The GREAT NEWS of 2020 + Why We’re Hopeful For 2021!

This year has been… hard.
But YOU have made it good.
Here’s how…

Back in March, we had no idea what the next nine months were going to hold. We had no clue how much we would have to pivot and change plans and let go of some of our favorite things to do. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t do some great stuff together this year. Looking back through our photos and emails, we saw just how much awesome stuff we did together! Apparently [good] things happen when you’re forced to find creative ways to stay connected in community. And really… we think it’s just another example of how God can redeem even the worst of circumstances.

Check out this little photo recap below and be sure to read the message at the end to see how you can help make 2021 awesome!

Looking back on 2020…

We did a lot! “We” meaning all of us.
Our team, our partners, and YOU!

We put large gatherings on hold 

and went virtual with weekly connection time that has turned into virtual small groups and book studies.

This connection time was special because it gave us all a chance to process things none of us have ever experienced. It was a great time of community and healing.

We got creative for Easter 

Instead of our usual Easter event for the community, we put our heads together with some creative peeps in our community (thanks Laura Haver!) and created a guide for you to have your own meaningful Easter at home. 

Many families in our community participated and were able to create fun times and have spiritual conversations with their loved ones at home. That’s some [good] church right there!

We created social distance fun

Whether it was a drive up birthday celebration, fun videos to lift someone’s spirit, or a drive-thru carnival style [good]life for the kiddos… 

We were able to connect with y’all in fun and safe ways. And it was awesome! Woohoo!

We met basic needs

Early on, we saw how so many were without basic needs like food and toilet paper (there’s never enough toilet paper!). We heard about people in need of assistance with rent, utilities, etc… and we met those needs.

In partnership with a local organization we were able to care for people in our community, and made some amazing friends along the way!

We made a great partnership even better!

Our friends, Becky and Mary have been helping local families in need for years. And we’ve been partnering with them ever since we started Uncommon [good]. Not long ago, they officially launched 4 Community Careto address food insecurity, rent / utility assistance, and meet needs in North County San Diego… and they were gracious enough to let us be part of that!

Our team helped them design a logo, get their web presence up and navigate the non-profit world. Through that, our partnership grew even stronger! Now 4 Community Care and Uncommon [good] are working together to meet even more needs in North County San Diego and we are so stoked! Go follow them on Facebook if you haven’t yet!

We stood up against division 

This past summer saw somewhat of an awakening to some deep seeded divisions in our country. We joined with several spiritual leaders and local officials in Escondido (including local law enforcement) to stand up against division and recognize the value of every human.

We know there are a lot of opinions and thoughts about the deep divides in our country. At Uncommon [good] we believe in love and reconciliation. No matter your background or ideologies, we will always stand for your humanity and it was a privilege to so this Summer! 

We met in backyards (until we didn’t)

A couple of months in, things seemed to be improving so we began hosting small groups outdoors for those that felt comfortable. We kept it safe and sanitary and gave folks some much needed community. Which kept us sustained when we had to go back to virtual groups.

It was so good to talk about faith with friends in person and we look forward to doing that again, when it is safe!

We packed hundreds of backpacks!

Along with other local organizations, this uncommon community stepped up and packed over 200 backpacks of food and necessities for kids and families in North County SD. 

The impact was huge! And we couldn’t be more proud of this community for coming through the way you did! Thank you!

We had great conversations 

Who knew a global pandemic would be such a conversations starter? 

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to our podcast episodes over the last few months, go get caught up. And maybe get some hope and perspective in the process!

We got creative with events

One of our favorite events in 2020 was Morsels and Message, On the Move! It was basically a family scavenger hunt with stops at amazing food venues and video messages along the way.

It ended with a small candlelit hang at a local park where we got a few minutes to say hello to friends we hadn’t seen in a long time. It was so fun and we definitely plan to do it again!

Want to watch the messages? Visit our YouTube Playlist

We were featured in SD Voyager Magazine!

Our little community was highlighted as an inspiring story in the SD Voyager. We got to talk about all the great things we get to do together as a community of faith operating outside the typical model of “church”.

It was super exciting and we’re so proud that more folks are learning about Uncommon [good].

Want to read it? Visit SD Voyager

We supported small businesses and had a ton of Christmas Fun!

