Common Ground, is a farm-to-table dinner church that meets at 6:00 on the first and third Thursday of each month in Lyman Hall at First Churches. At Common Ground we cook and eat dinner together from food we’ve grown or sourced locally. Our worship centers around the growing, preparing, cooking, and sharing of a sacred meal. Over and around dinner we sing, play, share, pray, read scripture, and take the time to respond.
But what really makes Common Ground unique is the sense that church is something we create together.
Our vision is to feed those who are hungry in body, mind, and soul: hungry for bread, hungry for meaning, hungry for beauty, truth, purpose, and community.
Through the ministry of Common Ground we are striving to help people connect to the earth, one another, and the God whose good gifts we freely share.
If you have questions or would like to know more, please contact First Churches.
What to Expect
Our gatherings begin around 5:00, with folks gathering in the kitchen to prepare the evening’s soup, set up for the meal, and catch up with one another.
At 6:00 we gather in a circle and the more formal part of our worship begins with singing, candle lighting, prayers, and the breaking of the bread. We then help ourselves to some soup, sit down to eat, and talk about the evening’s theme. We’ll often hear a reading from the Bible and then after a short reflection or sermon, everyone is invited to engage in conversation.
Around 7:00 we wrap things up, receive a blessing, and clean up together.
Our liturgy is based in the ancient liturgical practice of call and response so anyone can participate whether or not they can read words or music. There is a table full of quiet activities to engage the kids throughout the evening if they start to feel restless and a child care professional is also on hand to watch children in our nursery if they just need to be in their own space to play.
The food is vegetarian, often vegan. And you can even make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich out of the communion bread for your dinner and no one will mind.
Actually we’d encourage it because we believe that communion is a sign that in God’s kingdom all are welcome at the table and no one should go home hungry.
As a church we are always looking for opportunities to head out into the fields during the week so we can all get back in touch with where our food comes from and work together to make sure that food gets to people who need it. We currently maintain 3 plots at the Grow Food Northampton Garden and meet there Wednesday and Sunday evenings at 4:30 to work, play, and pray together.
come cultivate a peace