Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Sep 30
2021

Eight Encouragements To College Students

Discipleship | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

College is a life-defining season. It was for me. I met Jesus and my wife at the UW and my life has not been the same since. So, maybe you're a student who is on your way into another school year and you’re wondering how to keep Jesus at the center of your studies. How might you navigate those crucial years so that you graduate as a Jesus-exalting, Bible-saturated, missions-minded, people-lover? If that’s your aim—and I hope it is—I offer the following eight encouragements to you as the school year begins:

#1 Put God first, in all things.

Regularly remind yourself that you are not first a student, but Jesus’ own. You belong to God. You will not always be a student, but you will always be His. So, pursue Him with vigor. Prioritize daily plundering of His Word for wonders and pouring out your heart in prayer. Prioritize embedding your life with His people (more on this below), even if they are not fellow students. Build your schedule around Him, rather than fitting Him into your schedule. Offer your studies to Him as an act of worship. Don’t push pause on Jesus. Seek Him first and everything else will fall into place (Matt. 6:33).

#2 Love others well.

Love others as you love yourself (Mk. 12:31). There is not a season of life that makes other-centeredness easy, but the college years are a unique challenge. After all, you’re preparing for your future vocation, you’re on the lookout for your future spouse, and there is a healthy concern for the trajectory of your life. While all those are natural, they can make us unduly focused on ourselves. So, be on the lookout for how you might be able to help, encourage, and build up others. Look for opportunities to serve.

#3 Love the Word.

Don’t neglect God’s Word, instead prioritize it. That’s not easy because there will be many other books vying for your attention, but the voice you need to hear most on a daily basis is God’s and that happens through His Word. Remember the Bible is not something you merely look at, but something you look through to true truth and real reality. This book, unlike any other, will be with you for your entire life. So, when you sit down to do your homework, along with your stack of class books, put your Bible on top and start there.

#4 Beware of worldliness.

Worldliness is an over-desire for the things of the world that is rooted in the subtle, but spiritually dangerous lie, that true life, satisfaction, and joy are found in the world and not in God (1 Jn. 2:15-17). This is a particularly strong lie in college. The world is before you. You’re young and on your own. Opportunities abound. A career is around the corner and financial independence along with it. These are all great gifts! However, they make terrible gods and often choke our spiritual life when left untended (Mk. 4:18-19). Enjoy the gifts of the world while remembering they come from the lavish Giver (James 1:17).

#5 Read the best books.

I know you’ll be reading a lot and the idea of reading more may be unattractive. But, not all reading is equal. Supplement your studies with life-giving reading. Find out who the best authors are and read them. Discover the time-tested classics. Read J.I. Packer’s Knowing God or Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, D. A. Carson’s Praying with Paul, and Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. Read Elisabeth Elliott’s Suffering is Never for Nothing, Rebekah McLaughlin’s Confronting Christianity, or R.C. Sproul’s Holiness of God. More recently, read Surviving Religion 101 by Michael Kruger written to students navigating secular campus life. Above all (my favorite) read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (especially part I, the story of Christian). Weave 15-minute reading sessions into your daily devotions or marathon homework sessions. Your heart will thank you.

#6 Find a solid local church and campus ministry.

If I could do college over again I would make one change. I would become intentionally involved in a specific local church. I did the college thing, floating around from church to church but making nowhere home. I didn’t understand the importance of the local church in my life or in God’s unfolding purposes. You need a church home where you can be a member, get involved, be fed the Scriptures, and be in relationship with others who are in different life stages. Just be sure that the church preaches the gospel, teaches the Bible, and keeps Jesus central. I also recommend finding a good campus ministry. This won’t replace the local church, but supplement it. If you do these two things, they will be a huge means of grace in your life, and you will be miles ahead in maturity by the time you graduate.

#7 Beware of unbelief disguised as plausible excuses.

There are legitimate reasons we won’t be able to make it to every church gathering or campus ministry event. But, there are also illegitimate reasons. Beware of putting Jesus—and your soul—on the shelf, thinking, “I’ll come back to Jesus, the church, my faith, when ________.” (insert: “I have more time”, “this season dies down”, “this project gets done”, “this internship is over”, etc.) In 25 years of following Jesus, rarely have I seen people who say such things do so. In many ways, the convictions and priorities you set in your college years, will become the convictions and priorities of the rest of your life. So, beware of unbelief disguised as plausible excuses.

