Downtown Cornerstone Blog
May 23
2022

We’re Moving To One Gathering Starting June 5th!

News | by Pastor David Parker

Downtown Cornerstone,

As Pastor Adam mentioned yesterday, starting on June 5th, we’ll be moving to one gathering at 10 am for the summer! Spread the word! 

If you missed the announcement, please watch this important short video below for the rationale behind why we are making this change.

While we know this adjustment will require flexibility on everyone’s part, we are really excited to pull everyone together and are praying that the Lord would use it to further strengthen our church into this next season.

We know there will be many questions, so we’ve tried to address the most common ones in the FAQ below, but if there are other questions you have, don’t hesitate to let us know.

For the Gospel in Seattle,
Pastor David

FAQs

Q: Why are we doing this?

See the linked video above for a longer explanation. But, in short, coming out of the pandemic, our church can fit in one (very full) gathering better than two (not very full) gatherings. This will allow us to regroup as a church over the summer, better steward our resources, grow our relationships with one another, worship together at the same time, and enjoy weekly post-gathering connecting.

Q: How long will we be at one gathering?

At this point, we’re planning to have one gathering through the summer, and then reevaluate as we head into the fall.

Q: How will we fit everyone in the building?

Over the last several weeks, we averaged 300-350 people sitting in our auditorium across both gatherings. We can currently fit about 320 people in our auditorium with another 25-30 in the Commons. We can also fit another 75+ folks in our Multi-purpose Room (MPR) who will be able to worship via livefeed. The MPR should give us enough room to accommodate any overflow and/or create space for those looking for a little more room.

Q: Can we still invite others? Will there be room?

Of course! Please invite others, as always! We will make it work. By arriving slightly earlier, your seats will be guaranteed every week. We’ll also have ample overflow seating. It’s true that some may not feel there is room for them if we’re full. But, conversely, others may not feel welcome if the room is empty. At this point, we believe one full room is the healthiest option for us as a church as we head into the summer. This means we’ll need to be on the lookout for, and be welcoming to, those who are new week-to-week. Why not make it your goal to meet someone new each week?

Q: How early should I/we arrive for the gathering?

Generally, we recommend arriving ten to fifteen minutes prior to the gathering. This will allow you time to park, check your children into CKids (if applicable), find a seat, greet others, and prepare your heart for worship. This will also ensure you are able to participate in the whole of the gathering, from the welcome to the commission.

Q: Will there be any changes to parking?

No. We’ll continue to reserve the lots next to the building for families and first-time visitors. Free parking is also available on the street and validation will still be provided for the Bell Harbor Parking Garage (located at 2323 Elliott Avenue). Please bring your ticket with you so we can validate it in the Commons, by the Connect Desk.

Q: Will there be a rotation for those sitting in the MPR (downstairs)?

For now, no. Our first aim will be to fill the sanctuary, followed by the Commons, then the MPR. Seating will generally be available on a first-come-first-served basis. Therefore, those arriving last, will usually be directed downstairs if upstairs seating is full. After all, we don’t want people downstairs if there is still room upstairs.

That said, our hope is to strike a balance over time. If you or your community are open to taking rotations downstairs, we’d welcome that. We also hope to have pastors and leaders present in the MPR each week. While not ideal, it's important that we don’t see MPR as second-class seating. You’ll still be with the church, in the same building, at the same time, with opportunities to connect with others before and after worship.

Q: What’s the difference between a livefeed in the MPR and a livestream at home?

All throughout scripture we see that the church gathers. In fact, the very definition of “the church” isn’t a building, but God’s people gathered in a particular place, coming together to worship our Savior together. We discontinued our livestream last July in order to bring our church together. While we might be scattered in different parts of the building, the distributed livefeed will allow us to worship, all together, under one roof, at the same time. Additionally, we’ll be inviting everyone to stay and join our post-service fellowship.

Q: Are there ways we can help in this transition?

Yes! There are five things you can do right away to help:

  1. Pray that the Lord would continue to unify us and grow us in our love for each other.
  2. If you’re not serving, please join a serving team. We’ll especially need additional volunteers in Cornerstone Kids, and volunteers in all of our teams to backfill those moving to serve in CKids.
  3. Be thinking about who to invite this summer.
  4. Be intentional about welcoming those who are new or whom you don’t know.
  5. Plan to arrive early and help the ushers and greeters fill every seat by sliding into the middle or end of a row to give room for others.

