Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Dec 8
2015

Advent EP Release: God With Us

Music, News | by Pastor Randy Lundy

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This Sunday, we officially announced the release of our Advent EP: God With Us! This is the culmination of months of arranging, tracking, mixing, and mastering, and we are thrilled to be sharing and celebrating this with you.

Background

The vision for the EP began over a year ago and culminated early this fall with key songs and gifted teams coming together to collaborate. Our songwriters group began work on an original song for the record. Our bands grew and we were able to form an exclusive Advent band that would serve as the musical backbone for the project. Our design team began creating some amazing stuff around our emerging Advent theme: God With Us. We were able to leverage our auditorium for all the live tracking and incorporate some of the natural acoustics of our building. And then by God’s grace, we were gifted a full week of studio time for all the post-production. It’s so clear that God has gone before us faithfully in this project and we are stoked to share it with you all. Jesus’ grace is all over it.

Album Title/Songs

We chose the theme God With Us this year as our Advent theme and the title of this album, because of how it reminds us that God is not only for us, but he is with us. The personal and intimate presence of God was a profound theme as we considered much of what we’ve studied this past year in Philippians, Lamentations, and James. These included themes of joy in suffering, longing for the coming and consolation of God, and trusting in the steadfast love of God. So we wanted our songs (traditional and original) to embody those themes in various ways and to point to God as our clear and present hope in every circumstance.

The song list includes: Hark the Herald, O Come O Come Emmanuel, A Cry in the Wilderness, What Child Is This, and Angels We Have Heard on High.

How to Get It

We are thrilled to be able to offer this to our family and friends for FREE at our website and on Bandcamp. You can stream, download, and share the music for FREE! (Did I mention it’s free?). We want this to be a gift to all our church family and friends, and we are honored to share it as a small expression of the love we’ve received so freely in Christ. Merry Christmas, Downtown Cornerstone!

Special Thanks

This record simply would not have been possible apart from the sacrificial time and talents of many people in our church! I want to personally thank Pastor Adam and Pastor David, Barrett Miller, Bryan Alsbury and Brendan McDonnell, Nathan Lowe, Tyler Johnson, Chelsey Scheffe, Julianne Smith, Jayson Jodrey, Rachel Battershell, Mitchell Orsucci, Leah Dankertson, and Aaron Mortensen and the host of other individuals who I can’t thank in name here but who have contributed immensely to this project at various stages along the way. It’s truly an honor to serve with such a committed and talented group of artists and worshippers. You all are a testimony to the glory and grace of our King! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!

Send Us Your Feedback

We would love to hear from you in the coming weeks! How has Jesus used the songs to encourage you in His grace? What songs have particularly resonated for you? Send us an email at music@downtowncornerstone.org.

Trust and treasure Jesus above all this season, friends. He is God with us!

For our King,
Randy

Dec 3
2015

REST House Drive

News, Service

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Advent is a season of hopeful expectance and anticipation of Jesus’ joyful arrival. We remember that Christ entered into our brokenness to live the perfect life we could not, die the death we deserved, and rise from the dead to set us free from satan, sin, and death. As we reflect on His coming and anticipate His coming again, we are moved reflect Christ’s goodness to the broken world we live in. In light of this, we’re partnering with REST: Real Escape from the Sex Trade this Advent season.

The statistics are devastating – every night in Seattle, hundreds of individuals are sold for sex. The average age of women entering the sex trade is between 11 and 13 years old. These women were lured or coerced into the sex trade and will likely die within 7 years of entering into prostitution. Traffickers sell them like a commodity and keep all or most of the money. Nearly 75% of women in the sex trade are or have been homeless.

REST was formed to build pathways to freedom from the sex trade. They provide individualized, holistic programs that address the prevention, intervention, and restoration of at-risk and exploited individuals. One way REST comes alongside young women seeking to transition out of the sex trade is by providing longterm restorative housing at the REST House.

We’re partnering with REST to help outfit the REST House through a household goods drive. The blankets, decor, and supplies we donate will help REST create a welcoming and safe environment for these women to begin to dream again of a new life.

NEEDED ITEMS
A full list of needed items can be found on this Target Wish List. If you’re inclined to shop in-store, any cleaning products (dish soap, trash bags, surface cleaners), personal care products (lotion, nail polish, shampoo, etc), or crafting items (crayons, stickers, scrapbooking supplies, etc) will be appreciated.

  • Purchase online and have items shipped directly to REST or bring in your donations every Sunday, now through the end of December.
  • Communities: Consider pooling your resources within your community to donate a high value item on the list. Speak with your community lead to organize details.

Email info@downtowncornerstone.org if you have any questions.

Whatever you and/or your community ends up doing, get creative, be generous, and ask Jesus to give you a vision for incarnating the love of Christ this season. In Christ we have been given much. By Him and through Him we have much to give.

Dec 2
2015

A Note About Upcoming Pastoral Sabbaticals

News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Jesus has been exceedingly kind to us over the last four and a half years. Honestly, what He has already done in, and among, us has exceeded all of our expectations (Eph 3:20). It was not long ago that a small group of us were asking the Lord to lead the way in planting a new gospel work in the heart of our city. Look at what He has done! This past year alone we have grown 80%, moved into a more permanent gathering space, and transitioned to two gatherings. Our membership has grown. Participation in community, service and sacrificial giving have grown. Most importantly our hunger for Jesus has grown. Some of you have given your lives to the Lord this year. Some of you have returned to Him. Some of you have brought sin, long laid hidden in the dark, into His redemptive light. Some of you are just beginning to taste what it looks like to live every day life with gospel intentionality. Beautiful. I hope you’re encouraged. We should be. I love our church.

A SEASON OF HEALTH

Amidst all of this, we’ve prayerfully discerned the need to focus on health in this next season. From the beginning, as a church, we’ve held to a certain vision and set of values that shape who we are as Jesus’ people in the city center. We’ve grown by about 40% every year, while maintaining a very clear DNA. Yet, this past year we grew by 80%. Any time a church nearly doubles in a single year, the vision and values of that church are easily diluted amidst a sea of new faces, conflicting agendas, and multiplied complexities. In some ways, we’re a new church. So, we’re taking this year to evaluate and adjust to our new God-given realities – in other words, focus on health (from leaders, to members, to communities, to ministry teams, to communication, to church-wide systems and more). We’re not unhealthy. But, given all of the changes that have taken place over the last year we need to make some adjustments in order to thrive in the next season together.

2016 PASTORAL SABBATICALS

One aspect of our pursuit of health is that Pastor David and I will be taking sabbaticals in 2016. This has been recommended, and approved, by our elder board and pastoral coaches at Crosspoint Ministry. Pastor David, and his family, will go first as they do not yet have children in school. They will be taking a three month sabbatical, January – March. David is a valuable leader to the church, and a dear friend to me personally. I am grateful that he and his family have this opportunity. I hope we will all rally to encourage and pray for them as they prepare to leave and, of course, while they are away. Our family will, Lord willing, take a four month sabbatical next May – August.

Q: WHAT IS A SABBATICAL?

A sabbatical is an extended period of time, set apart from the normal pressures of life and ministry, that is devoted to rest and renewal.

Q: WHY A SABBATICAL?

The purpose of a sabbatical is to give a pastor an opportunity to step back from the constant demands of ministry in order to deeply rest, recalibrate and re-enter. The sabbatical is not an end in itself. It is designed to help pastors establish new patterns of work and rest in order to improve overall health and long-term effectiveness in ministry. To help maximize this time we will be receiving coaching and spiritual direction from Crosspoint Ministry which specializes in leading pastors through their sabbaticals. For more on why churches are increasingly making pastoral sabbaticals a regular practice I recommend reading this helpful blog post by my friend, and fellow Acts 29 member, Bob Thune, “Five Reasons for a Pastoral Sabbatical”.

Q: HOW WILL THIS BENEFIT DCC?

Sabbaticals are not only good for the pastor, but for the churches they lead. Why? Two primary reasons. First, healthy pastors lead healthy churches. We will all benefit from this. I know many pastors who have taken a sabbatical and every time they, and the church they lead, end up in an even healthier place. In 2008, the Louisville Institute commissioned a research survey of 250 pastors who had taken a sabbatical. Here is what they found:

● 87% of pastors reported a sabbatical significantly renewed their commitment to ministry.

● 94% of church members claimed their pastor seemed refreshed and re-energized after the sabbatical.

