Every Common Ground feels like a miracle to me. I never know quite how it’s all going to come together, and yet it always does in ways that surprise and delight me.

This past Thursday we enjoyed gazpacho that was made by Ali, Nancy, Mary, and myself along with corn bread made from local corm meal and flour. (Thanks again to Andrea at Valley Malt Farm for supplying us).

Hari turned the scripture reading into a play that got us all thinking and moving right away and led into a very rich discussion about what makes church, church.

I really love how the sermon time is evolving into a time where the sermonizer is not speaking to us but with us. I enjoyed the back and forth and I’m hopeful that this will continue.

photo 3

And Common Ground after Dark was a trip! There were four of us who headed over to The Foundry to continue our theological musings over Hoppy Valley beer.

It’s a nice quiet gathering place with a plethora of offerings. We all agreed that an “espresso bar and beer cafe” is about as close to perfect as you’re going to get in this world.

We’re now meeting the first and third Thursday of every month at First Churches in Lyman Hall from 5:30-8:00. Common Ground after Dark will follow at the Foundry for anyone interested. Below is our recipe for September 18th. If you can make a batch, please let me know. I’d be eternally grateful. I don’t have a theme yet, but I’m open to suggestions. See you there,
Pastor Sarah

Recipe for Next Gathering
Vegetable and Bean Chili
serves 8

• 4 large onions coarsely chopped
• 2 bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 fresh jalapeño chile, finely chopped
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoon chili powder
• 2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 4 teaspoons salt
• 2 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with juice
• 4 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 4 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed
• 2 tablespoon chopped semisweet chocolate
• 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Preparation: Sauté onions, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeño in oil in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, and salt and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice and zucchini and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Stir in beans and chocolate and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro.