Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Jul 8
2019

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

City Life, Serve the City | by Pastor Justin Keogh

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

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

WE LOVE BECAUSE HE LOVED US

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

LOVING OUR NEIGHBORS

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

SERVING TOGETHER WITH JOY

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

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

REGISTER TODAY!

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

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

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

Pastor Justin

Jun 28
2018

Serve the City Recap & Photos

Photos, Serve the City | by Pastor Justin Keogh

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends… You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” (John 15:12-13, 16-17).

Earlier this month, on Saturday June 2nd, over 175 of Downtown Cornerstone’s members, friends, and families came together to serve the Seattle Public Schools (SPS) at Bailey Gatzert Elementary and Washington Middle School for our 6th annual Serve the City event. Over the last few years, we’ve become the largest volunteer group that serves SPS and as such we had the opportunity to bless not one but two schools with our efforts.

At Bailey Gatzert Elementary we weeded and mulched the entire building perimeter, washed the walls throughout the building, cleared and organized supply closets, painted playgrounds and a mural. At Washington Middle School, we hung birdhouses, painted playground lines, cleaned up multiple courtyard and garden spaces, making them more inviting and safer for students, with the added benefit of clearing out the space in preparation for 8th grade graduation just last week!

Serving as we do through this event (and many others) is part of how we envision building a great city, as we seek to be salt (preserving) and light (guiding) in Seattle (Matt 5:13-16). The staff at each school, as well as the volunteer coordinators, have all expressed tremendous gratitude for our efforts – a small sampling of comments includes these sentiments:

  • Thank you Downtown Cornerstone Church – to bring these wonderful projects! It truly is a blessing. I am overwhelmed with you generosity to purchase tools for our tool library, which has continued to serve multiple schools this summer. – Gretchen, Volunteer Director
  • Please extend our thanks to your church who worked with dedication in making our school campus more beautiful, less cluttered and ultimately more functional for safe and dynamic learning. – Laurie, School Principal
  • Your partnership was invaluable and all the volunteers who were able to help make such a great impact on both schools is inspiring, to say the least. – Sean, Volunteer Coordinator

We know that our service, while grand on some scales, is ultimately a reflection of a much greater demonstration of love and care from Jesus, who willingly came to serve, not to be served (though he had every right to be served as God incarnate). Rather, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and instructed us to do the same (John 13:1-20). So we celebrated the opportunity to be a blessing to SPS this year, as in years past, displaying in some small measure the gifts and glory that have been bestowed upon us in Christ. We know that it is not our works that make us righteous, but God’s gift of righteousness that frees us to serve our neighbors, for God’s glory.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne … Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” (Matt 26:31, 34-40)

Jesus teaches us that our love is not seen only in massive acts of sacrifice, but rather simple, humane, faithful acts of love and service “to the least of these” around us. Let us continue to serve out of thanksgiving, knowing how much we have been served in Christ, and be salt and light to our neighborhoods – to the children in schools, or in foster care, or in juvenile detention; to the refugee; to women seeking to escape the sex trade; to expectant mothers unsure if they can carry a child to birth; or to the homeless men, women, and families throughout our city.

Be on the lookout for ongoing opportunities to serve with your community and DCC in any of these focus areas through our regular Mercy updates and focus groups on the city.

You can find more photos from the day on our Flickr page.

May 17
2018

Why “Serve the City”?

Event, Serve the City, Service | by Pastor Justin Keogh

In just a few weeks, on Saturday, June 2nd from 9a-1p, we’ll gather at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School as a body to serve and bless the Seattle Public Schools (SPS) through our 6th annual Serve the City event. Over the years, we’ve set aside a summer Saturday morning in order to serve together as a family on mission. As we’ve continued to grow so has our impact through this event – and as of the last few years, we’re one of the largest groups that SPS has worked with! Of course, our motivation is not to be the largest group, but to serve with the joy of the Lord as our strength (and thereby do as much good as we can). As we gear up for serving together on June 2nd, I wanted to remind us of some great truths in our service to our neighbors:

We have been loved and served beyond measure in Christ

Our fundamental starting point is the good news of the gospel, which is that when we were dead in our sins Christ came to rescue us through his death and resurrection and restore us to right relationship to God (Rom 5:8). And from this restored relationship overflows a love that is expressed in all areas of our life – how we spend our time, money, and effort; how we work and play; how we relate to one another and to our neighbors. We live with Christ as our model, who came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matt 20:28).

