Downtown Cornerstone Blog
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

Jan 25
2018

Supporting REST in our City

Advent Drive, City Life, Service | by Micah Rickard

REST: Real Escape from the Sex Trade was founded in 2009 for the purpose of powerfully serving and loving victims of sex trafficking by providing prevention, intervention, and restorative services. The nonprofit has served over 1,580 individuals and assisted over 100 in exiting the sex trade for one year or more.

Still, the statistics are devastating: one study in 2008 showed that on any given night, up to 2,000 individuals are being trafficked in Seattle. The average entry age for sex trafficking victims is 13 years old, and studies estimate that 1 in 3 runaways will be trafficked within 48 hours.

For every statistic, there is a story. For every number, a person, made in the image of God, bearing dignity and worth. Each and every story matters. One survivor, Alina, said this about REST “When I called the REST Hotline, my whole life changed. REST has become my family, giving me the support I never had. This place has saved my life, and I didn’t think I could be anything more than a prostitute before I met REST.”

To the glory of God and by his grace, REST has been a transformative tool in the lives of youth and women throughout Seattle. One of the ways that REST serves our community is by providing a Drop-In Center, with workshops, classes, support groups, meals, and peer support. Additionally, REST provides essentials to victims and survivors who often lack clothing, especially for winter months.

Throughout the season of Advent, we partnered with REST to provide them with winter clothing which will go to the women they serve. In total, we collected over 400 items including winter coats, gloves, sweaters, sweatshirts, underwear, socks, beanies, scarves, toiletries, and gift cards. The staff at REST were overjoyed by your generosity!

Paul encouraged the church in Corinth to give generously for the needs of the believers in Jerusalem, writing,

“You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God” (2 Cor. 9:11-12).”

I am deeply and richly encouraged and humbled by the donations that we were able to give to REST in support of their ministry, and I hope you are too! God is doing incredible things through REST, and He has given us the wonderful chance to partner with them! If you are interested in learning more about the issue of sex trafficking in Seattle or about REST’s ministry, or want to continue to support REST, I encourage you to visit their website at www.iwantrest.com. Consider volunteering, giving financially, or participating in their upcoming “Raise ‘em for REST Poker Tournament” on March 8.

Thank you to everyone who gave generously and partnered with REST in support and through prayer!

– Micah Rickard 
Deacon of Mercy Ministries

Dec 7
2017

The Power of REST

Advent Drive, City Life, Service | by Pastor Craig Sturm

“I am worth love.” Piper, a resident at the REST House, firmly declared. “[REST] has been a God-send. I feel it’s kept me alive,” she said, explaining the hard work she’s put in on her path to leaving behind commercial sex exploitation, toward sobriety and a different life. Prior to coming to REST, Piper was living out of a motel, using opiates heavily, and prostituting her body along with her sister. When her sister wanted out of prostitution, she connected Piper with an advocate at REST. From there, Piper began to build life-transforming relationships with REST staff members and guests

Her testimony these days?

“I feel so loved by God. I feel loved by the staff. I feel loved by the roommates. I feel loved by my family again. I feel loved by the prayers that are said for me. I know God put my advocate in my life for a reason because I was supposed to meet all these people. I was supposed to be sitting here doing this to get better. I feel loved.”

A JOYFUL PARTNERSHIP

On any given night in Seattle, hundreds of individuals are sold for sex. REST: Real Escape from the Sex Trade was founded in 2009 to build pathways to freedom, safety, and hope for victims of sex trafficking and the sex trade in Seattle and beyond. Downtown Cornerstone is partnering with REST this Advent season to help outfit the REST House. The donated clothing items will help REST welcome women hoping to transition out of the sex trade into a life of freedom and restoration.

Jesus is our ultimate source of rest and invites all who labor and are heavy laden to come to Him (Matthew 11:28). Let us follow His example and give joyfully out of the rest and abundance Christ has given us to tangibly serve these young women this Advent season! Details on how to give are outlined below –

WHO. Young women (18-25 years old) in restorative housing in the REST House.

HOW. Needed items can be purchased from the Amazon Wish List. Similar items may also be purchased individually and donated through donation bins placed in the Commons. In addition to the items listed, gift cards for grocery and clothing stores such as Safeway, Target, and Ross are also needed!

WHERE. Items purchased from the list will be shipped directly to Downtown Cornerstone. If you would like to donate similar items not on the list, please place them in the donation bins in the Commons or give them to your community lead to donate.

WHEN. Through the month of December.

Learn more here.

REST FEATURED ON BBC.com

In a very Seattle way, REST is leveraging chatbox technology to help further their passion to bring freedom, safety, and hope to young women (and men) caught in the sex trade. This feature appeared on BBC.com and highlights how the tool is beginning to impact Seattle, and hopefully other places across the globe!

