Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Jul 10
2020

Covid-19 Update: Request to Join a Gathering!

Covid-19 | by Pastor David Parker

Covid-19 Update

Downtown Cornerstone,

As of today, King County is still in Phase Two of reopening, which has allowed churches to begin regathering, with restrictions. While these restrictions can feel burdensome, they are a small sacrifice to ensure the safety of one another and our city.

As Pastor Adam shared a few weeks ago, we first started opening our doors by extending an invite to our members on a three-week rotational basis. Since then, we’ve had extra room and more seats available that we can fill!

Therefore, we want to go ahead and begin opening up these remaining seats to other non-members and guests who may feel comfortable participating with us.

If you are interested in participating with us on a Sunday:

  1. First, please read these guidelines to ensure you understand the limitations, risk, and are able to meet the requirements for gathering with us.
  2. Please fill out this Request to Join a Sunday Gathering Form (please note that filling out this form does not register you for a Sunday Gathering.)

Once you have submitted a request to participate, someone will reach out to you with availability and next steps for joining us on a Sunday.

During this pandemic, our Sunday Livestream will continue indefinitely for those of you who are uncomfortable gathering, for families with young children, or for those with underlying health issues.

Let’s continue to pray that God would be glorified through this unusual season and that he would give us wisdom each step of the way.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know by emailing info@downtowncornerstone.org.

For the King,
Pastor David

Jun 24
2020

Our First Steps Towards Re-Gathering Begin This Week

Covid-19 | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Covid-19 Update

Downtown Cornerstone,

Jesus’ church is unstoppable. Nations rise and fall, but His Church remains. Wars uproot and destroy, but His Church remains. Secular ideologies come and go, but His Church remains. Hostile opposition persecutes and rages, but His Church remains. Human pride boasts and flexes, but His Church remains. Pandemics spread and kill, but His Church remains.

Jesus put it this way, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it” (Matt. 16:18). There is no stopping what God is doing, no matter what might be happening. It is important to remember that in a season like ours. We are hindered, but Jesus is not.

As of last Friday, King County is now in Phase Two of reopening which has brought with it greater flexibility for churches to re-gather—though, in a limited fashion.

Churches are now allowed to gather at 25% of the maximum capacity of their meeting space, while social distancing and wearing face masks. For us, that means we can host 54 households (i.e. whether a single, couple, family, or housemates), allowing for 54-110 people to gather for worship.

Therefore, beginning this Sunday (6/28) we will resume gathering at 10am within these limitations. For now, our plan is to hold one gathering throughout July for DCC members on a rotating basis (allowing for Sunday participation approximately once every three weeks). We are considering moving to two gatherings in August. Please note that you will need pre-register to attend.

Why only members at this point? Church membership is not parallel to a Costco membership. To be a church member is to formally unite yourself as a member of a specific body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-26) and member of a specific local family of God (Eph. 2:19). It’s a visible and visceral way of putting flesh on gospel realities.

In that sense, the members are the church. Members are those who have committed themselves to one another for the sake of discipleship (1 Thess. 5:11), accountability (Mt. 18:17), pastoral care (Heb. 13:17), guarding of the gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), and the glory fo God (1 Cor. 10:31). Therefore, it makes sense to start with the members—at least, at first. If you want to learn more about the local church, and the biblical rationale for membership, you may find this sermon on The Wonder of Jesus’ Local Church helpful.

Members, you will be receiving additional information this week that outlines how to sign-up for an upcoming Sunday gathering and what to expect when we get together.  We understand this raises all sorts of questions, so we ask for grace and flexibility as we navigate these uncharted waters together.

Our Sunday livestream will continue indefinitely for those who are not yet members, for members who are uncomfortable gathering, for families with young children, for those with underlying health issues, and those exploring the person and work of Jesus. We’re not out of the woods yet, so let’s keep praying.

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam

P.S. Here are two important documents for your reference:
1) An updated version of Our Tentative Plan for Resuming Life Together
2) Our COVID-19 Gathering Instructions

Jun 5
2020

Our (Tentative) Plan for Resuming Life Together

Covid-19 | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Covid-19 Update

Downtown Cornerstone,

The Lord has built waiting into our experience of life and that waiting is particularly acute in this season. But, we wait in hope (Ps. 39:7; 62:5; 130:5). In Him, our waiting is not in vain, wasted, a mere obstacle, nor necessarily riddled with regrets of “what might have been.” In His hands our waiting is doing something—even if we don’t know the full extent of what that is from our vantage point—because our God is sovereign.

We are in unprecedented territory as we consider resuming life amidst a once-in-a-century pandemic. What will things look like on the other side? No one knows for sure.

At this point, Washington State’s Governor, Jay Inslee, has proposed a phased approach to re-opening. Each phase will last a minimum of three weeks, provided the occurrence of the disease meets state-designated metrics. The CDC and the state have also provided additional direction for churches. Therefore, it seemed prudent to craft a tentative plan for DCC to resume life together around the four government-mandated phases.

We’re reluctant to commit to anything in writing as the situation continues to evolve and there remain many unknowns. Yet, we understand it is helpful to have a general sense of the direction we are heading, even if we must adapt along the way. Expectations are helpful, even if they are not our preferred outcome.

YOU CAN FIND OUR TENTATIVE PLAN HERE.

Let’s continue to pray—for one another, other gospel-preaching churches, and for justice to prevail in our city. Let’s ask Him to uniquely use this season to create a spiritual awakening our city has never seen.

Christ is all, always.
Pastor Adam

May 15
2020

Longing for Justice in a World Gone Mad

Community, Global Issues, News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Downtown Cornerstone,

By now you’ve seen the news of the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery on February 23, 2020, outside Brunswick, Georgia. Travis McMichael, and his father, attempted to make an armed citizen’s arrest of Ahmaud, who they believed was involved in a string of residential burglaries, while he was jogging unarmed. However, an altercation ensued and Ahmaud was shot two times in the chest, resulting in his death. Since the victim was an unarmed African American and the assailants were armed white men this is understandably seen as another sad episode of racial violence in our nation’s history. Additionally, the fact it took three months for the McMichael’s to be charged has rightly raised significant questions about the just handling of this case by local authorities.

So, what are we to do with this news?

FIRST, WE MUST LAMENT

Regardless of the details, this is another deeply troubling manifestation of a world groaning under the weight of sin. This world is not as it should be—it hasn’t been since the fall (Gen. 3) and it won’t be until Jesus returns (Rev. 20-22). Relationships break down. Words are wielded to wound. Power is abused. Sexuality is distorted. Biases exploit. Emotions manipulate. Violence reigns. Justice is perverted. Unarmed joggers, made in the image of God, are shot in broad daylight. Unfortunately, this isn’t new; this is as old as humanity itself. It is right to long for justice amidst a world gone mad.

So, how are we to cope? The Bible’s answer is, in part, to lament. A lament is a passionate expression of grief and sorrow to God. The Psalms are filled with such laments (e.g. Psalm 12, 22, 44, 88). In fact, an entire book of the Bible is called Lamentations, which laments the fall of Jerusalem to foreign invaders. To lament is to express your pain, your struggles, your doubts, and your unresolved questions to God. Start with lament by directing your pain Godward.

SECOND, WE MUST MOURN

The historical relationship between whites and blacks in our country is filled with unconscionable violence and unspeakable injustice. That history serves as an important backdrop for how events, such as this, are perceived. From one angle, this situation could look like an over-zealous attempt-gone-wrong to protect your neighborhood. But, from another angle, it looks like yet another incident of a young unarmed black man who is killed without due process (e.g. Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, et. al.). Was race a factor? We don’t know. But, it certainly doesn’t appear that ‘black lives matter’ when it takes three months and a public video release for the wheels of justice to get set in motion.

Regardless of the details, we must mourn with those who mourn (Rom. 12:15). Not every minority or African American processes such incidents in the same way—just like anyone else. After all, suffering isn’t monolithic. But, we can still mourn that such situations continue to be a reality. We can mourn that some may wonder if they’ll be ok if they go out for a jog. We can mourn that some little boys and girls grow up wondering how they’ll be treated in a majority context. To every African American, we express profound pain and sorrow with you. We join you in this time of mourning and stand with you.

