Downtown Cornerstone Blog
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

Jul 31
2020

Will you join me on August 16th?

Event, Teaching | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Politics in the Life of the Church

Downtown Cornerstone,

By now you’ve heard that we are hosting a livestream event on Sunday, August 16th, Politics in the Life of the Church: A Workshop on Rethinking Faith and Politicsled by Jonathan Leeman, from 1:00-4:00pm. Jonathan is the editorial director for 9Marks (a ministry that serves to equip healthy churches), an elder of his church in D.C. (Cheverly Baptist), an author (How the Nations Rage and others), and a friend.

The idea for this event grew out of our January elder retreat during which we considered how to best shepherd DCC through the upcoming presidential election. Little did we know that 2020 would also include a global pandemic, record-level unemployment, renewed racial tensions, mandated face-masks, a scattering of the church over livestream, and a forced economic recession.

Any one of these issues is enough to create division. But, when taken together, we find ourselves amidst a uniquely contentious cultural moment. So, what does it look like to engage these issues from a biblically Christian perspective? How do we love fellow believers well, even while disagreeing with them? That’s what this event is all about.

The focus of this event is not on particular issues (e.g. race, immigration, policing, abortion, fiscal policy, partisanship, etc). Instead, the focus is on how we engage with these issues, and relate to one another amidst our differences, in a distinctive and compelling Christ-honoring manner. This event is for anyone (members, attenders, pastors or churches) who is interested in thinking about the relationship between faith and politics. We invite you to help us spread the word.

There will be three main sessions:

  1. How To Engage With Politics and Government as a Christian
  2. How to Love Church Members When We Disagree Politically
  3. And an entire session for Q&A

Due to COVID-19, the event will be livestreamed. We understand that, at this point, we are all over-loaded with virtual meetings, livestream, and video. Even more, this is happening on a summer afternoon in Seattle. However, the benefit of livestream is that we can extend the invitation to more people and you can participate while sitting outside with friends (socially distanced, with face masks, of course).

Click here to register.

We hope you‘re able to join us. Let’s pray for fruit!

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam

P.S. Jonathan will be also preaching that Sunday for DCC from Psalm 2 as part of our Walking With God series.

Jul 6
2020

Politics in the Life of the Church

Event, Teaching

Politics in the Life of the Church

We are living in an increasingly politically divided age in America. Today, there are deep, partisan differences on most issues that face our society—including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic response and current racial tensions. With the upcoming presidential election, these divisions only seem to be further intensifying.

As Christians, we know that our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20; Eph. 2:18; 1 Pet. 2:9). Jesus—through his life, death, and resurrection—has secured our glorification (1 Cor. 12:20; Phil. 3:21). We will enter into his righteous rule and reign, an everlasting kingdom to come (Is. 32:1; Dan. 7:1; Rev. 21:3-5).

While we wait for Jesus’ return, how do we, as Jesus’ people, view and relate to present rulers and authorities that God has placed us under? How do we go about seeking to uphold God’s perfect justice and righteousness in our imperfect and messy political environment? How do we guard against political divisions of the world from causing divisions in the church?

These are important questions for Christ-followers because there is a lot at stake here—including the spread of the gospel.

Jesus said that all people will know that we are his disciples, if we have love for one another (Jn. 13:34-35). In his most difficult hour, he prayed that we will become perfectly one (Jn. 17:23). The early church needed regular exhortation and practical teaching on how to love one another amidst differences—and so do we (1 Cor. 8, 13; Rom. 12, 14; Eph. 4; 1 Jn. 3).

Our main speaker, Jonathan Leeman, is the editorial director for 9Marks and the author of How the Nations Rage: Rethinking Faith and Politics in a Divided Age. Watch a short invitational video from Jonathan below.

 
Want to better understand the relationship between faith and politics? Are you desiring to engage politically in ways that reflect our common citizenship in heaven? Are you thinking about how to approach political conversations within the church?

We invite you to join us for an afternoon of careful thought, practical advice, and encouragement as we consider the unchanging political task of Jesus’ church: to become the salt and light he calls us to be, and offer the hope of his kingdom to the nations.

Date: Sunday, August 16th, 1–4 PM PDT
Location: Virtual
Registration: Free

Sessions will cover how to engage with politics and the government, and how to love church members when we disagree politically—followed by Q&A.

REGISTER NOW
Note: Due to Covid-19 gathering restrictions in Washington state, this event will be primarily livestreamed.

