Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Dec 23
2014

End-of-Year Pastoral Update

Uncategorized | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Downtown Cornerstone,

The year is rapidly coming to a close and a new one is before us. This time of year is always bittersweet for me. More sweet than bitter, but still bittersweet. Maybe you too. Sweet as I recall all the ways I’ve seen Jesus as work this year. Sweet as I consider all that the new year may hold. Sweet as I get extra time with family and friends enjoying God’s good gifts of egg nog and epic Marshawn Lynch runs. Yet, there is bitterness intermingled amidst it all. Not bitterness in the form of harbored anger, but bitter as in a sour aftertaste. Bitter as I recall all the ways I didn’t trust the Lord as I hoped to at the outset of the year. Bitter as I consider all of my weaknesses that I didn’t grow out of. Bitter as this year again revealed (surprise) my very real limitations as a human being. What do we do with this bittersweet mixture at the end of the year? Turn our eyes to Jesus. He is all sweet, without an ounce of bitterness – and he even promises to turn that which is bitter in our lives, sweet (see Rom 8:28). That’s just how He is. I love that about Him. Let’s not make this season about self-centered naval-gazing, but about Jesus-centered glory-beholding. He is saying to us, “I really am as good as I say I am. You should let me be that for you.” That is, after all, what this whole season is about: God with us – and for us.

So, as we come to the end of the year, there are a number of noteworthy updates we wanted to communicate:

Christmas Eve Gathering

As you all know by this point, we are on schedule to celebrate Christmas Eve together this Wednesday night at AMC – Pacific Place at 5pm. The gathering will be family-style (i.e. including kids), with our first-ever kids choir, a brief gospel message and music. We should wrap-up in time to catch the “snow” falling in Pacific Place at 6:00pm. Don’t forget that we’re validating parking for all guests, so parking shouldn’t be an obstacle.

DCC Holiday Office Closure

Our office will be closed from Christmas (12/25) through New Years (1/1). In case of emergency, we shouldn’t be hard to find.

Staffing Update

Christmas Eve will mark the last day on staff for Bonnie Martin. She has faithfully and sacrificially served as our administrative whiz for the last year and a half. She is transitioning as she and Pierce are expecting their first baby early in the new year. Thanks, Bonnie! She and Pierce will continue their involvement with Cornerstone Kids. In her place, Laura West is stepping in. Welcome Laura! I am in awe at how Jesus has gifted the local church – and does so at just the right time. Be sure to thank and congratulate both these godly women, as you are able.

Next Two Weeks in the Pulpit

I will be out of the pulpit the next two weeks getting some much-needed quality time with my family. During that time Alan Anderson (12/28) and Pierce Martin (1/4) will be preaching. We’ll be pushing pause on Philippians and Alan will be walking us through Psalm 23 and Pierce will lead us through a portion of 2 Cor 3. I love, trust, and respect both of these men. They are both part of our two-year pastoral residency. Please be praying for them, and for the church, over the next two weeks.

Updated Doctrinal Statement

Prior to our last membership class I took some time to update our doctrinal statement as a church, largely adapting from the statement of The Gospel Coalition. We haven’t changed any of our beliefs, just added further clarification in key areas, including manhood and womanhood, justification, gospel, the important role of works (under “Kingdom”) and more. It is now updated on our website and you can read it here.

Praying for a New Space

As we move into a new year, let’s ask Jesus to go before us and provide us with a new space. He has always shown up at the right time. While we have more room to grow in our primary gathering space, our kids are out of room. Our ultimate hope is not in a building, but it can be a great tool for the cause of the gospel. We have been diligently searching and praying to that end for the last year. While we have some options on the table, nothing has come through yet. Let’s continue to be persistent in our prayers for opportunities and wisdom. He knows our need and His timing is perfect.

End-of-year Giving

Thank you to those that continue to give regularly, sacrificially and joyfully (i.e. not under compulsion). Our giving is an act of worship. We are stewards of all we own and, ultimately, owners of nothing. My prayer is that we would all continue to grow in the grace of giving in the year ahead and continue to steward the resources he has placed in our trust. If you would like to make a year-end gift or catch-up contribution, you can give on Sunday, or visit downtowncornerstone.org/give.