Q: How will this affect my serving team?

Be on the lookout for an email from your Ministry Lead this week about how this change will impact your serving team's responsibilities and schedule. The biggest impact of this shift will be on our Cornerstone Kids ministry. Our hope is that we’ll have enough CKids volunteers so that we can move to a four-week rotation, and no one is missing more than one gathering a month.

Q: I’m planning to participate in the Foundations class. How will this affect me?

We’ll be moving the start time of our Foundations class to 8:15 am, to ensure it is completed before worship begins.

Q: I typically use the Commons with my toddler who needs a little extra wiggle room, what should I do?

First, in addition to providing Cornerstone Kids and our Nursing Mom’s Room, children will always be welcome in our worship gatherings! Second, if you’re having a harder morning with your child, we’re opening the conference room downstairs as a “wiggle room” that has a TV with the livefeed that you are welcome to utilize as needed.

Q: When will we be able to move into our new building?

We’re continuing to wait for our building permit and a final round of bids so we can move forward. Please continue to pray that the City would issue a building permit soon and that we’d be able to start construction this summer. Once everything is in place to start construction, we expect the initial phase of renovations will take 6-8 months before we can move.

Dec 24
2021

2021 Review: The Light Shines In The Darkness

News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Merry Christmas Downtown Cornerstone,

There is no doubt these are dark and difficult times. Conflict lurks around every corner, at home and abroad. Covid is mutating. Inflation looms. Politics divide. Ethnic tensions remain. Vaccines, and now boosters, are available, but debated. There is ongoing conflict over when life begins and who can end it, conflict over what gender is and who defines it, conflict over the media and which narrative controls it, conflict over societal injustice and how to fix it, and conflict over the gap between the haves and have-nots and how to shrink it. Homelessness, immigration, and violent crime are at crisis levels. Global warming is being seen as a growing concern. Deconstructing faith is an unfortunate trend. Yet, even so, I’m not a declinist. I'm a gospel optimist.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn. 1:5)

Our God specializes at working in the darkness of a world under the siege of sin, amidst catastrophic floods (Gen. 7-9), elderly infertility (Gen. 17), marital brokenness (Gen. 29), tremendous personal loss (see Job), sibling betrayal, slander, and false imprisonment (Gen. 50:20), enslavement and genocide of foreign nations (Ex. 1), forty years of wilderness wandering (Ex. 16:35), a decades long battle-fraught unfulfilled conquest (see Joshua), over two hundred years of oppression, chaos, moral descent and spiritual decline (see Judges), faithless rulers and impossible battles (1 Sam. 15,17; 1 Kgs. 11–2 Kgs. 25), systemic paganism and false prophets (1 Kgs. 18), the fall of empires (2 Kgs. 17; 25), life in exile (see Daniel, Esther), re-building post-exile (see Ezra, Nehemiah), and four hundred years of seeming silence from God (Mal. 4–Mt. 1). There is a reason God ordained for this darkness to be recorded in the Bible. Why? To show that He is not hindered by it and so that we'd take heart amidst it (Jn. 16:33). When the timing is right, He will act.

“When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman…” (Gal. 4:4)

After millennia of tragic and tumultuous darkness, in the fullness of time, this Son, our Jesus, the “light of the world” (Jn. 9:5) arrived in an oppressed Roman-occupied Israel. This should bring fresh hope amidst the darkness we find ourselves in this Christmas. His light shines most brightly against the darkness he came to save us from—then and today. Now, as people of the light, we are to be a community of light, a redemptive picture of what life looks like when Jesus’ people together submit to God’s kingly rule of “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). In the words of Jesus,

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Mt. 5:14)

This means our ongoing, faith-filled, Jesus-treasuring, gospel-spreading, people-loving, church-planting, mercy-minded presence in Seattle is more important than ever. It’s amidst the darkness, that the Light shines most clearly, like a redemptive "city set on a hill”. Our corporate light points Seattle to Jesus as the Light, like a lighthouse in the middle of a storm-tossed winter night. This is, of course, counter-intuitive. After all, who wants to build their life in the dark? Well, Jesus does. But, why? It's not because He enjoys the dark. It's because He wants His light to shine in the dark. He wants the light of the indestructible joy, found through His gospel, to overcome the darkness—for the sake of the nations. So, there is something significant at stake in our shared life as Jesus’ people in our city at this moment. Let’s shine as lights in the world.

“Be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life.” (Phil. 2:15-16)

You can see how different this understanding of Jesus’ local church is from something we consume—when we have time, when it meets a need, when it’s convenient or not too challenging. Jesus is after a faith-filled people in a particular place—a local church—who together display something of His glories through their shared life in singing and sacrifice, in prayer and praise, in studying the Scriptures and spreading the gospel, in lament and longing, in confession and creeds, in sanctification and service, in gathering and generosity, in hope and help that together creates an other-worldly people—a diverse, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural people whom only Jesus could forge. It is precisely this kind of people, this compelling Christ-forged community, that stands out as a light in the darkness. What a privilege! Yet, there is still work to do.

“We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10)

Amidst all this, God is at work among us in ways seen and, more often, unseen. Over the last twelve months we have continued to see God provide regularly, faithfully and generously:

  • We celebrated our tenth birthday as a church, which is a huge milestone.
  • We raised over $2.5M for our new building, in the middle of a pandemic.
  • We rejoiced in six stories of God’s grace through baptism, and more on the way.
  • We continued our long-form study of Romans, paired with One Another'ing.
  • We welcomed 45 new members.
  • We sent 116 members, the vast majority of whom moved out of the city/state.
  • Over 300 people took a class, whether virtually or in-person.
  • Currently 307 people are involved in a community.
  • We essentially restarted Cornerstone Kids, Greeting, Ushering, Facilities, and Hospitality teams.
  • We invested $211,000 in church planting efforts in the US and around the globe.
  • We sent out our second frontier church planting team, John and Hannah, to SE Asia.
  • We survived the doldrums of Covid.

That is a lot of grace amidst a very difficult season. So, what's next?

“You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’” (Jas. 4:14–15)

2022 is uncertain. What will happen with Covid? Will we renew our lease or go mobile for a season? Will our building be complete? How many might give their life to Jesus? We don't know. But, what we do know is that Jesus will be with us no matter what we face (Mt. 28:20). Amidst this uncertainty, we have seven priorities as we head into the new year together, of course, Lord willing:

#1 Complete our new building as our future home base for gospel ministry, maturation, and multiplication.
#2 Prayerfully plan excellent, edifying, theologically-rich, worship-filled, and missional Sunday gatherings.
#3 Nurture our relational unity (not uniformity) in Jesus, amidst a highly divisive season.
#4 Continue to nurture a culture of discipleship, where every member is equipped and growing.
#5 Grow as relational evangelists while developing our missions pipeline to reach the unreached.
#6 Love our city to life through tangible, sacrificial, and mercy-filled service.
#7 Place a priority on developing leaders (service leads, community leads, staff, deacons, elders, etc.)
 

Will you join me in praying for the health of our church in these ways in 2022?

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:6–7)

As the year comes to a close, we invite you to partner with us financially as an act of worship. Many of you already are. Thank you! We are blessed by Him, in order to bless others. Together, our generosity spreads the gospel, multiplies disciples, plants churches, and serves the city. It is incredible to consider all that we are able to do together. Here are a few practical pathways for us to financially partner to do our part in fulfilling Jesus’ great commission:

  • During gatherings: Drop your gift in an offering basket. Giving envelopes are located in every seat pocket.
  • Snail mail: Mail us a check postmarked by 12/31 and it will be included in your 2021 giving.
  • Online: Visit us at downtowncornerstone.org/give
  • Assets: Or, consider giving stock, bitcoin, or other appreciated assets.

If you have any questions about how to give, please do not hesitate to email .

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Ps. 27:14)

God is our refuge and strength. He is an inexhaustible fountain of goodness, glory, and truth. In Him, and in Him alone, do our hearts find the rest and meaning they long for. May He keep us on fire for His supremacy in all things in the year to come. Let’s lean on who He is and all that He is for us, in Jesus. His promises are true and they cannot fail. He alone is worthy of our days and dollars. We exist to know Jesus and to make him known for the glory of God and the joy of all people. So, as we’re on the verge of a new year, let’s be reminded of His faithfulness. His story is still unfolding and we’re a part of it. Together, let’s ask Him to do what only He can in 2022. Merry Christmas!