THIRD, WE MUST LEAN IN

These issues didn’t emerge overnight nor will they quickly go away. So, we must take the long view even as we seek to do as much good as we can today. If we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (which is the second greatest commandment, Mark 12:31) that means we must lean into areas we are unfamiliar with out of love for those who are different from us. As a church we continue to work to create a culture where we can lean into these issues honestly and openly, even amidst our many differences. To do so we continue to write articles, preach sermons, offer classes, and recommend reading. We must lean in together as we seek to bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2). For example:

ArticleRacism is a Radical Evil
SermonsThe Racism-Crushing GospelA Gospel Forged People in a Divided AgeGod’s New Humanity.
ClassUndividedIdentity Politics and the Death of Christian Unity
Reading: We also recommend reading Divided by Faith and its counterpart, United by Faith.

FOURTH, WE MUST BE PATIENT

It is easy to get caught-up in the emotional and politicized roller coaster of the news cycle. We want to take control. We want to do something. We want justice to prevail. We want leaders to propagate our vision for the world. We want the indifferent to wake up. We want to signal our virtue. We want this fixed now. This must not happen again. Enough, we think, and rightly so. There is much that is good, true and noble about such sentiments.

Yet, if we’re not careful, in our desire for justice, do we become unjust?

In our yearning for peace, do we create division?
In our passion to love, do we become unloving?
In our hope of righting wrongs, do we inadvertently add to them?
In our hunger for justice, are we also hungering for righteousness?
After all, only the poor in spirit, will enter the kingdom (Mt. 5:3)

We must be patient, but patience doesn’t mean passive inactivity. It means prayerful, God-centered, restraint in the face of opposition. It means being quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19). Why? “Because the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James. 1:20). To be patient is to love (1 Cor. 13:4). Patience allows time for more answers to arise. Patience gives space for repentance to occur (Rom. 2:4). Patience is more likely to earn us a hearing with others (Pr. 25:15). We must be patient, even as we act.

JUSTICE IS COMING

Friends, let’s continue to humbly submit ourselves to God when we see events like this unfold before us. We know that politics, blogs, and social-shaming can’t ultimately change the human heart. We know that racial utopia is not possible in this life. We’re not naive. But, neither are we paralyzed. The world is in search of answers; we know who He is. While we long for justice in a world gone mad, we know justice is coming (Rom. 12:19).

We are in this city to know Jesus and to make Him known. Let’s build meaningful relationships with others who are different from us. Let’s engage in the discussion with wisdom, tenderness, and courage. Let’s passionately share the heart-changing, all-satisfying good news of Jesus. Together, let’s be a visible, albeit imperfect, local expression of Jesus’ redeemed and reconciled (!) people to a divided world in desperate need of healing hope.

My heart is with you, my prayers are for you,
Christ is all, always.
Pastor Adam

Mar 27
2020

Covid-19 Update: Staying Home, Livestream, Lord’s Supper, and Giving

Covid-19 | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Pastoral Note

Downtown Cornerstone,

There is scarcely a page in the Bible that does not deal with the trials and troubles of life, from the mundane to the catastrophic: sibling murder (Gen. 4:8), cataclysmic flooding (Gen. 7:22), betrayal (Gen. 37:24), forced enslavement (Ex. 1:13), rebellion (Num. 16), unwanted wandering (Num. 32:13), inept leadership (Jud. 21:25), economy-ruining famine (Ruth 1:1), infertility (1 Sam. 1:6), impossible battles (1 Sam. 17), political turmoil (2 Sam. 15), fear (2 Kings 10:4), exile (2 Kings 25:11), life-altering loss (Job 1:13-19), pestilence (Dt. 28:21), heart-rending grief (Neh. 1:4), opposition (Ezra 4:4-5), humiliation (Est. 7:7-10), haunting questions (Ps. 42:11), prolonged waiting (Ps. 40:1), failure (Ps. 51), sickness (Isa. 38:1), weeping (Jer. 9:1), lament (Lam. 2:5), mourning (Dan. 10:2), regret (Mt. 27:5) and more.

Yet, over them all, the “Lord our God the Almighty reigns” (Rev. 19:6). He “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Eph. 1:11); not merely some things or most things or easy things—all things. This means he is always at work and that nothing can thwart his purposes (Job. 42:2), including Covid-19. God’s sovereignty over suffering sustains the soul, even amidst death, because his purposes are wise (Isa. 28:29) and good (Ps. 73:1). The Scriptures are a living testimony to this wisdom and goodness of God amidst trial and trouble and are, therefore, meant to infuse our lives with endurance, encouragement and hope, in Christ (Rom. 15:4). So, I hope this brief note finds you tethered to God through God’s Word.