Mar 6
2020

Missions Conference: Taking the Gospel to the Nations

Event, Missions, Teaching

Taking the Gospel to the Nations

It is estimated that there are over 7,000 unreached people groups and 3 billion people in the world that have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, have a Bible in their language, or have a church to gather with. We know, even in the midst of this reality, that God continues to use his saints to carry out his mission of saving his people across all tribes, nations, and tongues (Rev. 5:9, 7:9).

The light that dawned on us two thousand years ago is still reaching the ends of the earth (Is. 9:2, 49:6), and we get to participate in spreading this light! (1 Pet. 2:9)

Imagine a people who were once separated from Christ being brought near to him (Eph. 2:13), having the privilege of being called his own (Jn. 1:12), becoming part of a thriving local church (Acts 11:26; Col. 1:28), and spreading the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ to others (2 Cor. 2:14)! Many of us relate to this because we have been beneficiaries of the faithful, gospel-proclaiming work of others who came before us.

How can we be participating in carrying on this gospel legacy? While we are under God’s sovereign hands, he calls us to be diligent in our efforts to equipsend, and support those who are carrying out Jesus’ commission of making disciples of all nations (Mt. 28:20; Rom. 15:16). This requires careful thought and navigating practical realities even as we rely on God’s glory as the fuel for missions work (Is. 40:5).

One of our speakers, Mike Griffis, is an instructor at Radius International which is focused on equipping cross-cultural workers to establish healthy, indigenous churches among unreached people groups. Watch a short video below on how Radius is taking this task seriously.

 

Want to learn how you can better pray for and support missionaries we send out? Are you considering maybe one day going to the mission field yourself? Do you want to have your heart stirred afresh by the story that God is unfolding throughout the world?

We invite you to join us for a one-day Missions Conference sponsored by Acts 29 Northwest and hosted by Downtown Cornerstone Church.

Date: Saturday, March 21st, 9 am – 3 pm
Venue: DCC Building
Registration: $20 per person (scholarships available)

Throughout the day we’ll look at the biblical case for missions, the current state of missions, examples of missions done well, and practical next steps for our churches.

LEARN MORE

Note: We are still planning to gather unless the circumstances surrounding the spread of Covid-19 do not permit us to do so. In such cases, all registrations will be reimbursed.

Update (03/11/2020): Due to government restrictions related to Covid-19, we are postponing this event to a later date. Registration will reopen after a new date is determined. For more information, see related blog post.

May 29
2019

What are the First Things in Jesus’ Church?

Teaching | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

On Sunday, we began a new five-week series called First Things. If you have followed Jesus for any amount of time, you know that there are many things that go into the life of Jesus’ church. 

But, what are the first things

In this short series we are going to consider a number of foundational biblical principles for a healthy bible-teaching, Jesus-treasuring, people-loving, spirit-empowered, life-transforming local church. This study is built on the backbone of DCC’s new mission statement and ten core convictions. 

Therefore, this series will be a little different. We won’t be walking through a particular book of the Bible. Instead, each Sunday we will have a distinct anchoring passage, along with other supporting scripture, that teaches the truth in view that week. 

This is a fitting time for such a series in the life of our church. We are eight years old. Over the course of these years, the Lord has been exceedingly kind to us in what is one of the least churched and most secular cities in the country. In a word, DCC is a miracle. 

Yet, since the local church is a living thing, it is helpful to periodically pull back and consider, “Who are we? Why do we exist? Why does Jesus have us here?” That is what this series is all about—and the role we all play in Jesus’ unfolding story in our favorite city. 

We are in this together. 

Here is how First Things will take shape: 

Why We Exist (Col 1:15-23)
God-Centered, Jesus-Treasuring & Spirit-Empowered (Eph 1:3-14)
Bible-Saturated & Prayer-Filled (Ps. 119:18, 105)
Mission-Driven & Disciple-Making (Mt. 28:18-20)
People-Loving, City-Renewing & Church-Focused (Heb 10:19-25)

We hope you’ll join us. Let’s pray for fruit!

For Jesus’ Fame, 
Pastor Adam

Feb 13
2019

Our Search With The Preacher Begins Sunday

Teaching | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

This Sunday we begin a new series through the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s a timeless, and timely, book. In it, the Preacher-King, recounts a lifelong search for meaning, purpose, and satisfaction “under the sun.” His quest is an attempt to make sense out of life on a purely horizontal plane, without God in the picture. To do so, he exhausts every nook and cranny of the created order and human potential. Yet, again and again, he discovers “all is vanity.” Path after path leads to a dead end, so by the end there is only one way left.