Warmly, in gospel hope,
Pastor Adam

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.

Jul 1
2021

We’re “reopening” this Sunday!

Covid-19, News

Downtown Cornerstone,

By God’s grace, the governor announced this week that we are now able to return to 100% capacity for our Sunday gatherings and all other church-related functions. Further, masks are no longer required for those who are fully vaccinated.

Therefore, beginning this Sunday, July 4th, we will gather for (mostly) unhindered worship for the first time in 483 days! Let's take a moment to thank our Lord for carrying us through this season.

What this means for us

In light of the state’s reopening, we are making the following changes beginning this Sunday, July 4th:

  • No pre-registration will be required going forward. (This is already in place.)
  • No social distancing will be required, therefore all seating will be open.
  • Masks will no longer be required for those who are fully vaccinated.
  • State law continues to require those who are unvaccinated to wear masks. However, this is an individual mandate so compliance will be left to the individual, not the church. 
  • We will continue to celebrate the Lord’s Supper together with individual communion cups, as we have through the majority of the pandemic, at least, through the summer.
  • We are prioritizing the rebuilding of Cornerstone Kids in order to remove as many potential barriers as possible. Please let us know if you are able to serve. The rebuilding of other ministries will follow. More below. 
  • All smaller gatherings, whether inside or outside, are now permitted without restrictions (communities, discipleship groups, classes, Connects, informal meet-ups).
  • Our last day of public livestream will be on Sunday, July 25th. More below.

“What if I don’t feel comfortable returning yet?”

This is understandable. It has been an incredibly difficult season and, to an extent, we’ve all become habituated toward isolation, caution, and the ease of at-home live-streaming. Yet, this is our state’s re-opening. There will not be another re-opening, even if some of the remaining restrictions are eased. Vaccines are readily available. Seattle was the first major US city to fully vaccinate 70% of its residents. Based on an April survey, our church is nearly 90% vaccinated, giving us our own ‘flock immunity’. Risks are involved anywhere in the public (whether grocery stores, restaurants, airports, etc). We have not had a single outbreak. In other words, this is probably about as safe as it is ever going to be. Therefore, we lovingly encourage you to return.

“Will we be enforcing a mask policy for those who are unvaccinated?”

Per the reopening guidance, our state no longer requires vaccinated individuals to wear masks. However, state law continues to require those who are unvaccinated, over five years old, to wear a mask in indoor public settings, which includes church gatherings. This is an individual, not an institutional, mandate. Therefore, while we encourage compliance, we will not be “enforcing” compliance any more than we “enforce” you driving the speed limit or paying your taxes. In other words, compliance will be left to the individual and his/her conscience before the Lord (cf. Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-17).

“Can I still wear a mask, even if I’m vaccinated?”

Yes, of course. In fact, we imagine quite a few people who are vaccinated will continue to wear masks, including families with young children who are unable to be vaccinated at this time, those with compromised immune systems, and/or those simply erring on the side of caution. Wearing a mask is not a sin nor evidence of a lack of faith. In fact, not wearing a mask will be an adjustment for us all after sixteen months of doing so.

“Won’t following these guidelines create division and partiality?”

As elders, we have been “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” throughout this tumultuous season (Eph. 4:3). We must keep in mind there are many factors that facilitate our unity and the primary one, apart from the Spirit, is our ability to physically gather for worship.

Therefore, from the beginning, we have sought to gather as Jesus’ people to the greatest extent possible given the government’s guidelines at the time. Amidst these ever-changing guidelines, we made it our aim to not be more restrictive than the government. For example, when we could gather at 25% with pre-registration, we did. When we could gather at 50%, we did. When we couldn’t sing at full volume, we lowered our volume to speaking levels. When we could only have two band members, we did. When we could sit in groups of 15, we did.

So, now that the vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks, we do not wish to be more restrictive than the government is calling us to be (e.g. if we were to continue to mandate masks for everyone for the sake of unity). While we understand there are a variety of perspectives on masks and vaccines within our church, we don’t see this greater freedom for corporate worship as facilitating division or partiality, but a matter in which we must bear with one another in love (Eph. 4:2; Rom. 14:22-23).

