Welcome to a different kind of worship environment

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Pastor Paul Kraker, Common Ground Church

By Ken McEntee

Bikers to bankers and everything in between” is the way Pastor Paul Kraker describes the congregation at Common Ground Church, in Middleburg Heights.

“We’re radically inclusive,” Paul insists. “We don’t care about your age, ethnicity, orientations or social background. Everybody’s welcome. That’s one reason for our tagline—‘Welcome to Different.’”

Common Ground is different from other churches in several respects, Paul emphasizes.

“We’re different because Jesus was different,” he says. “He turned the world’s ideas about God upside down and forever changed the way we humans relate to God and each other. He did it through love. We believe all Christians should live for Christ and not for themselves.”

Another way Common Ground is different, he says, is that the church doesn’t claim to have all the answers. “That’s where our name comes from,” Paul says. “We’re all together trying to figure out this thing called life.”

The eclectic variety of music that fills the weekly service on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. is another thing that makes Common Ground different from many other churches, Paul says.

“We’re music fans and we have a real band,” he says. “We even have a horn section. We call it feel-good music, and on a given week it could include a Beatles song or something from U2, along with some contemporary Christian music.”

Common Ground launched last year with the mission to offer something unique as the post pandemic church has a chance to innovate. They are passionate about the issues that face Northeast Ohio and long to break down the barriers between the suburbs and the needs of the urban core.

It has been an incredible start, revealing there is a place for a church that is not traditional or typical.

You can find out more about Common Ground Church by attending a service, every Sunday morning at 9 a.m., including Easter morning. The church meets inside Trinity Church, at 14040 Bagley Road, in Middleburg Heights. You can learn more at MyCommonGround.org.