At Common Ground church is something we make together, and this past Common Ground we made something beautiful.

We had a full house, some first-time visitors, and a few special guests, all of whom brought a renewed sense of energy to our gathering.

It was great to have the shruti box back (thanks Chip) and to have Melissa’s sweet voice leading us in the responses. It was lovely to see and hear so many children bustling about and see pot after pot of soup come through the door.

But what stood out for me this time around was how comfortable everyone seemed. It takes time to create a church culture. It takes time for people to feel at home, both in a new space and within the rhythms of a new liturgy.


I feel like we broke through into a place where all of a sudden this thing we’ve been working to create became ours. We know where to stand now. We know when to sing. The light feels right, the atmosphere more like a home, like our spiritual home.

The kitchen isn’t just First Church’s kitchen, but our kitchen now. It’s a kitchen where Stephen can dash in right before the meal and sauté some mushrooms, a kitchen where we can lean on the counter and get to know folks like Greg and Amy who came for the first time, a kitchen where we can relax and deepen our friendships while grating cheese, slicing bread, or drying dishes.

We had several versions of corn chowder, an amazing coconut kale and sweet potato stew, and a hearty mushroom barley soup that smelled divine.

Marion brought the beautiful Trinity Bread they make up at the Hungry Ghost. It’s a bread made from three grains that Jonathan, the baker talked his friends into growing right here in the valley.

But the greatest gift of the evening by far was that you brought yourselves. You brought your voices, your prayers, and the good gift of your presence. It was an evening to remember, an evening that warmed my heart and affirmed for me that this vision we have “to feed those who are hungry in body, mind and soul: hungry for bread, hungry for meaning, hungry for beauty, truth and purpose,” is a vision we can and will live into as a vibrant new community of faith. Thanks be to God. And thanks be to you.

Pastor Sarah

Soup for October 16


Look at that soup! I tried this out tonight in the Common Ground Test Kitchen, a.k.a. my house, and it is amazing, vegan, and super easy to make. I’ll whip up a few batches, but I’d love it if some of you could make a pot for our next gathering as well. See below for the recipe.

Roasted Garlic, Butternut, Apple, and Fennel Soup
Serves 4

olive oil
1 medium fennel bulb (stalks removed), chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
4 cloves of garlic with sliced open at the top
1 butternut squash
3 cups better than bullion vegetable stock

Optional garnish: chopped walnuts, herb de provence, fennel fronds, heavy cream, creme fraiche, salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the the squash, garlic, onions, fennel and apple in an even layer in a 13X9 inch baking dish, and toss with just enough olive oil to coat. Roast for 40 minutes, tossing half-way through, until the vegetables are fork-tender and just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and carefully squeeze garlic cloves out of their casing.

Heat a little olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the roasted vegetables and the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low and let cook for another 15 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat, and using a traditional or immersion blender, blend until smooth.

Common Ground After Dark

Some churches have coffee hour.
We have the Foundry.

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Come join us after hours for local beer, foreign coffee, and some high end late night snacks as the conversation continues…

and F.Y.I.
You may have work the next day but …on October 16th from 9:00-11:30 a Hall & Oates tribute band
will be opening for a Talking heads tribute band at Hinge, 48 Main St. (just couple doors up from The Foundry) $10 in advance, $15 at the door

Chip is going and I’m sure he’d love company.