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permanent space update

Our church, Common Ground West (CGW), has met in a school for over 10 years, which is as long as we’ve existed! Two different schools, Eagle Creek Elementary and Deer Run Elementary, have graciously allowed us to rent their space over the years. We are thankful to worship in this space but having access to a building one day a week clearly has its limits. Eight months ago, the elders of our church decided to appoint a team from our church to pursue permanent space options. We believe God can meet anyone anywhere, but there is something special about a space that is set aside specifically for the work of the Kingdom. We want to be able to say “yes” to Jesus when He invites us into new opportunities and ministry, and having a building would provide a tangible space for that.

The goal of the search team is to recommend a facility that fits the needs of our church and that can be a blessing to the surrounding community. Over the past 8 months, this team has met, prayed, and worked diligently for our church. We have over 20 pages of notes that capture our conversations and work - these are sent to the elders and admin team to keep them informed. I was recently reading through these notes and it was encouraging to see the posture this group has taken. This task of finding permanent space for a church can be a daunting one. I am very proud to be a part of a group who prayerfully went before the Lord and asked Him for help. I wanted to share some of the prayers captured in our notes these past 8 months, as I think they are relevant to the opportunity in front of us:

  • We desire to have open hands and ask God to make it clear to us where He wants us to go.

  • Through listening prayer, there has been a strong sense of excitement about moving to a permanent space - almost like the anticipation with a new church plant.

  • There has been a sense that the Lord has been doing a lot behind the scenes for several years.

  • The word “neighbor” was also highlighted during our prayer time.

I want to thank the search team for their willingness to take on this work for our church - Steve Hanscom, Marty Read, Joe Garner, and Kaitlyn Bookmyer. There have been several more people willing to jump in to help as we move further along with this project - thank you, you will be needed!

Thus far, we have considered 14 properties within these somewhat loose geographic boundaries: 86th Street (north), 10th Street (south), Raceway (west), and Georgetown Rd. (east). We have looked at each property through 3 different lenses in our evaluation: cost, location, and functionality. Based on those criteria, most options were fairly quickly eliminated. Three options were worth pursuing further and we have spent significant time assessing these options. The door has now been closed on two of those options. It seems like the Lord has kept one door open and that opportunity is with North Liberty Christian Church (NLCC).

NLCC “checks the boxes” on all three areas of evaluation:

  • Location - their property is right around the corner from where we have met for over 10 years and very accessible via the interstate (map of property).

  • Cost - we think the financial numbers work well for our congregation.

  • Functionality - the property has over 5 acres of land allowing us to build a suitable facility and co-habitat with NLCC. NLCC would continue to meet in their current building.

We have a good relationship with NLCC and they have been generous in allowing us to use their building many times over the years for our prayer nights, leadership meetings, etc. I have enjoyed getting to know Ralph Lemmon, their lead pastor, over the past 2-3 years and I have a great deal of respect for him. He has been in ministry for over 50 years. NLCC has been ministering in the Indianapolis area since 1837 - over 180 years! How awesome is that?

We saw a lot of dots being connected with NLCC so our elders, admin team, and facility search team decided to send them a preliminary proposal to see if they had any interest. This proposal assumes we would become the owners of their building and land. The financial components are paying off their debt of $230,000, not charging rent for a period of 7 years, giving them access to the facility we build, and looking to join them in ministry opportunities including their food pantry. It also assumes that each church would continue to operate as an independent congregation. There are additional non-financial aspects of this transition that NLCC has expressed are important and valuable to them. Our goal with this proposal is to be generous with NLCC both now and in the future. We also think this proposal is set at a good price and value for CGW.