Our Hope

Friends, Jesus is on the throne. Souls are being saved. Lives are being changed. Relationships are being reconciled. Communities are multiplying. Sin is being overcome. Prayers are being answered. Hope is being re-instilled. Marriages are being formed. Kids are being born. People are getting their gospel-awe back. May He stir our affections for Him, in all things, in the year ahead. His promises are true and they cannot fail. He is worthy of us staking our entire lives on Him. As a church, we continue to envision thousands of people, from many churches, from many parts of Seattle united under a new identity in Jesus and sent to love, serve and challenge the city with the gospel. So, as we’re on the cusp of a new year, I again invite you to join us in being part of seeing that vision, by God’s grace, continue to become a reality in the new year. Together, let’s ask Him to do what only He can in 2015. Merry Christmas!

Because the manger is full and the tomb is empty,
Pastor Adam

Dec 4
2014

Child Dedications this Sunday

Uncategorized

DCC Family,

This Sunday, December 7th, we’ll be holding our next round of child dedications. If you’ve recently welcomed a baby into your family, or have a child you would like to dedicate (regardless of age), we’d love to give you the opportunity to do so.

As a church we do not baptize children, however we do offer an opportunity for parents to publicly dedicate their children to the Lord before the church and for the church to publicly commit to supporting the families. For more information, read more below. If you would like to dedicate your child this Sunday, please let us know by filling out this form:

Child Dedication Sign-up Form

Why Child Dedications?

  1. The practice of child dedication is based on scriptural precedent, rooted in the Old Testament, in which Jesus was presented to the Lord in the Temple as an infant (Luke 2:22-35).
  2. It is also based on and acknowledges God’s blessing upon and concern and care for children (Isaiah 54:13; Matt 18:1-5, 10; 19:13-15; Luke 18:15-17; Acts 2:39; 1 John 2:12-13).
  3. It is you, parents, who are doing the dedicating. It is a commitment you make in your heart before Jesus and agree together to live out in your home. The dedication we perform during the church service is simply a public acknowledgment of that commitment.
  4. You acknowledge that your children are a gift given to you by God (Gen 33:5; Psalm 127:3-5). As such they are a blessing, a privilege, and a great source of joy (Prov. 23:24-25)—even though they require much labor. Ultimately we recognize that they have been created by our Father in heaven (Psalm 139:13), and as such belong to Him, yet have been entrusted to you to be reared in Christ (Exodus 13:2, 12).
  5. You commit to live your lives as parents by the grace of God in such a way as to be a positive example as a follower of Jesus so your children will find it easy to follow you as you follow Jesus, and that you will not be a stumbling block to your children’s saving faith in Jesus. (Matt. 18:5-6)
  6. Your church leadership and community (elders, deacons, and members) commits to support and equip you by the grace of God to fulfill your responsibility, and likewise to be good examples for your children.

Child Dedication is Not:

Baptism: In order to avoid any confusion, it is important to note that dedicating your child is not a “dry” baptism nor a substitute for baptism. As a church, we recognize believer’s baptism (i.e. baptism following the placing of your faith in Jesus) as the biblical model of baptism. For more information go here.

Magic: This likely goes without saying, but it too needs to be said. The practice of dedicating your child is not magic, nor a formula by which to manipulate God, nor does it place any kind of extra-special blessing or protection upon your child, nor does it secure or ensure their immediate or eventual salvation.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to email us at:
info@downtowncornerstone.org.

We are looking forward to partnering with you to raise your little ones to trust and treasure our King, together. (Eph 6:4)

 

 

May 1
2014

Mother’s Day Child Dedications

Uncategorized

Child-Dedications-(620x130)DCC Family,

On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11th, we’ll be holding our next round of child dedications. If you’ve recently welcomed a baby into your family, or have a child you would like to dedicate (regardless of age), we’d love to give you the opportunity to do so.

As a church we do not baptize children, however we do offer an opportunity for parents to publicly dedicate their children to the Lord before the church and for the church to publicly commit to supporting the families. For more information, read more below. If you would like to dedicate your child on May 11th, please let us know by filling out this form:

Child Dedication Sign-up Form

Why Child Dedications?

  1. The practice of child dedication is based on scriptural precedent, rooted in the Old Testament, in which Jesus was presented to the Lord in the temple as an infant (Luke 2:22-35).
  2. The practice of child dedication is also based on, and acknowledges, God’s blessing towards and care for children (Isaiah 54:13; Matt 18:1-5, 10; 19:13-15; Luke 18:15-17; Acts 2:39; 1 John 2:12-13).
  3. The practice of child dedication is fundamentally an act of the parents. It is a commitment you, the parents, make in your heart before Jesus and agree to live out in your home together. The dedication we perform during the church gathering is simply a public acknowledgment of that commitment.
  4. In dedicating your child, you acknowledge that your children are a gift given to you by God (Gen 33:5; Psalm 127:3-5). As such they are a blessing, privilege, and tremendous source of joy (Prov. 23:24-25) — even though they require much labor. Ultimately, we recognize that they have been created by our Father in heaven (Psalm 139:13) and, as such, belong to Him, though entrusted to you to be raised in Christ (Exodus 13:2, 12).
  5. In dedicating your child, you commit to live as parents who, by the grace of God, have a genuine walk with Jesus. In this way, you are committing to live a life worthy of emulation so as to not serve as a stumbling block to your child’s ongoing faith and trust in Jesus. (Matt. 18:5-6)
  6. At the same time, your church (elders, deacons, members and community) commits to supporting, encouraging and praying for you, by the grace of God, as you seek to fulfill your God-given task of parenting and raising your child up in the knowledge of the Lord.

Child Dedication is Not:

Baptism: In order to avoid any confusion, it is important to note that dedicating your child is not a “dry” baptism nor a substitute for baptism. As a church, we recognize believer’s baptism (i.e. baptism following the placing of your faith in Jesus) as the biblical model of baptism. For more information go here.

Magic: This likely goes without saying, but it too needs to be said. The practice of dedicating your child is not magic, nor a formula by which to manipulate God, nor does it place any kind of extra-special blessing or protection upon your child, nor does it secure or ensure their immediate or eventual salvation.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to email us at:
info@downtowncornerstone.org.

We are looking forward to partnering with you to raise your little ones to trust and treasure our King, together. (Eph 6:4)

Christ is all,

The Elders of Downtown Cornerstone

Oct 3
2012

Classic Fall Reading | What’s next on your list?

Uncategorized | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

A new season brings new opportunities – and new books. Well, in this case, old books. As we head into the fall I want to recommend a number of oldies-but-goodies to anyone that happens to be considering what’s next on their reading list. I love CS Lewis’ comments on the importance of old books, particularly in light of the multitude of modern books being published today, in his introduction to Athanasius’ On the Incarnation. You can find the full intro here. Here is an excerpt:

Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books.

I recommend creating a balance in your reading diet, particulary when it comes to the era in which books were written. For me, I try to read 2-3 books by dead guys for every book I read by a modern author. Why? Well, because old books have been proven by the test of time and modern books are still on trial, as Lewis puts it. If you want to invest your time well, make sure your reading includes some of the classics.

A Preliminary Recommendation.

I’ve spoken with a number of you who have mentioned that, “I am not a reader.” Unfortunately it is often stated in the same way someone would say, “I have one head and there is no changing that.” That’s not true. Readers are not necessarily born, they are created and cultivated. Of course, if you’re not a reader, you’re probably not reading this. But, if you are, I hope that is encouraging. For readers and not-yet-readers alike, I highly recommend Lit: A Christian Guide to Reading Books. It makes some of the most helpful content from this classic book much more accessible. You will be surprised how helpful reading a book on reading could be. He also provides some really practical help on how to fit reading in to an already busy schedule. You want this book.

Classic Fall Reading.

On the Incarnation by St. Athansius (AD296-373)
This is easily in my top 10 favorite books of all time. The translation that includes the introduction by CS Lewis is worth the read alone. It is incredibly faith stirring to read Athanaisius defend the full humanity and full divinity of Jesus as such an early, and crucial, stage of the early church. Super accessible.

Confessions by St. Augustine (AD354-430)
This would be in my top five favorite books of all time. It’s a little more of a demanding read, but well worth it. The entire book is Augustine’s autobiography written in the form of a prayer back to God. It’s like getting to eaves drop on Augustine praying. Stunning and helpful. To my knowledge, nothing else like it has ever been written. It may help to do a little preliminary background reading on Augustine online before digging in.

Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (AD1628-1688)
This falls in my top five as well, particularly the first half that deals with the main character, Christian. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of the Christian life as Christian, the man, embarks from the City of Destruction and heads to the Celestial City. Along the way he encounters the likes of Talkative, Hopeful, Faithful and others. Bunyan wrote this while in prison for preaching the gospel. You’ll find your soul stirred.

Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards (AD1703-1758)
This is a classic of Jonathan Edwards, easily the greatest theologian that America has every produced. As some of the others above, not always the easiest to get through, but incredibly helpful. In it he deals with the issue of true faith and how it manifests itself in our lives. This is a topic that needs to be revisited in our day.

