“There is a sound that comes from gospel music that doesn’t come from anything else. It is a sound of peace. It is a sound of, ‘I’m going to make it through all of this.” – Yolanda Adams

Dear Ones,

The rumors are true! In honor of Black History Month, the Amherst Area Gospel Choir will be joining us for Common Ground on February 5th. We will meet in Lyman Hall at First Churches in Northampton. The entrance is off Center Street.

Given that we’re anticipating a slightly bigger crowd than usual, and given that split pea soup takes time to cook, I’ll be making a large batch earlier in the day. That being said, we can most certainly use some supplemental soup to feed the masses. Feel free to use the recipe below, bring your own favorite variation of split pea soup, or any other soup your heart desires.

If you’d like to bring fruit, salad, dessert, or anything else, all contributions will be welcome. And if you can let me know ahead of time what you are bringing, that would help.

Yellow Split Pea Soup (serves 6)
• 2 Tbs olive oil
• 1 medium yellow onion
• 3-4 carrots, scrubbed and thinly sliced
• 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
• 2 cups yellow split peas
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 quarts water

Directions: Lightly sautée the onions, carrots, and potatoes in oil.
Add the split peas, bay leaves, and enough water to cover well. Simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Check from time to time to make sure the liquid has not boiled away.

Schedule for the Evening
5:15 Set-up (Note: we won’t be cooking together, since the soup takes more than an hour; but as you know, there’s always lots to do, so come early to help set-up if you can.)

6:00 Worship begins with candles and communion

6:45 -7:15 The AAG Choir will sing (our participation will be welcome and encouraged)

7:30 Blessing and clean up

8:00 Common Ground After Dark at The Foundry (Night owls are welcome to come relax and continue the conversation over foreign teas and local beers).

We hope you will join us for an evening of inspiration and song.


P.S. I’m writing a grant for CG, and need some quotes from participants to sprinkle throughout the appeal. If you’ve been to CG and can say something about what it means to you in a line or two, shoot me an e-mail.

P.P.S. Don’t hesitate to contact me with questions at revsarahb@mac.com.