Ralph then had extensive conversations with his leadership and congregation. He had 26 in person meetings with folks in his church. As with any transition like this, further conversation will be needed to work through some of the details.  That being said, they are supportive of our proposal and excited about this opportunity. Based on that support, we have hired the Veridus Group to complete a feasibility study on NLCC’s land. They will do the following for us: review all local ordinances, covenants, and restrictions, determine zoning, identify utility infrastructure, and provide a few conceptual site design options. The cost for this work is $3,500. Steve Hanscom and I have had conversations with them over the past week and the study seems to be going well. They hope to complete their report in the next week or two.

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In summary, this seems like a nice opportunity for both CGW and NLCC. We believe each congregation could be a blessing to the other - there could be some beneficial “cross-pollination” that occurs between the two churches. Additionally, there are several other churches in the area which present opportunities to serve people in the area. There is an estimated population of over 83,000 people within a 3-mile radius of NLCC!

Stepping into permanent space is a big step for us but one that we believe is important and that we are ready to take. I was reminded of Ephesians 4:15 which says - We will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  Our leadership desires to continue “growing up” in the way of Jesus and this is another step in that direction and one that can help expand our ministry.

What are our next steps? We ask that you continue to pray for us. We need unity and wisdom from the Lord. If the conclusion of this study confirms that we can build on the property, we then need to discern as a church if we are ready to take the next step and purchase the land and building from NLCC. If we take that step, and come to an agreement with NLCC, then we would have more conversation as a church around what we want to build, how we cohabitate well with NLCC, what additional financial resources we would need to build a facility, and when we can build a facility. Please keep in mind that a building project like this can be a 12-18+ month process after breaking ground.

Blessings,

Todd and facility search team

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common ground west hiring communications director


We are currently looking to hire a part-time communications director. This person will oversee the internal & external communications within our church, including things like website, email list, and social media platforms. Ideally this person will have 2+ years in communications, marketing, or social media experience. The role will be apprx. 5 hours a week. If you or someone you know might have interest in this role, please send resumes can be sent to tenneymatt@hotmail.com by March 1st. 

Read the full job description here.

permanent space update

Recently Todd McClure, our lead elder and head of our building search efforts, shared an update on the search process with the congregation. Here is the update on our efforts to find permanent space for Common Ground West.

OUR GOAL

Our goal is to find and buy a building, lease a building, or build a facility that can hold about 300 people for a corporate gathering. We also want to have space for our staff, youth, children, and we want to open our facility to be a blessing to the surrounding community.

OUR TEAM

We put together a team in November 2018 to begin work on this. Our team members include Todd McClure, Marty Read, Kaitlyn Bookmyer, Joe Garner, and Steve Hanscom. Many others in our church have communicated their willingness and desire to help, and we will gratefully accept that help as we go throughout this process. Our current group has been meeting about every other week, setting agendas and sorting through lots of tasks, as we hope to do a thorough job with the search.

GUIDELINES

We are casting a wide net in terms of location. We have been searching within the following borders:

  • North - 86th Street

  • South - 10th Street

  • West - Raceway

  • East - Georgetown

These are not set in stone, but we are simply using them as guidelines to hopefully give us a lot of options to choose from. When we look at each option before us, there are three categories of factors we are using to evaluate each particular opportunity:

  • How we can use the space

  • Does the location make sense?

  • Is the cost within our budget?

CURRENT OPTIONS

We’ve connected with a commercial real estate broker who has specialized in helping many churches over the years, and he has been helpful to Common Ground in the past. He has sent us a number of options, many of which have been eliminated due to location, size, and cost reasons. There are a couple he has sent that we are exploring further. Additionally, we’ve had conversations with some churches that have existing buildings or land to build on. The discussions we’re having with them are focused on how we can meet the need we have of permanent space. We will provide more updates if any of these options progress further or become a more likely fit for us.

TIMELINE

We hope to be able to make a decision on permanent space within about 6 months. It is difficult with a decision like this to have a hard deadline, as there is so much that goes into this search process, and more than anything we want to listen to the Lord’s direction as we pursue different opportunities.

