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White Awake Book Review

White Awake Book Review by Jeremy Hunter

Two years ago, I committed to beginning a journey toward a better understanding of racial reconciliation.  When I started this journey, I was excited to see what I would learn and how I could help.  When reflecting on my racial reconciliation journey, I was reminded of the adventures of my childhood, which usually involved exploring unknown places in the woods.  I would enter the woods hopeful to find something I had never seen before.  I sought the reward of new experiences, and the confidence that I could gain by climbing over new obstacles.  Another memorable part of these trips was the fear of the unknown; the fear of being lost, the fear of not making it over an obstacle, or even worse, the possibility of being hurt with no one around to help.  That is why I often found boldness in having someone with me who had been there before to show me how to overcome the obstacles, and to lead me to the places they had already been.  A critical point in my racial reconciliation journey came when I read White Awake by Daniel Hill.

My struggles up to that point in my racial reconciliation journey were marked by challenges to understand what I could do, or how I could help.  White Awake became a trusted guide that helped to reorient me toward a new understanding.  White Awake illuminated many common responses that people often experience as they first begin trying to understand systemic racism, paternalistic societal influences, and the intentional and unintentional marginalization of people.  When someone begins exploring these truths, it can be a harrowing journey due to the complexity of the issues, the long-standing cultural influences that cloud the explorer’s vision, and the pain of recognizing the explorer’s inherent complicity as they discover that they have participated in and benefited from systems of oppression.  White Awake became a trusted guide allowing me to navigate these challenging truths with tools and language that could make each challenge a moment of growth in the journey. 

For a white person who commits to racial reconciliation, questions such as “how can I help”, or “what should I do” are common. White Awake provides a map that describes what each step in the journey will be like.  The book provides the reader with the tools to see the effects of racial inequality both within themselves and in the world around them.   For me, reentering the journey of racial reconciliation with a hopeful lament has given me an understanding of how I can respond to racial situations and conversations.  I realized that the value of the journey is marked not only by what you discover around you, but also by what you discover within you. It does not take long when reading the book to understand that reconciliation is not a destination, but rather a lifelong journey.  

The leadership team at Common Ground Northeast encourages everyone in our congregation to read White Awake. The book provides helpful questions in the back to help you process the content as you consider how it might have an effect in your lives.


Jeremy Hunter is an Elder at Common Ground Northeast. Jeremy and his wife Sarah have attended Common Ground since 2000.  They have both enjoyed being involved in various leadership roles including different House Churches through the years.  During their time at Common Ground they have supported several inner city missions organizations including Area Youth Ministries, Crisis Pregnancy Center, and Pourhouse Ministries.  In their free time, Jeremy and Sarah enjoy spending time with their two daughters, as well as running, swimming, and playing music.

AWAKE: The Gospel and Race (2.4.19 - REPOST)

AWAKE 2 Stories.001.jpeg

THIS WEEK: The battle for racial equity has been a hot topic in the culture dominating social media, news outlets, and conversations in America. In the midst of the tension, the church has often been silent, moderate, and complicit as marginalized people groups are under-resourced, forgotten, and mistreated. Additionally, the white church can (and usually does) avoid the topic of the Gospel and Race but this must change.

If the church is a people who represent the Kingdom of Heaven, and wielding the good news of the Gospel, it should be driven and compelled to fight for racial justice in all its forms. The church is overdue for action and must become awake, impassioned, and engaged in the efforts to see racial justice in America.


SCRIPTURE: 2 Cor. 5:14-21; Rev. 21:1-6


LISTEN: Spotify Playlist


  1. How has Western Individualism affected our view of sin, salvation, and the Gospel?

  2. What is the Gospel story and how does it connect to the ministry of reconciliation? How is this different than what you have been taught?

  3. How does the Gospel compel us to engage the fight for racial justice in America?

  4. How is God telling you to get involved and engaged? Ask your House Church or Transformation Group to keep you accountable to following through.

* Sermon Sources taken from White Awake by Daniel Hill

New "Article & News" Page!


We want to keep you all as informed as possible. This page is developed to keep an ongoing database or repository of subject matter, resources, and important news that we believe best serves our congregation. Check in with us regularly to keep updated!

If you are looking for former resources and articles from a previous series (OIKOS, Advent 2018), you can access it here in our Articles Archive. Moving forward, all resources, articles, and news will be published here.



Youth Pastor Search

We are very excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for the position of Youth Pastor at CG Northeast! Our current youth director, Mike Kuebler, has agreed to serve as the interim youth pastor since July. As of today, we have posted the position to fill that role with a long-term candidate.

We are looking to hire either part-time or full-time; the full-time position is dependent upon additional abilities that will complement those of our other staff members and volunteers. Please view the pages below to learn more and apply.

Click here to view the Youth Pastor job description

Click here to apply on

2018 Financial Update

Below is a financial update from elder Charlie Meyer from August 26, the final Sunday of our 2018 fiscal year. If you have any questions, you can contact Charlie or the CG Northeast Office.

