Downtown Cornerstone Blog
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

Oct 9
2014

To our Cornerstone Kids Families

Kids, News

Cornerstone-Kids(620x130)Our desire and mission in Cornerstone Kids is to build a great city through the gospel for the glory of God, beginning with our kids. We love our kids, and we’ve been prayerfully considering how to better serve our families through our check-in process, space layouts, content and more. With that in mind, we wanted to let you know of a few changes and resources for families who are gathering with us on Sunday mornings.

“Pre-registration” is now available.

If you know your family will be attending the service on Sunday, you can fill out this form to pre-register your kids for the service each week (up until an hour before the service start). We recommend you create a bookmark to the link on your web browser. When you arrive at the check-in desk on Sunday morning, we will have your children’s name tags printed and a pager ready for you. If you’d like us to send you a weekly email reminder to pre-register on Saturday, you can click HERE to sign-up. The preregistration process helps to streamline the check-in’s on Sunday morning and allow you more time to get settled for the gathering.

Check-in’s open at 9:45am – come early!

We know it can be a challenge to get the kids all packed up, arrive downtown, navigate the elevators and escalators, check in your kids, grab a cup of coffee, and still make it upstairs with enough time to find a seat. For that reason, we want to help by encouraging you to check-in your kids early. This also helps our families who may be running late due to unforeseen circumstances. Our check-in’s are open at 9:45am (sometimes even a little earlier!), so please feel welcome to come early, check in your kids, and grab a cup of coffee without having to rush into the gathering.

We validate parking.

We validate parking for all Cornerstone Kids families in the Pacific Place garage for up to 3 hours! The Pacific Place garage is conveniently located in the same building as AMC theater. Please just bring your parking stub with you and stop by the Cornerstone Kids Check-In Desk to get your parking validated.

Questions?

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@downtowncornerstone.org. We count it a privilege to partner with you each week for the good of our kids and the glory of Jesus in our city. We are excited to continue witnessing Jesus’ unfolding story being written in the lives of every child within Cornerstone Kids. 

By His grace,
Pierce and Bonnie Martin for Cornerstone Kids

Jun 12
2014

Resources for Loving Your Kids to Jesus

Discipleship, Kids, Teaching | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Cornerstone-Kids(620x130)Given that we’ve had so many new families join us – and lots of babies – over the last year, I thought it would be helpful to create a single post that consolidates the most helpful resources and recommendations I’ve come across for loving your kids to Jesus, in the every day. This isn’t exhaustive, but it is a great place to start.

SERMONS

When we were studying the book of Proverbs we walked through two sermons specifically on the gift of parenting from a gospel-centered perspective. You can get the audio and notes here:

The Heart of Parenting
The Practice of Parenting

READING

Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Tedd Tripp
Instructing a Child’s Heart, Tedd Tripp
Give them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus, Fitzpatrick and Thompson
Gospel-Powered Parenting, William Farley
How Children Raise Parents, Dan Allendaer
“Don’t Make Me Count to Three!” A Mom’s look at Heart-Oriented Discipline, Ginger Plowman

BIBLES

The Rhyme Bible (birth+) is the first Bible we used with our kids. It focuses on individual stories of the Bible, is well illustrated and has short rhyming chapters. It keeps things very simple for even the youngest of kids. To be honest, I’ve been tempted to rip out the chapter on Jonah due to its moralistic message but its solid otherwise. They also came out with this smaller version two years ago.

The Big Picture Story Bible (2+ years old) is an excellent children’s Bible. Transition to this Bible once your kids are able to listen a bit longer and grasp more. The chapters are a little longer, but it is the best children’s Bible when it comes to presenting the overarching storyline of the Bible.

The Jesus Storybook Bible (2+ years old) is also an excellent children’s Bible, probably the best all around. The chapters are longer with more text than the previous two, but is the best children’s Bible when it comes to showing how Jesus is the hero of the story of God. I literally wept when I first read the introduction. It is beautiful. I recommend reading this in rotation with The Big Picture Story Bible.

The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook (4+ years old) is put out by the Gospel Project, the same group that put together the material we use for the older kids on Sundays. Using this can help provide continuity between Sunday and the rest of the week, therefore reinforcing lessons learned. It also includes a “Christ Connection” at the end of the story to bring it back to Jesus every time.

As your kids get older (5+ years old) I recommend transitioning to a Bible that sticks closer to the actual text of scripture, such as ESV Children’s Bible or the ESV Seek and Find. However, I do recommend rotating in The Jesus Storybook and The Big Picture Story Bible from time to time to reinforce the unified story of God with Jesus as the hero.

DEVOTION

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, by Sally Lloyd Jones, is an excellent, gospel-driven, beautifully illustrated devotional (short devotionals, at that). Honest parental moment: We turn to this when we’re too tired to do a longer reading, yet still want to land the day on Jesus.

CATECHISM

The New City Catechism is put out by Redeemer in NYC. It’s primarily experienced through an iPad app, however you can also download a pdf. There are 50 or so questions, making for one question for every week of the year if you stick with it. Each question also comes with recommended scripture, topical prayer and a really well done song (which our kids love).

Parenting is not easy, but it is a gift. By God’s grace, he’s given us tremendous resources, and one another, to lean on and learn from as we seek to point our littles to Him. I am praying for you all as you navigate this impossible, yet beautiful, gift of parenting, in Him. Know that you’re not alone. We’re with you and, even better, He is.

Christ is all!
Pastor Adam