● 75% percent of congregations reported a pastoral sabbatical tangibly benefited the life of the church (and not just the life of the pastor).

You may have seen some of the statistics on pastoral turnover and burnout. They’re pretty dismal. Much of that is due to the fact that overall health is not seen as a priority. We want a healthy church. To have a healthy church you need healthy leaders. To have healthy leaders you need leaders who work hard and, as appropriate, carve out intentional time for renewal and recalibration at regular intervals. I don’t know about you, but I want to see all of our pastors make it to the end – I have a vested interest in this (!)

Second, sabbaticals benefit the church because they serve as a tangible reminder that Jesus is the Chief Shepherd. A sabbatical helps wage war against consumeristic impulses that creep into the church by creating opportunities for others to step-up and serve in greater capacities in light of the pastors absence. Often, pastors are doing what others in the church could be doing and this is revealed while they are away. A sabbatical can also help confront any “celebrity” culture, or over-dependence on a particular man, that has inadvertently developed within a church (which can happen in a church of any size). DCC does not exist for the fame of any man, but the Man. It will be a great season, for all of us, as we trust Jesus’ lead into new territory.

FAQs:

Q: Why are you both taking a sabbatical now?
Over the past year, but especially the last six months, both David and I recognized we were experiencing bone-deep tiredness. Not just the “I-need-a-nap” kind of tiredness but the “I’m-not-sure-I-can-keep-going-at-this-pace” kind of tiredness. So, in other words, serious fatigue. Therefore, last summer, I reached out to Crosspoint Ministry which specializes in pastoral care and renewal. They recommended that to sustain healthy ministry into the future that we both take a sabbatical. We have already begun coaching with them, evaluating our pace of life and ministry and, even more importantly, our hearts. It has been fruitful, helpful and humbling. Your pastors are grateful for your patience, encouragement and prayers.

Q: Are Pastor Adam and Pastor David doing ok?
Yes. We are tired, but we love Jesus, our brides and families, and this church. We want to be serving with you all for a long time. To be over-the-top clear, there has been nothing morally disqualifying in our lives. These sabbaticals are not disciplinary in nature, nor are we being “forced” to take this leave. We enter into this season humbled, thankful and expectant. Consider this preventative maintenance for our souls.

Q: Are Pastor Adam or Pastor David leaving DCC?
That question actually makes me sick to my stomach, but it is an important one. Neither David nor I are leaving DCC. Personally, if Jesus permits, I want to give the rest of my life to gospel ministry in this church in this city.

Q: Aren’t all jobs hard? Don’t we all need rest?
Yes, but pastoral ministry is unique in two primary ways. First, pastoral ministry is unique in that it is not merely a vocation but a calling. It is a tremendous honor and privilege. I love it. However, it means that as a pastor I am literally “always on” wherever I am, whenever it is. There is no clocking out. The burden of shepherding is a constant, whether at home, the office or a chance encounter at Bartells. The only way to truly rest, recalibrate and renew is to intentionally disconnect from the normal rhythms of life and ministry for a designated amount of time. Second, pastoral ministry is unique because of its particular demands. Bob Thune writes, “pastors and others in Christian ministry are, to my knowledge, the only people whose job performance depends on a strong, vibrant spiritual life. The average Christian can practice their vocation ‘in the flesh’ (Galatians 5:22) and still do well by their employer. But not a pastor. Rest and renewal is crucial for maintaining a fresh, dynamic, vital communion with the Holy Spirit.”

Q: How will this impact the church?
There are a number of ways to answer this. In one sense, it won’t impact the church at all. This is Jesus’ church. He is on the throne. We exist by Him, for Him and through Him. The gospel will continue to be declared in our words. The Kingdom will continue to be demonstrated in our lives. In that sense, nothing changes. Yet, in another sense, the church is a body so when any member of the body is absent there is a felt loss (1 Cor 12:12-31). That’s understandable. There will be some adjustment. But, it will be good for us, individually and collectively, as I articulated above.

