Common Grounds Unity - About us
Jesus prayed that we "may all be one… that the world may believe” (John 17:21). We seek to fulfill His prayer with a focus on the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement by developing local groups that gather routinely over a shared meal, in order to maintain “the unity of the Spirit" (Eph. 4:3).
Common Grounds Unity - Our why
Promoting a Positive Future
We exist to promote a positive future for the Stone Campbell Restoration Movement, and for like-minded follower of Jesus. Our Lord prayed for us to be one so that the world may believe (Jn. 17:21-23). Christians who seek unity are seeking to do the will of Jesus. And, when they do so, they reflect His character and draw people unto Him.
Common Grounds Unity- Our how
Gathering Locally Over a Shared Meal
Common Grounds Unity believes that spiritual and meaningful relationships are indispensable to unity, mutual respect, and love. We seek the development of local groups that gather routinely over a shared meal. We also seek to provide digital communities and resources through our website, Facebook groups, weekly emails, and other media platforms that connect people to our cause.
Most will agree that unity within marriages and/or families is not about lock-step agreement or conformity - it is not about perfect thought or practice. Unity is a result of healthy relationships. Ephesians 4:2-3 teaches "unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" comes out of humble, gentle, patient, bearing with one another in love relationships. It is in these relationships that we can live out the well-known slogan, “We are free to differ, but not to divide.”
GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR
Common Grounds Unity
One in Christ
We believe in the Stone-Campbell Movement / Restoration Movement motto which says we are "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 unity based on doctrinal positions and methodology will most likely lead to division. But those who balance “unity of the Spirit” with biblical truth are more likely to understand God’s will and find unity among the Lord's people. Scripture calls us to "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Eph. 4:2-3.
We believe our efforts toward unity will be more successful when we are locally focused. We value global efforts - past, present, and future. However, we believe that proximity is a key component that allows us to break bread, visit services and events, pray together, and even share our pulpits. Proximity gives us consistent opportunities to "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Eph. 4:3
We embrace the following idea: "The goal of the gathering is the gathering, but the outcomes belong to God." We are not creating a global organization, but rather, 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 the above, or something else, we leave those outcomes to Him.
Doctrine and Practice
Sound doctrine and practice are crucial for protecting the Lord's church and His people. God's word calls us to be ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20). And yet, it also says, "Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall" (Rom. 14:1-4). The Lord 's church is well served when we limit control to ourselves and our own congregations. We hold to the Restoration Movement motto, “We are free to differ but not divide.”
We are focused on promoting and praying for unity within the Stone-Campbell Movement / Restoration Movement. We are primarily focused on those with whom we have the most in common. However, we do not wish to exclude anyone willing to hold and contribute to our common beliefs and purpose.
"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 different branches of the Stone-Campbell Movement / Restoration Movement to help serve someone who had connections in both the Church of Christ and the International Church of Christ.
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.
We adopted the name Common Grounds and the motto “Unity Starts With A Cup of Coffee.” Furthermore, 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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