A Brief History of Common Ground

In 1956 there was a group of people in Cambridge who had a problem. They wanted to be part of a church community, but they didn’t feel like they fit in with any of the churches that were already in Cambridge. These people came from many different backgrounds and had different beliefs, but they decided to come together to start a new church in town. That church started meeting in a space above a co-op in town, became a Methodist Church, and eventually built a church building on Cypress street. Cambridge United Methodist Church was born.
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The church grew and the years passed. The people of Cambridge UMC were instrumental in starting a thrift shop that is now called Shalom and they became known for an annual Salad Luncheon. Pastors came and went, children were born and children left for college, marriages and funerals left their mark, and through it all this church kept that distinctive identity - they were the place for those who didn’t fit anywhere else.
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In 2012, after a period of reflection, conversations, and discernment, Cambridge United Methodist Church made the decision to further embrace that distinctive identity by changing their name to Common Ground: A United Methodist Community and by adopting the vision Everyone Counts! In the years since, that identity has been further refined and confirmed.
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In 2018 Common Ground adopted the mission statement that we are a Christ centered community living out profound inclusivity, authentic questions, and compassionate justice. In that same year the church formally voted to be a place that celebrates and includes those in the LGBTQ community by joining the Reconciling Ministries Network. We hope you join with us to continue to make Common Ground a place where Everyone Counts, where those who don’t fit in anywhere else find a place to belong, and where we are inspired and encouraged to follow in the way of Jesus to live lives of service and love.
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Common Ground – A Christ-centered Community

We are a community who is centered around the person of Jesus Christ, his life, death, and resurrection. Who we are, what we believe, and how we act all flow out of the example that we see in Jesus.

Profound Inclusivity

We believe that God loves all people, and so do we. That means that each person is enough just as they are. We all have ways that we can learn to grow in love, but we are all beautifully and wonderfully made children of God. We celebrate diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, and perspective.

Authentic Questions

We believe that the church isn’t meant to hand down all of the answers to life’s questions, but to provide a safe and healthy space to wrestle with those questions. We know that all come with different backgrounds and beliefs, and we celebrate the ways that we can learn from each other.

Compassionate Justice

We believe that the church is called to make the world a better place. Our commitment to justice means that we seek to find ways that we can address issues in our community and beyond. From systemic racism to homelessness to addiction to poverty, we believe that our role as Christians is to be an active part of the solution.

Our UMC Connection

As a United Methodist community we are a part of the United Methodist denomination. We are proud to be a part of the Minnesota Annual Conference and to be in connection with other United Methodists around our state and around the world. Learn more about what United Methodists believe and what makes the UMC unique here.

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