Practically, we will be making some changes to intentionally slow down the pace of church life this next year. Our focus will be on our Sunday gatherings, community life and leadership development, while limiting other events. Disciples of Jesus are made in real time, amidst ordinary life, not merely amidst a flurry of church activity. In some ways, our whole church is getting a rest this next year as we reevaluate health in every area. So, for example, next summer we do not plan on holding any events (with the exception of our summer barbecue and baptism) and will encourage communities to consider how they can create rhythms of rest together. Also, due to the complexity of multiplying gatherings, we don’t plan on moving to three gatherings until next fall, no matter how full the auditorium may get. In the meantime, we plan to leverage extra seats in the commons and, if necessary, potentially create (temporary) overflow space downstairs.

Q: Who will preach while Pastor Adam is away?
A combination of elders, elder-candidates, and deacons will fill the pulpit in my absence. We are tentatively planning a summer series through the Psalms that I am incredibly excited about.

Q: Who will attend to Pastor David’s responsibilities?
We are dividing his responsibilities amongst staff, contractors and a handful of volunteers.

Q: Who will attend to other pastoral duties (e.g. counseling, pre-marital, weddings, etc)?
We will do what we can, but on a very limited basis. We are also training-up elder candidates and building a team to assist with counseling.

Q: Will this be a paid sabbatical?
Yes, both David and I will continue to receive our salary while on sabbatical.

Q: Will Pastor Adam and Pastor David remain in the area?
Sabbatical plans for the Parkers and the Sinnetts are still coming together. If you have any leads on potential places to stay, we would love to hear about them.

All told, it is going to be a great year of trusting Jesus together. This year of rest, recalibration and renewal – for all of us – will bear fruit for years to come. I can’t wait to see what He has in store.

Christ is all!
Pastor Adam

P.S. For more on ministry sabbaticals, check out these helpful resources from Crosspoint Ministry, 9 Marks, the Reformed Church in America, and the Association of Regular Baptists.

Oct 15
2015

Our Fall Sermon Series | On Being Human: Relationships, Gender, and Being Made in the Image of God

News, Teaching | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

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This Sunday we are beginning a new sermon series, On Being Human: Relationships, Gender and Being Made in the Image of God. One of the most profound questions we face in life is: “What is a human being?” Philosophers wrestle with it. Sociologists study it. Psychologists delve into it. Social activists fight for it. Politicians try to legislate it. But, what is a human? Specifically, for our purposes, what does it mean to be a man or a woman? How should we view relationships, gender and human sexuality? Can they be whatever we want or is their meaning predetermined? It is hard to exaggerate the importance of this topic. Our view of what humans are impacts our lives on every level and, yet, we often think little of it. On this point, Augustine once said:

“Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.”

In light of that, we’re going to take the fall to work through these important questions from the scriptures. The Bible is not silent on these profoundly relevant issues. Throughout its pages we see that human beings are inescapably related to, and dependent on, God. Humans were created in the image of God with inherent dignity, value and purpose – for joy, in relationship to Him and others. In a culture awash in conflicting perspectives, opinions and conjecture, there is perhaps no greater need in our day than a deep, penetrating and fresh look at God’s revelation of his purposes in the creation of mankind. That is our goal in this series. The following describes the flow of our study:

10/18 On Being Made in the Image of God
10/25 Men and Masculinity
11/01 Women and Femininity
11/08 Marriage and the Mystery of Christ
11/15 Men as Husbands
11/22 Women as Wives
12/06 Singleness and the Mystery of Christ
12/13 The Imago Dei and Sexuality*
12/20 Raising Image Bearers: Foundations
01/10  Raising Image Bearers: Practices
01/17  On Being Human and the Sanctity of Life

Please be praying for our time together.

With affection in Christ,
Pastor Adam

_______________

*Parents: On Sunday, December 13th, we will be exploring topics specifically related to human sexuality. The content will not be explicit nor graphic. However, we will speak about pornography, same-sex attraction, gender confusion and other sexual distortions. If your child(ren) normally participates in the main gathering, and you would prefer they sit out this week, we have made preparations with Cornerstone Kids.

Jun 24
2015

New summer series starting this Sunday | Disciple: Living for Jesus

News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

DiscipleSlide_0615_620x130_NRC_fThis Sunday we will push pause on our study through the letter of James and kick-off a brief six-week summer sermon series called Disciple: Living for Jesus. Prior to his ascension, Jesus gave us a commission to “make disciples of all nations.” (Mt28:18-20) That means the mission of Jesus’ church, local and global, is to make disciples. Many of us are familiar with this. But, what is a disciple? What does it actually mean to be a disciple of Jesus? What difference should it make in our every day lives? How do we follow Jesus in a city that doesn’t? 