This makes Ecclesiastes a unique book. It belongs with the wisdom literature of the Bible (i.e. Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Solomon) yet is also distinct from it. While the other books portray the fruit-filled wisdom of following God, Ecclesiastes portrays the fleeting nature of seeking life anywhere else. There are lessons here that are not found anywhere else in the Bible.

All of this, makes Ecclesiastes a gift from God. Through it, God invites us to step back and consider what we’re living for so we don’t waste our lives on vapor. Our lives are typically too full, busy, and noisy to think deeply about such things—so God gave us an entire book to slow us down. This is good news for those who are looking for more or for something better. But, the search takes courage. It confronts, convicts, and challenges. It forces us to consider the most important questions of life and, if we learn, discover afresh unsearchable riches of the ultimate Preacher-King.

Here is how our search will take shape over the next three months.

Ecc. 1:1-11 — All is Vanity
Ecc. 1:12-18; 2:12-17 — Knowledge
Ecc. 2:1-11 — Pleasure
Ecc. 2:18-26 — Work
Ecc. 3:1-22 — Time
Ecc. 4:1-16 — Evil
Ecc. 5:1-7 — Empty Religion
Ecc. 5:8-6:12 — Money
Ecc. 7:1-29 — Success & Suffering
Ecc. 8:1-17 — Fearing God
Ecc. 9:1-10 — Facing Death
Ecc. 9:11-10:20 — Advantages of Wisdom
Ecc. 11:1-12:14 — The End of the Matter

We hope you’ll join us. Let’s pray for fruit.

Christ is all, 
Pastor Adam

Feb 11
2019

Start the Year Taking Fresh Steps of Faith

Discipleship, Teaching | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

As most of you know, we concluded our 2019 New Year Essentials sermon series last week. This has become an annual set of sermons that address topics to which we must repeatedly return for God’s glory, our joy, and the good of others. Of course, this is not an annual repeat of the same sermons. Rather, they are different sermons that take different angles on subjects we need to come back to again-and-again. 

Here is how our series came together this year: 

Storing Up God’s Word

A Gospel-Forged People in a Divided Age

Rebooting Your Prayer Life

The Wonder of Jesus’ Local Church

My prayer for that series was for the Spirit of God to move each of us to take fresh steps of faith this year. Faith does not stay put for long. Faith moves (James 2:17). Faith is a living dynamic force, given and fueled by the Spirit, that changes our every day lives, in ways big and small, for the glory of God. 

That prayer is what led to my weekly challenges, to the entire church, throughout the series. Each challenge was a practical suggestion for how your faith in Christ might move you to take fresh steps in the area under consideration. Here are the four challenges I gave to the church: 

#1 Memorize one verse a week 

In a world filled with words, we won’t make it unless we’re being fed and fortified by the right words. We need unshakeable words of truth to give meaning, strength and hope to our lives. Those words are found in God’s Word. Of course, the amount of Scripture will vary from person to person. What matters is that you are stockpiling the riches of God’s Word in your heart. What’s your plan? 

#2 Do not mirror the divisions of the world, within the church, but heal them 

One of the purposes of the local church is to show the world the new kind of humanity God is forging in Jesus. Unfortunately, the local church can look just as divided as the world. What do we do? The healing we long for doesn’t occur automatically nor by blaming others. It occurs when each one of Jesus’ people decides, in faith, to be an agent of healing themselves. In this sermon, we considered ten attributes of a Gospel-forged people from Romans 12:9-21. What are two or three relational dynamics in that passage that Jesus is inviting you to grow in this year? 

#3 Refocus your prayer life

There is no other way to reboot your prayer life than to begin to pray afresh. To do that it is critical to not see prayer so much as a separate activity, or even means of grace (which it is), as much as a vital means of ongoing communion with God. In other words, if we’re not praying, we’re not communing. This week my challenge was twofold: (1) Read one book on prayer and (2) prioritize each of our church-wide prayer nights this year.

#4 Consider afresh the wonder of Jesus’ local church—and join in. 

Jesus’ local church is not one of the many options. It is God’s Plan A for spreading his glory through the salvation of his people among the neighborhoods of Seattle to the nations of the world. There is no such thing as a churchless or free agent Christian. That is largely a modern phenomenon. Though it is unfortunately common, it is irregular and unbiblical. This year, link arms with this local expression of Jesus’ people (or join another) if you’re not yet a member. If you are already a member, keep in mind that membership is a living commitment to a living people. In what ways might Jesus be inviting you to become more deeply committed to his people this year? 

