Special Announcement from the Elders
Hello Common Ground Northeast,
We wanted to make everyone aware of a staff transition that will be taking place over the next few months. Josh Riddick’s service at Common Ground Northeast started as a short term “fellowship“ to help us engage in the reconciliation conversation. That grew into a part-time position lasting almost 2 years as our Director of Intercultural Engagement and his impact on our community is immeasurable. Here are Josh’s own words about the transition:
Common Ground Northeast Family,
Two years ago I was leaving an extremely difficult church context, pretty beat up by my experiences and walking a bit wounded. I was unsure what vocational ministry looked like for me or how I would enter the church the same way. My heartbeat was for racial justice, and the church that I was brought to Indy to help pastor was not particularly interested in that being my role. In the midst of the transition out of that church and the tumultuous season after, I heard rumblings of a community of faith seeking to start the very dialogues I had hoped to lead around racial justice in the Church. These rumblings were from none other than the leaders of Common Ground Northeast, a church I had heard nothing of. Northeast reached out to me to be part of this shift and help start the conversation. Even though I did not know much about Northeast, I jumped at the opportunity! Two years later, I still am shocked a church in Indianapolis was bold enough to broach these conversations. Not because it is not the right thing to do, but because it is hard and the cost is steep, as it is to pursue the way of Christ.
The last 6 months or so, I have felt God inviting me into a space of intentional listening. I began to feel my soul start to occupy a liminal space I had not felt prior. There was a clear feeling of transition, away from something and towards something else, and I occupied this middle ground over the last few months. I thought maybe the sleep deprivation from our newborn was catching up to me, but Linds felt it too, as did others who were praying with me. It was in this process of listening to God where we as a family prepared ourselves for a shift, whatever that may be.
That shift has arrived… it started when I made a career change to begin working at the Central Indiana Community Foundation doing equity work, which has been such an exciting move and an opportunity I am so thankful for. This shift also includes my ministry career. God has been placing some new passions on our hearts and moving us towards engaging in our immediate community in a whole new way. We believe that in order to do this well, we need to make a transition out of Northeast.
But this transition cannot happen without first acknowledging the beauty of the Northeast community. Y’all have been such a blessing to us! We entered into Northeast at the early stages of our marriage and had so many encouraging voices in the midst our new life together. The Northeast community supported us through Lindsey’s pregnancy and the birth of Jade. The love, encouragement, and tangible support we received in those moments mean so much to us. That love and support is what makes up what I have heard described as the “Common Ground DNA.” This DNA makes Northeast a special place, one that will remain special to us. So even with this transition, CGNE will always be held in high regard. Even after June when we transition out, we hope you stay in touch. We will be praying for you as you continue to wrestle with what it means to be a reconciling community of faith.
It’s never easy to say goodbye to someone who has had such a strong positive influence on our identity and values as a congregation. Josh will focus on training leaders through the month of June to continue the Gospel + Race Workshops here at CGNE. We will pray over the Riddick family and commission them out during the service on June 30th. Moving forward, Josh is going to partner with us in hosting the second Reconcile Conference in September as well as consulting with future endeavors of intercultural engagement at Common Ground Northeast. If you have any questions, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please pray for the Riddick’s as they move into their next phase of Kingdom work!
Grace and Peace,
Common Ground Northeast Elders