Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Sep 12
2020

Video: Regathering as Jesus’ People

Covid-19 | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Covid-19 Update

Downtown Cornerstone,

We’re continuing to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic together and, as we do, we trust that the Lord sovereignly rules over it and is at work, for our good, amidst it.

We recognize this season is a challenge, and part of that challenge is beginning to regather as Jesus’ people. Therefore, we thought it’d be good to put a simple video together to give you a sense of what it looks like to join us on a Sunday.

We’re going above and beyond to keep our church and our city safe, and to love one another well amidst this season—ultimately so that the gospel can be advanced and Jesus can be worshiped.

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@downtowncornerstone.org.

In Christ,
Pastor Adam

Sep 10
2020

Fall Classes begin next Wednesday!

Discipleship, News, Teaching | by Pastor Craig Sturm

Fall Classes

Downtown Cornerstone,

From skeptics to new believers to seasoned saints, the knowledge of God—through his Son and his revealed Word—is how we are reconciled to him and grow in relationship with him.

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

As Jesus’ people, an essential part of knowing God is to set aside dedicated time to learn together from Scripture, apply it to our lives, and savor God as we do that. After all, Spirit-filled savoring of God in this life is what equips us to savor him in the life to come.

To this end, we are continuing to offer midweek classes as a meaningful way for our body to grow together. The purpose of offering classes is not to create big heads, but big hearts.

Most classes will meet over five weeks and held virtually, where you will be live with the class teacher (DCC pastor, staff, or member). 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 Wednesday, September 16th at 6:30PM. To ensure availability, and to help us better prepare for the start of class on Wednesday, we ask that you register for Session 1 by Monday, September 14th. See below for class details and registration.

SESSION 1

DCC Foundations – This class is the next step for those seeking to learn more about DCC, join a community, serve, be baptized, and become a member. This five-week class serves as the primary relational on-ramp into life with our church and covers what we believe, why we belong, who we are, why we are here, and how we live together. ***This class is required for membership with DCC.***  Register here…

Exploring Christianity – Are you a skeptic who is exploring the claims of Christianity, or you a believer wanting to learn how you can better explain your faith to others? This five-week class will walk through the claims and life of Jesus and what it means to be a Christian. Register here…

How Jesus Changes Us – How does your faith in God impact your everyday thoughts, feelings, and actions? This five-week class will give you an opportunity to reflect on one specific area in your life and learn how God changes you to become more like Jesus. Register here…

New Testament I – The goal for this ten-week class is to help you understand the big picture of each book of the New Testament. You’ll gain a more clear picture of the continuity between the books in the New Testament, see the promises God has kept to his people from the Old Testament, and learn how he speaks to us through his Word today. Register here…

Unity & Diversity – This class covers the biblical foundation of our union with Christ and the need for unity and diversity within the local church, along many dimensions—race especially but not exclusively. We’ll also discuss ways to maintain the unity in Christ of an increasingly diverse body. Register here…

SESSION 2

(Begins Wednesday, October 21st @ 6:30PM)

Christians in the Workplace – How should our faith and the reality of who we are in light of the gospel change how we view our work? This five-week class will seek to create a biblical framework for how we approach work, and help you find new and fresh ways of integrating your faith in your work. Register here…

Developing Meaningful Relationships – Imagine being part of an interconnected group of people who entrust themselves to one another. The goal of this five-week class is to help us all consider how meaningful relationships can increasingly become a natural part of the daily life of our church. Register here…

Guidance – Have you ever considered what the Bible says about decision-making? In this five-week class, we’ll look at how we should approach practical decisions in light of God’s wisdom and His revealed will to us in and through the Bible—amidst all of the “counsel” that exists in our world today. Register here…

For more information and FAQs, visit our webpage. If you have any questions, please email us at classes@downtowncornerstone.org.

Blessings,
Pastor Craig

Sep 9
2020

Meet Our Newest Elder Candidate: Russ Collins

News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Downtown Cornerstone,

On Sunday, we presented Russ Collins to the church as an elder candidate.

Therefore, we are taking the next month to give you time to meet with him, ask questions, and/or express any concerns you may have. One of the over-arching qualifications for a pastor is that he must be “above reproach” (1 Tim. 3:1). While we have done our homework, this waiting period is an additional step to ensure all bases are covered and you have an opportunity to speak into the process.

The office of pastor (or elder) was created by God, for the leading, feeding, and protection of his flock, the local church. Therefore, we treat the testing, equipping and installation of such men with great seriousness—and joy!

