Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Jul 28

Serve the City Recap & Photos

Mercy Ministries, Photos, Serve the City | by Pastor Justin Keogh

On Saturday, July 9th, over 100 folks from DCC and our Belltown neighborhood came together at Myrtle Edwards Park for our 8th annual Serve the City event. It was a great day serving together as we enjoyed the beauty of God’s creation and built new relationships with friends and neighbors.

Over the day, ten teams worked to remove graffiti, pick up trash, and do significant landscaping along the well-loved paths in the park. Thank you to everyone who made the day a great success!

We serve in events like this as a small way of being salt (a preserving agent), light (a guiding tool), and a faithful presence as part of our witness to Christ in Seattle (Matt. 5:13-16; Dan. 6:3,22).

Learn more about our efforts to serve our city through our Mercy Ministries website, and be on the lookout for upcoming opportunities to serve the city with us! And come gather with us at the same Myrtle Edwards Park on Saturday, August 27th, for our annual Picnic at the Park!

For the King and His Kingdom,
Pastor Justin

Jun 28

Serve the City Recap & Photos

Photos, Serve the City | by Pastor Justin Keogh

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends… You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” (John 15:12-13, 16-17).

Earlier this month, on Saturday June 2nd, over 175 of Downtown Cornerstone’s members, friends, and families came together to serve the Seattle Public Schools (SPS) at Bailey Gatzert Elementary and Washington Middle School for our 6th annual Serve the City event. Over the last few years, we’ve become the largest volunteer group that serves SPS and as such we had the opportunity to bless not one but two schools with our efforts.

At Bailey Gatzert Elementary we weeded and mulched the entire building perimeter, washed the walls throughout the building, cleared and organized supply closets, painted playgrounds and a mural. At Washington Middle School, we hung birdhouses, painted playground lines, cleaned up multiple courtyard and garden spaces, making them more inviting and safer for students, with the added benefit of clearing out the space in preparation for 8th grade graduation just last week!

Serving as we do through this event (and many others) is part of how we envision building a great city, as we seek to be salt (preserving) and light (guiding) in Seattle (Matt 5:13-16). The staff at each school, as well as the volunteer coordinators, have all expressed tremendous gratitude for our efforts – a small sampling of comments includes these sentiments:

  • Thank you Downtown Cornerstone Church – to bring these wonderful projects! It truly is a blessing. I am overwhelmed with you generosity to purchase tools for our tool library, which has continued to serve multiple schools this summer. – Gretchen, Volunteer Director
  • Please extend our thanks to your church who worked with dedication in making our school campus more beautiful, less cluttered and ultimately more functional for safe and dynamic learning. – Laurie, School Principal
  • Your partnership was invaluable and all the volunteers who were able to help make such a great impact on both schools is inspiring, to say the least. – Sean, Volunteer Coordinator

We know that our service, while grand on some scales, is ultimately a reflection of a much greater demonstration of love and care from Jesus, who willingly came to serve, not to be served (though he had every right to be served as God incarnate). Rather, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and instructed us to do the same (John 13:1-20). So we celebrated the opportunity to be a blessing to SPS this year, as in years past, displaying in some small measure the gifts and glory that have been bestowed upon us in Christ. We know that it is not our works that make us righteous, but God’s gift of righteousness that frees us to serve our neighbors, for God’s glory.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne … Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” (Matt 26:31, 34-40)

Jesus teaches us that our love is not seen only in massive acts of sacrifice, but rather simple, humane, faithful acts of love and service “to the least of these” around us. Let us continue to serve out of thanksgiving, knowing how much we have been served in Christ, and be salt and light to our neighborhoods – to the children in schools, or in foster care, or in juvenile detention; to the refugee; to women seeking to escape the sex trade; to expectant mothers unsure if they can carry a child to birth; or to the homeless men, women, and families throughout our city.

Be on the lookout for ongoing opportunities to serve with your community and DCC in any of these focus areas through our regular Mercy updates and focus groups on the city.