Uncommon [good] and FWRD+ Fitness partnered together to create a small business Holiday Market and Christmas Event for Families. Initially we planned to have a social distance dinner and message component. But we had to make some last minute changes…

And just like the rest of 2020, God took some tough circumstances and made something incredible out of it. The event was exactly what it needed to be. Despite limited capacity and a ton of changes, the joy and life was off the charts! And we got to support small businesses! Thanks to all who made it awesome!

THANK YOU to everyone…

You all made this year so much greater than we expected and we are so grateful! You engaged in our creative connection over the last few months AND you continued to support the work of Uncommon [good]. Now as we look to next year we have one request…

Help us make 2021 the best year yet!

We read recently that 2021 is going to be a year of rebuilding. And for Uncommon [good] we think it has the potential to be our most creative and impactful year yet. With strategic partnerships, like 4 Community Care, we believe we can meet more needs and show more love in 2021 than we ever have before.

With the ability to gather in community still uncertain, we believe Uncommon [good] is in a perfect place of creativity and flexibility to meet whatever new normal we will all be facing. This past year, we were able to find creative and safe ways to stay connected and continue having conversations about faith, life, and being human. And we believe we can do more of that next year!

But we need your help to meet 2021 head-on and make it great. So…

would you consider giving a year end gift?

Every little bit helps! No gift is too small.

We know that many of you like to donate before the end of the year for tax purposes. Some of you have done that already and we are SO GRATEFUL!
For those of you who haven’t and would like to, now is the time!

Simply click the button below to visit our giving page and give a gift today.


If you’d like to give a check, stock, or other type of donation, contact us or simply send your donation to:

Uncommon Good Church
14781 Pomerado Rd, #211
Poway, CA 92064

THANK YOU SO MUCH for making this year amazing. We love you so much and can’t wait to continue this adventure in 2021!


An Unlikely Easter + DIY Easter Ideas

it can be the most meaningful one ever.

(and in your most comfy clothes)

Get ready for “The Great Digital Easter” – every church around the world is vying for your screen time this coming Sunday… and they’re already anticipating the bragging rights of BIG streaming numbers into their hour of quarantine. It’s going to be amazing, and the services will be good…

But there’s so much more than “the big show”.

The meaning of Easter is about being surprised by LIFE in the midst of grief and fear – and it could not be more applicable than in our current days.

It would be easy to just shift “the big Easter show” into your living room with surround-sound and call it DONE, but we’re hoping for more… We want to help you make this Easter more meaningful, more intimate, and more than just more screen time. : ) That’s a lot of mores…

PLUS, we want to save you from having to repeatedly ask your kids to BE QUIET AND SIT STILL while you’re TRYING to hear the JOY OF EASTER : )

So… Check out this video from Ryan and then keep reading for some [good] DIY Easter ideas…

We hope that video gets you excited to create your own memorable Easter experience this year.

And now…

Ideas from our community to you…

Yes, the stores are out of eggs, the Bunny is quarantined, and we’re all practicing social distancing (sadly, even from loved ones) this Easter… But that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of it!

So without further ado, here’s some inspiration we’ve gathered from our Uncommon [community]. Let’s start with reading the story…

First off – the real story of Jesus, his life, his people, his death, and his resurrection (what we celebrate at Easter) are found in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Perhaps when you wake up this Sunday, take a little quiet time to read the real story on your own, and then later to your family or whomever else you have the joy of lock-down with! 

Beginning with the Bible this way will start your day with just you and God – whether you believe it all or not. And once you’ve got the real story (even if you don’t watch a service) this reading of the ancient account of Jesus raising from the dead will start your Easter off right from the source!

These eye-witness accounts are short too… even if you just read one with the kids, ask them what they heard, and then everything becomes eggs and candy… it’s a win. It’s only minutes of focus – totally doable for the littles (and the adults with short attention spans too : ).

Read Matthew chapter 28:  Jesus has been in the tomb for three days, and this chapter picks up on resurrection morning (Easter). Mary thought she’d find Jesus’ tomb closed and full… that’s not what she got. The parallel accounts are found in Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20.

It doesn’t take much time to to read each of these, and here’s a good practice – Ask God to show you new things and new life even as you read a story that may be very familiar to you. God can even surprise you with new life in words that have become lifeless. 

— — — — — — — 
Further thoughts to think on Easter…

Why is this resurrection moment so important?
Paul (a follower of Jesus) says it here in a letter called 1 Corinthians: 

“Now, let me say something profound yet troubling for many… If there’s no resurrection, there’s no living Christ. And face it—if there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything we’ve told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you’ve staked your life on is smoke and mirrors. Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ—sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection.”