Russ will not be on DCC’s pastoral staff, but will serve as an elder in a volunteer capacity (i.e. non-staff pastor). Therefore, by necessity, the scope of his pastoral involvement will be limited when compared to a staff pastor. However, his service will be equally significant. As a non-staff pastor, Russ will be involved with preaching, teaching, counseling, officiating weddings and funerals, elder meetings and practical leadership (which currently includes leading a Cornerstone Community).

Our aim is to raise up many non-staff pastors, like Russ, as it helps diversify and strengthen the elder team and, therefore, the church. Russ will be our third non-staff pastor.

Russ is a good man with integrity, love for Jesus, and for Jesus’ church. As elders, we believe he is called, qualified, and ready to be appointed as a pastor. However, we are taking this time in case you know something that we do not.

That said, would you pray for the Collins in this season? Would you also pray for our church? It is a sign of God’s grace to us that we have men, like Russ, being raised-up to lead, feed, and protect Jesus’ flock. Let’s ask Him for more.

Provided nothing arises that would cause us to pause the process, which we don’t foresee, we will install Russ as a pastor on Sunday, October 4th. It will be a great celebration and a joyous moment.

What follows (below) is a short interview with Russ so that you can get to know him a bit better.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, you can email me directly at adam@downtowncornerstone.org.

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam
On behalf of the elders of DCC

…………………………

Q: How did you meet Jesus? How has he changed you?

RC: I grew up in the Bible belt (Waco, TX to be specific), but not in a Christian home.  I walked the aisle of a Southern Baptist church and asked Jesus into my heart as a junior in high school. But I was like the rocky ground and the ground with thorns. I received the word with joy, but it was short-lived. The cares and desires for things of this world choked the word. Despite this, I thought I was still a Christian because I had prayed a prayer and had a salvation date and was told not to doubt my salvation. It wasn’t until I was 33 through a string of providential people, events and reading of God’s word and apologetic books that I realized I was a sinner and that God’s just wrath was upon me. I had not truly trusted in Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  One book I was reading went through the “Romans Road” (How To Give Away Your Faith by Paul Little), and I saw more clearly the gospel: how all have sinned and fall short of glory of God and that the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. The author basically said that saving faith is a surrender to the lordship of Jesus in all areas. I initially resisted that idea because if I did that, my family, friends, and co-workers would think I was crazy. I was taught that you just have to believe facts about Jesus, but don’t have to surrender to Him. But in time, God in his grace and mercy opened my eyes to my lostness and depravity and the fact I had been deceived by my prior confession. (Paul’s exhortation in 2 Cor. 13:5 to examine yourself to see if truly in the faith had never been taught to me. In short, I failed the test.) I then repented and believed on Jesus Christ alone for salvation and surrendered my life to him. I received his forgiveness & eternal life and Christ’s righteousness was imputed to me. Thank you, Jesus! In short, my eyes were opened, and I knew Jesus and the Bible were all true. By the way, my family, friends, and co-workers did think I was crazy, but I didn’t care because I understood my true lostness and received God’s grace.

Prior to saving faith, I was frankly successful by the world’s measure. I had a wonderful wife (still do), nice home, two kids (now three) and was climbing the corporate ladder. I was consumed with me, my career, and had no desire to read God’s word, pray, repent of sins, or love others sacrificially, and cussed like a sailor. Upon conversion, that all changed. My affections and actions were turned upside down or, rather, right-side up. I now desire and strive to: know, love and follow Jesus and His word, live for God’s glory, love my wife sacrificially, read Christian books to grow in my knowledge, point my kids to Jesus and the gospel, love others (in the church and out), see God as ruler and not me, grow in seeing God’s grace in my life, repent of sin I am aware of, pray, have outreach Bible studies, serve the church, reach the lost locally and afar, etc. Along the journey, there have been many trials and tribulations, but God’s grace continues to prove sufficient.

Q: Tell us a little about your family.

RC: I am blessed with a beautiful (inside & out) wife, Julie, and three wonderful children (Kylie – 26 years old, Grant – 24, and Grace – 20). I met Julie at Baylor University, where we both graduated. This December 9th, Julie and I will be celebrating 31 years of marriage! The Lord graciously saved us both in the fall of 1998, after being married almost nine years. Our worlds were turned around after that as we sought, and still do, to honor Jesus in our lives.

We lived in the Dallas area until the consulting company I am with, Protiviti, asked if I would consider transferring to lead our PNW practice. Moving to Seattle and running an office were not on my “To Do” list, but we ultimately concluded this was where the Lord wanted us. We moved here in 2016.

