Dear Friends,

Common Ground has taken root. It’s hard to believe that we have already been worshipping together for nine months, but it’s true. And in all that time of experimentation and gestation I do believe something beautiful has been born.

We have a home and a wonderful partner in ministry thanks to the people of First Churches. We have a core community of regulars and lots of visitors. And word of what we are up to is spreading. People in places as far flung as Maine, Oregon, and Virginia have reached out to us wanting to know more about how they can create a Common Ground style gathering of their own.

We are getting people out into the fields and farmer’s markets to find real food. We are encouraging them to be mindful about where their food comes from and why that matters. We are giving to our community by making double batches of locally grown organic soup for our gatherings such that we can supplement the meals offered at Cathedral in the Night.

And we are experimenting with worship by incorporating art and storytelling, involving people of all ages, and blurring the lines between the clergy and laity such that everyone has a voice and every voice is honored. Our worship continues as we wash dishes and stack chairs together at the end of an evening and the evening itself continues thanks to “Common Ground After Dark.” Over at The Foundry we continue the conversation while enjoying exotic teas and local beers. Together we are living into the idea that church is something we can all create together.

I write in the hope that you will consider supporting our efforts, not just for the sake of Common Ground, but for what Common Ground might mean for the future of the church and the world. As churches and as citizens of this fragile little planet we call home we need to learn to move in new ways.

At Common Ground we are.

We are intentionally cultivating new ways, not just of being church, but of being human. We hope you will join us by giving, by coming, and by continuing to hold us in the light of your love and prayers.

Thank you,

Pastor Sarah Buteux


Proposed Budget, 2015

Pastor’s Salary $30,000

Assistant to the Pastor’s Stipend $4773.60

General supplies $1200

Bi-weekly meals $2640 ($110 per meal)

Publicity $300

Total $38,913.60
Common Ground needs to raise $3,242.80 a month for the next year from our friends and supporters. That’s 200 people giving $16 a month, 100 people giving $32 a month, 50 people giving $64, 30 people giving $108 – you get the idea. Give the amount that is right for you and be an essential part of our effort to re-imagine church.


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First Churches of Northampton, U.C.C.
129 Main St • Northampton • MA • 01060