Bearing Gospel fruit in our everyday lives

In all this, we must remember that none of these make us right with God, nor earn us more of his love. We have God’s love, in Christ, through faith. Full stop. That is not our doing, it is a gift of God (Eph 2:8). However, as the reality of God’s love sinks into our hearts, it bears grace-laden fruit, such as storing up God’s Word, healing divisions, renewed prayer, and a growing love for his church. Let’s ask God to use these massive gospel truths to bear lasting fruit in our lives this year. Who knows what He might do through us?

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam

Aug 30
2018

Classes Are Coming This Fall!

Discipleship, News, Teaching | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

DCC,

I’m writing to update you on an important change coming this fall: classes. Let me explain how this came about.

COMMUNITY IS CRITICAL

Outside of our Sunday gatherings, the best way to to get plugged into the life of DCC is through a Cornerstone Community. In community we’re able to build friendships around the Scripture, prayer, mission, accountability, and service. Being in regular relationship with other followers of Jesus helps ensure that what we believe doesn’t merely remain in our head, but actually takes root in our lives. This is all the more important in a church of our size, where it is easy to remain unknown. 

BUT, SO ARE CLASSES 

But, as important as communities are, they can’t do everything in the life of a Christian. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Nothing can do everything—not even the pulpit. Where will we learn about evangelism, or church history, or biblical theology, or counseling care, or how to disciple, or financial stewardship, or spiritual disciplines, or parenting, and more? The only answer to that is “classes.” So, this fall we are going to begin offering a handful of classes.  

THE HEAD IS THE WAY TO THE HEART

The purpose of offering classes is not to create big heads, but big hearts. However, the way to our hearts is through our heads (Rom. 12:2). Spirit-filled thinking about God results in Spirit-filled feeling for God. After all, to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8) we must know who this Lord is and exactly why he is good. That makes learning-well crucial to loving-well—and loving is the heartbeat of worshipful change. All Christian learning should be viewed in that light.

OUR FALL CLASS OFFERINGS

Therefore, this fall, we are offering six classes over a ten-week period. Our Sunday classes will begin on Sunday, September 30th. Our midweek classes will begin on Wednesday, October 3rd. Most classes will meet for one hour over five weeks and will be taught either by pastors, staff, or members. Our fall class offerings will be: 

Foundations (Five weeks)
Our Foundations class is the first stop for folks seeking to learn more about DCC and/or becoming a member. The purpose of this class is to walk through what we believe (doctrine), why its important to belong (membership), who we are (vision, mission, values), why we are here (context), and how we function as a church (leadership, ministries, partners, finances, etc). This class will meet on Sundays, during the 9am gathering, starting September 30th, for five weeks (and will then repeat) and will be taught by DCC pastors and staff. This class is required for membership with DCC.

Dynamics of Biblical Change (Five weeks, every other week)
This is a for-credit, or for-audit, class through CCEF (Christian Counseling and Education Foundation) that focuses on the heart-level dynamics of how people change. This class offers a combination of online and onsite training. The onsite class will meet every other Wednesday, starting October 10th, for five weeks and will be led by Lisa Pratt, a certified CCEF facilitator. 

Meeting with God (Five weeks, every other week)
Would you like to grow closer to God, but you’re not sure where to begin? This class will provide a biblical understanding of the how and why of meeting with God through the spiritual disciplines on a daily basis to grow in deeper communion with Him. This class will meet every other Wednesday, starting October 3rd, for five weeks and will be taught by Pastor Craig Sturm.  

Unity and Diversity (Five weeks)
Can there truly be unity and diversity in the local church? This class approaches diversity through a biblical lens, while grounding us in our unity in Christ. Teachings will address the need for diversity and unity, the role of the local church, and practical next steps for each believer. This class will meet every Wednesday over five weeks, beginning October 3rd, and will be lead by Justin Keogh, DCC’s Director of Communities and Mercy Ministries. 

Church History (Ten weeks)
Have you ever wondered how the church got to where it is now? This class will walk through an overview of the history of the Church. Teachings will cover prominent figures, key events, and important movements from earliest days of the Church in Jerusalem to today in Seattle. This class will meet every Wednesday, starting October 3rd, for ten weeks and will be taught by members Marco Ribeiro and James Rayment.