We serve by God’s strength and for His glory

Throughout Scripture, God speaks of his redeeming work to create a people for his own possession, that we would be set apart, living for His Glory. Ephesians 2:10 says it this way: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God has redeemed us and set before us good works that we might display something of His love and glory to the world around us. Jesus says that we are to be light in the world, “so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt 5:16).

We serve our city out of love as an implication of the gospel

In being loved by God through Jesus, we are moved by the love we’ve received to love others, within the church and outside of the church. Paul writes to the Thessalonians that they are to “always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people,” (1 Thes 5:15). We seek to both declare and demonstrate the good news of Jesus across Seattle, through our faithful proclamation and service.

With this in mind, let’s serve with a humble and joyful posture of heart, working heartily unto the Lord. More details, directions, and registration can be found here. Please register to let us know you’re coming and so we can plan accordingly. Bring your communities and friends!

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

Aug 3
2017

Video and Photos from Serve the City

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Deacon Micah Rickard

 

Jun 22
2017

A Family on Mission | Serve the City

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

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

Downtown Cornerstone,

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

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

1. WE’VE BEEN SERVED AND LOVED

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

2. THERE’S A NEED

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

3. WE’RE A FAMILY ON MISSION

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

Practically…

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

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

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

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

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

Pastor Craig

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

Screenshot 2014-07-15 10.21.00

Aug 19
2015

Serve the City: Recap, Thank You & Pictures

Event, Serve the City, Service

ServetheCity_06.30_620x130_PD_final

On Saturday, August 1st, we had the privilege of partnering with Seattle Schools for our forth annual “Serve the City” event. This year, over 100 volunteers helped, giving over 500 combined man hours of time, to bring some much needed maintenance, groundskeeping, and painting to Bailey Gatzert Elementary School. Thank you to all who came out to help on such a warm, sunny day!

As a church, we’re committed to building a great city, and we desire to see Gospel renewal take place from the avenues to the alleyways. We not only want to declare the good news of the Gospel to Seattle, we also want to be good news to our city. It’s not about “giving back” but a tangible expression of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – serving as we’ve been served, in Christ.

Here is just a small glimpse into what was accomplished:

  • Brightened the blacktop with refreshed game lines, foursquare, tetherball, international hopscotch.
  • Tackled a huge weeding project in the garden, enabling the garden teacher to focus on planting with the kids.
  • Moved a Big Brothers Big Sisters donation box to new, level gravel pad, creating a safer, more inviting donation experience.
  • Weeded the playgrounds and mulched plant beds.
  • Picked over dozen of bags of trash from the school grounds.
  • Cleaned and primed the YMCA childcare room (and we returned two weeks later to finish the painting job!).
  • Weeded and mulched the perimeter of the entire school building, empowering them avoid spraying pesticides.

Serve-the-City_2015

For more pictures from Serve the City 2015, click here.

Jul 22
2015

Have You Registered for Serve the City?

Event, Serve the City, Service | by Pastor David Parker

ServetheCity_06.30_620x130_PD_finalDowntown Cornerstone,

Next Saturday on August 1st from 9am-1pm, we’ll be partnering with Seattle Schools to come alongside Bailey Gatzert Elementary to help with some much needed landscaping, painting, and maintenance as they prepare for this next school year.

I want to encourage us to not just let this be just another “church event,” but something that we’re collectively doing to love our city to life and invite others to join us. If you’re on the fence about coming next Saturday, or already have plans, consider canceling or shifting them to join us – seriously. There’s nothing that produces more joy and unifies us as a church than being of the same mind and heart, and working together to be all that God intended for us to be (Eph 4:16).

As a church, we believe that we’ve been infinitely loved and served by God, through the person and work of Jesus. Because of that, we believe that the good news of the Gospel is not only shared in word, but demonstrated in deed. Matthew 9:35 tells us that Jesus went from town to town not only teaching and declaring God’s kingdom has come, but as he went he met the physical needs of those around him. He didn’t just declare good news, he was good news. In the same way, we not only want to declare the good news of the Gospel to Seattle, we also want to be good news to our city. It’s not about “giving back” but a tangible expression of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – serving as we’ve been served, in Christ.

If you haven’t registered yet, or you want to point your friends to a page where they can learn more, you can do so HERE. Registration isn’t required, but it helps us plan well and make sure we’ve got enough team leaders and tools.

If you’re like me you may have questions, so we’ve put together a list of FAQs below to address as many questions as possible. If you still have a question, don’t hesitate to email info@downtowncornerstone.org, and we’ll get back to you.

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

REGISTER HERE

FAQs

WHY ARE WE SERVING IN THIS WAY?
The Seattle School District has only 5 groundskeepers to maintain 34 schools in the South Seattle school district. This leaves many of the schools without adequate funding and manpower to maintain the properties. As such, these schools heavily rely on volunteer efforts to come alongside and help maintain their properties and facilities.

Additionally, We asked Seattle Schools where their greatest need is, and they told us Bailey Gatzert Elementary School. The school is one of the most culturally diverse and impoverished elementary schools in our region. Over 90% of the students receive subsidized or free lunches and about 15% of the students are considered homeless. Because of the lack of attention and resources over the years, the school has experienced a overgrowth of weeds around the building and along fencing that needs some love and attention.

WHAT WE WILL DO?

  • Weeding and mulching
  • Removal of bushes, vines from fencing
  • Refreshing paint on play lines and maps in the playground
  • Misc Projects

WHO SHOULD JOIN US?

Everyone. Whether you are single, married, wanting to bring a friend or the whole family, there’s something for everyone to do!

ARE THERE ANY NEEDS BESIDES SHOWING UP?

Yes. We need team captains who can help keep groups of 5-20 busy, and be a point person for your team. Please indicate on the form below if you are interested in being a team captain!

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE NEEDED?

Seattle schools will take as many volunteers as we can provide, and we are shooting to have 150 Volunteers.

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

Register below and share this link with friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers!

WHERE SHOULD I GO WHEN I GET THERE?

We will meet in the school parking lot area off of 13th Ave S at 9:00 to break into teams and be assigned tasks.

WHAT IF I CAN’T STAY FOR THE WHOLE TIME?

That’s ok, join us anyway! Whether you can come for 1 hours or all 4 hours, we’d love to have you.

ARE KIDS WELCOME?

Absolutely! Bring the whole family, and if the kids get tired of “helping”, there’s a playground for lots of little “breaks” right next to where we’ll be working.

DO I NEED TO BRING ANYTHING?

If you’d like to bring your own work gloves, water bottle, or special snack, you’re welcome too, otherwise, we’ll have plenty of cloth work gloves, ice water, and snacks available (trail mix, granola bars, etc.) to munch on.

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

Plan to wear grubby clothes that can get dirty, or you don’t mind getting paint on. Cloth work gloves will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own work gloves if you prefer.

WHAT IF IT RAINS?

Bring a rain coat! Rain or shine, we’ll be there.

HOW DO I GET THERE?

  • By Bus: The 7, 9, 14, 27, 43, 49, 60, and 309 stop within a couple of blocks of the school.
  • By Car: The School is located at: 1301 E. Yesler Way
    Seattle, WA 98122. Limited parking is available in the school parking lot, but there’s ample street parking in the surrounding area.

ARE THERE OTHER WAYS WE CAN HELP SERVE BESIDES THESE ONE-TIME EVENTS?
Yes! Although we want to serve and be a blessing corporately as a church, ultimately it’s about relationships. Not only will this be our 3rd year partnering in this way, but we’re praying that as our communities continue to grow, we’ll be able to establish some year-round partnership with some of our city schools in helping with after school programs, tutoring, etc. If you or your community is interested in partnering with one of the schools, let us know and we’ll get you connected.