PRAYER

Would you please commit to praying for us? When our team meets, we spend a lot of time in prayer, and the Lord has been speaking and working on the hearts of each one of us. We are at a place where we genuinely have open hands to what God has for us, and we want to remain at this place of indifference to our own desires in order to pursue God’s will and nothing else. We have asked Him to help us place our personal preferences aside so we can truly follow His leading. We know He can bless whatever decision we make, but our deep desire is to be obedient to what He has already planned for us and to follow His call.

We will continue to give regular updates as we come closer to a decision. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask anyone on our team any questions or concerns you may have.

1/20/19 service cancelled + study guide

Common Ground West will have no worship service tomorrow, January 20th.

Unfortunately, for various logistical reasons Pike Township is closing all buildings tomorrow because of inclement weather. So whatever the conditions are we’ll have no building for our normal worship service, but read below for Plan B!

We’ve crafted a study guide for families and individuals based on our upcoming sermon series. Download it here, and feel free to use this as a guide for worship/reflection with yourself, and/or your friends & family.

Want someone to worship with tomorrow? We have two home locations that will be hosting smaller worship gatherings at 10am:

  • Pike area - Joe Garner’s house, 10am. Email Joe for address.

  • Brownsburg area - Randy & Melissa Clark’s house, 10am. Email Randy for address.

1/13/19 service cancelled

The church service for Common Ground West and all related activities are cancelled today due to dangerous weather conditions. Youth group will also be cancelled today.

Many of our volunteers travel early in the morning to be at church and set up. Given the weather conditions today we did not want to risk our 20+ volunteers being out so early in such dangerous conditions.

Enjoy a day at home with the Lord today, and we’ll see you next Sunday!

youth retreat - january snow camp

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For all families of teens, get excited for SNOW CAMP happening in January 2019!

On January 4th-6th, all three Common Ground youth groups will gather for one epic snow camp filled with snow tubing, games, big gym, hikes through pine forests, chapel, amazing food, and more.

Register here.

Cost to register is $135.

Please contact Jeff R. with questions or about scholarship information.

Redistribute 2018

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Redistribute is a Common Ground tradition based on the ethics of social justice in the Scriptures. Consider a different way of giving gifts this year by giving towards the Redistribute fund. This year we are focusing on supporting the Kingdom work of two missions partners: Vision Nicaragua and Safe Families. 

Redistribute begins this week and will end on 11/25, so we can consider our generosity BEFORE we spend all that Christmas money! Giving can be done online or through check/cash via Redistribute envelopes each Sunday morning.

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School: North Liberty Christian Church

We have been invited to attend and/or help with the VBS at North Liberty Christian Church!

Dates:  June 11th-15th
Time:  6:00-8:30 pm
Ages:  Kindergarten-5th grade
Location:  North Liberty Christian Church (5429 Lafayette Rd, Indy)
Cost:  Free

Register: Contact Sandy Lemmon sandy@lemmon-aid.org and fill out the registration form.

Easter Sunday Service

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EASTER SUNDAY SERVICE
Join us as we celebrate Jesus!
April 1st - 10:00 am
Deer Run Elementary School, 5401 N High School Rd, Indianapolis

"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "
-Mark 16:6-7

Good Friday Service

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Join us for a time of worship, prayer, and scripture reading as we reflect on Jesus' love and sacrifice for us. 

Date: April 30th
Time: 6:30-7:30pm
Location: North Liberty Christian Church, 5429 Lafayette Rd, Indianapolis
Childcare: Provided! If needed, please RSVP MaryAnne@cground.org by March 27th.


 

Paige Imel Joins Our Staff as Worship Assistant

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Sunday we made the exciting announcement that Paige Imel will be joining our staff as Worship Assistant. 

Paige has served as a volunteer worship leader for several years at Common Ground West and Midtown. Last semester, Paige served our congregation as a worship intern, learning and doing a lot of the week-to-week tasks for our worship ministry. Paige will serve with Nick in our worship ministry leading worship & helping with administrative tasks.