Over the next six weeks we will answer these questions and clear away common misconceptions about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. We hope to make this very practical. We’ll begin by examining our union with Him and the new identity we receive by nature of being “in Christ”. Everything in the Christian life hinges on this union. From there, we will explore how our union with Him informs how we live together, live sent, as living sacrifices, with a living trust, within the context of a living church. It’s going to be a rich six weeks. Here’s the line-up:

06/28 In Christ: Living Union, Pastor Adam Sinnett

07/05 New People: Living Together, Deacon Edward Sumner

07/12 Missionary: Living Sent, Pastor David Parker

07/19 Servant: Living Sacrifices, Deacon Randy Lundy

07/26 Learner: Living Trust, Deacon Pierce Martin

08/02 In Context: Living Church, Pastor David Parker

I am really looking forward to seeing what Jesus has in store for us this summer, particularly through this series. My prayer is that Jesus would use this study to stir our affections for Him, invite us into deeper levels of trust in Him, and move us to align our lives around Him. Additionally, please join me in praying for these men who are already prayerfully preparing to serve you well. One of our hopes is to become a teaching hospital in order to train, develop and equip future pastors and church planters

Our story is one small part of His larger unfolding story and we get to participate. So come expectant, prayed-up and hungry to learn. We’ll jump back into James on Sunday, August 9th and finish up our study by summer’s end, just in time for the fall. Love you all. 

Enjoy Him, 

Pastor Adam

Jun 11
2015

New Community in U District South!

Community, News

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Downtown Cornerstone is a community of communities scattered throughout the city, declaring and displaying the gospel of Jesus Christ in relationship to each other and the city. These are communities of diverse, imperfect people that are committed to living out the implications of the gospel in every sphere of life. These are communities of radical grace, sacrificial service, and joy. These are communities that eat together, pray together, laugh together, and study the Bible together – in essence, share life. These are communities that build up the church by encouraging people to faith in Jesus Christ and build up the city through deeds of justice and mercy. These are communities where you can be who God created you to be, yourself. It’s our hope and prayer that everyone who calls Downtown Cornerstone home will find a community like this.

This week, we launched a new community in U District South! By God’s grace, this is the second community living life together in the University District. Marco, along with his wife Sara, will be leading this newly-formed community, so we asked him to answer a few questions about the people, vision, and prayer requests for U District South.

Q: WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT IN LAUNCHING THIS NEW COMMUNITY IN THE UNIVERSITY DISTRICT?

The U District family was getting pretty large, so now that we’ve created two communities, I’m excited about having a more intimate discussion and the opportunity for connecting with everyone in a more meaningful fashion. Seeing God grow the U District community is great, but it does make meaningful connections a little harder.

Q: WHO WILL BE A PART OF THIS NEW COMMUNITY?

This new community is not for college students only! Although this is a challenge in our neighborhood, we think it is beneficial to have undergrads, grad students, professionals, stay-at-home moms, unemployed people, single people, married people, people with kids, etc. – so that we can help one another see the multi-faceted grace of God, and learn from one another.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR U DISTRICT SOUTH?

We will strive to be a community where we cannot deceive ourselves by merely being religious: attending gatherings on Sunday, going to community every week, discipleship groups, etc. Our hope is that we will be able to encourage one another to really live a life that is pleasing to God, in light of what He has done for us – or that we would challenge one another to bow the knee to Christ, if some of us haven’t yet. For this to happen, we need to get into each other’s lives – which can be very uncomfortable at times, but is one of the marks of a real community, as opposed to a ‘group’ that meets every week.

Q: ANY SPECIFIC WAYS WE CAN BE PRAYING?

Our prayer is that a year from now, everyone will be able to look back and say that the Lord used this community to reveal Himself and pull us closer to Him. We also want to pray that as He does bless us in any way, we would not exalt ourselves and steal his glory, but would know that ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’ (Luke 17:10)

If you are not currently participating with a DCC Community and would like to be involved with U District South or another community, email community@downtowncornerstone.org.