Kylie is an elementary school teacher and taught three years at a public school in the Los Angeles area before moving here this summer to take a job at a private, Christian school. Grant played baseball at a small university in California where he received his undergraduate degree in accounting and finance. In May, he graduated from UW with his Master’s in Accounting. He has spent all summer studying and taking the CPA exam. He will move to Dallas later this month to start his career with Ernst & Young. Grace is a sophomore at The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA and is studying business. As a family, we enjoy hanging out together, watching movies, going to sporting events and traveling.

Q: What are you most passionate about?

RC: The first things that come to mind are Jesus and the gospel and all that it entails. I never want to get past the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want it to guide my personal life and the lives of my fellow brothers and sisters. I am still amazed to this day that Jesus has saved me, and I now get to know and serve him. Truly, amazing grace.

I am also passionate about reaching lost souls with this gospel, whether with family, neighbors, co-workers, those that come to DCC, and those throughout Seattle, Washington, and the world. I have taught numerous outreach Bible studies over the years. I am also on the board of, and involved with, two international mission agencies: one serves Uganda and the other serves Dubai. Both ministries involve the local church, and both have started a seminary in recent years. Julie and I also give to other missionaries to help, in some way, reach the lost across the globe.

And of course, I am passionate about my family and love them very much.

Q: How did you get involved with DCC?

RC: After moving from Dallas, I looked at various churches in Seattle and the surrounding area. I was looking for a church that preached and lived out the Bible and was gospel centered. And I wanted some passion from the pulpit. To be honest, my search was a little discouraging. I finally looked up suggested churches on the 9Marks website and saw DCC listed. My first visit was on the sanctity of life Sunday and Pastor Adam was bringing it! He was defending biblically and graciously pro-life and boldly proclaiming the gospel. I remember looking around and asking myself, “Am I in downtown Seattle?” Frankly, I was blown away.

I continued to look at other churches as I am one who takes church commitment seriously and wanted to be at the right place for me and my family: one that would continually point me to Jesus, His word, and the gospel. I also wanted a church led by godly elders that would be looking out for my soul. So as part of this process, I sought to get to know the elders. Long story short, we decided to make DCC our home in the fall of 2016 and have never looked back. Once here, we simply asked where the church needed help and served in those areas.

Q: What are your current areas of oversight?

RC: For the past two years, I have been an apprentice in community with Daniel Hallak. He and his family have recently moved, so I will provide oversight now.  In addition, I lead DCC’s financial advisory team. I help teach a class called Exploring Christianity, and Julie and I have also taught/participated in pre-marriage classes. We also have been active in teaching DCC kids for the past several years.

Q: How did you determine you were called to be a pastor?

RC: I have been an elder before, at a much smaller church in Texas, and that was several years ago. In the fall of 2018, Adam invited me to participate in a weekly Elder Development Cohort with some men. That was a very encouraging and growing time. Soon after that class, Adam asked if I would consider going through the elder candidate process, and I said I would think and pray about that. I was and am content to be a faithful member and submit joyfully to our elders (Heb. 13:17). I was also quite busy helping my firm’s local office stabilize and grow our PNW business. I know from experience that being an elder is a demanding role, yet one with great blessing. So, I wanted to take some time to consider.

About a year ago, with encouragement from Pastor Adam and some other men, I started the eldership process to seek the Lord’s will. The process is quite involved and requires a lot of self-examination. There are a lot of questions to answer in writing, around personal, theological, and practical matters. There is a pretty intensive interview process that my wife and I went through. I also got to observe our elders in action during their elder meetings. (Observing those meetings, I saw firsthand the love and care our elders have for the people of DCC.) Throughout this year long process, my heart for the people and purpose of this church grew.

I am not perfect by any means and, like all of us, continue to be sanctified; but I do believe that, by God’s grace, I am biblically qualified. I have a heart to love Jesus’s local flock: to know, feed, protect, and lead. I want to see myself and others grow in our love for Jesus, the gospel, the Bible, his church, one another, and the lost. As I get older, eternity is ever more real to me. I see more and more the brevity of this life and that eternal souls are all around. I continue to be driven by John Piper’s book, Don’t Waste Your Life, that I read many years ago where he quoted part of a poem: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past; Only what’s done for Christ will last.” I want to serve wherever Jesus wants me to. Throughout the elder application process, I have been affirmed by others, including our elders and my family. It is my desire to serve the people of DCC in this role (1 Tim. 3:1). If this is ultimately the Lord’s will, I am deeply humbled and grateful to serve in this way.

Q: How can we be praying for you and your family in this season?

RC: We are going through transition: our oldest daughter has moved to Seattle; our son is about to move to Dallas to start his career, and our youngest daughter is away at college amidst all that is going on in the world. And if the Lord wills, I will take on this role of elder at DCC. We would welcome prayer that we would keep our eyes on Jesus and seek His glory and His will, as well as walk in a manner worthy of the gospel.

