising up pastors and church planters, we must be intentional about giving qualified men opportunities to preach.

We are just getting started

All that said we are on the verge of turning six years old in April. We are literally just getting started. There is so much left to be done. There are so many opportunities to serve. There are so many people that have never heard, let alone understood, the gospel. There are so many people in need of personal discipleship, counseling, and community. There are classes to be taught, ministries to be built, and leaders to be developed. The great news is that this is our work. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12:7 that each one of Jesus’ people are gifted by the Spirit “for the common good”. That means God intends for us to do this together. None of us can (or should) do everything, but all of us can do something.

Will you join us?

Is Jesus calling you to get involved? Whether you’re an empty-nester, or a stay-at-home mom, or a college student, or a CEO, or a temporary Seattlite I want to invite you to get meaningfully connected to the life of DCC. Friends, there is something at stake in our lives. Who knows what God may do in and through us, as we partner together in this city, in our generation. Let’s pray that he makes us a salty city on a hill, for his glory, and the good of as many people as possible.

Until the world knows,
Pastor Adam

Jan 13
2017

Foster Care Drive Recap: Loving Our City Well

Advent Drive, City Life, Foster Care, Service | by Deacon Jen Keogh

But you, God see the trouble of the afflicted. You consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.” – Psalm 10:14

God sees our troubles and meets our needs. The Foster Care Drive provided tangible evidence of this simple yet profound truth. With over 375 items donated, including a cornucopia of T-rex hoodies, sparkly shirts, and cozy pjs, God’s love and provision for those in need was majestically on display.

As a potential mother of a foster care child who may one day enter my home, I was reminded that the many donations do not serve abstract children, but actual image-bearers. I praise God for the ways He’s used our church body to support and bless DSHS and the children in foster care!

Here are some of the responses we received from the coordinators we partnered with:

“I would like to thank you for all that you did for children in care, foster families, and social workers in 2016. I am so amazed at all the labor and love you have poured into the community. You have provided hope in the lives of those who may feel there is no hope left.”
– Jessica Hatch, Social and Heath Program Consultant at DSHS: Children’s Administration

“Thank you so much for your FAITHFUL, GENEROUS giving this Christmas season, [and for] your church’s involvement and dedication to these marginalized children and their hard-working foster parents and social workers!”
– Mandy Nell, Foster Care Specialist with Church Engagement at Seattle Union Gospel Mission

Clothing donations were dropped off at King West DSHS office and will be distributed to other DSHS offices in King County including DSHS – Delridge and DSHS – MLK. Adult clothing donations were provided to Parents for Parents, an organization that assists parents whose children have entered the system by providing training and resources. You can see the generosity of our church-wide collection evidenced in photos above (and that was just the second trip!).

GET INVOLVED

If you are interested in learning more about foster and adoptive care in the State of Washington, or want to get involved through donating or volunteering, please feel free to contact me. I love sharing about these wonderful kiddos! Thank you on behalf all of the kids who will sleep, run, and thrive in the clothing you’ve donated.

“He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing.” – Deuteronomy 10:18

To God be the glory,

Jen Keogh

You can get connected to Jen to learn more about foster and adoptive care in the State of Washington by emailing info@downtowncornerstone.org.

Nov 22
2016

Give and Serve this Advent Season

Advent Drive, City Life, Event, Foster Care, News | by Pastor Craig Sturm

The season of Advent has historically been intended to cause the hearts of Christians to remember and rejoice in the glory of the truth that Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us! We celebrate that He has broken into human history to redeem that which was enslaved; restore that which was broken; to renew that which had been dead! The incarnation of Jesus is the single greatest act of love, grace, and mercy in the history of humanity. It is good news of great joy — for the world, and for us as individuals. As we reflect on God’s abundance to us in Jesus, there are two ways that you can partner with DCC to serve and give this Advent season:

FOSTER CARE CLOTHING DRIVE

FosterCareClothingPromo_620x130_1114_CS_green

On any given day there are 1,200 to 1,500 children in foster care in King County. Whether children are picked up from school or removed directly from home, they often don’t have the chance to bring their clothes with them. Consequently, many children come into foster care without coats or sometimes even socks! It can take weeks for DSHS to get foster children these basic winter essentials. Life in foster care can be extraordinarily challenging and disruptive for kids and teens, both emotionally and developmentally. Having the comfort of warm clothes can go a long way in helping children transition into foster care. Downtown Cornerstone has chosen to partner with DSHS this advent season to provide comfortable clothes for foster children entering state care. The items donated will give DSHS offices a supply of winter items to give out to children as soon as they enter care.