Mere Christianity by CS Lewis (AD1898-1963)
Of all the books above, this is the most accessible. Originally Lewis gave each chapter as a talk over the radio. They were later compiled and turned into a book. In it Lewis defends and explains the nature of Christianity. It is a helpful book for Christian and non-Christian alike. I highly recommend it. The closest modern day parallel is Tim Keller’s, The Reason for God.

In case you missed it, I also posted a number of other recommended books this past summer HERE.

Aug 9
2012

Membership FAQ | Maybe you’re asking…

Uncategorized | by Pastor Adam Sinnett


Below are some of the questions I’ve been asked, or anticipate being asked, throughout our current series. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Q: “Why do I need to sign a covenant?”
This is by far the most frequent question asked. Being a member of a church has to do with living out your corporate identity as a part of Jesus’ people, the local church (e.g. member of the body of Christ, member of the family of God, citizen of the kingdom of God, living stone within the temple of God, et al.) We covered this in full during the first week of the Church Membership series. All of these biblical images highlight that Christians are to relate to one another in a way that is formal, committed and interdependent in the setting of a local church. One of the ways we express this type of relationship in our culture is by affixing our signature to an agreement. It’s a way of saying, “I am declaring myself to be formally committed to this individual, group or organization”. We do this when we start a new job, when we get married, when we have a new child, when we purchase or rent a home, etc. The difference is that church membership is a covenant, not a contract, before God. In the context of marriage, in particular, it is the supreme demonstration of love because it says “I am committing myself to you and no one else.” Given the nature of our corporate identity in Christ, as expressed in the Scriptures, how much more should we formally commit ourselves to other brothers and sisters in Christ as part of a local church in a specific context?

Q: “What do I do if I need to move?”
Just let us know and, though we’ll be sad to see you go, we’ll gladly send you. Our hope will be that you will become a member of another Jesus-loving, gospel-centered, Bible-teaching church in your new city.

Q: “How long will I be considered a member?”
We will ask all members to renew their covenant commitment annually.

Q: “What are the ‘benefits’ of becoming a member?”
Church membership is more about what you are bringing to the church, than what the church is bringing to you (the church is the people, right?). At the same time there are certain privileges granted to members, such as priority in counseling and visitation, leadership opportunities, certain service positions and access to our limited benevolence funds.

Q: “Is membership required for serving and leadership within the church?”
We will require membership for all leadership positions and many service positions (e.g. Cornerstone Kids, Connect Desk, etc). However, there will be certain exceptions (e.g. greeters, ushers, hospitality, set-up/tear-down, etc). We’re still sorting through the specifics here.

Q: “What if I choose not to become a member?”
We love you and are entirely for you. We will not, and cannot, force anyone to become a member. That would be weird. All we can do is present the biblical case for membership and call every follower of Jesus to gladly embrace becoming a covenanted member of Downtown Cornerstone Church. It’s a vital component of your personal discipleship.

Q: “What is expected out of members?”
We will expect every member to give of their time (participation in community, Sunday gatherings, etc), treasure (regularly, sacrifical, joyful giving) and talents (serving in some way). The exact conditions and expectations will be spelled out in the membership covenant itself. You are making a covenant with other members of the church, the leadership, before God. Similarly, the leadership will make a covenant with you, before God. It’s a beautiful thing.

Q: “Is church membership for super Christians?”
Absolutely not. Church membership is for all people who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, young and old, poor and rich, white and black, rookies and veterans.

Q: “Can I become a member at any time?”
At this time, no. We will have set times during the year (i.e. twice a year) when we will hold a Membership class and open the opportunity to anyone who has just joined us or recently became a Christian.

Q: “If I want to become a member, but my spouse doesn’t, what do I do?”
We will handle these situations on a case-by-case basis. Ideally, both husband and wife join together.

Q: “What if I left a church under discipline but want to become a member with DCC?”
We will handle these situations on a case-by-case basis. Talk to me, a deacon or a community lead. As much as possible we want to uphold Romans 12:18, “So far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” particularly as it relates to other Christians and/or churches.

Q: “If I’m still exploring the person and work of Jesus can I become a member?”
We’re excited you’re with us! Church membership is specifically for those who follow Jesus Christ. So, for now, we’ll wait. Take your time to ask questions, get connected in community and continue to explore the stunning claims of Jesus Christ. If and when you decide to follow him we’ll revisit the membership topic.