I would also welcome prayer for the upcoming Exploring Christianity class and a weekly Bible study that my wife and I started a few weeks ago with my parents, my brother and sister and their respective partners in Texas (using Zoom). Please pray that the Lord would work mightily through these studies and that I would rightly and graciously handle the word of truth.

…………………………

Let’s be praying for the Collins and our church during this time!

Jul 10
2020

Covid-19 Update: Request to Join a Gathering!

Covid-19 | by Pastor David Parker

Covid-19 Update

Downtown Cornerstone,

As of today, King County is still in Phase Two of reopening, which has allowed churches to begin regathering, with restrictions. While these restrictions can feel burdensome, they are a small sacrifice to ensure the safety of one another and our city.

As Pastor Adam shared a few weeks ago, we first started opening our doors by extending an invite to our members on a three-week rotational basis. Since then, we’ve had extra room and more seats available that we can fill!

Therefore, we want to go ahead and begin opening up these remaining seats to other non-members and guests who may feel comfortable participating with us.

If you are interested in participating with us on a Sunday:

  1. First, please read these guidelines to ensure you understand the limitations, risk, and are able to meet the requirements for gathering with us.
  2. Please fill out this Request to Join a Sunday Gathering Form (please note that filling out this form does not register you for a Sunday Gathering.)

Once you have submitted a request to participate, someone will reach out to you with availability and next steps for joining us on a Sunday.

During this pandemic, our Sunday Livestream will continue indefinitely for those of you who are uncomfortable gathering, for families with young children, or for those with underlying health issues.

Let’s continue to pray that God would be glorified through this unusual season and that he would give us wisdom each step of the way.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know by emailing info@downtowncornerstone.org.

For the King,
Pastor David

Update: You can now pre-register directly for a Sunday Gathering by visiting this page.

Jun 24
2020

Our First Steps Towards Re-Gathering Begin This Week

Covid-19 | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Covid-19 Update

Downtown Cornerstone,

Jesus’ church is unstoppable. Nations rise and fall, but His Church remains. Wars uproot and destroy, but His Church remains. Secular ideologies come and go, but His Church remains. Hostile opposition persecutes and rages, but His Church remains. Human pride boasts and flexes, but His Church remains. Pandemics spread and kill, but His Church remains.

Jesus put it this way, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it” (Matt. 16:18). There is no stopping what God is doing, no matter what might be happening. It is important to remember that in a season like ours. We are hindered, but Jesus is not.

As of last Friday, King County is now in Phase Two of reopening which has brought with it greater flexibility for churches to re-gather—though, in a limited fashion.

Churches are now allowed to gather at 25% of the maximum capacity of their meeting space, while social distancing and wearing face masks. For us, that means we can host 54 households (i.e. whether a single, couple, family, or housemates), allowing for 54-110 people to gather for worship.

Therefore, beginning this Sunday (6/28) we will resume gathering at 10am within these limitations. For now, our plan is to hold one gathering throughout July for DCC members on a rotating basis (allowing for Sunday participation approximately once every three weeks). We are considering moving to two gatherings in August. Please note that you will need pre-register to attend.

Why only members at this point? Church membership is not parallel to a Costco membership. To be a church member is to formally unite yourself as a member of a specific body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-26) and member of a specific local family of God (Eph. 2:19). It’s a visible and visceral way of putting flesh on gospel realities.

In that sense, the members are the church. Members are those who have committed themselves to one another for the sake of discipleship (1 Thess. 5:11), accountability (Mt. 18:17), pastoral care (Heb. 13:17), guarding of the gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), and the glory fo God (1 Cor. 10:31). Therefore, it makes sense to start with the members—at least, at first. If you want to learn more about the local church, and the biblical rationale for membership, you may find this sermon on The Wonder of Jesus’ Local Church helpful.

Members, you will be receiving additional information this week that outlines how to sign-up for an upcoming Sunday gathering and what to expect when we get together.  We understand this raises all sorts of questions, so we ask for grace and flexibility as we navigate these uncharted waters together.

Our Sunday livestream will continue indefinitely for those who are not yet members, for members who are uncomfortable gathering, for families with young children, for those with underlying health issues, and those exploring the person and work of Jesus. We’re not out of the woods yet, so let’s keep praying.