How to Participate:
Starting November 27th, donate clothing for elementary-aged children by dropping clothing in barrels on Sunday or by purchasing items online using the Amazon Wish List.

More Details:
More details, including a list of needed items, can be found at www.downtowncornerstone.org/foster-care-drive

VOLUNTEER WITH THE CARE NET MOBILE UNIT

carenetvolunteer_1116_620x130_cs

After Sanctity of Life Sunday this year, a small group of people within Downtown Cornerstone Church felt convicted and called to respond to the alarming statistics of how abortion affects our city. In response, the group began The LIFE Project, which targeted two connected areas of need: Pregnancy Crisis Support and Adoption/Foster Care. The Pregnancy Crisis Support team partnered with CareNet, the largest pregnancy crisis resource in the Puget Sound, to support their strategy of bringing a Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) to Seattle. The Mobile Medical Unit is a bus that will serve women and families where there are currently no life-affirming pregnancy service available. The MMU has the flexibility to park near college campuses, churches, and community centers, reaching women right in their neighborhood for free pregnancy testing, ultrasound appointments, and STI screenings. The statistics for the Mobile Medical Unit are staggering: 4 out of 5 women who board a Mobile Medical Unit choose life for their baby. By God’s grace, working through your passion and generosity, Downtown Cornerstone Church helped support the purchase of the first Mobile Medical Unit for Seattle! The next step in our partnership with CareNet is to serve in ways that directly affect the Medical Mobile Unit.

How to Participate:
There are a number of unique ways that you can serve including: Drivers, Marketing Volunteers, Men to give counsel and support to potential fathers, Medical Volunteers, and Medical Professionals.

More Details:
To learn more about these opportunities, our partnership with Care Net, and to volunteer to serve, visit http://www.downtowncornerstone.org/carenet

If you have any questions on these two efforts, please email info@downtowncornerstone.org. If you’d like to participate with the LIFE Project (Foster Care/Adoption or Pregnancy Support), please email craig@downtowncornerstone.org.

For His glory,
Pastor Craig

Jul 12
2016

Racial Justice and the Gospel

City Life, News | by Pastor David Parker

Downtown Cornerstone,

This Sunday we spent some time talking and praying about the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the slaying of five officers in retaliation, and the violence that has opened up the hearts and wounds of many. I have been deeply moved by the events that have taken place, and believe that we would be remiss if we did not take time to consider how we can and should respond.

The issues of race, cultural bias, and racial injustice are complex and difficult. These issues are also real and affect every one of us as a church family (whether we realize it or not). For some of us, especially if we are white, the issues of racial injustice may feel confusing, or, easy to dismiss or rationalize. But if we are to be a people who are a gospel people, we cannot ignore this issue.

If we seek to love our city and desire to bring the Gospel to bear in the lives of those around us, we need to care about justice and the issues in front of us. Ultimately all issues of racial injustice are gospel issues. In Matthew 25, Jesus reminds us that when we minister to the marginalized, we are ultimately ministering to Jesus. And inversely if we ignore issues of injustice and those marginalized, we ignore the very heart of God.

Our righteousness is not evaluated by our deeds, but God calls us to faithfully respond when injustice is placed in front of us. With that in mind, I have three encouragements for how we can respond:

WE NEED TO WEEP WITH THOSE WHO WEEP

If we are to care, we need to weep with those who weep, and mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15). We can weep together because the Gospel reminds us that we are all people who are in need of redemption and who long for restoration.

If you are a black brother or sister, we mourn with you for the injustices that have happened and continue to happen in our country. Even more, our Savior mourns with you because through His life and the cross, He perfectly understands what it’s like to face injustice, suffering, racial tension, being wrongfully treated, abused, and ultimately wrongfully killed. We weep with you now and remember that one day He will wipe away every tear, every injustice, every longing of our hearts and souls, and He will make all things new.

WE NEED TO LISTEN AND LEARN

If we are to care, we need to listen and learn. We need to seek to understand what it’s like to view life through the eyes of our black brothers and sisters in this city. We need to proactively ask questions and have a posture of heart that is open to having our presuppositions challenged. Most of all, we need to learn about how God feels about these issues and let our hearts be broken by what breaks His heart.