Lead Pastor Announcement

The pastoral search committee and the elders are so pleased to announce that we have a new Lead Pastor! Erik Thien, his wife Emily, and their four boys will soon be packing up in Phoenix and moving to Indianapolis where Erik will assume our Lead Pastor role. Right now, we are planning for Erik to be in the role around October 15. That date will allow them time to take care of housing both in Phoenix and in Indy, to provide the required notice to Emily's existing employer, to complete some commitments they have in Phoenix, and to move across the country.

In accepting our offer, Erik mentioned how he and Emily have enjoyed getting to know us thus far and how they see our church as a place filled with bold faith, conviction, and a commitment to the Gospel. They are very excited to join us in ministry here and lead us into the next season of our church life. We look forward to having more people meet get to know and interact directly with them after they move to Indy. 

As more details about the transition firm up, we'll be sure to keep you updated.  In the meantime, please join us in thanking God for his direction throughout this entire process.

The CG Northeast Pastor Search Team

A Special Thank-You to Vanessa Wilkins & Family

It is with both great joy and sadness that we announce Vanessa Wilkins will be moving on from her position as the Director of Youth Ministry. Vanessa has sensed God’s leading in her life over the past few years toward caring for marginalized and orphaned children in our community, and she has therefore accepted a new role as Foster Care Director for the local ministry organization Hands of Hope. Her last Sunday on staff at CG Northeast will be June 3, 2018.

Vanessa and Andy serve our church family in a variety of ways, and Vanessa has done a wonderful job over the past five years in shaping our youth ministry to be a healthy environment for our middle and high schoolers to develop as followers of Jesus. She has trained and cared for our youth volunteers and has been an essential member of the staff and various leadership teams.

The Wilkins will continue to be a part of our church family, and Vanessa and Andy will continue to serve in the youth ministry and in the various other areas of leadership that they currently engage.

Please pray for Vanessa as she makes this transition into a new ministry role, and take a moment to thank her for sharing her passion and gifts and expertise with us and our youth. She will be missed in this role and as a part of the staff team, and we pray that this new season will be as enriching and exciting for her as these last five years have been!

Water 4 Cape Town

Some of our CG Northeast Youth students have created a YouCaring page to help provide resources and education to those suffering from a severe drought in Cape Town, South Africa. We are trying to raise $1,500 for “Water 4 Cape Town”, an organization committed to helping residents manage the long-term effects of the drought. For more information, visit

Click here to donate!

2018 Financial Update

On Sunday, February 4, Admin Team leader Charlie Meyer presented an overview of our finances throughout 2017 and also presented the budget for 2018.  To view that presentation, please click here.

If you have any questions, please contact Charlie Meyer (

Pastoral Search

Common Ground Northeast has been blessed to have Jeff Krajewski serve as our interim pastor since Summer 2017. Jeff has provided strong leadership, vision and preaching during this time of transition. The plan is for Jeff to provide this leadership until Summer 2018, when we plan for our new lead pastor to be in place.

Planning Center Login

We are excited to announce that we will continue utilizing Planning Center Online for our increasing volunteer needs, information updates, and event registration. Because of this, we want to make sure everyone has an account set up and is comfortable using it!

The website you'll use to log in regularly is

Click here to learn how to log in and sign up for volunteering dates.

Click here to watch a brief instructional video on how to use your Planning Center account.

If you need additional help logging into Planning Center, please stop by the Info Table after our Sunday services, or email Ian Morley ( or Jody Lukowiak (


UPDATE: Donations for Salinas


The team is about to leave for Salinas! With your help, the YouCaring fundraiser has exceeded both its original goal of $5,000 and its updated goal of $6,000!

In addition, all of the supplies from the Amazon list have been purchased, and will be taken to Puerto Rico with the team.

Our thanks to everyone who participated in order to reach these goals and care for people in serious need of help!

On Vision Sunday, Rico Colon-Romero listed specific donations needed to restore health and power to his hometown of Salinas, Puerto Rico. The city has been flooded and without power for weeks, and the people are in desperate need of food and supplies.

Click here to visit the YouCaring fundraiser page.
Donations will be used to purchase equipment and supplies for families in Salinas.

Click here to view and purchase supplies from Amazon.
Please note the priority level and needed amount of each item.

Supplies and donations can be dropped off at Common Ground Northeast at the following times through November 5th:

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

9:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Toronto Vision Trip Stories

This July, a group from the Common Ground family travelled to Toronto, Ontario for one of our many Vision Trips to that city. In attendance were Jennifer Herrmann and her teenage son Jonah, who were able to "share the love of Jesus by being and seeing," and by paying attention to the people who typically get pushed into the margins of life.