May 14
2015

Save the Date for Summer Events!

City Life, Community, Event, News

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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.

Apr 2
2015

An invitation to reflect and rejoice this weekend

Easter, Good Friday, News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

DCC_GoodFridayEasterThis weekend we celebrate Good Friday (4/3, 6:30pm) and Easter (4/5, 9am & 11:15am). That makes this weekend all about reflecting and rejoicing. Will you join us? There will be no give-aways, no smoke machines, no light shows, no hype, just Jesus. It is easy for the significance of this time of year to be lost amidst a sea of pastels, egg hunts, honey-cured hams and chocolate bunnies, but it doesn’t have to be. We need to take time to reflect and rejoice. This is particularly true amidst a culture that celebrates what is fleeting and transient while neglecting what is most profound and real – like a mighty savior who is also a sinless substitute. So, I invite you to join us this weekend as we reflect on Good Friday and rejoice on Easter.

There are a few things to keep in mind:

First, Good Friday and Easter go together.

I encourage you to consider participating in both Good Friday and Easter. Immerse yourself in the (true) story this weekend, starting on Friday and culminating on Sunday. Cancel your other obligations. Say “no” to Netflix for one Friday night. Keep your kids up. It is worth it.

Second, our Good Friday gathering is unique.

If you’ve never been part of our Good Friday gathering, don’t think of it as a normal Sunday gathering on a Friday. It is a completely different thing. Over the the last four years we have prayerfully labored to create a fresh experience of the ancient Good Friday story. It is unique, moving and powerful. You really don’t want to miss it.

Third, arrive early.

We recommend that you arrive early on Friday and Sunday. On Good Friday, arriving early will give you time to pray, reflect, and read the scriptures. The auditorium will be open 20 minutes prior to our start time. On Easter, we are expecting a full house, so arriving early will ensure you are able to secure seats for your whole party. We will be adding chairs, tightening the rows and creating an overflow space, but we anticipate that it will still be full. Plan ahead.

Fourth, we are validating parking for everyone.

We are validating parking for everyone at the Art Institute parking garage on Friday and Sunday. Please note that on Good Friday, we have secured just one of the parking lots, the U-Park lot, next to the building for family parking only.

Fifth, your kids are covered.

If you’re a parent with a child from one to eight years old, our Cornerstone Kids team has generously offered to serve families on Good Friday and Easter. This is an act of sacrificial service and love on their part, so please be sure to thank them!

Sixth, let’s be praying for Jesus to move.

Most importantly, let’s be praying for Jesus to save, awaken and reinvigorate souls to the breathtaking reality of his grace and redemption this weekend. Invite your friends, families, neighbors, and co-workers. Let’s ask Him to do what only He can in our lives, and in the lives of those who do not yet know him. He is able.

Because the cross is full and the tomb is empty,

Pastor Adam

Mar 26
2015

Why are we moving to two gatherings? (and FAQ)

News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

WeAreMoving_0315_620_CS_f-revisedThis Sunday, March 29th, is a big Sunday in the life of DCC. Not only are we moving locations, we are also moving to two gatherings, 9am and 11:15am. Last week I answered, “Why do we want a new building?” Here I will answer, “Why are we moving to two gatherings?” and address a number of other frequently asked questions. A move, with many implications, can create many questions. I hope to answer those here and alleviate potential concerns that any change is bound to bring. Some of us love and embrace change, while others among us run from it. The former is not “good” and the latter “bad”, just different, and my deep desire is that you all feel cared for in this important transition. This move, and all it brings, is a tremendous evidence of God’s grace and provision to us. It would be a shame if we were so concerned with the sea walls on either side of us, that we miss the fact that he’s opened up a way through the sea itself! (cf Ex. 14) Let’s rejoice together and prayerfully approach this next season with expectation. Please know that your pastors, deacons and leaders are available if you have any questions. So, with that, let’s turn to the questions:

Q: Why are we moving to two gatherings?

On a very practical level, we are moving from a theater that seats 550 to a new space that seats (maybe) 350. We just won’t fit together in one space any longer.

Q: When will the gatherings be? When will this start?

Starting this Sunday (March 29th), our gathering times will be at 9am and 11:15am at 2333 Western Ave, located in the Belltown neighborhood.