#8 Trust Him in all things.

You have one life to live. There is a sense in college that you’re not quite living yet, after all, you haven’t graduated. But, when you do graduate, then you’ll be living. That’s not true. How you live your life today, and amidst your college years, is how you live your life. Trust Him with it. You will face many questions in college: “Will I get into that program? Will I meet my spouse? What will happen if it all goes wrong? If I prioritize Jesus, will he really come through?” Yes, he will—always—though often not as we would anticipate. Take Him at His Word, even when it doesn’t make sense in the moment. One day it will, and you will thank Him for it. Trust Him in all things.

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam

Sep 17
2021

Mercy Ministry Update | September

Mercy Ministries, Mercy Update | by Pastor Justin Keogh

The Mercy Ministry Updates are a regular snapshot of our Mercy Ministries in DCC, where we are working to serve and uphold the value and dignity of God’s most vulnerable image bearers in our city.

For more regular updates in each focus area, please request to join our Mercy Focus groups in Church Center (linked below) and join us at this Sunday's Mercy Meetup (details below).

Gospel Framework

The Bible, as God’s inspired word, displays God’s good design and our radical need for a savior, found only in Jesus, and calls us to live out our new identity in Christ as we engage the world around us.

"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
– Philippians 2:3-8

Philippians 2 is a beautiful reminder of Jesus' humble posture and loving pursuit of us (while we were dead in our sin, even!), which calls us to take a humble posture and make loving pursuit of those around us (who are far from us, even!). Because Christ had set aside his position and all that was rightfully his to be born as a baby, to grow and live as a man, and to die a criminal's death on our behalf, we can be forgiven and restored to God. And as we are forgiven and restored with God, we are also given a new relationship to others—we are called to be like Christ in his love and sacrificial service toward others. While Paul is writing to the church, calling them to love and serve one another, we know that our love and service will extend beyond the church to anyone who we find in need (Gal. 6:10).

Our city has no shortage of God's image bearers who are in vulnerable situations—youth experiencing foster care, women facing pregnancy crisis, refugees fleeing persecution, and many experiencing homelessness. We want to bring the good news of Jesus—in word, and in action—to those who society most readily ignores. God has given them dignity, value, and worth—and we want to consider them more significant than ourselves, by serving their practical needs and sharing the greatest news in the world.

Mercy Ministry Meetup: This Sunday, September 19th

Join us this Sunday, after each gathering, downstairs in the MPR, for our next Mercy Meetup. This brief, informal meetup will be a time to introduce yourself, meet our ministry leaders, learn more about the vision and mission of our Mercy Ministries, and get connected to ways to serve within our Mercy Ministries. Come for a few minutes to check in with one of our focus areas, or stay for the short duration and meet all four of our mercy partners.

This is an excellent place for those who are looking to get started, ask questions, meet others, and take the next step in serving with our Mercy Ministries. Registration is not required—just plan to join us this Sunday after worship.

Stay Connected

Learn more about our Mercy Ministries HERE. Join the focus area Church Center groups in order to hear more regular updates, events, and opportunities to serve:

For the Kingdom,

Pastor Justin

Sep 10
2021

Classes, and the Power of God’s Word to Change Us

Discipleship, Teaching

Downtown Cornerstone,

As disciples of Christ, we are called to changed lives as we grow in our knowledge, love, and trust of the Lord. But, this change doesn’t happen automatically; it happens through regularly opening and applying of God's Word together.

In Psalm 19, we see the primacy of God's Word and its power to change our lives, summarized:

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

– Psalm 19:7-8,10

Our quarterly classes are intentional times together meant to allow God's Word to affect this change in us, and to grow us in holiness amidst the season of life we find ourselves in.

To that end, we're offering a number of classes this fall over two five-week sessions. These will be taught by pastors, staff, or other leaders. Most classes will meet at the building in the MPR downstairs.

We have also prepared a brochure that lists all the classes we will be offering this year, organized into distinct tracks.