Listen to some of Jennifer's stories here:

(audio may take a moment to buffer depending on connection speed)

Service Time Survey

The leadership and staff of Common Ground Northeast are considering changing our Sunday morning service time to 10:30 AM sometime this Fall, and we are interested in how this change could impact our congregation.

The reason for the change is to leverage Sunday mornings to provide alternative opportunities for learning and connection, especially those not in a house church. Our vision would be to provide periodic classes and experiences (6 weeks Intro to CG, 4 weeks parent training and equipping, etc.) from 9:00 - 10:15 AM on Sundays. These classes would be open to everyone who attends Northeast.

Click here to take the survey!

Northeast VBS Success!

The week of June 12, forty-eight children gathered at Northeast for Maker Fun Factory, this year’s Vacation Bible School theme. During the week, the children sang, met Bible Buddies, used their imaginations, played games, learned from other kids their age and heard stories from God’s blueprint for us, the Bible. The week was full of so many inventions and discoveries we can’t possibly list them all here!

Each day we learned a Bible Point. These were God made you, God is for you, God is always with you, God always loves you and God made you for a reason.  These points were followed by a “Wow God!” We also collected school supplies for a local school and ended our week together on Sunday by leading the Northeast congregation in singing “Our God.”

We are thankful for more than 20 adults and youth who volunteered during the week and behind the scenes the weeks leading up to VBS. It couldn’t have been a success without them!

Common Ground Network Announcement

In 2018, Common Ground will move from a network of area churches to a family of three independent churches. We invite you to watch this video to learn more. 

If you have questions, please contact Tim Dooley (

Jeff Krajewski Named Interim Lead Pastor for Northeast Congregation

Earlier this month, the leadership team for our Northeast congregation announced that Jeff Krajewski, founding pastor of Common Ground, will become the interim lead pastor for northeast upon Ty Denney’s transition at the end of June. 

Jeff K. has been the lead pastor for Common Ground for 20 years. In 1997, Traders Point Christian Church (TPCC) began a young adults ministry with Jeff as the pastor. By 2001, Jeff and the elders of TPCC recognized that the Common Ground ministry had become a church within a church and so TPCC blessed Jeff and the church through prayer and financial resources to start at a new church in Broad Ripple. Since that time Common Ground has planted churches across the U.S. and has grown into a family of three local congregations in Indianapolis.

Jeff and his wife Nicole are excited for this next phase in their journey of ministry.  Our Northeast congregation is currently in the sermon series Faith and Race: Demonstrating the Heart of God, and Jeff will be guest preaching at Northeast three times during the series. “I share the vision that our northeast congregation has for becoming a multiethnic congregation. This vision will allow them to better serve their multiethnic community and more accurately represent the Gospel of Jesus.  I am also eager to see how their journey will have influence and give vision for our family of churches here in the city.” said Jeff.

Good Friday and Easter

You’re invited to join us on Friday, April 14 for a Good Friday service. Midtown and West will meet at 6:30 pm at 4550 N. Illinois Street. Limited childcare is available for newborn-3 years on a first come, first served basis. Northeast will meet at 6:30 pm at 7440 Hague Road. Limited childcare is available for newborn-4 years by registration only.

Easter worship gatherings will be held at 9 am and 11 am at Midtown, 10 am at Northeast, and 10 am at West on Sunday, April 16. We look forward to celebrating with you on Easter!

Staff Update: Ty Denney

On Sunday, March 5, our Northeast Pastor Ty Denney announced his resignation as the Area Church Pastor. Ty helped to plant our NE congregation in the spring of 2013. He has faithfully loved and pastored the church for the last 4 years and now God is calling him to something new.

Over the past few months, Ty and his family sensed the Lord moving them toward a new assignment within God's kingdom. After prayer and discernment with Common Ground leadership, Ty has accepted the position of executive pastor of Path Ministries and Otino Waa Children’s Village. The mission of Path Ministries is to raise up orphans in Jesus’ name and plant vibrant churches out of their service to the poor. 

Ty will continue to pastor at Northeast for the next several months before moving to Bend, Oregon to serve in his new role. We ask that you join us in praying for Ty and his family as they prepare to be sent out and lean into God's calling.

Common Ground is working to transition an interim pastor to lead our vibrant Northeast congregation. If you have any questions about this transition, please contact Executive Pastor Tim Dooley.

VBS Needs you!

Northeast is hosting VBS June 12- June 16 at 7440 Hague Road! Youth and adult volunteers are invited to join us as we share the love of Jesus with children from our church and the surrounding neighborhoods. Our program runs 9 am–noon and we can use your time and talents in a variety of ways! Can’t serve during this time? No problem! You are also welcome to contribute snacks and other items for the week. 

To help during the event or behind the scenes, simply complete this form to check out your options and let us know how you would like to help.

Want to know how you can register your kids for VBS? Registration forms for kids will be available in April.  

Thank you in advance for your help and prayers for Northeast VBS. Have questions? Please contact  Jody.