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam

P.S. Here are two important documents for your reference:
1) An updated version of Our Tentative Plan for Resuming Life Together
2) Our COVID-19 Gathering Instructions

Jun 5
2020

Our (Tentative) Plan for Resuming Life Together

Covid-19 | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Covid-19 Update

Downtown Cornerstone,

The Lord has built waiting into our experience of life and that waiting is particularly acute in this season. But, we wait in hope (Ps. 39:7; 62:5; 130:5). In Him, our waiting is not in vain, wasted, a mere obstacle, nor necessarily riddled with regrets of “what might have been.” In His hands our waiting is doing something—even if we don’t know the full extent of what that is from our vantage point—because our God is sovereign.

We are in unprecedented territory as we consider resuming life amidst a once-in-a-century pandemic. What will things look like on the other side? No one knows for sure.

At this point, Washington State’s Governor, Jay Inslee, has proposed a phased approach to re-opening. Each phase will last a minimum of three weeks, provided the occurrence of the disease meets state-designated metrics. The CDC and the state have also provided additional direction for churches. Therefore, it seemed prudent to craft a tentative plan for DCC to resume life together around the four government-mandated phases.

We’re reluctant to commit to anything in writing as the situation continues to evolve and there remain many unknowns. Yet, we understand it is helpful to have a general sense of the direction we are heading, even if we must adapt along the way. Expectations are helpful, even if they are not our preferred outcome.

YOU CAN FIND OUR TENTATIVE PLAN HERE.

Let’s continue to pray—for one another, other gospel-preaching churches, and for justice to prevail in our city. Let’s ask Him to uniquely use this season to create a spiritual awakening our city has never seen.

Christ is all, always.
Pastor Adam

May 15
2020

Longing for Justice in a World Gone Mad

Community, Global Issues, News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Downtown Cornerstone,

By now you’ve seen the news of the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery on February 23, 2020, outside Brunswick, Georgia. Travis McMichael, and his father, attempted to make an armed citizen’s arrest of Ahmaud, who they believed was involved in a string of residential burglaries, while he was jogging unarmed. However, an altercation ensued and Ahmaud was shot two times in the chest, resulting in his death. Since the victim was an unarmed African American and the assailants were armed white men this is understandably seen as another sad episode of racial violence in our nation’s history. Additionally, the fact it took three months for the McMichael’s to be charged has rightly raised significant questions about the just handling of this case by local authorities.

So, what are we to do with this news?

FIRST, WE MUST LAMENT

Regardless of the details, this is another deeply troubling manifestation of a world groaning under the weight of sin. This world is not as it should be—it hasn’t been since the fall (Gen. 3) and it won’t be until Jesus returns (Rev. 20-22). Relationships break down. Words are wielded to wound. Power is abused. Sexuality is distorted. Biases exploit. Emotions manipulate. Violence reigns. Justice is perverted. Unarmed joggers, made in the image of God, are shot in broad daylight. Unfortunately, this isn’t new; this is as old as humanity itself. It is right to long for justice amidst a world gone mad.

So, how are we to cope? The Bible’s answer is, in part, to lament. A lament is a passionate expression of grief and sorrow to God. The Psalms are filled with such laments (e.g. Psalm 12, 22, 44, 88). In fact, an entire book of the Bible is called Lamentations, which laments the fall of Jerusalem to foreign invaders. To lament is to express your pain, your struggles, your doubts, and your unresolved questions to God. Start with lament by directing your pain Godward.

SECOND, WE MUST MOURN

The historical relationship between whites and blacks in our country is filled with unconscionable violence and unspeakable injustice. That history serves as an important backdrop for how events, such as this, are perceived. From one angle, this situation could look like an over-zealous attempt-gone-wrong to protect your neighborhood. But, from another angle, it looks like yet another incident of a young unarmed black man who is killed without due process (e.g. Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, et. al.). Was race a factor? We don’t know. But, it certainly doesn’t appear that ‘black lives matter’ when it takes three months and a public video release for the wheels of justice to get set in motion.

Regardless of the details, we must mourn with those who mourn (Rom. 12:15). Not every minority or African American processes such incidents in the same way—just like anyone else. After all, suffering isn’t monolithic. But, we can still mourn that such situations continue to be a reality. We can mourn that some may wonder if they’ll be ok if they go out for a jog. We can mourn that some little boys and girls grow up wondering how they’ll be treated in a majority context. To every African American, we express profound pain and sorrow with you. We join you in this time of mourning and stand with you.

