The Common Ground Project
DIFFERENCE. BUILDING. CONNECTION.
The Common Ground Project seeks to gather pastors and young adults
of color around unique and common gifts and challenges for ministry.
Between the years of 2004 and 2008, under the guidance of both Rev. Paik and the Rev. Laura Mariko Cheifetz, the AADVENT Project provided hundreds of Asian American young adults the opportunity to grow in leadership and think critically about God’s work in the world. Whether it was at Multiple Choice: This Asian American Life, Let’s Get Biblical, Respond: What Will Jesus Do With You?, or reflecting on our Untold Stories, the young adult conferences introduced many to the intersections of our faith commitments and God’s call on us to participate in God’s work. Young adults who wanted to take that exploration to the next level were given the opportunity to do so at the Taste of Seminary seminars. Through Taste of Seminary, many young adults went on to study theology and ministry at various seminaries and divinity schools.
In 2009, in collaboration with McCormick’s Center for the Study of Latin@ Theology and Ministry, Center for African American Ministries and Black Church Studies, and the Center for Asian American Ministries, the vision of AADVENT expanded. The Common Ground Project was born, offering leadership development and vocational exploration for Latin@s and African Americans, in addition to Asian Americans. The vision of difference building connection for a more enriched and thoughtful church leadership was expanded. Under Rev. Cheifetz’ leadership, the work of Common Ground grew to include opportunities for pastors of color to network and grow together.
It is the Advent season, when we both await and celebrate the birth of one who would reconcile the world with God. And, with the conclusion of Common Ground, we also celebrate and wait. We celebrate that this project has offered a reflection of God’s imagination across the diversities of the church, even as we await this reflection in fullness. We remember and give thanks for Rev. Paik’s vision and the support of many others who helped to make it a reality!