WE NEED TO PRAY AND SPEAK OUT

We need to pray and speak out. If we see life that is not in step with the gospel, we need to be a people who are moved by the gospel to action. Proverbs 31:9 says, “Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” We need to be bold and unafraid of sharing how Jesus has created each of us with equal dignity, value, and worth. We need to be wiling to have hard or awkward conversations that confront racism. And most importantly, we need to remember that Jesus went to the cross to ultimately bear the weight of racism, injustice, and sin.

We live in a world full of brokenness that can feel overwhelming, but I believe that God is calling us to consider how we can adorn the beauty of the Gospel in all of life. We need to seek justice where we can, in our given area of influence, and more than anything, we need to proclaim the name of Jesus as the only one who can ultimately heal this brokenness.

Friends, as we pray into this issue, especially in our city, let’s ask God to give us humble hearts that are willing to learn, to make us a people who are able to empathize, and to make us a church that is able to speak out in appropriate ways, so that Jesus would be made to look as good as He is.

For the Glory of our King,
Pastor David

Jan 8
2016

REST House Drive Recap

Advent Drive, City Life, Service

REST_Drive_1115_620x130_NRC

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.” -Romans 6:22

Hundreds of women are sold for sex in this city every night. In spite of the devastating statistics, we cling tight to the great love and abundance of grace we have from God in Jesus Christ – and we fight back with hope secure in His freedom. This Advent season, we made a huge impact for REST: Real Escape from the Sex Trade by outfitting their REST House, a restorative, short-term housing option for young women transitioning out of the sex trade.

By God’s grace and through the outpouring of your generosity, we were able to equip the House not only with scores of necessary items but also with many comforting treasures that will go a long way in blessing women as they transition to freedom and restoration.

In addition to the significant gift of a much-needed storage shed, we provided the following items that will help provide a safe, welcoming space for these young women to find real and lasting rest:

  • Household items: dining room table, lamps, bedspreads, mousepads, bedsheets, curtains, pillows, office supplies, cleaning supplies
  • Kitchenwares: KitchenAid mixer and attachments, blender, cookbooks, dish towels, oven mitts, serving bowls, kitchen tools, water pitcher, serving platters, aprons, baking tools, paper products
  • Personal Care items: shampoo and conditioner, bathroom caddies, feminine hygiene products, hair dryers, soap, beauty items, books

Melody, the Residential Program Manager who heads the REST House team, passed along her thanks: “The generosity of your church family has overwhelmed me… REST and especially the REST House team are so grateful for your care and generosity.”

Downtown Cornerstone strives to display Christ’s light and life in the avenues and the alleyways of Seattle. By God’s grace, we did so this Advent season by donating generously and joyfully to the REST House Drive!

Get Involved

The Wish List we used throughout the drive will remain active and updated, so you can continue to give. You can also find out more about the work REST does and how to get involved on their website: iwantrest.com.

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. – Galatians 5:13

Christ is all,
Jennifer Keogh

May 14
2015

Save the Date for Summer Events!

City Life, Community, Event, News

SummerSavetheDates_2015_04_620x130_PD_F01
It’s time to dust off those sunglasses and stock up on the sunblock, summer is almost here! Throughout July and August we’ll be sharing life together through a number of events and activities. These events will not only be a great opportunity to grow together as a church, but an opportunity to get to know, love, and serve those that Jesus has placed around us. Mark these dates on your calendar and consider who you can invite to join us as we enjoy the summer in Seattle! Check back with us regularly, as we’ll be updating this page with links to more details.

All Church Campout | Concrete, WA
July 10th – 12th

We will be headed to the Concrete KOA for a weekend of community and fun! More info and registration coming soon.

Serve the City | Bailey Gatzert Elementary School
Saturday, August 1st

We are partnering with the Seattle School District for a day of service at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School. The more volunteers we have, the better we are able to serve this school so please mark your calendars and invite your friends!

BBQ & Baptisms | Myrtle Edwards Park
Thursday, August 27th

Join us for our 5th annual BBQ and Baptisms! We will gather at Myrtle Edwards Park for a BBQ followed by baptisms, to celebrate all that Jesus has done and is continuing to do among us as a people. If you are interested in being baptized or want to learn more, you can read more here.

Summer is also a great time to join in with a Cornerstone community! Communities will continue gather throughout the summer and enjoy all that this city has to offer. If you’re not connected to a community, we invite you to email connect@downtowncornerstone.org to get plugged in today!

We depend on volunteer support for all of these events! If you would like to serve the church by helping plan one of these events, please email info@downtowncornerstone.org.