THIRD, WE MUST LEAN IN

These issues didn’t emerge overnight nor will they quickly go away. So, we must take the long view even as we seek to do as much good as we can today. If we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (which is the second greatest commandment, Mark 12:31) that means we must lean into areas we are unfamiliar with out of love for those who are different from us. As a church we continue to work to create a culture where we can lean into these issues honestly and openly, even amidst our many differences. To do so we continue to write articles, preach sermons, offer classes, and recommend reading. We must lean in together as we seek to bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2). For example:

ArticleRacism is a Radical Evil
SermonsThe Racism-Crushing GospelA Gospel Forged People in a Divided AgeGod’s New Humanity.
ClassUndividedIdentity Politics and the Death of Christian Unity
Reading: We also recommend reading Divided by Faith and its counterpart, United by Faith.

FOURTH, WE MUST BE PATIENT

It is easy to get caught-up in the emotional and politicized roller coaster of the news cycle. We want to take control. We want to do something. We want justice to prevail. We want leaders to propagate our vision for the world. We want the indifferent to wake up. We want to signal our virtue. We want this fixed now. This must not happen again. Enough, we think, and rightly so. There is much that is good, true and noble about such sentiments.

Yet, if we’re not careful, in our desire for justice, do we become unjust?

In our yearning for peace, do we create division?
In our passion to love, do we become unloving?
In our hope of righting wrongs, do we inadvertently add to them?
In our hunger for justice, are we also hungering for righteousness?
After all, only the poor in spirit, will enter the kingdom (Mt. 5:3)

We must be patient, but patience doesn’t mean passive inactivity. It means prayerful, God-centered, restraint in the face of opposition. It means being quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19). Why? “Because the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James. 1:20). To be patient is to love (1 Cor. 13:4). Patience allows time for more answers to arise. Patience gives space for repentance to occur (Rom. 2:4). Patience is more likely to earn us a hearing with others (Pr. 25:15). We must be patient, even as we act.

JUSTICE IS COMING

Friends, let’s continue to humbly submit ourselves to God when we see events like this unfold before us. We know that politics, blogs, and social-shaming can’t ultimately change the human heart. We know that racial utopia is not possible in this life. We’re not naive. But, neither are we paralyzed. The world is in search of answers; we know who He is. While we long for justice in a world gone mad, we know justice is coming (Rom. 12:19).

We are in this city to know Jesus and to make Him known. Let’s build meaningful relationships with others who are different from us. Let’s engage in the discussion with wisdom, tenderness, and courage. Let’s passionately share the heart-changing, all-satisfying good news of Jesus. Together, let’s be a visible, albeit imperfect, local expression of Jesus’ redeemed and reconciled (!) people to a divided world in desperate need of healing hope.

My heart is with you, my prayers are for you,
Christ is all, always.
Pastor Adam

Mar 27
2020

Covid-19 Update: Staying Home, Livestream, Lord’s Supper, and Giving

Covid-19 | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Pastoral Note

Downtown Cornerstone,

There is scarcely a page in the Bible that does not deal with the trials and troubles of life, from the mundane to the catastrophic: sibling murder (Gen. 4:8), cataclysmic flooding (Gen. 7:22), betrayal (Gen. 37:24), forced enslavement (Ex. 1:13), rebellion (Num. 16), unwanted wandering (Num. 32:13), inept leadership (Jud. 21:25), economy-ruining famine (Ruth 1:1), infertility (1 Sam. 1:6), impossible battles (1 Sam. 17), political turmoil (2 Sam. 15), fear (2 Kings 10:4), exile (2 Kings 25:11), life-altering loss (Job 1:13-19), pestilence (Dt. 28:21), heart-rending grief (Neh. 1:4), opposition (Ezra 4:4-5), humiliation (Est. 7:7-10), haunting questions (Ps. 42:11), prolonged waiting (Ps. 40:1), failure (Ps. 51), sickness (Isa. 38:1), weeping (Jer. 9:1), lament (Lam. 2:5), mourning (Dan. 10:2), regret (Mt. 27:5) and more.

Yet, over them all, the “Lord our God the Almighty reigns” (Rev. 19:6). He “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Eph. 1:11); not merely some things or most things or easy things—all things. This means he is always at work and that nothing can thwart his purposes (Job. 42:2), including Covid-19. God’s sovereignty over suffering sustains the soul, even amidst death, because his purposes are wise (Isa. 28:29) and good (Ps. 73:1). The Scriptures are a living testimony to this wisdom and goodness of God amidst trial and trouble and are, therefore, meant to infuse our lives with endurance, encouragement and hope, in Christ (Rom. 15:4). So, I hope this brief note finds you tethered to God through God’s Word.

In light of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order issued this week, I am following-up on three points:

#1 We will continue to livestream on Sundays @ 10AM.