 

Nov 15
2017

Supporting Families and Children in Foster Care

Community, Foster Care, Service, Stories of Grace | by Anne Johnson

“Take up the cause of the fatherless.” Isaiah 1:17 (NIV)

November 12th was Orphan Sunday, a day when the Church stands up for the orphan. November is also National Adoption Month. As of July 2017, there were 1,460 children in foster care in King County, and about 8,800 children in foster care across the state of Washington (more statistics here). Our church family hopes to rally around these children and the families directly supporting them, bringing and being Christ to them in their isolation, fear, and uncertainty.

Caleb and Leah Gross, members of Downtown Cornerstone, have experienced first hand the joy, heartache, difficulty, and miracle of welcoming foster children into their home. Leah was familiar with foster care and adoption through her previous church and had a strong desire to be involved after seeing the great need for homes and foster parents. When they got married, Caleb was still getting used to the idea of foster care.

The Grosses reached out to us as we had gone through the process to become licensed and had been fostering for a short time. We shared our story of how God grew our desire to foster parent and our experiences with the fostering process. We met with Caleb and Leah a number of times over the course of several months. They helped care for our kiddos in foster care and brought us meals during transitions. It was remarkable to watch their hearts grow for children stuck in the foster system and become increasingly confident in God’s sovereignty and goodness for their life.

The Grosses became licensed through the state with relatively few hiccups and have since welcomed two kids into their home. When things got difficult, as they inevitably do, we met together, we encouraged one another, we cried together. We left that place more confident in the call to which Christ has called us.

“Is this the most comfortable or most convenient life? No. But if we’re followers of Christ, comfort isn’t the point at all. Rather joining in the work of bringing redemption and hope to the brokenness and darkness. In the meantime we are sanctified and are touched with new awareness of God’s love for us, His heart of mercy, and His compassion towards us. He is our good Father. If we get the honor of being a father or mother to those without, why wouldn’t we?”

Their story continues. The day in and day out of caring for children, going to appointments, attending court dates and bio-family visits, checking in with social workers, etc. We are here to support one another, spur one another on, and remind each other what Christ has done for us and the life for which He saved us.

DCC ENGAGEMENT

DCC has been engaging with the foster care system for a number of years. During the 2014 and 2016 Advent seasons, we ran clothing drives for the foster youth in King County. We collected over 1,000 pieces of clothing! These clothes were distributed to kids in need of comfort and necessities. Learn about opportunities to help support foster families this season here.

  • The Capitol Hill North Community supports a ‘Fostering Together’ support group by providing childcare and dinner every month to the foster families who attend.
  • The Foster Support Faith Alliance (FSFA) is a ministry of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. The FSFA connects local churches wanting to engage the foster care system with the agencies and foster families in need of volunteer service. I have the opportunity to represent DCC as well as facilitate the local chapter of FSFA. We partner with the King West Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) office which is less than a mile away from our church building. We’ve partnered with the office in numerous ways to support foster families, bio families, and social workers.
  • On September 30th, DCC hosted a Caregiver’s Evening Out event. Foster, adoptive and kinship care parents were able to enjoy an evening to themselves while we cared for their children. Thirty-five volunteers welcomed 40 children from 18 families, prepared dinner, played games, made crafts and tangibly loved these families involved in foster care. We were also able to provide goodie bags for all the parents. For various reasons, many of these families don’t have opportunities like these to take time for themselves. The families were so grateful and appreciative for the special night we helped facilitate for them!

WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

“I could never do that”, “I want to but would get too attached”, “They are so lucky to have you”. Many people don’t understand who can or can’t become a foster parent or the multitude of other ways you can support the fostering community.

We are holding a Foster Care Info Session & Viewing on November 19th at 1pm and will share specific ways to get involved. We’ll also watch the ReMoved films to give insight into foster care and will have time for discussion and questions.

If you are interested in attending or would like to find out more about foster care opportunities, please contact Ben and Anne at mercy@downtowncornerstone.org.

For His glory,

Anne & Ben Johnson
DCC members & foster parents

Sep 25
2017

New Fall Gathering Times: 9am, 11am, and *5pm* (Help needed!)

Discipleship, News, Service | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

The fall brings with it a certain freshness, doesn’t it? Fresh rain, fresh colors, fresh starts, a fresh school year, and (for us) fresh gathering times. On Sunday, October 22nd, we will be refreshing our gathering times in two noteworthy ways. 

  1. Moving our 11:15am gathering to 11:00am.

  2. Adding a 5:00pm evening gathering on Sundays.

Therefore, I am writing to answer common questions, and alleviate any concern, that these changes may lead to. Some of us love and embrace change, while others run from it. The former is not “good” and the latter “bad”—just different—and our hope is that the entire church feels cared for in this important transition. 

These shifts are a tremendous evidence of God’s grace and provision to us. 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: When will the new gathering schedule be again?

Starting Sunday, October 22nd, our gathering times will be at 9:00am, 11:00am, and 5:00pm.

Q: Why are we adding a 5pm gathering? 

There are three primary reasons. First, most simply, we are consistently out of room in the morning. Just this past Sunday we had nearly 720 in attendance, which included overflow at the 11:15am. We don’t want anyone to feel hindered from learning about Jesus or connecting with his people. Second, we want to create another option for those who work Saturday nights and/or Sunday mornings, or are out of town over the weekend. This has been a frequent request. Third, while our preference would be to have everyone gathered at the same time, the hard reality is that our building size is limited. So, for all these reasons, we’re starting a 5pm gathering. 

Q: Why are we shifting the 11:15am to 11:00am? 

We’re shifting the 11:15am to 11:00am for two primary reasons. First, the shift is for clarity. Many already refer to the 11:15am as the “11.” So, we think this is wise for the sake of clarity. But, more importantly, we hope to provide more options for our families. Cornerstone Kids is regularly full during the 9am. There have even been a few occasions where a family is turned away. We need to fix that. So, we hope starting the gathering just a little earlier will shift some families from the 9am to the 11am and, therefore, create more balance between the two.

Q: Will we be able to start the second gathering at 11:00am given the length of our gatherings? 

Yes, we have been experimenting over the last couple months to see what it would take to make this a feasible option. We have found that it is not difficult to achieve if we start on time and are mindful of the flow of our gatherings.

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

There are many benefits of going to three gatherings given where we are as a church. First, three gatherings will open up more seats and, therefore, more space for people to know, and grow, in Jesus. Second, three gatherings will create smaller gatherings where we can actually recognize and get to know those around us more easily. Third, three gatherings will create more options for Sunday worship and, therefore, greater flexibility. Fourth, three gatherings will ensure that no one needs to miss a gathering because they are volunteering. Fifth, three gatherings will give more people the opportunity and joy of  stepping out in faith to volunteer and serve in significant ways. Sixth, moving to three 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: Will there be Cornerstone Kids available at the 5pm? 

Yes. Initially, Cornerstone Kids will only be available for children up to 2 years old. We expect this to grow as more volunteers arise. 

Q: Why don’t we start a new church instead of starting a new 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, saving money, and praying to that end. It’s only a matter of time. If you’re interested, talk to me. 

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

The current plan is for the same preacher to preach all three Sunday gatherings. The plan for music is to continue what we are currently doing in the morning, but have a more stripped-back band in the evening until more musicians arise. 

Q: What will be different about each gathering? 

Generally speaking, apart from the Spirit moving otherwise, the overall flow and feel of each gathering will be similar.

Q: Will we have enough volunteers? 

Given that we just announced this change, we still have significant volunteer needs. In fact, we need 50 new volunteers! If you call DCC your church, we highly encourage you to participate in the life of the family by serving in some capacity. Please visit www.downtowncornerstone.org/5pm to sign up. 

Q: What if I currently volunteer in the morning but would like to shift to helping at the evening? 

That would be great! Just let your current team lead know and sign up via the link above. We expect there to be some shuffling across teams and gatherings. 

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

No, actually, in time we expect the opposite. 

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

No. We are one church that will now gathers across three 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 more opportunities to worship with one another on Sunday. 

Q: Where will I park for the 5pm? 

The parking lots next to the building will be available for anyone to park in, with overflow parking being validated at the Art Institute garage. Street parking is, of course, also an option. 

Q: “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. There are just too many great people to talk too.  But, per above, creating three 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 doesn’t have to provide for us, but He is. He doesn’t have to draw people to DCC, but he is.  Let’s revel in His grace during this season. 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 only He could do here, for the glory of his name, and the joy of our entire city. 

For Jesus’ Fame,

Pastor Adam

P.S. Don’t forget. We’re shifting to 9am, 11am, and 5pm on Sunday, October 22nd. You can sign up to help here: www.downtowncornerstone.org/5pm. 

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

Jun 21
2017

Stories of Grace | The Game is Not the Point

City Life, Service, Stories of Grace

“The Stories of Grace series is intended to capture snapshots of God’s grace and glory amidst our every day lives. They are real stories of real people who have seen the fingerprints of God amidst the ordinary—God’s favorite canvas. Each story is personal, unique and, often, unfinished. Through it all we get glimpses of God’s steadfast love, sufficient grace, and ongoing presence with his people.” 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Beth Boyd, DCC Member

Jan 13
2017

Foster Care Drive Recap: Loving Our City Well

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GET INVOLVED

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

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

To God be the glory,

Jen Keogh

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

Jan 8
2016

REST House Drive Recap

Advent Drive, City Life, Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get Involved

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

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. – Galatians 5:13

Christ is all,
Jennifer Keogh