Following Jesus (Five weeks)
Are you a new, or renewed, follower of Jesus and looking for a place to start? What does it actually mean to follow Jesus? This class will walk through the “basics” of what it means to be saved by God and walk in his ways, from the gospel, to listening to God, to meeting with God’s family, to living in hope. This class will meet every Wednesday (except the week of Thanksgiving), starting November 14th, for five weeks and will be taught by members Pierce Martin and Kyle Dunn. 

»»TO LEARN MORE OR REGISTER FOR A CLASS GO HERE.

If you have any questions, email us at classes@downtowncornerstone.org. 

Christ is all, 
Pastor Adam

P.S. FAQs regarding classes can be found below.

—————————————-

FAQ

Q: When exactly will the midweek classes be offered? 

Most midweek classes will begin on Wednesday, October 3rd (be sure to check for your particular class). The building doors will open at 6:00pm. Classes will begin at 6:30pm and end by 7:30pm.  

Q: Where should I begin if I am brand new? 

Welcome! We encourage you to to jump into the Foundations class this fall. 

Q: Do I need to take Foundations before taking other classes? 

That would be our recommendation. Foundations is a soft-pre-requisite. Will we stop you from taking other classes? Of course not. But, we want you to know more about us as a church before digging in too deep, so Foundations makes the most sense as your first stop. 

Q: Will the classes require homework? 

Outside of the Dynamics of Biblical Change class, there will be no homework required in order to eliminate any potential barrier to participation. However, most classes will offer some form of optional reading and/or writing to process what you are learning.

Q: Can I still sign-up if I know I will miss a class or two? 

Yes, please do. While we encourage you to prioritize your schedule around the class you take, in order to maximize your learning, we understand there will be conflicts. Please register and join as you are able. 

Q: Can I jump into a class if I don’t register? 

If you plan on taking a class, we highly encourage you to register. But, if you were not able to register, do not let that stop you from participating. Join the next class and let the instructor know. (There are exceptions to this, such as the Dynamics course which requires advanced registration.)

Q: Should I participate in a community or take a class?

Our answer to that would depend on your particular situation. Are you new? Join Foundations. Have you been on the fringes and are now looking to get more involved? Again, Foundations is for you. Are you involved in a community yet desire to take a class? Our first recommendation would be to do both if your schedule permits (after all, most classes are only five weeks). But, if you can only do one, and really desire to take a particular class, then feel free to take a temporary hiatus from community. Or, your community may decide to take a class together. There are lots of options. 

Q: Will Kids ministry be offered for midweek classes? 

Initially, there will be no Kids ministry offered on Wednesday nights. This will allow us to leverage the Kids space for classes. However, our hope is to eventually offer Kids. If you would be interested in helping to lead, or be part of, that endeavor please let us know. 

Q: So, what should I do with my kids if I’d like to take a class?

There are a number of options:
1) You could bring your kids to a class,
2) One parent could take a class while the other stays at home with the kids,
3) You could make sitter arrangements or swap with another family, etc. You could also pray that we’d get a bigger building, along with a robust Kids volunteer team to staff midweek! 

Jul 26
2018

A Culture of Care

Discipleship, Scripture, Teaching | by Pastor Craig Sturm

This month we’ve been exploring the transforming power of God in our lives through a sermon series called “Transformed: How Jesus Changes Lives.” My goal has been to help us see how the gospel of Jesus is active in pursuing real change in our Christian lives. I’ll land the plane of the series this coming Sunday – thinking through how we develop a culture of care within DCC.

EVERY CHURCH HAS A CULTURE

This is important for us to think about, because whether we realize it or not, some type of care culture is always active within our church. My prayer is that it would be a Jesus-centered, gracious culture in which people are receiving and extending gospel-saturated care to one another because that’s part of what it means to be the family of God.

Consider for a moment the various ways people in our church family would describe the struggles and hardships in their lives. You will hear terms like confusion, fear, anxiety, hopelessness, numbness, shame, guilt, anger, bitterness, injustice, betrayal, unforgiveness, loneliness, discontentment, and feeling overwhelmed. If the worship songs, liturgy, sermons, and conversations during a Sunday gathering or in community never address these struggles then people may wrongly conclude that the gospel is irrelevant, not offering hope for their reality.

We need to strive to make sure that the gospel that we read, sing, and preach Sunday after Sunday reorients and reshapes us as God’s people. Only God and His realities offer real hope in the difficulties of life.

A CULTURE OF CARE ROOTED IN THE GOSPEL

It’s good news to know that the gospel that changes hearts of stone to hearts of flesh is the same gospel necessary for caring for God’s people. It’s good news that we, as a church family, can develop a culture of gospel care regardless of the number of elders, staff, members, attendees, and budget. It’s good news that we have access to the wisdom, love, and power needed to develop a culture of gospel care within the church.