For those who are unvaccinated, please keep in mind, as noted above, that there will continue to be people who are vaccinated that will wear masks across our church life. It is simply not true that mask wearing will become a ‘scarlet letter’ identifying the ‘unvaccinated outcasts’. Let’s remember that our righteousness isn’t found in our mask or vaccination status, but in Jesus.

Additionally, masks will continue to be required for everyone regardless of vaccination status in hospitals, schools, child care centers, long term care facilities, and public transit (buses, light rail and planes). Masks are not going away anytime soon for anyone. Let’s pray for unity, love, and lots of grace.

“Why is the livestream ending in four weeks?”

From the beginning of the pandemic our livestream has been a concession “in light of the present distress” (1 Cor. 7:26) and was never meant to be a long-term replacement for physically gathering; an IV drip, not a permanent crutch. The church is not a commodity to be consumed, it is a people to whom we belong. The church is not a flat one-dimensional pixelated reality, but a multi-dimensional spiritual reality experienced as individuals knit together by the Spirit of God in a local place.

The regular gathering of Jesus’ people to sing, pray, and preeminently sit under God’s Word is the most important means of grace in a Christian’s life (Heb. 10:24-25). The word for church in Greek literally means “assembly” or “congregation.” In Christ, we now belong to Jesus’ people, universal and local. That means Sunday is the one time during the week where we get to physically live out this shared identity. Therefore, gathering on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, has been integral to Jesus’ people from the very beginning.

However, we recognize that it may take some time for everyone to reboot their Sunday rhythms. Therefore, we are allowing four weeks to begin making those adjustments.

Additionally, we know there are a few among us who cannot participate in our gatherings due to ongoing chronic health issues. In these cases, the pastor overseeing their care will be able to provide a link to a non-public livestream or recording (TBD).

“What do I do with my children?”

We understand that it can be difficult for young children to sit through an entire gathering with their parents. Therefore, Cornerstone Kids is currently offered at the 9am gathering for 1-3 year olds. We’re aiming to expand this to both gatherings starting Sunday, August 1st, and then grow the ministry, and ages served, from there. Our goal is that by October, we'd be able to resume CKids for all ages (6mo to 8yrs). However, this entirely depends on volunteer recruitment. If you’ve served in this capacity previously, or are willing to serve now, please sign up today.

In the meantime, pre-registration for CKids will continue to be required as space is limited.

Another option is the MPR (multi-purpose room) downstairs that will continue to have a live feed of the gathering and more space for families with young children.

Additionally, ‘Parenting in the Pew’ is a great resource for ideas on how you can disciple your children into the joy of worshipping with Jesus’ people, from the youngest of ages.

“When will all of our ministries get back to normal?”

Due to the pandemic, many of our ministries have ceased to exist for over a year. During that time many previous volunteers have moved, transitioned, and/or experienced life-stage changes. This means that we’re currently in the process of rebuilding almost everything from the ground up. As you’d suspect, this doesn't happen overnight. We need all hands on deck. Therefore, if you call DCC your church, but have yet to sign up to serve, we invite you to do that in some capacity today.

Our most immediate needs are in Cornerstone Kids and Operations (see below). However, there are needs across the board. Below is a list of our current minimum volunteer needs in order to ensure our Sunday gatherings run smoothly:

  • Operations: Greeting, Support & Security, Connect (23)
  • Cornerstone Kids – 9:00am (19)
  • Cornerstone Kids – 11:00am (27)
  • Operations: Post-Gathering, Cleanup (11)

To learn more and sign up, visit downtowncornerstone.org/serve.

Let’s keep Jesus at the forefront

This has been long, and difficult, 16 months. As we lament the challenges of this past year, let’s also celebrate God’s grace, kindness, and mercy to us. Let’s remember his faithfulness to us as a church. Let’s continue to pursue unity. Let’s keep looking for ways to love one another. Let’s ask the Lord to grow our hearts for the lost all around us. And most importantly, let’s remember, that amidst our diversity, we are unified around Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. There is an incomparable city awaiting us, just around the bend. Until we arrive, let’s continue to make him known, for the glory of God and the joy of all people. We hope to see you on Sunday!

Warmly, in hope.
The DCC Elders

Update: Starting August 23rd, 2021, the governor has moved back to requiring facemasks to be worn in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status. In light of this, we are temporarily requiring facemasks to be worn during our Sunday gatherings.

