Common Grounds Unity creates spaces for Christians to gather, so that God may be revealed in us and among us.
What We Believe and Do:
Jesus prayed for unity "that we may all be one" (Jn. 17:21-23). At Common Grounds, our motto is "unity starts with a cup of coffee." We value gatherings, breaking bread, and sharing a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage. A gathering provides a space for us to welcome one another, as Christ has welcomed us (Rom 15:7), and to recognize that Christ is present when we come together (Matt 18:20).
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CGU Guiding Principles
One in Christ: We believe in the motto "Christians only, not the only Christians." Thomas Campbell wrote, "That the Church of Christ upon earth is essentially, intentionally, and constitutionally one; consisting of all those in every place that profess their faith in Christ and obedience to him in all things according to the Scriptures."
Unity of the Spirit: We believe Jesus intends for His followers to "maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." And to "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" Eph. 4:2-3.
Locally Focused: We believe our efforts toward unity will be more successful when we are locally focused. Proximity gives us consistent opportunities to build relationships based on love, respect, and our common bond in Jesus our Lord.
The Gathering: We embrace the following idea: "The goal of the gathering is the gathering, but the outcomes belong to God." We are not seeking to create another global institution but encouraging something organic led by the Spirit of God. We are not promoting mergers, planting new congregations, or cooperative events. God may work in ways that bring about these, but we leave those outcomes to Him.
Doctrine and Practice: Titus 2:1 says, "But as for you, teach what is consistent with sound instruction," and 1 Timothy 4:16 says, " Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching." And yet, scripture reminds us, "Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall" (Rom. 14:1-4). CGU is not seeking to be the arbitrator of the right doctrine or practice. We hold that these matters are best left to one's convictions and to local congregational governance. Far too many have divided over opinions of what is essential - over who is in and who is out! Unity cannot exist without diversity, and there will be diverse views about doctrine, practice, and ideologies. Therefore CGU seeks to model how to have civil dialog in the face of diversity. The motto, "We are free to differ but not divide" reminds us to be "quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry" (James 1: 19), and "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" (Rom. 12:18).
His Righteousness: "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21). We are not made right by perfect obedience to the "Law of Christ" or by a continual search for an ancient order of worship or practice. We are, however, justified, sanctified, and made righteous by our faith in the work of Jesus on the cross (Rom. 1:17; Col. 2: 12). Rightness does not produce righteousness. However, "The righteous will live by faith." As we live by faith let our attitude be filled with grace and humility as we bear with one another in love (Col. 3:12).
Early in 2018
A few Christian leaders came together from various streams of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement to help a Christian load a moving truck.
The question was posed, “why are we so divided when we have so much in common?” And, the idea that “unity starts with a cup of coffee” was discussed.
As a result of that meeting a breakfast was organized, then a quarterly meeting was formed, and from that, a communication campaign was developed to promote the idea locally and elsewhere. In time, new local gatherings, and emerging gatherings, have developed.
We adopted the name Common Grounds Unity and the motto “Unity Starts With A Cup of Coffee.” In May 2020 we formed a 501c3 religious nonprofit organization, developed the YouTube Channel, and in 2021 we began The CGU Podcast.
We aspire "to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3) in recognition of Jesus' prayer that we "may all be one" (John 17:21). This is our reason for seeking unity among our fellowships.
Jesus' prayer, demonstrated in our lives, is strategic to accomplishing the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20), and therefore, the will of our Lord.
We are praying for God’s Spirit to move in amazing ways as we seek to do His will.
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