May 10

Easter Testimonies and Photos

, , , Photos

On April 1st, we worshipped as a family of 1100 across four gatherings to celebrate Easter and all that Christ accomplished through his miraculous resurrection. We sang, prayed, worshipped through the preached word, and rejoiced with the Lord’s supper. Plus, twelve individuals shared their testimonies of God’s astounding grace in their lives through baptism. Below are some snapshots and quotes from the day:

“Through the Holy Spirit now dwelling in me I could actually feel his love for the first time and love Him in return.” – Chris 

“My life is now Jesus’. He gave a sinner like me knowledge, strength, and patience, more than I ever deserve.” – John 

“Because my sins are washed away through the blood of Jesus, I now see that I have unparalleled freedom and purpose.” – Katrina 

“I went to God offering nothing, I was a sinner who had been placing all of my identity and happiness in things other than God. I came to understand that Christ does the saving, not me or anything I do.”  – Ashley 

“The burdens I was carrying were not mine to carry. He had already carried those to the cross for me.” – Sharon 

“I have a Savior who knows me by name…in Jesus alone I have hope.” – Ryan

“Jesus met me in the middle of all my confusion.”- Arnita 

“I was just trying to prove myself to others, myself, and ultimately God. I always thought I had to contribute to earn my standing before God.” – Gigi

“No matter how many things I try to control, my life lies in the hands of the Creator.” – Roderick 

“Through Jesus’ work on the cross, I am blessed by His grace each and every day. While I still experience life’s struggles, I am able to live a life of peace and joy in His presence.” – Chiedza

“I realized that there’s no amount of sin or shame that could keep me from the love of God.” – Rachel

“Christianity is about a personal relationship with God made possible by grace through Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection, not my own works or accomplishments.” – Jason


Praise Him for He is risen!

Nov 17

Advent Photo Installment – Invitation to Contribute

News, Photos


With the Advent season coming soon, the DCC Visual Arts Team is excited to invite the entire DCC community to participate with us in celebrating the season through creative photography!


Our desire is to create a dynamic photographic art exhibit in the Commons that would feature various kinds of photography around our Advent theme this year.

This year’s Advent theme “A Light Has Dawned,” comes from Isaiah 9:2:
“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.”

The experience of light and darkness is all around us. Additionally, the medium of light is central to every visual art form. We want to harness this beauty for the gospel reflections of Advent this year, specifically by inviting all of you to contribute to the growing and collaborative photo installation that will be located in the long hallway next to our Commons gallery space.


Over the course of the four weeks of Advent (beginning Nov 27th) we’ll begin printing and hanging images to our photo installation wall. Anyone can contribute to this by posting photos with the hashtag #alighthasdawned on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Our Visual Arts Team will be reviewing the hashtag feed weekly to select and print images to add to our hallway installation. Our hope is that over the four weeks of Advent, this piece will grow – photo by photo – to be a unique visual devotional, a reflection of the creativity and diversity in our church body, and beautiful reminder of God’s presence with us in this city.


You can contribute to this project through the following channels:

  • Post your photos on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the hashtag #alighthasdawned
  • Email photos directly to (please include the subject line: “A Light Has Dawned Photos”)

This is not intended to be a professional installment, but rather an organic expression of the creativity within our church and the themes of light and darkness in our everyday lives. Due to the limited space of the installation, we won’t be able to display every photo that is submitted. However, anyone and everyone is invited to use the hashtag and share things that inspire them this Advent season! The images selected for the final installation will be the ones that best meet with the following criteria: 1) connection to theme, 2) image quality, and 2) creativity in depiction.

Every expression of beauty is a testimony to the grace and glory of God! Snap those pictures! And share the ways you see God at work in the beauty around you this Advent season!

(Please note: by using this hashtag you are giving DCC permission to print and display your photos with this hashtag)

Jul 31

Serve the City: Recap, Thank You & Pictures

City Life, Event, Photos, Serve the City, Service | by Pastor David Parker

PrintI wanted to briefly follow-up with a big “Thanks” to all who came out to serve the city with us! When it was all said and done, we had over 100 folks show up to come alongside Seattle Schools and Gatewood Elementary in helping prepare their playground and school for this next year!