Download Brochure
Session 1 begins this Sunday, September 12th at 9 am (Foundations) and Wednesday, September 15th at 6:30 pm (midweek classes):

  • Are you new with us and looking to meet others, learn more about DCC from our elders, join a Cornerstone Community, be baptized, and/or become a member? Join our Foundations class. We’re offering a weekly round (Sundays) as well as a weekend round (Friday evening–Saturday afternoon). Register here…
  • Are you (or do you know) a skeptic who is exploring the claims of Christianity, or a believer wanting to learn how you can better explain your faith to others? Join the Exploring Christianity class. Register here…
  • Are you desiring to trust in how the cross of Christ brings comfort and help, and how you can grow to be like Christ in the hardest circumstances? Join the How Jesus Changes Us class. Register here…

Session 2 will begin in the second half of October, and offer another round of the Foundations class, along with three additional classes:

  • Are you an engaged couple who want to build a solid gospel foundation for their marriage? Join our Building a Strong Marriage (Pre-Marital) class. Registration deadline: October 6th. Register here…
  • Are you seeking conversations with others in the body about how we as Christians can work toward racial harmony in the church and the world around us? Join Undivided 2: Biblical Conversations About Race. Register here…
  • Are you looking to grow in how you approach decisions in light of God’s wisdom and His revealed will to us in and through the Bible? Join the Guidance: Making Godly Decisions class. Register here…
If you are new with DCC, we would encourage you to start with the Foundations class.

To read more about our midweek classes and FAQs, visit our webpage here. If you have any other questions, please email us at .

Aug 26
2021

An Invite To Our 10th Annual Summer Picnic

Event, News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Downtown Cornerstone,

This Saturday, August 28th, we will be hosting our tenth Summer picnic at Myrtle Edwards Park, from 11am–2pm, on the Seattle waterfront—and you’re invited. (For those of you counting, this would be our eleventh apart from Covid.)

This is always a unique annual event in the life of our church where we gather to enjoy God’s common grace through a summer picnic and, usually, God’s saving grace through baptism. However, we’re holding off on baptisms, which we’ll celebrate in September, so that we can invest in building relationships.

This is a great opportunity to:

  • Connect outside of our Sunday gathering rhythm.
  • Make new friends and reconnect with old ones.
  • Revel in the creative handiwork of our God amidst summer in Seattle.
  • Share a favorite recipe—or ultimate frisbee move—you’ve been mastering all summer.
  • Invite family, neighbors, and coworkers.

We are holding this event on a Saturday so that as many as possible are able to join in. We encourage you to make an afternoon of it!

Parents, we’ll also have activities for the kids, including bouncy houses, balloon animals, and more!

“What is the schedule?”
This year there is no formal schedule, just mingling and activities from 11:00am-2:00pm.

“What can I bring?”
In light of Covid, we are asking everyone to bring their own lunch, though DCC will provide snacks.

We also encourage you to bring a lawn chair or blanket—and maybe one to share. Break out your favorite lawn game. Dust off your frisbee. Come prepared to enjoy God’s creation and God’s people!

“What should I expect?”
Upon arrival, we will have a welcome tent where you will be greeted and receive a name tag. If you’re new or don’t yet know anyone, we will introduce you to others. We will also have designated “greeters” whose sole purpose will be to facilitate relational connections—though, of course, we encourage you to pro-actively meet others as well! All said, it will be low key. We anticipate folks will be simultaneously eating, chatting, and playing games (ultimate, spikeball, bocce, Jenga, etc.) over the course of our time together.

“How can I help?”
First, be relational. Our relational muscles have atrophied to some extent over the past year of isolation, so let’s flex them! We haven’t seen one another in one place for nearly two years. Plus, many of you are new. So, there will be ample opportunity for meeting others—familiar and new. Let’s be on the lookout for those who don’t seem as connected or known, and if that’s you, don’t hesitate to introduce yourself.

Second, we still need help covering different responsibilities, from facilitating a game, to monitoring the bouncy house, to cleaning up after the picnic. Each role is limited in scope and time-bound. If you’re concerned about not knowing anyone, serving is an easy way to get plugged in. You can sign-up to help HERE.

Let’s pray for lots of relational gospel-laden fruit!

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam

P.S. For specific directions to our picnic spot at Myrtle Edwards, visit our webpage.