Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Mar 11
2021

Our New Building: FAQs (Design, Finances, Pledging, and More!)

Onward Building Campaign | by Pastor David Parker

Downtown Cornerstone,

Over the last several weeks, many of you have asked some great questions about our new building and the Onward campaign. We wrote this FAQ to help answer those questions, and to serve as a helpful resource as you seek to learn more and consider ways you can participate with us in this campaign.

If you weren’t able to join us for our open houses, you can view some of our preliminary design boards here.

If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at building@downtowncornerstone.org.

For the King,
Pastor David

The Onward Campaign

How much money are we seeking to raise through Onward?

We are seeking to raise $2,500,000 to help cover needed funds for renovations. These dollars will go towards the demolition of most of the existing structure, new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, seismic retrofitting, building a 700-seat auditorium, building out new classrooms and offices, a new children’s ministry space, and much more!

How much money has already been given?

As of today, almost $1,000,000 has already been given towards the campaign by 132 donors. We are praising the Lord, that we’re over a third of the way to our goal, and praying that he would continue to provide for our every need!

How can I contribute towards the Onward campaign?

You can contribute by giving, pledging, and praying. All giving is tax-deductible and can be done online, via mail, or during Sunday gatherings. You can also give non-cash assets like stock or mutual funds to minimize your tax burden.

In addition, pledging is a distinctly helpful way to contribute by telling us how much you plan on giving over the course of a year.

What is pledging?

Pledging allows you to tell us how much you plan on giving to the Onward campaign over the course of a particular time period (i.e. a year). You can pledge to give weekly, monthly, or quarterly, or tell us your own unique plan to give. Pledging also gives our team a better idea of how much money we will realistically raise and when we can expect that money to come in, so we can plan accordingly.

For example, if the following pledges came in, we’d reach the remainder of our goal!

If you would like to pledge to give towards our Onward campaign, you can do so here!

Can we do a fundraiser or are there other creative ways we could raise more money?

While we’re not opposed to doing a fundraiser, planning and executing those kinds of events can take lots of time. However, our government has given us a unique opportunity for many of us to pass along unneeded stimulus checks to help fund our new building!

For example, if 325 family units donated their unneeded March 2021 Covid-19 relief checks, we’d be able to raise an additional $700,000 dollars:

Should my regular giving to the general fund go instead to the Onward campaign?

One of the unique challenges of a building project is that our normal everyday expenses as a church continue (building lease, operations, technology, staffing, discipleship materials, church planting, benevolence, etc.). Therefore, as you consider partnering with us in this campaign, we encourage you to think of your contributions as “above and beyond” your normal giving, and not have it replace your general fund giving.

I don’t have much money. How can smaller donations help?

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus taught us that the poor widow’s offering was greater than the large offerings of the wealthy (Mark 12:41-44). God’s kingdom is advanced by all of his people joyfully stewarding whatever God has given them. That means there is no insignificant gift! Even a gift that covers the cost of one chair ($125), will still create an opportunity for literally hundreds if not thousands of people to sit in that chair and hear the gospel for years to come.

The Search

How long has DCC been looking for a building?

We have been prayerfully saving for a building since we planted our church over a decade ago, and actively looking for a more permanent space for the past 5 years. There were countless obstacles and seasons of discouragement, but the Lord has been faithful to us every step of the way. For a church to be able to buy a building like this in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country is nothing short of a miracle.

What were DCC’s priorities during the search?

We wanted to find a building in or near the downtown core of Seattle, which has always been the geographical heart of DCC’s mission. We looked for a space that was or could be coded for assembly, have ample parking nearby, and allow us to gather several hundred people at a time. By God’s grace, it looks like this new space will meet all those requirements and more!

The Building

What’s our new building like?

Our new building is a 3-story, 26,000 square foot building with a brick facade, built in the 1940’s in an Art-Deco style. It has a large main floor where we will gather for worship, classes, and fellowship. The main floor also has enough space where we will be able to worship together in one gathering! It is also spacious enough to host events and conferences to advance the gospel in Seattle. The upper and lower floors provide great space for our children’s ministry, counseling meetings, and offices.

If you’d like to see more layouts and floor plans we’ve been working on, click here.

Where is it located?