Paige was born and raised in Indy but her heart for the marginalized here and around the world has been present since childhood. She is a college student with a heart for deep relationships, and continues to pursue freedom in Jesus on Sunday mornings and daily life. She longs to connect with her Creator and help others do the same.  Paige is eager to grow, learn, and transform into who God has created her to be while leading and sharing her gifts with the Kingdom. She enjoys eating clean, doing Pilates, discovering new music, and singing at the top of her lungs.

Many of you already know and love Paige. Please join us in praying for her entry into vocation ministry and encouraging her in this new role!

Redistribute 2017

Over the years during the Advent/Christmas season, we've often done something called "Redistribute." Redistribute is an intentional effort to spend less money during the holidays, and to give more to those in need and our missions partners doing Kingdom work around the world. This year, we are encouraging our church to spend less, and consider giving to one of these needs from our missions partners. 

Redistribute is a great way to talk to your family, friends, and house church about rejecting materialism, being sacrificial, and good financial stewardship (2 Corinthians 8; 16.) It can be a great source for dialogue. Feel free to invite friends and family members to give to Redistribute in place of giving them a Christmas list! It can also be a great opportunity to give in secret (Matthew 6:4.)

If you would like to contribute to Redistribute 2017, please bring cash or a check to church any Sunday in December. We will have special envelopes designated to Redistribute, where you can place your gift and put it in the offering box. 

Questions about Redistribute or our missions partners? Email the missions team

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VISION NICARAGUA visionnicaragua.org 

  • Need: Used pickup truck       
  • Cost: $7,000

Transportation is part of the life blood of ministry in Nicaragua. Some remote villages are on roads that are nearly impassable without 4-wheel drive especially during rainy season. Since many people in the villages don’t have cell phones, it is necessary to visit the villages before the day of an event to coordinate. Having transportation would allow VN to be more mobile and less reliant on other larger trucks. The truck will allow VN to pick up small groups or make an “emergency” trip to Managua to buy parts for other vehicles or the mission house when necessary.

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SAFE FAMILIES safe-families.org

  • Need: Yearly office space rental       
  • Cost: $5000

Office space allows Safe Families to work to place children with host families, house supplies for clients and host families, and give the staff a much needed place to work. Covering this yearly cost would free up money to cover other needs.

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PURCHASED purchased.org

  • Need: Training for 3 people to be trained to facilitate "My Life, My Choice Curriculum"            
  • Cost: $4050

My Life My Choice is an exploitation-prevention curriculum which aims to change girls' attitudes and perceptions of the commercial sex industry, as well as build self-esteem and personal empowerment.

Pastoral Candidate Announcement

At the end of 2016, the Common Ground West leadership discerned that it was time to look for a long-term lead pastor. Jeff Krajewski served our congregation as the lead pastor on an interim basis, and together with our leadership discerned that 2017 was the time to look for a long-term pastor. Our leaders were edified and encouraged at that time, when the Spirit highlighted the story of Moses handing off his leadership before the Israelites entered the Promised Land.

The first step the elders took last winter was approaching Nick Morrow (our worship pastor) with the possibility of stepping into the lead pastor role. After much prayer and consideration, he and his wife Melissa discerned he was called to be the worship pastor and therefore declined the lead pastor role.

The elders then gathered a Pastor Search Committee, formalized a pastor search process, and started pursuing people within our network of relationships. The first thing the committee did was gather to pray and listen for the voice of God. He highlighted the passage in Samuel when David is anointed as king. The Spirit called our attention to the process Samuel had to go through in order to find David, who was the unlikeliest candidate that was already tending the sheep. The word “process” was highlighted throughout the search and especially that we were to pay attention to what the Lord was going to do through this process.