In light of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order issued this week, I am following-up on three points:

#1 We will continue to livestream on Sundays @ 10AM.

Governor Inslee’s order requires all state citizens to remain at home unless we need to go out for essential services or are performing those services ourselves. While there was some ambiguity earlier in the week, we have learned that the government does include churches providing streaming as “essential.” This was confirmed by our lawyers here and Inslee himself here when he said, “Religious institutions can have…a certain number of people present at places of worship to ensure that online remote services can be afforded to their flocks” (2:30 minute mark). Therefore, by God’s grace, we will continue to livestream on Sunday mornings at 10AM while being “subject to the governing authorities” (Rom. 13:1-7).

#2 We will not celebrate the Lord’s Supper until we are gathered again.

Some have asked whether we will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper virtually during this time. The short answer is: no. The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance that points to the new people of God whom Jesus redeemed and is therefore corporate by its very nature (1 Cor. 10:17). This is why it is only celebrated when we come together (note the language of “come together” in 1 Cor. 11:17,18,20,33), not merely as individuals, households, or smaller segments of the church. Perhaps the Lord will use this time to grow our love, appreciation, and longing for celebrating the Supper together.

#3 Let’s be generous, sacrificial, and cheerful givers together.

This season is financially impacting many in our church in dramatically different ways. Many remain gainfully employed, whereas others have suddenly lost their jobs or found themselves on furlough. Amidst this season of uncertainty, we are still called by God to worship him through our finances by placing him squarely in the middle of our budgets. This giving is to be voluntary, eager, and cheerful (2 Cor. 9:7). God rewards these kinds of givers in a myriad of ways (2 Cor. 9:6). So, let’s continue to trust him in our giving together because His mission continues, the gospel must go forth, discipleship never stops, churches need to be planted, and our city is ready to be served.

Let’s continue to pray—for one another, other gospel-preaching churches, and for our city. Let’s ask Him to uniquely use this season to create a spiritual awakening our city has never seen.

With you, in Christ.
Pastor Adam

Mar 13
2020

How To Make The Most Of A Livestream “Gathering”

Covid-19 | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Pastoral Note

Our God is “the hope of all the ends of the earth and the farthest seas” (Ps. 65:5). Even when we walk through seasons of upheaval and uncertainty, we do not fear because he promises to be with us (Isa. 43:1-5). In Jesus, nothing that comes our way can separate us from his love, or thwart his purposes in our lives, whether “tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword” (Rom. 8:35; Ps. 138:8). Seasons like this test the quality of the foundation that our lives are built on (cf. Mt. 7:24-27).

GOING TO LIVESTREAM THIS SUNDAY AT 10 AM

One of the unfortunate temporary side-effects of this season is that we will not be able to physically gather in light of government mandates to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus Covid-19. We are glad to partner with the community and “seek the welfare of the city” (Jer. 29:7). We want to love one another (Jn. 13:34) and our neighbors well (Mk. 12:31). However, it means we are entering new territory as a church.

So, what do we do when we can’t physically gather? Well, we do the best we can. Under the circumstances, that means utilizing livestream technology to gather virtually while we are scattered throughout the city. Therefore, beginning this Sunday we will consolidate our two morning gatherings into one livestreamed gathering at 10am.

THIS IS A TEMPORARY CONCESSION

The church gathers; that’s what it does. The local church is Jesus’ set apart people, in a specific place, who exist to glorify him by committing their lives to one another. The local church is the universal church made visible and is, therefore, a miracle of God. This is why physically gathering with Jesus’ people on the Lord’s Day has been a privilege and priority from the start (Heb. 10:25, cf. Acts 2:42f).

Therefore, it is important to view our livestream in this season as a temporary concession, rather than the creation of an ongoing convenience. Yes, it is convenient, but not all conveniences are good for our souls in the long term. We can thank God for modern technology (and we do, especially right now) even while recognizing its limitations. Physically gathering matters—after all, Jesus promised to be with us when we do (Mt. 18:20). But, right now, we can’t. So, how do we make the most of this temporary concession?

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF A LIVESTREAM GATHERING

(1) PRAY

Ask the Lord to give you a soft, humble, and hungry heart before we gather-while-scattered. Spend time on Saturday evening or Sunday morning in the Word and prayer to prepare your soul for worship. Pray for the church, other members, your community and discipleship group, along with not-yet-believers who may participate. Let’s ask the Father to give us a supernatural sense of unity even while being spread throughout the city. Who knows how he might use all of this? Let’s pray in faith, hope, and love.

(2) FIND A SPECIFIC PLACE

Be intentional about where in your home you will participate. Don’t leave that decision to the last minute. If possible, I recommend participating from the place in which you spend your daily time with the Lord. That space probably already has a sense of set-apart-ness to it that will help facilitate your worship.

(3) PREPARE

Also, consider how you might intentionally prepare for worship. Fight the temptation to see “online church” as a mere convenience by preparing in advance and arriving on time. The livestream will be up at least 15 minutes before worship begins. Work through any potential technology issues. Decide, in advance, how will you participate—phone, laptop, SmartTV? Have your Bible close at hand. Print the Sunday handout, which will be available at least one hour before we begin.

(4) REMOVE DISTRACTIONS

We all know that it can be a challenge to remain undistracted at home. There are projects to do, dishes to wash, laundry to fold, bills to pay, and cleaning to be done. If your household has kids, there is the added layer of toys, craft supplies, and random socks lying around. Even more, our phone is innocently resting on the end table wooing us to check “just this one time.” But, put it all away. Clean up the space. Commit, along with those you’re gathering with, to set apart this time for Jesus and one another.

(5) PARTICIPATE

The primary way to keep the livestream an act of worship, rather than consumption, is to actively participate. So, when we stand, let’s stand together. When we sing, let’s sing together. When we recite the call to worship or assurance or commission, let’s recite the scripture out-loud. Remember, our livestream is in fact live. It is not a recording. You are not alone, even if you are alone in your living room. Envision hundreds of DCC households, united in spirit, worshipping throughout the city—its a powerful image.

(6) INVITE

If you have space in your home to uphold the current public health order, especially the call to social distancing, you may want to consider inviting a few friends to join you for worship.

Lord willing, we will be able to gather unhindered soon. Until then, let’s not neglect meeting together, even under non-ideal circumstances (Heb. 10:25). Let’s be salt and light in our city (Mt. 5:13-16). The Lord is at hand, so we don’t need to be anxious (Phil. 4:5-6). This will pass and then the next trial will come. In the hands of our good God, every trial tests the genuineness of our faith, which is more precious than gold, so that it might result in “praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7). He is faithful; he will do it (1 Thess. 5:24).

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam

P.S. Two final notes:
1) Please do not come to the church’s building on Sunday.
2) We will be rolling out a plan for what it means to be the church throughout the week very soon.

Mar 11
2020

Changes Due To Government Covid-19 Restrictions

Covid-19 | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Pastoral Note

Downtown Cornerstone,

The spread of Covid-19 continues so we, therefore, continue to adapt.

New Restrictions

This morning, the Governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, announced a ban on events of more than 250 people in the Seattle metro area. Additionally, the King County Executive, Dow Constantine, issued a separate public health order that prohibits gatherings of less than 250 people unless certain stringent requirements are met, including:

  • High-risk individuals do not attend (over 60 years old, pregnant, underlying health issues, etc.).
  • Social distancing measures are enforced (including being within six feet of others for ten minutes or longer).
  • Employees must be screened for Covid-19 symptoms each day.
  • Proper hand hygiene and sanitation must be readily available.

The first three of these requirements would be difficult—if not impossible—to enforce, especially the social distancing. This means, legally, we are unable to gather because we cannot comply with the public health order. We are not alone. There is a long list of other Seattle organizations canceling events, including Seattle Public Schools.

OUR RESPONSE

Therefore, we will be adapting in the following ways:

#1 SUNDAY

Starting this Sunday we will move our public gatherings to one gathering via livestream at 10am. In other words, beginning this Sunday, we will not publicly gather at our building until we are legally permitted to do so. However, we will continue to gather online via livestream. A small team (staff, strategic volunteers, deacons, and elders) will be at the building to lead the gathering, from singing to preaching. Rather than record the 9am gathering and re-play it at 11am, we will hold one live gathering at 10am. Please note the time change and spread the word.

#2 COMMUNITIES

As of today, all formal Cornerstone Community gatherings are canceled.