The building is in Belltown at 2828 1st Ave, right between the Space Needle and Olympic Sculpture Park. Our new location is very walkable with parks, the waterfront, coffee shops, and restaurants all within a few blocks. It’s also more accessible from the freeway and has ample parking. With views looking out to the Space Needle and Elliot Bay, we pray this will be a place where the gospel goes forth to every corner of Seattle.

Why does the building need to be renovated?

Although the building was an old union hall, it is in significant need of renovation to not only bring it up to code (e.g. fire sprinklers, energy codes, seismic retrofitting, etc.), but to also prepare it for our unique purposes.

Who is leading the renovations?

A small DCC team, along with Risepointe Architects are leading this project. Risepointe is made up of brothers and sisters in Christ who specialize in designing churches and we are excited to be partnered with them as they work to understand the unique culture and needs of our church.

What are our priorities with the renovation?

We have sought to make the priorities of our building renovation consistent with the priorities of our mission as a church. To that end, we have prioritized gathering as one body to hear the Word of God proclaimed in preaching and worship together, additional gathering and classroom spaces, places to connect and converse as a body, creating a welcoming and secure children’s area, and added space for pastoral care and counseling. In short, we want to leverage this building to be maximized for making disciples!

Will we be saving costs by doing the work ourselves?

While there might be some aspects of the renovations we’ll be inviting the church to participate in (who doesn’t like to tear down some walls?!), we plan to contract out the bulk of the work. This is due to the fact that our church is not filled with lots of trade workers, and we also have a tight timeline that we are hoping to hit before our current lease is up. However, as projects come up that would make sense to invite the congregation into, we’ll be sure to let you know!

What if I know someone that might be interested in helping DCC get into their new building?

If you are a trade worker or know of another believer who is interested in donating their time and/or materials, please email building@downtowncornerstone.org.

Will the new building have parking?

Yes, with the purchase of the building, we were fortunate to also receive a 102-stall parking garage just a block west. In addition, we are coordinating with other parking lots close to the building to allow for ample parking on Sunday mornings.

What about the kids?

We are excited about how our new building will serve our children and families. The children’s floor will be a secure space with a nursery, five classrooms and a large group worship space. Additionally, we will have a much larger and more comfortable nursing mom’s room on the main floor, and a “family room” next to the auditorium where parents can take children who are learning to participate in the larger gathering.

The Mission

How will the new building contribute to Downtown Cornerstone’s mission?

As a church, our mission remains the same; “To know Jesus and to make Him known for the glory of God and the joy of all people.” That means we want to gather in a space that can equip us to proclaim the good news of Jesus and form us into a gospel-spreading, God-glorifying, joy-filled church. To that end, it’s our prayer that the Lord would use this space to train up thousands of men and women, who will then take the gospel across the street to their neighbor and around the world, for generations to come. If you have yet to watch our short video and read about our full vision for this space, you can do that here.

Will we be able to start a food pantry?

Our approach to mercy ministries is one of partnership with gospel-motivated non-profits, which may change over the years, but are all centered on care for the most vulnerable populations (read more about our mercy efforts and current partners here). Strategically, we believe the local church is called first and foremost to the great commission, making disciples and equipping the saints for the work of ministry, which we expect to lead to changed hearts and lives lived in service to others as a response to God’s love (read more about this in this series of posts)

THE FINANCES

What is the cost of the building and renovations?

The building, along with a 102-stall parking garage, cost us $10,650,000 to purchase. We estimate renovations will cost close to $5,000,000, not including softs costs (taxes, permitting, engineering fees, fixtures, equipment, etc.)

How will the building be paid for?

By God’s grace and the generosity within our DCC family, we’ve been able to set aside over $5,000,000 towards the building purchase and renovation costs. Additionally, we’ve received a loan for $7,550,000. This leaves us with about $2,500,000 that we are looking to raise through our Onward Campaign. You can help us reach that goal by pledging or giving here.

What if the renovation costs go higher than we anticipate?

Although we are hoping that we would not need to borrow any more money, we are still learning details about the building that may change the scope of work required. The bank has tentatively approved us to borrow up to $3,000,000 more dollars if additional funds are needed to complete the renovations.

How are we being good stewards of the resources God has given us?

From the day we began searching for a building, to the hiring of a design team when we found the building, we have sought to keep costs low while keeping DCC’s mission at the forefront. Because of that, we’re doing everything from getting multiple bids for construction services, to hiring a disbursing agent to make sure all funds are adequately accounted for. In all that we do, we not only want to be above board, but also want to ensure that what we spend money on ultimately helps further Jesus’ mission.