QUESTIONS?

Email info@downtowncornerstone.org for any additional questions!

Jul 31
2014

Serve the City: Recap, Thank You & Pictures

City Life, Event, Photos, Serve the City, Service | by Pastor David Parker

PrintI wanted to briefly follow-up with a big “Thanks” to all who came out to serve the city with us! When it was all said and done, we had over 100 folks show up to come alongside Seattle Schools and Gatewood Elementary in helping prepare their playground and school for this next year!

Over 30 cubic yards of weeds, ivy, and branches were removed. Lots of boxes were packed and moved. Things were dusted and cleaned, and gallons of paint were applied to spruce up the playground and provide additional activities for the students this fall.

Not only did God bless us with great weather, but it was an awesome opportunity to tangibly display His grace and love in how we’ve been eternally served by Him in Christ. Thank you for giving freely of what you’ve been given! (Matthew 10:8)

Praying that we would continue to be a people marked by a deep love for the Gospel and the people He’s places around us to love and serve in this city.

-Pastor David

Below is a note from the principal at Gatewood that I wanted to pass along, as well as some pictures that were captured from that day.

Downtown Cornerstone,

Thank you so much for the generous donation of paint, mulch, supplies and church participants, who worked tirelessly to help improve the school grounds and interior organization at Gatewood last Saturday. It’s difficult to find the right words to help express the magnitude of my gratitude. Because of Cornerstone Church, when staff and students return to school in September, they will have a new feeling of respect. When the environment in which teaching and learning occurs is cherished, kept clean, and organized, students and teachers feel valued. When teachers feel respected by their community, they teach better. When students feel respected by their community, they learn better. What your church community did for Gatewood will be appreciated for a long time and in many ways. Early in August, I will meet with the Gatewood PTA Board and I will share the work done by the Cornerstone Church. I believe they will be inspired to finish the job and continue the school improvements!

Feeling blessed,
Connie Aleman, Principal
Gatewood Elementary

Click on the image below to check out some of the pictures that were captured that day!

 Serve_the_City_2014_420

Jul 24
2014

Serve The City: Not Too Late to Register(!), Hashtag, & FAQs

Event, Serve the City | by Pastor David Parker

Print

We’re just 2 days away from our summer Serve the City event(!) and I wanted to post a few last minute details and answer some FAQs so we’re all on the same page.

Click Here for all the event details including driving/bus directions, and more!

1. It’s not too late to register!

If you haven’t registered it’s not too late! Pre-registration isn’t required, but if you’re able to give us a heads up that you’re coming, or you want to help lead a team, sign up HERE!

2. Hashtag

For those of you who love to Tweet, FB, Instragram, etc. lets use hashtag #DCCservethecity for this year.

3. FAQ’s

What time does it start, and where do we meet?
We will meet in the school playground area off of SW Frontenac Ave at 9:30am to break into teams and be assigned tasks.

What if I can’t stay the whole time, should I still come?
Yes! Whether you can come for 1 hour or all 4 hours, we’d love to have you.

Are kids welcome?
Absolutely! Bring the whole family, and if the kids get tired of “helping”, there’s a playground for lots of little “breaks” right next to where we’ll be working.

Do I need to bring anything?
If you’d like to bring your own work gloves, water bottle, or special snack, you’re welcome too, otherwise, we’ll have plenty of cloth work gloves, ice water, and snacks available (trail mix, granola bars, etc.) to munch on.

When will we be done?
We’ll be done working at1:30pm to clean-up, with everything done and wrapped up by no later than 2:00pm.

If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reply to this email, post them on the city, or email info@downtowncornerstone.org.

See you all Saturday morning!

– Pastor David

Jul 17
2014

Have You Registered for Serve the City?

Serve the City, Service, Video

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

We’re just over 1 week away from our Serve the City event! If you haven’t registered yet, or have yet to reach out and invite others, do so today!

As a church, we not only want to be about proclaiming the Gospel in word, but demonstrating it in deed.

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

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

We hope to see you there! If you are on the fence about joining, watch this video from last year’s event:

Screenshot 2014-07-15 10.21.00