Thinking of visiting Common Ground?
Choosing to visit a new church can be a scary thing. Below you will find answers to questions you might have. If you don't find the answer you are looking for, please use our 'Contact' page to send us an email or give us a call and we will gladly help you.
What denomination are they?
Common Ground is a non-denominational church, made up of people with a variety
of church experiences. When we began, we were a Presbyterian church but made the decision to step away from being part of a denomination. We are no longer affiliated
in any way with the PC(USA). We thank them for helping us start out but we are ready
to stand on our own as Common Ground Church Community.
Why did they start a new church?
We didn't all get mad and leave one church to start another one -- one that would finally
get things right! In fact, most of our people weren't very active in church before. We
started a new church because there is great freedom and possibility in starting from
scratch. Starting fresh, we decided that we would be, by God's grace, a child-friendly group that would grow together in faith and seek to be a blessing to the community; that we would be a place defined not so much by one particular tradition or denomination, but that we would be defined by a mission orientation. Because none of us grew up in this church or have anyone pressuring us, our membership is active due to conscious decisions to grow closer to God through Christ, to grow closer to one another, and to participate in what God is doing now in the world.
They meet in a former Garden Center?
Yes, we do. Mellinger's Garden Center was a dearly loved business that many people were sad to see come to an end. We thought the location was great, loved that it was on 30 acres, and were curious as to what kind of mission outreach could be done with the greenhouses and the rich tradition of growing. What once was the seed and tool section is now our Sanctuary. What once was a potting section is now our café.
Are they those liberal types or fundamentalists?
We don't like those labels and that's why we chose the name "Common Ground." We don't sweat the minor points of faith, but hold to the core beliefs of Christianity that have served the Church through the ages. For example, some of us believe in infant baptism and others in adult immersion. Some of us are Republicans, some Democrats, and some Independents. While we believe faith should inform our political decisions, our church community does not hold fast to one political party. Most anyone would look at us and think that we are a typical cross-section of the people in this area. We're a mix of working class and professionals, of married and single, of introverts and extroverts.
What kind of music do they play?
We don't have an organ and we have turned down over 15 offers of organs from potential donors--although we have nothing against them and are pleased that many churches have them. For us, though, we wanted our worship music to sound a little more like the music we may listen to on a regular basis. We choose songs that are easy to sing and touch the heart and mind. Because we appreciate our rich heritage, we do sing traditional hymns as well.
What kind of role do women play?
Many sincere Christians believe that the Bible teaches that women should not be in positions of church leadership. At Common Ground, we respectfully disagree. Women are on our leadership team, not because we feel any cultural pressure to allow for it, but because we believe the Bible has many examples of women in religious leadership.
Would I feel intimidated by how much they know about the Bible or by how
mature in faith they are?
We do have some people who are very knowledgeable and mature in faith, but many of us would consider ourselves novices in the journey of faith. We are open and honest enough with each other to admit that we all have our struggles and doubts.