#3 CLASSES

As of today, all classes are canceled.

#4 EVENTS

  • Taking the Gospel to the Nations, March 21st: We will postpone this event to a later date.
  • Members Meeting, March 29th: We will either cancel or create a livestream option. Stay tuned.
  • DCC’s 9th birthday, April 5th: TBD
  • Good Friday and Easter, April 10th-12th: TBD

#5 MEETINGS

If you have a meeting scheduled with a staff member or pastor, be sure to double-check before meeting.

AND THEY WERE ALL SCATTERED…

While we grieve with those who have lost loved ones amidst the spread of Covid-19, we can trust that God is at work in significant ways behind the scenes. Do you remember what caused the gospel to spread in the early church? Persecution. “There arose…a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions…” (Acts 8:1). The very thing that was meant to stamp out Jesus’ cause, was used by God to further spread it to the nations. What man intended for evil, God intended for good (Gen. 50:20). While the details of our particular situation are unique, the principle isn’t. If he did that then, what might he be up to now? Let’s keep trusting him together. More soon…

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam

Mar 6
2020

Covid-19 Update and This Sunday

Covid-19 | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Pastoral Note

Downtown Cornerstone,

We thought it would be helpful to send another brief note prior to our Sunday gathering. We are still planning to gather and continue our series through Romans unless circumstances change dramatically. I encourage you to read my post from earlier this week, if you haven’t already, which describes our plan to mitigate the potential spread of Covid-19—though we have made a few additional changes since then.

WHY WE GATHER

The regular gathering of Jesus’ people to sing, pray, and preeminently sit under God’s Word is the most important means of grace in a Christian’s life. The word for church in Greek literally means “assembly, or congregation.” In Christ, we now belong to Jesus’ people, universal and local. That means Sunday is the one time during the week where we get to physically live out this shared identity. Therefore, gathering on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, has been integral to Jesus’ people from the very beginning.

IS ANYONE ELSE GATHERING?

However, we won’t be the only ones gathering. The Seattle school district is still in session. The Sounders are playing on Saturday. Concerts are still happening throughout the city. Museums and tourist attractions are still open. My oldest has a junior high basketball game on Saturday. Life goes on, even with more hand-washing and avoidance of touching your face.

WHEN NOT TO GATHER

However, in alignment with CDC guidelines, we do encourage you to stay home if:

  • You, or a family member, has a cough, fever, or other respiratory difficulties (i.e. you’re sick).
  • You are over 60 years old (a population particularly susceptible to Covid-19)
  • You have underlying health conditions such as heart or lung disease, or a weakened immune system.
  • Or, you are pregnant.

Remaining home under such circumstances is not evidence of a lack of faith, but prudential wisdom.

A TEMPORARY SOLUTION (LIVE STREAMING)

In light of the present circumstance, we will be offering a temporary live-streaming option of our gathering. You will be able to access the live stream from our webpage or this link. While we don’t believe merely viewing a church gathering online constitutes “gathering” with the church, it is better than non-attendance or listening to a recorded sermon later. We will evaluate the extent to which we will continue to offer this option as the situation develops.

WHEN WE GATHER

Therefore, here are a few notes for when we gather this Sunday:

  • Don’t give into fear, just be smart.
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer. New stations have already been installed.
  • Work on your elbow-bump or foot-tap welcome (!)
  • We will not have a designated meet-and-greet.
  • For increased sanitation, communion will temporarily consist of separate cups.

Let’s continue to pray: for the sick, for the fearful, for salvations, and for the glory of God to shine brightly. Amidst an uncertain world, He alone is certain: “He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress: I shall not be greatly shaken” (Ps. 62:2). The mission continues. Let’s be humble, wise, and courageous as we follow him together.

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam

P.S. Don’t forget this Sunday, March 8, is Daylight Saving Time. #springforward

Mar 3
2020

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Update & Response

Covid-19 | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Pastoral Note

Downtown Cornerstone,

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Ps. 46:1)—whether spiritual, financial, emotional, relational, or physical. This is crucial to keep at the forefront of our hearts amidst the unfolding outbreak of the Covid-19 Coronavirus in our area. Our God reigns and nothing happens outside his loving, wise, and good sovereign reach—even disease and death (Dt. 32:39; 1 Sam. 2:6; Job 1:20-21; Ja. 4:13-16).

Cultivating a Godward perspective grounds our hope and gives us confident poise as we seek to be wise (Ja. 1:5-6; Mt. 10:16) amidst a world subjected to futility, longing to be set free from its corruption (Rom. 8:20). Therefore, we will not fear (Isa. 41:10). This is not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last (e.g. H1N1/Swine flu, Avian flu, Ebola, MERS, SARS) until the Lord ushers in the new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 21:1-4).

But, until then, we must find the wisest, most prudential path forward when faced with a world gone awry. Therefore, the elders met last night to consider how to best navigate this season together. While circumstances change daily, here is our current plan:

#1 Pray:

Any reminder of our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9) and brevity of life (Ja. 4:14), is good for our souls (Ps. 119:67,71). It reminds us that we are not our own (1 Cor. 6:19). It reminds us that our lives are found in Him (Phil. 3:9). It reminds us where our true and lasting treasure is found (Phil. 1:21; Mt. 13:44, 45-46) and to fervently pray for ourselves, and others, with these mega-realities in view.

#2 Gatherings:

We encourage you to continue to gather with the church. At this time, public health agencies are not recommending the general public avoid large group gatherings. Therefore, we are not planning to cancel Sunday gatherings, classes, or communities unless there is a government directive to do so.

#3 Sanitation:

We will be placing additional foaming disinfectant stations in our lobbies and other key points throughout the building.

#4 Kids:

We will be taking extra measures within the Cornerstone Kids classrooms to wipe down hard surfaces (handles, toys, dispensers, etc.) before, during, and after our gatherings.

#5 Meet-and-greet:

We will be altering our meet and greet by adding a friendly disclaimer that handshakes are not expected, but love of your neighbor is (Mk. 12:31).

#6 Communion:

We will be providing an additional communion option, for those uncomfortable sharing in the common bread and cup.

#7 Signage:

The CDC states that remaining home while sick and thoroughly washing your hands are the best preventative measures we can take. Therefore, we will be posting additional signage as reminders of this fact at disinfectant stations, bathrooms, and Kids ministry.

#8 Cancellations:

Depending on the progress of the virus, we may need to cancel, or reduce, certain elements of our gathering(s) and/or ages we can offer for Cornerstone Kids.

#9 Caution:

People who are at higher risk of illness may want to consider ways to lower their risk of infection by limiting contact with crowds, including those: (1) over 60 years old, or (2) with underlying health conditions such as heart disease and lung disease, or (3) with weakened immune systems, or (4) pregnant. If you, or a family member, has a cough, fever, or other respiratory difficulties, we encourage you to refrain from participating in any church-related activity until you are fever-free for 24 hours.

#10 Covid-19:

If you become sick with the Coronavirus, please notify us immediately.

#11 Monitoring:

We are continuing to monitor the latest news and recommendations released by the CDC, state, and city officials. We will keep you posted as we learn more. If you have any questions, please email us at info@downtowncornerstone.org.

We grieve with those who have lost loved ones to this latest pandemic (Rom. 12:15). We are not minimizing that. Living in a world corrupted by sin is wearying. The tears and pain are real. But, even so, we do not lose heart because, “this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:16-18). Take heart, friends, and let’s press on together (Jn. 16:33).

Yours, in Christ.
Pastor Adam

Nov 21
2019

Meet Our Newest Elder Candidate: Marco Ribeiro

News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Downtown Cornerstone,

On Sunday, we presented Marco Ribeiro to the church as an elder candidate.

Therefore, we are taking the next month to give you time to meet with him, ask questions, and/or express any concerns you may have. One of the over-arching qualifications for a pastor is that he must be “above reproach” (1Tim 3:1). While we have done our homework, this waiting period is an additional step to ensure all bases are covered and you have an opportunity to speak into the process.

The office of pastor (or elder) was created by God, for the leading, feeding, and protection of his flock, the local church. Therefore, we treat the testing, equipping and installation of such men with great seriousness – and joy!

Marco will not be on DCC’s pastoral staff (i.e. vocational pastor), but will serve as an elder in a volunteer capacity (i.e. non-staff pastor). Therefore, by necessity, the scope of his pastoral involvement will be limited when compared to a staff pastor. However, his service will be equally significant. As a non-staff pastor Marco will be involved with preaching, teaching, counseling, officiating weddings and funerals, elder meetings and practical leadership (which currently includes leading a Cornerstone Community).

