It takes many hands and hearts to pull off dinner church, and our last Common Ground was no exception.

Many thanks to: Stacey, Ali, Ann, Sharon, and Nancy for making chili; Cheryl and Elaine for bringing bread; Drue for the cheese; Andrea for the flour and cornmeal; and to everyone else (Todd, Jonathan, Joanne…) who helped pull yet another beautiful meal together. I am especially gratified by the the love and support the people of First Churches have shown to Common Ground. Your presence, openness, and willingness to contribute to this brand new ministry is a gift.

But as we all know, at Common Ground, the meal is only the beginning. Thanks to hari, we also enjoyed a very rich conversation around the subject of names: our own, the Hebrew patriarch Jacob’s, and finally the name of God.

I am always moved by the insights that arise from those gathered, and this time around it was Marilyn Holcombe who really blew me away. The mysterious Divine being who gives Jacob the new name of Israel refuses to reveal its own name. “Perhaps the name is not revealed because God knows that once we have a name for God we are apt to fight over God, as if God is something we can understand or own or control,” she said. That’s a paraphrase to be sure, but I’m still turning her words over in my heart and for that I am grateful.

And C.G.A.D., aka Common Ground After Dark….totally, officially a thing. A bunch of us headed over to The Foundry to continue our musings over a few drinks, and it was awesome. I don’t know about you, but I like a little theology on tap and the Foundry is a great place to gather.

And finally, in order to prime the pump for our next gathering, consider this:

In the Bible there are many different types of voices:
The voices of priests and prophets, poets and sages, storytellers and historians.
They all serve different functions, they all elucidate different truths in different ways.
And yet all these voices together in conversation with one another- when they agree and even when they don’t, maybe especially when they don’t – amount to something holy.
What sort of voice do you identify with most?
Who are you, or what role do you play in your family, your work place, your church, and God’s hope for the world?
How is God using your voice to further this divine story we find ourselves in?
Although I’ll be leading the discussion, we’ll also be joined by my dear friend and colleague, the newly ordained Anna Woofenden, who is in the process of starting a garden church out in California. I know she’ll be with us for C.G.A.D. too, so come out and enjoy.

We’re now meeting the first and third Thursday of every month at First Churches in Lyman Hall from 5:30-8:00. C.G.A.D. will follow at the Foundry for anyone interested. (And you don’t have to come to one to enjoy the other. Just come when you can and leave when you must).

For our meal on October 2, we’ll be enjoying corn chowder, but I’d like to make the big batch with bacon and milk which is soooo not vegetarian and definitely not vegan.

If you have a good vegan or vegetarian recipe and would be willing to make a pot, please let me know with a message to revsarahb@mac.com.

See you soon,

Pastor Sarah