“When any person’s struggles are rightly understood, the mercies of Jesus Christ directly connect. The Savior of the world is specifically relevant to personal, interpersonal, psychological, emotional, and behavioral problems. God meets people in the very places they are weak, confused, wandering, and self-absorbed. The Holy Spirit causes faith, love, and wisdom to flourish in the very places where anxiety, anger, anguish, and addiction consume us.” (David Powlison)

A CULTURE OF CARE ROOTED IN THEOLOGY

Our vision for a culture of gospel care stands on firm theological grounding. The following is a snapshot of some of the central theological commitments undergirding our vision and practice of gospel care.…

  1. It aims to be Centered on Jesus. (Rom. 5:6-11).

  2. It aims to be Rooted in Scripture. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

  3. It aims to be Grounded in Theology. (Rom. 11:36)

  4. It aims to be Dependent Upon the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 5:17-18)

  5. It aims to be Focused on Change. (Rom. 12:1-2)

  6. It aims to be Embedded in the Local Church. (Gal. 5:6)

  7. It aims to be Founded in Love. (1 Jn. 4:19-21).

  8. It aims to be Attentive to the Issues of the Heart. (Eph. 4:17-24)

  9. It aims to be Comprehensive in Understanding. (Prov. 20:5)

  10. It aims to be Thorough in Care. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

  11. It aims to be Relevant in Methodology.

  12. It aims to be Missional in Orientation. (John 3:1-15)

A VISION FOR A CULTURE OF GOSPEL CARE

We believe God builds His church as we love Him and others, specifically as we bear one another’s burdens and encourage one another to follow Jesus by faith. Therefore…DCC Care exists to help people know and experience joy in God so that they can live by faith and obedience in the midst of life’s struggles and help others do the same.

I pray that God will make us a people who are actively engaged in helping one another know and experience joy in God so that we can be a people living by faith and obedience in the midst of life’s struggles. By the grace of God, may He give us wisdom as we “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Heb. 10:24), as we “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2)

That Jesus would be our chief joy,

Pastor Craig

Jan 10
2018

A Note from Jani Ortlund, 2018 Women’s Retreat Speaker

Event, Teaching, Women's Retreat

Dear Ladies of Downtown Cornerstone Church,

I’m looking forward to our time together in February at the Women’s Retreat! Why? Because I love to be a part of women gathering together with open hearts and open Bibles, freed from the demands of daily duties to eagerly seek the Lord. I have the sacred privilege to lead us in those times in God’s Word.

Who is this woman leading you? Well, I’m Jani (rhymes with Annie) Ortlund, married for 46 years to A29 church planter Ray Ortlund. We have four married children, producing the most irresistible granddarlings—13 at last count! I spend my days much like you do, trying to figure out why God made me and how best to serve Him this side of Heaven. Part of that service involves speaking and writing about Him!

The theme for our weekend together is delighting in Christ. What does it mean to be “in Christ”? How do we come to rest there—to stay there? What is God’s part and what is our part as we muddle through our hopes and heartaches? How can our identity in Christ expand from one of duty to delight? And what can we trust Christ for in those inevitable dry and barren desert experiences?

How can you prepare for this time together? Please pray. Ask God to meet with us individually and corporately in fresh and significant ways. Pray that you will see Jesus, not Jani.

Meditate on Psalm 62:1 and Psalm 36:7-9, and read through Isaiah 41:17-21—our three texts for the weekend.

Oh, and definitely pack some chocolate! I strongly believe that chocolate makes for a better weekend!

Prayerfully, expectantly, and lovingly,

– Jani Ortlund

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Ladies, this retreat is a unique opportunity to hit “pause” on our daily rhythms and gather together to be encouraged, equipped, and strengthened in our faith. We know there’s a lot to coordinate – from carpooling and childcare, to saving up for the cost, and giving up the bulk of your weekend. We encourage you to give your concerns for the weekend to Jesus, embrace all that He has waiting for you, and join us in the following:

1) Begin praying for the weekend.

2) Register online in advance!

3) Invite a friend and encourage ladies to join you.

4) Email events@downtowncornerstone.org if you have any questions, concerns, or barriers.

A reminder that we’re offering a 50% discount to all students. Use the code collegestudent (lowercase, all one word) on your registration form before submitting.

Excited for all that God will do!