Governor Inslee’s order requires all state citizens to remain at home unless we need to go out for essential services or are performing those services ourselves. While there was some ambiguity earlier in the week, we have learned that the government does include churches providing streaming as “essential.” This was confirmed by our lawyers here and Inslee himself here when he said, “Religious institutions can have…a certain number of people present at places of worship to ensure that online remote services can be afforded to their flocks” (2:30 minute mark). Therefore, by God’s grace, we will continue to livestream on Sunday mornings at 10AM while being “subject to the governing authorities” (Rom. 13:1-7).

#2 We will not celebrate the Lord’s Supper until we are gathered again.

Some have asked whether we will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper virtually during this time. The short answer is: no. The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance that points to the new people of God whom Jesus redeemed and is therefore corporate by its very nature (1 Cor. 10:17). This is why it is only celebrated when we come together (note the language of “come together” in 1 Cor. 11:17,18,20,33), not merely as individuals, households, or smaller segments of the church. Perhaps the Lord will use this time to grow our love, appreciation, and longing for celebrating the Supper together.

#3 Let’s be generous, sacrificial, and cheerful givers together.

This season is financially impacting many in our church in dramatically different ways. Many remain gainfully employed, whereas others have suddenly lost their jobs or found themselves on furlough. Amidst this season of uncertainty, we are still called by God to worship him through our finances by placing him squarely in the middle of our budgets. This giving is to be voluntary, eager, and cheerful (2 Cor. 9:7). God rewards these kinds of givers in a myriad of ways (2 Cor. 9:6). So, let’s continue to trust him in our giving together because His mission continues, the gospel must go forth, discipleship never stops, churches need to be planted, and our city is ready to be served.

Let’s continue to pray—for one another, other gospel-preaching churches, and for our city. Let’s ask Him to uniquely use this season to create a spiritual awakening our city has never seen.

With you, in Christ.
Pastor Adam

Mar 13
2020

How To Make The Most Of A Livestream “Gathering”

Covid-19 | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Pastoral Note

Our God is “the hope of all the ends of the earth and the farthest seas” (Ps. 65:5). Even when we walk through seasons of upheaval and uncertainty, we do not fear because he promises to be with us (Isa. 43:1-5). In Jesus, nothing that comes our way can separate us from his love, or thwart his purposes in our lives, whether “tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword” (Rom. 8:35; Ps. 138:8). Seasons like this test the quality of the foundation that our lives are built on (cf. Mt. 7:24-27).

GOING TO LIVESTREAM THIS SUNDAY AT 10 AM

One of the unfortunate temporary side-effects of this season is that we will not be able to physically gather in light of government mandates to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus Covid-19. We are glad to partner with the community and “seek the welfare of the city” (Jer. 29:7). We want to love one another (Jn. 13:34) and our neighbors well (Mk. 12:31). However, it means we are entering new territory as a church.

So, what do we do when we can’t physically gather? Well, we do the best we can. Under the circumstances, that means utilizing livestream technology to gather virtually while we are scattered throughout the city. Therefore, beginning this Sunday we will consolidate our two morning gatherings into one livestreamed gathering at 10am.

THIS IS A TEMPORARY CONCESSION

The church gathers; that’s what it does. The local church is Jesus’ set apart people, in a specific place, who exist to glorify him by committing their lives to one another. The local church is the universal church made visible and is, therefore, a miracle of God. This is why physically gathering with Jesus’ people on the Lord’s Day has been a privilege and priority from the start (Heb. 10:25, cf. Acts 2:42f).

Therefore, it is important to view our livestream in this season as a temporary concession, rather than the creation of an ongoing convenience. Yes, it is convenient, but not all conveniences are good for our souls in the long term. We can thank God for modern technology (and we do, especially right now) even while recognizing its limitations. Physically gathering matters—after all, Jesus promised to be with us when we do (Mt. 18:20). But, right now, we can’t. So, how do we make the most of this temporary concession?

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF A LIVESTREAM GATHERING

(1) PRAY

Ask the Lord to give you a soft, humble, and hungry heart before we gather-while-scattered. Spend time on Saturday evening or Sunday morning in the Word and prayer to prepare your soul for worship. Pray for the church, other members, your community and discipleship group, along with not-yet-believers who may participate. Let’s ask the Father to give us a supernatural sense of unity even while being spread throughout the city. Who knows how he might use all of this? Let’s pray in faith, hope, and love.

(2) FIND A SPECIFIC PLACE

Be intentional about where in your home you will participate. Don’t leave that decision to the last minute. If possible, I recommend participating from the place in which you spend your daily time with the Lord. That space probably already has a sense of set-apart-ness to it that will help facilitate your worship.