Update: With WA State and King County mask mandates being lifted on March 12th, 2022, we are no longer requiring facemasks to be worn during our Sunday gatherings.

Jun 21
2021

Rebooting Our Shared Life Together

, Covid-19 | by Pastor Justin Keogh

Summer Reboot

Downtown Cornerstone,

As members of the body of Christ, we need each other to help us flourish and fulfill God’s call in our lives, individually and corporately (Rom. 12:3-8, Eph. 4:1-32, Jn. 13:34-35). As we enter the glorious Seattle summer and take steps to come out of this long and challenging Covid season, we are inviting everyone to consider using this time to help reboot our shared life together.

Consider taking some or all of these opportunities to meet and grow with others this summer—for the sake of your spiritual life as well as the health of the church:

Sundays

Our weekly corporate worship gatherings are an essential means of grace for us, individually and collectively. Consider making a goal to meet 1–2 new people every Sunday, or connect with others in the lobby / parking lot after the gathering, or invite someone to join you for a walk, coffee, or brunch.

If you have any questions about anything DCC related, stop by the Connect desk near the entrance and one of our members will be happy to help!

Serve

Serving together is also a great way to meet others while tangibly blessing the church. Most teams are serving between 1–2 times a month. Our most immediate needs are in CKids and Sunday Ops (cleanup team, greeting, hospitality), but there are needs across the board. Check out our Serving page and fill out our simple form to indicate where you're interested in serving!

Cornerstone Connects

Cornerstone Connects exist to help connect people with others who share similar life stages and/or interests and connect further to discipleship opportunities within DCC. We currently have four Connects: Young Professionals, College, Seasoned Saints, and Mom’s Connect. You can find out more about each here.

Pray

Join our staff and leadership to pray for one another, our church, and the spread of the gospel in our city. You can join on Tuesday mornings at 8 AM (via Zoom), and you don’t have to commit to attending every week.

Summer Events

We have three church-wide events planned this summer; save the dates and plan to join us for as many as you’re able, as these are great opportunities to meet others and grow together:

  • June 27th: In-Person Prayer Night @ DCC
  • July 25th: In-Person Prayer Night @ DCC
  • August 28th: Picnic at the Park (@ Myrtle Edwards Park)

The church is primarily a people, not a place—so let’s use this summer to help each other get back into the relational rhythms of our shared life together, for our good and God’s glory!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via

Blessings,
Pastor Justin

May 19
2021

Our Next Step Forward: Vaccines, Masks, and Sundays

Covid-19 | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Pastoral Note

Downtown Cornerstone,

As I mentioned on Sunday, we are once again in new territory as we navigate our way out of this once-a-century pandemic. Thank you to everyone who responded to our survey over the weekend. We heard back from ~475 people, which was very helpful. 

News from the CDC and Governor Insleee

The survey was prompted by news from the CDC and Washington's Governor late last week that those who are fully vaccinated (defined as two weeks after your final shot) no longer need to wear a mask or socially distance, whether inside or outside, with few exceptions (public transit, schools, hospitals, shelters, etc). Additionally, the Governor announced that the goal for “fully reopening” the state is set for June 30th.

We must continue to wear masks when we gather

In light of these significant changes, we expected adjustments to be made to the state-mandated Covid-19 requirements for churches. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Therefore, unless we were to meet very stringent requirements (e.g. maintain a vaccinated seating section, create a vaccine verifier role, require weekly proof of vaccination status and/or negative Covid tests for kids, etc), for the time being, despite the news last week, we must continue to wear masks when we gather on Sundays.

This is a complex situation

When it comes to making decisions about our next steps as a church, amidst continually changing circumstances, the elders are navigating a number of multi-layered factors:

  1. We desire to obey the governing authorities, as an act of worship to God, provided they do not compel us to sin (Rom. 13:1-7). At the same time, we do not want to be more strict than the government. 
  2. We want to maximize the number of people who can join us on Sundays. At the same time, due to social distancing, we have real space limitations. 
  3. We desire for everyone to feel safe. At the same time, we recognizing there is a wide spectrum of opinions on what it means to be safe. 
  4. We desire for everyone to be able to gather every week. At the same time, the restrictions make this a challenge in our current building.

So, the question we are asking is, “Is there a solution that allows us to do all of these at the same time?”