Over 30 cubic yards of weeds, ivy, and branches were removed. Lots of boxes were packed and moved. Things were dusted and cleaned, and gallons of paint were applied to spruce up the playground and provide additional activities for the students this fall.

Not only did God bless us with great weather, but it was an awesome opportunity to tangibly display His grace and love in how we’ve been eternally served by Him in Christ. Thank you for giving freely of what you’ve been given! (Matthew 10:8)

Praying that we would continue to be a people marked by a deep love for the Gospel and the people He’s places around us to love and serve in this city.

-Pastor David

Below is a note from the principal at Gatewood that I wanted to pass along, as well as some pictures that were captured from that day.

Downtown Cornerstone,

Thank you so much for the generous donation of paint, mulch, supplies and church participants, who worked tirelessly to help improve the school grounds and interior organization at Gatewood last Saturday. It’s difficult to find the right words to help express the magnitude of my gratitude. Because of Cornerstone Church, when staff and students return to school in September, they will have a new feeling of respect. When the environment in which teaching and learning occurs is cherished, kept clean, and organized, students and teachers feel valued. When teachers feel respected by their community, they teach better. When students feel respected by their community, they learn better. What your church community did for Gatewood will be appreciated for a long time and in many ways. Early in August, I will meet with the Gatewood PTA Board and I will share the work done by the Cornerstone Church. I believe they will be inspired to finish the job and continue the school improvements!

Feeling blessed,
Connie Aleman, Principal
Gatewood Elementary

Click on the image below to check out some of the pictures that were captured that day!


Jun 20

Photos from Picnic at the Park

City Life, Event, Photos

PicnicattheParkPromo_0514_620x130_CSLast Tuesday, we gathered as a church at Gasworks Park for a Picnic and games with the lake and city skyline as a backdrop. Here are some photos from the evening!


Aug 1

Serve the City Recap & Video

City Life, Photos, Serve the City, Service, Video

At Downtown Cornerstone Church we are committed to building a great city, not just a great church. Our desire is to see gospel renewal take place from the avenues to the alleyways. On July 20th over 100 people from DCC partnered with Dunlap Elementary School in Rainier Valley to help with some much needed maintenance.

Dunlap is located in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country, and over 85% of the students receive free or subsidized lunches. As a church, we believe that we have been infinitely loved and served by God through the person and work of Jesus, so we serve as we’ve been served in Christ.

Thank you to everyone who came out to Serve the City this year! Check out the video and photos  from the event below and be sure to join us next time we gather as a family to serve the city, loving it to life.

“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”(Jeremiah 29:7)

Having trouble viewing the video? Click here to open it in a new window.













Sep 5

BBQ & Baptism Recap+Photos

, , City Life, Photos

On Thursday, August 16th, 155 of us gathered at Lake Union Park to enjoy summer barbeque, our beautiful city and God’s great grace in baptism. Throughout the night we got to hear of Jesus’ real, active, transforming work in the lives of 12 brothers and sisters in Christ.

Ephesians 5:1,4And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world…But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him.”

Video coming soon. Stay tuned!

Jul 27

Serve the City Recap+Photos

City Life, Photos, Serve the City

[portfolio_slideshow slideheight=400]
Photo credit Christy Giusti

Last Saturday, July 21st, 70 volunteers of Downtown Cornerstone walked the City Center of Seattle, from the avenues to the alley ways, collecting 24 bags of garbage littered throughout the core. Our goal was simple: to sacrificially serve the city as we’ve been sacrificially served by Jesus Christ (Mat 20:28). Jesus willingly entered into our mess of sin and decay, so we gladly do the same for our city. (Rom 5:8; John 3:16; Phil 2:4-11) Check out some of the photos from last Saturday morning above. A big thanks to Seattle Public Utilities and Adopt-a-Street for your partnership and assistance. This is just the beginning as we aim to spread the message and mercy of Jesus Christ, and in so doing, love our city to life.

May 23

Picnic at the Park Photos

, City Life, Photos

Check out these photos from our party at South Lake Union Park last Thursday. It was a great kick-off to the summer! Photos by Daniel Looman.