Mar 8
2021

Onward: Prayer & Vision Night – Recap and Video

Onward Building Campaign

On Sunday, February 28th, we held a Prayer & Vision Night from the new building!

We kicked off the night with a short testimony from Kelly Robertson, DCC member and staff, about what God has done in her own life through DCC. We sang and praised God for his goodness and providence. Pastor Adam also shared some more about our vision for the new building. We then spent the rest of our time praying with DCC elders and asking the Lord to go before us as we labor to ready the building as our permanent gospel outpost.

If you missed this event, below are a couple of videos from our time together! We encourage you to watch these, as you are able, to learn more about the story Jesus is unfolding through us.

Watch Pastor Adam’s Message (17 mins):

Watch Kelly Robertson’s Testimony (2 mins):

To learn more about our new building and the Onward campaign, visit our website downtowncornerstone.org/onward.

Mar 4
2021

Our Next Steps Towards Regathering (Beginning This Sunday)

Covid-19

Covid-19 Update

Downtown Cornerstone,

By now you may have heard that beginning this Sunday, March 7th, we are moving back to two gatherings, at 9AM and 11AM. This month marks one year since we first transitioned to livestreaming our Sunday gatherings in response to Covid-19, and we're excited to take this important next step towards regathering as Jesus' people. We look forward to, Lord willing, being able to gather unhindered soon!

To learn more about our rationale behind moving back to two gatherings, watch Pastor Adam's note from past Sunday below.

In addition, below is some important information in order to help you better prepare for Sundays going into this next season and answer commonly asked questions.

Are we still requiring pre-registration?

Yes, we are still requiring that you pre-register in order to attend a Sunday gathering. Pre-registration links can be found in our weekly DCC News email and on our website here.

How often can I attend a gathering going forward?

By moving to two gatherings, our hope is for everyone in our body to be able to attend at least one gathering in a two-week rotation. We also encourage you to pre-register yourself to the waitlist for the other Sunday in the rotation and we’ll let you know if there are any remaining spots closer to that Sunday.

Are we still following Covid-19 health guidelines?

Yes, we are continuing to follow CDC and Washington State health guidelines—including 6-feet social distancing, wearing face masks, sanitation protocols, and temporarily lowering our singing volume. In addition, we have incorporated measures to ensure that we are able to support both gatherings while abiding by these health guidelines. For more information, please refer to our Covid-19 gathering instructions.

Will these gatherings be livestreamed?

Yes, both 9AM and 11AM service will be livestreamed for those who are uncomfortable gathering and for those with underlying health issues.

What about Cornerstone Kids?

We are also restarting Cornerstone Kids and will be offering it for 1-3 year olds during the 9AM service to begin with. We hope to add other grades over time, depending on health guidelines and the number of available volunteers. Parents, please read our CKids Covid-19 policies and pre-register your children under the "CKids" attendee type.

Do we have enough volunteers?

We're currently looking for a few more volunteers to better support our Sunday service operations. Click here for more information about how you can be serving in this season.

Are we still holding pre-gathering prayer zoom call?

Yes, we will continue to hold our Pre-Gathering Connect & Prayer as a way to prepare our hearts prior to the gathering. Please note the change in time to 8:15-8:45AM. Our Midweek Connect & Prayer will also continue on Wednesdays at 8-8:30AM. Meeting links can be found in our weekly DCC News email.

We’re continuing to assess and think through other creative options that would allow us to gather more people, more often. Let’s be praying that God would be glorified during this unusual season and that he would give us wisdom each step of the way.

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at info@downtowncornerstone.org.

Feb 25
2021

Restarting Cornerstone Kids (Beginning March 7th)

Covid-19, Kids

Downtown Cornerstone,

By now you may have heard that beginning March, we will be moving back to two Sunday gatherings. As part of this important next step towards regathering as a church, we will also be restarting our Cornerstone Kids gatherings. Beginning March 7th, we will be offering Cornerstone Kids for 1-3 year olds during the 9AM service. We hope to add other grades over time—depending on Covid-19 health guidelines and the number of available teachers and volunteers.

Below is some important information as you consider ways your child can be participating on Sundays in this next season.

