"They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer, the women included. "

A little bit of rain just couldn't stop Bible Study in Woodruff Park on Wednesday.  Despite a deluge earlier, the clouds parted and the sky brightened in time for our weekly gathering of scripture reading, lively discussion and fellowship.  Marcus helped us wipe down the chairs so participants would not get wet.  Others rearranged chairs in the shade.  Slowly our group grew and contained friends old and new.  Like the early church we gathered, we prayed, we encountered scripture and we reflected on what it means to be a follower of Jesus and members of a community.

Sacred Morning Prayer

Every Monday and Wednesday morning, Church of the Common Ground meets at Central Outreach to participate in the ancient and honorable tradition of morning prayer.  Gathered around a small wooden table with our ecclesia cross in its center, members read scripture, reflect on the world around us, pray for each other and for all God's people, and share in fellowship.

Even on one of the busiest streets in downtown Atlanta, morning prayer invokes moments of quiet and calm.  It is a testimony to the stillness of God's love even in the most unexpected of places.

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Koinonia Farms

Some of the folks from Church of the Common Ground enjoyed a time of retreat to Koinonia Farms this past week. We enjoyed relaxing in the great outdoors, learning about this intentional community's role in Civil Rights, and touring their pecan factory. We delighted in tasting their chocolate pecan bark!

Photos of our time together coming soon!

Give us this day

The Lord's Prayer is said every Sunday and in the prayers of many even when it isn't Sunday.  Sometimes what is so familiar benefits from experiencing it anew.  Lizzy Trawick, an Episcopal Road Fellow, led the Common Ground Bible study through an interactive exploration of the Lord's Prayer on Wednesday.  We honored God, each other, and our hopes for God's Kingdom here on Earth with battery candles, lessons in geography, the sharing of wonderful yeast rolls, and a sacred washing of each other's hands.  We ended with laughter and everyone taking a silly picture.

Bible study normally meets at Woodruff Park.  Because Atlanta was so rainy on Wednesday, we also enjoyed hot coffee and soup at the Landmark Diner instead of the park.  Our friends at the diner are always so kind to us when the heavens bring forth rains and storms.

for they will be comforted

On Mother's Day Sunday, Church of the Common Ground also celebrated birthdays.  Our friends at All Saints' Episcopal Church brought cake and fellowship shared by all.  Thank you!

Later that evening members of Church of the Common Ground journeyed to All Saints' Episcopal Church to take part in a special service of healing.  Mother's Day is joyous for so many but can be a difficult day for others.  In fellowship with others, Common Ground paid witness to the hearts that hurt on that day.

In true Common Ground fashion, we then celebrated our community and fellowship with a bite to eat at the Varsity.

May Newsletter

On the second Sunday of each month, Church of the Common Ground celebrates birthdays and distributes its monthly newsletter.  The May edition anticipates the celebration of Pentecost and features some of our congregation sharing their ideas about "What Is Church?"

Church of the Common Ground celebrates worship every Sunday at 1pm in Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta, GA.  Join us!

May Newsletter

Piecing It Together

Bible study has taken some creative journeys recently.  Not long ago, participants used collage to express their personal stories.  Inspired by the psalmists of old, Common Ground Bible study attendees used cut out images and words to craft a visual representation of their stories.

Telling the Stories of the Human Heart

We have spent time at Bible study recently reflecting on how the psalmists help to tell the stories of the human heart's experience.  When reflecting on Psalms 16 and 121, our community drew pictures and wrote poems about loss and grief.  The sharing of life's journey in community is such a blessed experience.

Walk in Love

Today Common Ground walked in love with our friends from the St. Veronica's Guild at the Cathedral of St. Philip.  On a beautiful April morning with sun shining, birds chirping and a light breeze, we took time to walk a personal and communal prayer experience at the labyrinth. We so appreciate the fellowship the St. Veronica's women share with us always...thank you!

We also appreciate our friends and neighbors at Crossroads Community Ministries who lent us a van to make our way to St. Philip's.  Thank you, too!

Learning and Growing Together

On Thursday, April 12, nine parishioners of Church of the Common Ground gathered with their pastor, The Rev. Monica Mainwaring, to learn from the Care and Counseling Center of Georgia's Rev. Brady Radford alongside GCCC’s director Rev. Sandye Mullins.  This partnership and opportunity to gain training in peer-to-peer counseling is possible with the generosity of the Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia's (ECF) Small Acts of Charity Grant. Church of the Common Ground is a worshipping community of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, meeting regularly through the week for prayer, Bible Study, and service to the community, and always on Sunday afternoons for worship.  The pastoral needs within and beyond the community might be met, at times, by these newly trained peer-to-peer counselors. Training continues Thursday, May 3, and the parishioners who participated are excited to continue, and grateful for the opportunity. Thank you ECF and GCCC!

 

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Warming Our Hands and Hearts

Church of the Common Ground is so blessed by others.  We are feeling that in our hearts and in our hands as winter is hanging on a bit longer here in Atlanta.  Thanks to the kindness of Terri Blair of the Cathedral of St. Philip, we have some hand warmers to help us in these last days of winter cold.  Thank you so much!