Our aim is to raise up many non-staff pastors, like Marco, as it helps diversify and strengthen the elder team and, therefore, the church. Marco will be our second non-staff pastor.

Marco is a good man with integrity, love for Jesus, and for Jesus’ church. As elders, we believe he is called, qualified, and ready to be appointed as a pastor. However, we are taking this time in case you know something that we do not.

That said, would you pray for the Ribeiro’s in this season? Would you also pray for our church? It is a sign of God’s grace to us that we have men, like Marco, being raised-up to lead, feed, and protect Jesus’ flock. Let’s ask Him for more.

Provided nothing arises that would cause us to pause the process, which we don’t foresee, we will install Marco as a pastor on Sunday, December 15th. It will be a great celebration and a joyous moment.

What follows (below) is a short interview with Marco so that you can get to know him a bit better.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, you can email me directly at adam@downtowncornerstone.org.

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam
On behalf of the elders of DCC

…………………………..

Q: How did you meet Jesus? How has he changed you?

MR: I was an atheist at college and thought that religion was just a crutch for stupid people. I became friends with a guy who loved and cared for me in a manner disproportionate to our acquaintance, and was shocked when I discovered that he was both a Christian and intelligent at the same time. After a couple of years of interacting with him and other Christians I met, I had an experience where I felt a supernatural conviction of sin, and an amazing peace after I decided against sin. This experience made me become an agnostic, and from there it was another number of months until I finally surrendered to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Before this point I was an inveterate liar, angry, sad, proud, sexually immoral, a blasphemer who cursed at everything. Jesus is still changing my heart on a constant basis, but the fact that I was so bad made the initial change rather dramatic, both outwardly and inwardly.

Q: Tell us a little about your family.

MR: Sara was one of the Christians I met at college during my long conversion process — we were in the same major. In her own words, she let me become a friend because I was so bad that there was absolutely no chance of romantic involvement. She got to observe my conversion and growth in the Lord while remaining a close friend, and we started dating a few years later. We got married and moved here in 2013. I am very thankful to God for giving me an amazing partner who I love deeply, a true companion who complements me well. In 2017, our first son (Samuel) was born, followed by our second (Lucas) earlier this year.

Q: What are you most passionate about?

MR: God, followed by my wife and kids. As it pertains to eldership, I am most passionate about seeing others grow in the love of God, being transformed by the Holy Spirit and becoming fully mature in Christ.

Q: How did you get involved with DCC?

MR: We were looking for a church when we moved here in 2013, and DCC was the first one we both liked. We quickly got involved in community and serving, and became members as soon as we had the opportunity (the membership class was longer back then). During this time, we have grown a lot in our love and appreciation for the church, and in our understanding of service and mission together.

Q: What are your current areas of oversight?

MR: I currently lead a community, periodically teach classes, and engage in personal discipleship.

Q: How did you determine you were called to be a pastor?

MR: Initially, being an elder was not something that was even on my radar. Pastor Adam invited me to participate in an elder development class, and I accepted. Through the class and afterwards (as he challenged me), I started to consider it more carefully.

Initially, I thought I had certain gifts that could be useful to others (I read a lot, I can teach a little bit, etc.) but did not think of myself as the kind of person fit to be an example to others. After many conversations (with Sara, the elders, other members of DCC and of the church at large), the desire to serve others in this way grew in me, and so did stronger feelings of love, care and esteem towards God’s people in the local church. Through this process, many people were brought in to assess my fitness and qualifications, and I have gotten much encouragement and suggestions for growth.

It is hard for me to say that I have ‘determined’ that I am called to be a pastor, as I know I have many areas to grow in. What I can say is that I desire to help others follow the triune God, that He has been working in me for a while, and that I have additional confirmation from many faithful men and women in the church, who think that I am qualified and can be useful.

Q: How can we be praying for you and your family in this season?

MR: We would love if anyone prayed the following and applied it to us:

“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” — 2 Thessalonians 1:11–12

Also, please pray that we would be able to sort out our visa situation and get green cards, so we can stay in Seattle for the foreseeable future.

…………………………..

Let’s be praying for the Ribeiros and our church during this time!