Q: What are the benefits of going to two gatherings?

There are many benefits of going to two gatherings given where we are as a church. First, two gatherings will open up more seats and, therefore, more space for people to know, and grow, in Jesus. Second, two gatherings will create smaller gatherings where we can actually recognize and get to know those around us (unlike at AMC). Third, two gatherings will create more options for Sunday morning worship and, therefore, greater flexibility. Fourth, two gatherings will ensure that no one needs to miss a gathering because they are volunteering. For example, if you volunteer with Cornerstone Kids or Security you can now volunteer during one gathering and participate in the other. Fifth, two gatherings will give more people the opportunity and joy of stepping out in faith to volunteer and serve in significant ways. Sixth, moving to two gatherings will prepare us for a similar dynamic that will take place when we send out our first church plant. All told, this is a really good move for us.

Q: Why don’t we start a new church instead of starting a second gathering?

We would love to plant a new church. We still plan to, Lord willing, many times over. We just don’t have anyone ready to lead a plant (yet). However, we are actively training men, saving money and praying to that end. It’s only a matter of time. If you’re interested, talk to me.

Q: Why do you keep referring to them as “gatherings” instead of “services”?

I promise I won’t be a stickler on this, but what happens on Sunday is a gathering not a service. We take our cars in for “service”, but we “gather” with Jesus’ people. Even more, what does that even mean? Is that talking about our service? God’s service? Who’s exactly being served again? The whole point of Sunday is not merely serving, or being served, but gathering together (after being scattered all week long) with Jesus’ people for worship, prayer, scripture and song.

Q: Who will be preaching and leading in song at each gathering?

Both gatherings will have the same preacher and band.

Q: What will be different about each gathering?

Generally speaking, apart from the Spirit moving otherwise, the overall flow and feel of both gatherings will be the same.

Q: Will we have enough volunteers?

The slots are filling up, but we still have volunteer needs. If you call DCC your church family, we highly encourage you to participate in the life of the family by serving in some capacity. Please visit the Connect Desk on Sunday or email info@downtowncornerstone.org to get signed-up.

Q: Will this hurt our attendance, or lose momentum, by going to two gatherings?

No, actually, in time we expect the opposite.

Q: Won’t this create two churches in the same building? Will we lose unity?

No. We are one church that now gathers across two different times, on the same day, in the same building. The reason we exist is to build a great city, through the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the glory of God. That is not changing. We will remain vigorously Jesus-centered, gospel-saturated and Spirit-led. We will remain committed to declaring the gospel (in word) and displaying its implications (in deed). We will remain primarily focused on people. We will continue to put our energies into cultivating disciple-making disciples. In a word, we are still DCC, just with a new home base.

Q: Where will I park?

There are three primary places to park on Sundays. First, families, first-time visitors and those with any special needs may park for free in the two lots adjacent to our building (see map below). Second, for everyone else, you may park in the Art Institute parking garage and we will validate your parking. Again, unlike when we were at AMC, parking validation will now be for everyone. Just be sure to get a stamp on the way out. Third, for the time being, all street parking downtown remains free on Sunday. So, if you’re able to snag a spot near the building, have at it.

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Q: Where will I drop off my kids for Cornerstone Kids? Can I pre-register?

Families can drop off their kids, with an adult, at the Cornerstone Kids entrance in the alley behind the building (see map above). There will be signage and volunteers directing the way. The CKids space and registration is just a short walk into the building. More information is available on the Cornerstone Kids group on The City. To expedite the check-in process, you can pre-register HERE.

Q: “Um, but I won’t see the same people any more?!”

There’s truth to this. We won’t see all of the same people any more on Sunday. But, here’s the question: isn’t this already happening? It is for me. I rarely get to talk to everyone I want to on any given Sunday. I want to, but there are just too many people. Per above, creating smaller gatherings will actually enhance, not diminish, our ability to be in relationship with one another. Even more, a major function of our Cornerstone Communities is to create smaller, consistent relationships around Jesus, his Word and his call to live sent lives together. If you’re not yet in a community, now could be a good time to make that transition.

I am humbled by Jesus’ goodness to us. I hope you are too. He didn’t have to provide this space, but He did any way. Let’s revel in His grace and ask Him to do something in this city that only He can do. It doesn’t have to be “business as usual” so let’s pray and labor to that end. Let’s ask Him to do something awesome here, for the glory of his name, and the joy of our entire city.

