End-of-Year Pastoral Update
Uncategorized | by Pastor Adam Sinnett
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.
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.
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.
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,