The elders and search committee talked with many wonderful candidates, and in each case it seemed the Spirit was closing the door. During that time, Nick agreed to function as an interim lead pastor for us. The Lord used that time to speak to the leaders and to Nick. Nick approached the elders in August rather bravely, and told us he felt the Spirit prompting him to "Ask are you open to the conversation (of being the lead pastor)?” The Pastor Search Committee and the elders interviewed Nick and Melissa and have spent time praying, listening, and discerning alongside them.  

We have also spent time discerning what the role would specifically look like for Nick, who has a love for leading worship, a growing call to lead and preach, and shares the passion to help everyone step into their unique giftings. Nick would be the consistent voice as a teacher and worship leader, but continue to train and equip others to lead and teach. Together with the elders, Nick would also help discern the Lord's will for our congregation and cast that vision as a team.

We feel confident that the pastor search committee and the elders have done our due diligence in this process, especially in trying to hear the voice of God throughout it all. We would now like to invite the congregation in fasting, praying, and discerning with us regarding Nick Morrow as our lead pastor and an elder. It is our tradition that anytime we bring an elder candidate for consideration, we create space for congregational discernment regarding that person. It’s important to us that you pray and discern with us. Over the next month we invite you to ask the Lord for wisdom and clarity regarding Nick stepping into this role of elder and lead pastor. As you pray, please share with us any concerns that come to mind, as well as affirmations concerning Nick stepping into this role.

As always, we are available to discuss anything that is on your mind. The elders can be reached at elders-west@cground.org.

Sunday October 1, 2017 Service Cancelled

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IMPORTANT CHURCH UPDATE: Deer Run Elementary had a water main burst, and we are unable to host church there this morning. We will not be having a church service today, but we are currently checking in on how to help DRES clean up the school. Stay tuned for relief effort info.

Leadership Training - Global Leadership Summit

On August 10-11, you’re invited to join other leaders from Common Ground and thousands of leaders across North America for a live simulcast of The Global Leadership Summit.

This annual event is designed to stretch and challenge you with world-class speakers, interactive dialogue, and practical training.  Our simulcast location is St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W. 86 th St., 46260. To register, visit the GLS website.  Have questions? Email jim@cground.org.

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!

Nicaragua Vision Trip

Join West Vision Partners Ron and Marty Read in their journey to Nicaragua June 16-23. The team will determine the itinerary, which may include a medical clinic, food distribution, minor construction/painting, activities/sports for children, widows, etc.

Cost for the trip is $1,700, and the application and $100 deposit are due by April 2. For full details, an application and additional resources, please visit our website.

Have questions? Send us an email.

Lent began Wednesday, March 1 and is marked by the 40 days, not including Sundays, between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. We observe Lent as a deliberate way to join with the church around the world in preparing ourselves for celebrating Easter (resurrection).

Instead of charging ahead to Easter, Lent calls us to think about our relationship with God and the ways we respond or fail to respond to His love and care for us. Lent is a time of repentance, an opportunity to experience God’s mercy, to be set free from patterns of behavior, and to embrace a life of love and holiness…a time to experience the depths of the Easter message.

This year Common Ground has created a weekly Lent Devotional, that includes a daily experiential calendar, as a resource for you during the Lenten season. Clay to use for your devotional is available at Midtown and West.

Have further questions about Lent? Please contact Jim Matthies.

Empowered to Connect Conference

All Common Ground attenders are invited to the Empowered to Connect Conference on April 7-8, from 10 am–6 pm at Midtown. Empowered to Connect is a two-day conference designed to help adoptive and foster parents, ministry leaders and professionals better understand how to connect with “children from hard places” in order to help them heal and become all that God desires for them to be.

The Empowered to Connect simulcast is brought to you by Show Hope and The Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at TCU, and sponsored by the Midtown Vision Team. Cost to attend is $15 per person and includes printed materials. Childcare is not available, and lunch is on your own for the extended lunch break.

Space is limited to the first 50 registrants, with priority given to Common Ground attenders. The deadline to register is April 3. To register, click here.

Have questions about the event at Midtown? Please send us an email

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