Some Good News: We have flock immunity

Importantly, 87% of those surveyed indicated they are already, or are in the process of becoming, vaccinated. That means, generally speaking, nine out of ten people who gather on Sunday are vaccinated or in the process of becoming so. In other words, you could say we have our own ‘herd immunity’—or, more fitting, ‘flock immunity.’ This means the chance of Covid spread when we gather, particularly when coupled with other safeguards (masks, hand sanitizer, etc), is very low.

Our gathering plan until June 30th

All that being the case, here is our gathering plan until June 30th, at which point we will reevaluate. All of this will begin this Sunday, May 23rd: 

1) Masks: Masks will continue to be required during our gatherings, as they have been, whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, per state law and request of King County

2) Seating: We will begin seating people in groups of 15—the largest group size permitted. The more people who sit in these groups, the more people who will be able to gather. 

3) Distancing: For those uncomfortable sitting with others, we will have some socially distanced seating available. If you find yourself in this category, keep in mind that in addition to everyone wearing masks, 87% of people who gather on Sunday have been, or are in the process of becoming, vaccinated. We are happy to oblige, while also encouraging you to consider if there is anyone you are comfortable sitting with in order to maximize the use of our space.

4) Overflow: In order to increase our seating capacity, we are going to continue to leverage overflow seating in the Commons while adding seating in the Multi-Purpose Room downstairs (four groups of 15, who will participate via a live feed). Seating will be on a first-come-first-served basis. 

5) Every week! Given the number of people who desire to gather, coupled with overflow seating, we believe we can accommodate everyone, every week, between our 9am and 11am services. 

6) Pre-registration: We will continue to ask for everyone to pre-register, but only to ensure we have enough seats for everyone, every week. Again, you can now attend every week, but pre-registration will enable us to ensure each gathering is evenly distributed. 

7) What's next? As we approach June 30th, and learn more about what our state’s reopening plan looks like, we will reassess.

So, that’s our plan: masks + groups of 15 + some social distancing + overflow + weekly participation (!)

Again, this begins this Sunday, May 23rd. You can register here.

While this isn’t the end of the pandemic, it is an important step in that direction. We’re almost there, so don’t lose heart (2 Cor. 4:16). Let’s continue to pray (Eph. 6:18). Let’s pursue unity (1 Pet. 3:8). Let’s love one another well (Rom. 12:10). Let’s ask Jesus to protect us (1 John 5:18). His story continues to unfold and we’re a part of it (Rev. 22:20-21). His mission continues (Mt. 28:18-20). There are still many in our city who have yet to gladly surrender their lives to him (Acts 18:20). We will reap, if we do not give up (Gal. 6:9).

See you Sunday, Lord willing!

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam

P.S. Don’t miss that we’re now permitting everyone to gather every week for worship. 

Apr 12
2021

Spring Classes: Growing in your Knowledge, Love, and Trust of the Lord

, News, Teaching

Downtown Cornerstone,

As disciples of Christ, we are called to grow in our knowledge, love, and trust of the Lord (Col. 1:9-13). But, this growth doesn’t happen automatically; it happens through exercising our faith and intentionally utilizing the means of grace. One of these means of grace is the regular opening and applying of God’s Word together (Ps. 119:130, Col. 3:16).

This spring, we’re offering a number of classes over two five-week sessions. Each class, grounded in God’s Word, is intended to help you grow in a specific aspect of your life as a follower of Christ.

Session 1 begins this Wednesday, April 14th at 6:30PM:

  • 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. Register here…
  • Are you looking to learn more about the history of Jesus’ church and God’s work of redeeming his people over centuries and millennia? Join the Church History class (ten weeks). Register here…
  • Are you desiring to grow in your understanding of the Bible, properly interpreting it and practically applying it to your life? Join the How to Study the Bible class. Register here…

Session 2 will begin on Wednesday, May 19th, and offer another round of the Foundations class, along with two additional classes:

  • Are you wanting to grow as a disciple-maker and help others become more like Christ? Join the Making Disciples class. Register here…
  • Are you seeking to learn what Scripture says about parenting and raising children who will love, trust, and treasure Jesus? Join our Parenting 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 classes@downtowncornerstone.org.

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 .

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 .

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

620x130_serve

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 .

Sign up to Serve