Pre-registration

To help facilitate a fast, convenient, and safe environment for all, we require that parents read our CKids Covid-19 policies and pre-register their children in order for them to attend a Cornerstone Kids gathering. You can sign up your child when you register your family for a gathering via our usual Sunday pre-registration links. Please select the "CKids" attendee type for any children that you plan on checking in to Cornerstone Kids. 

Note that we are limiting class size to 15 children, to begin with. Spots are available on a first-requested/first-registered basis. If there are no more spots available when you register, you are welcome to add your child to the CKids waitlist and we'll let you know if a spot opens up.

Sunday Morning Check-in

Upon arrival at the building on Sunday morning, please enter through the front main entrance and check in your household/group. After checking in at the front main entrance, please make your way downstairs to the Cornerstone Kids area. We recommend you check-in your children 15 minutes before start of the gathering (i.e. 8:45AM).

Covid-19 Guidelines

Our goal is to keep you, your children, and others safe as we begin to resume our Cornerstone Kids gatherings amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. To learn more about policies and procedures that we've put in place to this end, please read our CKids Covid-19 document which contains important information about classroom setup, hygiene practices, and frequently asked questions.

Volunteer Policy

Our volunteers are carefully and prayerfully chosen. They are committed to faithful, accountable gospel living and can serve as role models for the children. Every volunteer submits an application, completes a background check, is trained in child safety protocols and interviewed by CKids leads.

Serving With Us

We are currently in need of 4 volunteers to help support our CKids ministry. Do you love helping kids and desire to use your gifting to proclaim the good news of Jesus and make disciples? Please visit this page to learn more about serving in Cornerstone Kids, and to apply.

Questions?

If you have any questions or would like to be added to our Parent Newsletter and mailing list, please don’t hesitate to contact us at families@downtowncornerstone.org.

We are committed to partnering with you to joyfully teach, show, and model who God is and what He has done for us through the person and work of Christ.

Feb 22
2021

Essential Serving Needs as We Move to Two Gatherings

Covid-19, Service

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Downtown Cornerstone,

Scripture uses a number of words to describe God's people, not the least of which is servants. We are called to serve, as heirs (Col. 3:24), in freedom, through love (Gal. 5:13), in humility (Mk. 10:43; Mt. 23:11), according to our gifting (1 Pet. 4:10), as trustworthy stewards (1 Cor. 4:1-2), being dutiful, faithful and wise (Lk. 17:10, 12:43), with dependent hearts (Ps. 119:125), fully devoted (Mt. 6:24), to please God (Gal. 1:10), to do His will (Eph. 6:6), and enter into His joy (Mt. 25:23)—looking to Jesus as the ultimate example (Mt. 20:28; Jn. 13:5; Phil. 2:7).

A significant part of this calling to be servants is lived out practically and tangibly, in the body of the church, through serving one another.

As we take the next step towards regathering as a church and move back to two gatherings beginning Sunday, March 7th (that's less than two weeks from now!), we are looking for a number of volunteers to help with our Sunday service teams. Whether you're helping greet visitors, readying our gathering space, cleaning up after service, running song slides, operating the livestream, caring for and teaching young children, helping visitors get connected, or ensuring a safe environment to gather, all of that helps remove barriers to hearing the gospel, worshiping God, and receiving the Word—in ways both seen and unseen.

Below is our current list of serving needs. Each of these is essential to the smooth operation of our Sunday gatherings as we enter into this next season. In addition, roles marked with an asterisk (*) require membership and/or may have additional serving requirements (Learn more on our Serving page).

9AM Gathering:

  • Cornerstone Kids* (6)
  • Support & Security* (3)
  • Connect Desk* (1)

11AM Gathering:

  • Greeting Team* (8)
  • Support & Security* (3)
  • Connect Desk* (2)
  • Sunday Cleanup (6)

Both Gatherings (Productions):

  • Slides (3)
  • Video (2)
  • Sound Engineer (2)

If you have taken (or are currently taking) the Foundations Class or are a member, but have yet to begin (or resume) serving with us, we encourage you to consider jumping into one of the above teams.

To learn more about our serving roles, visit downtowncornerstone.org/serve. To sign up to serve, click the link below and fill out our simple form. If you have any serving-related questions, please email us at info@downtowncornerstone.org.

Sign up to Serve