(3) PREPARE

Also, consider how you might intentionally prepare for worship. Fight the temptation to see “online church” as a mere convenience by preparing in advance and arriving on time. The livestream will be up at least 15 minutes before worship begins. Work through any potential technology issues. Decide, in advance, how will you participate—phone, laptop, SmartTV? Have your Bible close at hand. Print the Sunday handout, which will be available at least one hour before we begin.

(4) REMOVE DISTRACTIONS

We all know that it can be a challenge to remain undistracted at home. There are projects to do, dishes to wash, laundry to fold, bills to pay, and cleaning to be done. If your household has kids, there is the added layer of toys, craft supplies, and random socks lying around. Even more, our phone is innocently resting on the end table wooing us to check “just this one time.” But, put it all away. Clean up the space. Commit, along with those you’re gathering with, to set apart this time for Jesus and one another.

(5) PARTICIPATE

The primary way to keep the livestream an act of worship, rather than consumption, is to actively participate. So, when we stand, let’s stand together. When we sing, let’s sing together. When we recite the call to worship or assurance or commission, let’s recite the scripture out-loud. Remember, our livestream is in fact live. It is not a recording. You are not alone, even if you are alone in your living room. Envision hundreds of DCC households, united in spirit, worshipping throughout the city—its a powerful image.

(6) INVITE

If you have space in your home to uphold the current public health order, especially the call to social distancing, you may want to consider inviting a few friends to join you for worship.

Lord willing, we will be able to gather unhindered soon. Until then, let’s not neglect meeting together, even under non-ideal circumstances (Heb. 10:25). Let’s be salt and light in our city (Mt. 5:13-16). The Lord is at hand, so we don’t need to be anxious (Phil. 4:5-6). This will pass and then the next trial will come. In the hands of our good God, every trial tests the genuineness of our faith, which is more precious than gold, so that it might result in “praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7). He is faithful; he will do it (1 Thess. 5:24).

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam

P.S. Two final notes:
1) Please do not come to the church’s building on Sunday.
2) We will be rolling out a plan for what it means to be the church throughout the week very soon.

Mar 11
2020

Changes Due To Government Covid-19 Restrictions

Covid-19 | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Pastoral Note

Downtown Cornerstone,

The spread of Covid-19 continues so we, therefore, continue to adapt.

New Restrictions

This morning, the Governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, announced a ban on events of more than 250 people in the Seattle metro area. Additionally, the King County Executive, Dow Constantine, issued a separate public health order that prohibits gatherings of less than 250 people unless certain stringent requirements are met, including:

  • High-risk individuals do not attend (over 60 years old, pregnant, underlying health issues, etc.).
  • Social distancing measures are enforced (including being within six feet of others for ten minutes or longer).
  • Employees must be screened for Covid-19 symptoms each day.
  • Proper hand hygiene and sanitation must be readily available.

The first three of these requirements would be difficult—if not impossible—to enforce, especially the social distancing. This means, legally, we are unable to gather because we cannot comply with the public health order. We are not alone. There is a long list of other Seattle organizations canceling events, including Seattle Public Schools.

OUR RESPONSE

Therefore, we will be adapting in the following ways:

#1 SUNDAY

Starting this Sunday we will move our public gatherings to one gathering via livestream at 10am. In other words, beginning this Sunday, we will not publicly gather at our building until we are legally permitted to do so. However, we will continue to gather online via livestream. A small team (staff, strategic volunteers, deacons, and elders) will be at the building to lead the gathering, from singing to preaching. Rather than record the 9am gathering and re-play it at 11am, we will hold one live gathering at 10am. Please note the time change and spread the word.

#2 COMMUNITIES

As of today, all formal Cornerstone Community gatherings are canceled.

#3 CLASSES

As of today, all classes are canceled.

#4 EVENTS

  • Taking the Gospel to the Nations, March 21st: We will postpone this event to a later date.
  • Members Meeting, March 29th: We will either cancel or create a livestream option. Stay tuned.
  • DCC’s 9th birthday, April 5th: TBD
  • Good Friday and Easter, April 10th-12th: TBD

#5 MEETINGS

If you have a meeting scheduled with a staff member or pastor, be sure to double-check before meeting.

AND THEY WERE ALL SCATTERED…

While we grieve with those who have lost loved ones amidst the spread of Covid-19, we can trust that God is at work in significant ways behind the scenes. Do you remember what caused the gospel to spread in the early church? Persecution. “There arose…a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions…” (Acts 8:1). The very thing that was meant to stamp out Jesus’ cause, was used by God to further spread it to the nations. What man intended for evil, God intended for good (Gen. 50:20). While the details of our particular situation are unique, the principle isn’t. If he did that then, what might he be up to now? Let’s keep trusting him together. More soon…

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam