First Time at Cordata Pres?

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

 Welcome to Cordata Pres, as we who belong to this expression of the church of Jesus Christ usually call ourselves. 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

Press Release
August 1, 2019
From: Nathan Shorb, Director of Youth and Operations

North Bellingham Church Adopts Name Change

With a “reveal celebration” scheduled for Sunday afternoon, August 25th, Birchwood Presbyterian Church is announcing its new name of Cordata Presbyterian Church.  The change is designed to give the congregation closer identity with its surrounding Cordata neighborhood and prevent confusion by newcomers in finding its location.

The original Birchwood church, founded in 1923, was first located in Bellingham’s Birchwood neighborhood until it outgrew its building there and had the opportunity in 1997 to establish a much larger facility in the new north Bellingham community of Cordata. During the past 22 years, the church has worked to be a vital center for Christian faith and care for the families in this area that has seen a dramatic jump in population.

“This idea of a name change was not without some controversy among our members especially those with long history at the church,” Pastor Greg Ellis explains, “but ultimately we realized localized identity was really important for us.  ‘Cordata’ means ‘with heart’ in Latin, so the new name is certainly befitting the church.”

The Sunday public unveiling of its name will occur during the annual Neighborhood Block Party with free barbecue starting at noon that day in the church parking lot.  The public are invited.

When constructing its expansive 43,00 square foot facility over two decades ago, church members envisioned providing a variety of family programs throughout the week, in addition to traditional Sunday worship and education hour.  Its popular pre-school program, Birchwood Christian School, which will keep its name, is now in its 20th year of operation.  Evergreen Christian School Spanish Immersion program for elementary children operates at the church, and there are adult English language classes held in conjunction with the Whatcom Literacy Council.

The church also hosts neighborhood children and youth for Sunday afternoon open gym times and provides meeting space for the Cordata Neighborhood Association and other community groups.  In 2012 the church erected a children’s outdoor play facility which has been a big attraction for children living in surrounding homes. 

The church’s imposing structure sits on a large 17.5 acres tract of land much of which is largely undeveloped.  In recent years, through the efforts of two of its high school Eagle Scouts, extensive walking paths have been carved through the landscape.  This walking network joins with the Cordata Trail System and the undeveloped park situated near the church at the lower end of Meadowbrook Court.

Besides wanting to be a place for families to grow deep roots in Christian faith, the church’s members have had a large impact on Bellingham service organizations including Whatcom Love In the Name of Christ, Interfaith Coalition Family Promise, Lydia Place, and the Lighthouse Mission.  Internationally, church members have for years been partnering with a high mountain village development program in Guatemala called the Hope of the Pokomchi. It has also been an organizing host for Operation Christmas Child and a Feed My Starving Children county wide food packaging and shipping project.

The newly named Cordata Presbyterian Church retains its affiliation with the Presbyterian Church USA, a Christian denomination known recently for encouraging considerable latitude in doctrine and style for individual congregations.  Historically, leaders in America’s Presbyterian parishes were instrumental in crafting the American constitution in ways similar to the church’s governance and in building some of our country’s prominent Christian Universities and seminaries.

“The Cordata Presbyterian Church will continue its active collaboration with the two other Presbyterian churches in town”, Pastor Ellis states, “with preaching exchanges and co-operative worship services for special occasions in the Christian calendar.”  The church also partners closely with its regional organization, the Northwest Coast Presbytery based in Everett, Washington.


What Can You Expect When You Come to Cordata Pres?:
•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 Passing of the Peace 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 we are 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.

Cordata’s Vision Statement:

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

Cordata’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 Cordata Pres 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)