For Jesus’ Fame,

Pastor Adam

Mar 19
2015

Why do we want a building?

City Life, News

WeAreMoving_0315_620_CS_f-revisedYou have inevitably heard that we are moving into a building located at 2333 Western Ave, in Belltown, with our first Sunday on March 29th. We will simultaneously be moving to two services at 9:00am and 11:15am. Jesus has been so kind to us over our last four years as a church plant. We’ve met in condos, apartments, office conference rooms, various party rooms, other church’s buildings, community centers, the Underground Tour, an office lobby, and four theaters within AMC. Not once have we lacked a space to meet and gather.

Benefits of being a mobile church

In many ways it has been a tremendous blessing to be a mobile church. It forced us to embrace the biblical notion of the local church as a people, not a place; that Jesus is our home, not a building. It required many to trust Jesus by stepping-up to volunteer for our weekly set-up/tear-down. It cultivated dependency, patience, and prayer as we adapted to whatever space we had and looked for our next. It allowed us to keep a streamlined budget without larger facility costs. It also helped shape us as a very hospitable people.

Challenges to being a mobile church

Yet, there are downsides to being mobile. First, being mobile is very challenging to coordinate as we need to work within the calendars, limitations, and availability of other spaces. Second, being mobile does not allow our entire staff team to office together, let alone volunteers and interns. Third, being mobile prevents us from having separate space and office hours for counseling. Fourth, being mobile limits our ability to host and/or participate in citywide events. Fifth, being mobile makes accommodating our bustling children’s ministry very difficult. Sixth, being mobile spreads our resources and gear throughout the city (e.g. we have an office at the Westin, band gear at Denny Park Lutheran, Sunday gear at AMC, and other gear in our individual homes). Seventh, being mobile doesn’t allow us to create any sort of substantive, visible, faithful presence in the city we’re called to. There are other challenges, but these are among the most significant.

Our search for a new space

Therefore, over the last year and a half, we have scoured the downtown core for a more permanent space to accommodate our growing church. We have looked at purchase options to buy. We have looked at lease options. We have spoken with every theater, every concert hall, every rock venue, every hotel, every convention space. We found nothing. But, all that changed in December when we approached the owners of 2333 Western for the seventh time and – to make a long story, short – we now have a five-year lease.

Benefits of having a building

Securing this particular building for our next season of life and mission together will: (1) allow us to centralize our church life (office, meetings, leadership labs, prayer nights, classes, trainings, counseling, and more); (2) allow us to create a more substantive and visible presence in the city; (3) give us more options to handle growth (i.e. multiple services); (4) give us more opportunities to host and participate in community-sponsored events; (5) save time and volunteer resources now required as a mobile church; (6) better provide and care for our children and families; (7) save us hundreds of thousands of dollars on build-out; and (8) be more readily accessible. In a word, this is a huge evidence of God’s grace. All told, there are tremendous benefits to having our own building that serves as a central hub for declaring and displaying the goodness of the good news of Jesus in this city we all love.

Challenges to having a building

As with anything, there are potential negative side-effects to having a building that we should be aware of. (1) A building can cause a church to think they’ve “arrived” and become subtly lulled to sleep as consumers rather than fiery, faith-filled participants; (2) A building can cause a church to shift from a “living sent” to a “come and sit” mentality, thus taking the edge off our call to spread the gospel; (3) A building can also cause a shift of resources and energy to up-keep rather than an ongoing pursuit and love for actual people. These are real dangers, but they do not outweigh the benefits of having a building. Provided that we seek first the Kingdom and his righteousness (Mt6:33) we can trust him to keep us out of these potential snares.

Here we go…

I couldn’t be more excited and, to be honest, slightly overwhelmed by this turn of events. But, I trust our good and faithful God is leading the way, just as He has up until now. He will not falter or fail to keep His promises to us. He cannot not be faithful. That’s who He is. Let’s keep our first love our first love (Rev2:4), pressing forward together, and ask Him to do above and beyond all that we ask think or imagine (Eph 3:20-21). There are still many in this city who are His (Acts 18:10).

Until the world knows,

Pastor Adam