About Us2019-02-13T19:29:53-07:00

First Time at Birchwood?

Welcome to Birchwood Presbyterian Church at Cordata!
We are glad you’re here.

 Welcome to Birchwood Pres at Cordata, as we who belong to this expression of the church of Jesus Christ usually call ourselves. Birchwood because our congregation’s heritage stems from that Bellingham neighborhood. And Birchwood because the Birch trees that greet you as you approach our current location hidden in the heart of the Cordata Neighborhood remind us that we are rooted in Jesus Christ.
 
We exist because Jesus exists; that same Jesus who was born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, taught and healed in Galilee and Judea, was crucified in Jerusalem, and rose from the grave…that same Jesus who is alive and still calls any and all of us to “Come, follow me!” We want to extend the hospitality of Christ to you and invite you to join is in following where Jesus leads us.
 
We seek to be a worshiping community grounded in God’s love, centered on Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a blessing to our world, our city, and one another. Will you come, and follow him with us?
 
-Greg Ellis, Pastor
What Can You Expect When You Come to Birchwood?:
•Someone will greet you as you enter our foyer, where you can enjoy fresh coffee and tea.
•From September to June, you are welcome to join us for our all ages Education Hour at 9am.
•During our Sunday Worship, you can expect the service to last about 75 minutes. In that time, we will sing a few songs with a mix of traditional and contemporary worship. You will also have a chance to “pass the peace of Christ” and greet one another. Then a leader in the church will lead us in prayer and scripture reading before our Pastor speaks on a relevant and impacting topic that you can take with you into your week.
•Children grades K-5 are dismissed after the “Children’s Moment” to their Sunday School classes where they will have fun and enjoy activities and bible studies that are gospel-centered. On communion Sundays (usually the first Sunday of the month), we invite 3rd-5th graders to stay in service.
•You will have the opportunity to sign our attendance pad during the service so that we can get acquainted with you and join you in prayer or praise throughout your week.
•At the end of our Sunday Worship, you’ll get the chance to hear some of the great things that Birchwood is doing throughout the week and we would love to invite you to join us in any one of those.
•After service is a great time to connect with people over refreshments and cookies in the lobby area.

We would love to see you at our service! If you have any questions, please contact us.

The Next Chapter for our Congregation in 2019:
In case you missed our annual meeting on Sunday, January 27th, here are some highlights:
  • Most notably, the congregation voted to change our name from Birchwood Presbyterian Church to Cordata Presbyterian Church. I am proud to serve a congregation that is able to have a peacefilled and caring dialogue together in which we listened to and honored many perspectives. We talked about our commitment to Jesus Christ, our history, our values, our unity, our mission, and much more. This ended up being a healthy family conversation about our identity…Praise God! When so much of our surrounding culture seems to fall readily into divisiveness and name-calling, we instead listened to one another in love, as Jesus calls us to.
    Our decision to change to Cordata Presbyterian Church marks an important milestone in a careful and prayerful process started in May, 2018, when Session kicked off the conversation by forming the Name Recommendation Task Force. Cordata is a Latin word, meaning “heart-shaped”. By adopting this name, we aim to reflect our congregational value of reaching out to our Cordata neighborhood while maintaining our county-wide mission. We also hope and expect the new name will reduce confusion about where we are located and make our congregation more accessible to those who will come join us in the future.
    Some of us feel excited about this change; others feel a sense of loss. A few have strong feelings one way or another.Let’s commit to following Jesus’ command to “love one another as I have loved you” as we move forward.

As is often the case, “moving forward” will happen deliberately, as we progress through all the necessary steps (Presbytery approval; changes to by-laws, articles of incorporation, website, etc., etc.). When everything is ready (June? September?…we are working to set the optimal schedule), we will announce it to the world and celebrate who God has called us to be in this next chapter of our life together.

Questions or comments? Feel free to come see me!

In the name of Jesus,
Pastor Greg

Birchwood’s Vision Statement:

“Rooted in God’s Word, Growing in Christ, and Branching out to the world.”

Birchwood’s Mission:

God is calling us to be a church where we build relationships filled with grace and truth so that people experience the love of Jesus Christ in life-changing ways.  As such,

 
“Our mission is to change lives:
Seekers become Believers.
Believers become Disciples.
Disciples become Missionaries.”
–from Matthew 28:18-19 and Acts 1:8
 

Our Governing Values:

The Holy Bible
PC USA Book of Confessions
PC USA Book of Order
 
Core Disciplines (how we grow as disciples):
  • Grow in God’s grace daily through prayer, Bible reading, and other personal disciplines. (Mark 1:35, Matthew 4:1-11; Philippians 4:6-9)
  • Seek fellowship with God’s people through small group participation and weekly worship attendance. (Mark 3:14, Acts 2:42-47, Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • Serve our church and world with our time, spiritual gifts, finances, and witness. (Romans 12:1-8, 2 Cor. 9, Matthew 28:18-20)
Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31).  We believe that in order for Christians to grow in our love for God and neighbor, it is crucial that we regularly engage in spiritual disciplines.  Though spiritual growth is a process guided by God’s Spirit, we also believe God uses the disciplines to enable us to grow in grace.  Therefore, empowered by the Holy Spirit, every member of the Birchwood family is encouraged to become a fully devoted follower of Christ by practicing these three habits.
 
 
Ministry Values (values that guide the way we do ministry):
  • The Bible is God’s Word and the ultimate source of truth for us personally and in ministry. (Psalm 119, 2 Tim. 3:14-17, Hebrews 4:12)
  • Lost people matter to God. (Luke 15, Luke 19:9-10, 2 Pet. 3:9)
  • God calls people to minister together in community. (Acts 2:42-47, Acts 13:1-3, 1 Cor. 12:12-26)
  • People grow best in the context of significant and intimate relationships with other believers.  This happens most often through small groups and mentoring. (Mark 3:14, Acts 2:44-47; 2 Tim. 2:2)
  • God calls us to serve the Body of Christ according to our spiritual gifts. (1 Cor. 12:4-11, Romans 12:3-8, Eph. 4:11-16, 1 Peter 4:8-11)
  • God calls all believers to the pursuit of full devotion to Christ and His Kingdom. (Matthew 22:36-40, Philippians 3:7-14)
  • In all we do, we are to offer God the first fruits of our time, talents, and treasure. (Ex. 34:26, Psalm 33:3, Col. 3:23-24)