“If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ weren’t raised, then all we’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever…  If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 MSG

Whew… yeah, the resurrection is a pillar of the faith… but what if…
What if I’m not so sure about all of this?It’s ok my friend. Even Jesus’ closest followers wrestled with faith and doubt and trust even when they spent time with him AFTER the resurrection (Matthew 28:17)! Perhaps the best prayer for all of us is one passionately proclaimed to Jesus from a man in Mark chapter 9: “I believe; help my unbelief!”  What an authentic prayer – God will answer this prayer for you and your family… He is near to this morning wherever you are in your faith! Jesus gave his life and conquered death for all the world (that pretty much includes all of us). ❤️

Now, if you’d like another fun way to share the story, check out this sweet little video we found that’s made by kids with accents… which of course makes it way better… 😉

Next up…

Themes & Activities

Having awesome conversations and activities this Easter is something you are FULLY equipped to do with your family & friends… Making it meaningful can be as easy as just talking about some key themes and doing a fun activity…

In Isaiah 43:19, God is talking to the prophet, Isaiah about all the ways He makes things new and says,

“Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.”

This theme shows up over and over in the scriptures to remind us that God is in the business of taking the old and making it new! In fact, it’s why Jesus came. To do away with the old ways of religion that said some were “in” a some were “out”. And to extend the invitation of new life to EVERYONE. 

 Jesus said, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30


See if you can make something new that you’ve never made before using things you have around the house.

  • Make a new a craft or art project
  • Make a new food dish
  • Paint/fix something that needs repair 
  • Build something new out of old stuff

Another recurring theme in scripture is light in the darkness.
In fact, Jesus has some words about that for us…

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:14-16


Sunrise @ Home
If you’re up for an early morning, try having your own Sunrise Service at home. Get up when it is still dark and watch the sunrise. It will be a beautiful moment regardless, but if you want to, read John 1:1-5.

Flashlight Lessons
Grab some flashlights and go to a dark spot in your house (bathroom, closet, garage). Turn on one flashlight and explain that darkness can only exist in the absence of light. Have everyone turn on their lights and share that as long as we let our lights shine, the darkness can’t exist. Ask everyone how they might be able to shine their light in what seems like a pretty dark time.

Light a Tree of Hope
Another fun idea is to light up a tree – a hope tree – that your neighbors can see as a sign of light & hope for Easter.

Like we mentioned before, Easter is about being surprised by LIFE in the midst of grief, fear, and death. It’s one of the amazing ways God works in the world. We see this concept in nature all the time. Plants are a great example… A seed can remain a hunk of dormant plant-stuff for years. But given the right conditions, a seed can give rise to new life!


Plant a Seed
If you’re able, plant some seeds and talk about how life will grow out of what seems like a lifeless seed. IF the plant grows over the next few weeks/months it will be a great lasting reminder of the memories you made during your quarantine Easter!

Watch This Cool Video
There is a plant that grows in the Sahara called the Resurrection Plant (aka Jerusalem Rose). Most of the time, it looks like a dead tumbleweed blowing in the wind. But when it finds water, something amazing happens. Watch the video and talk about life coming from death.

Ask: What Will You Do?
Right now, we are in a season waiting in our home shelter… Kinda like how Jesus was “waiting” in the tomb. Ask your fam what they plan to do when we are all able to come out of this time of waiting? What would you have done if you were Jesus? What do you think Jesus wanted to do?

The fun doesn’t stop, here’s some more ideas to to help bring joy to your Easter…

Drive-by Easter
Do you know someone who could use some extra Easter joy? Go drop eggs and/or baskets at their house. Be sure to follow all the proper social distancing and sanitation guidelines.

Zoom Games
Missing the ones you love? Hop on whatever video call app you use and play some games. Our favorite has been a Zoom Scavenger Hunt where the host calls out an item to go find in the house and the first to come back with it is the winner. We’ve also heard the Price is Right, Family Feud, and Name that Emoji are fun too!

Fun Easter Games
We downloaded some fun Easter specific games that we’d love to share so you can play them with your family. One is a set of challenges like Egg toss, etc. And the other is a game of Easter Charades where you have to act out what’s on the slide. Both are fun and hilarious!

Click the button below to open up a google drive folder with all the resources you’ll need to play the games… 


That’s all folks!
We would LOVE if you sent us pics or vids of you doing these ideas 🙂 You can tag us on social media @uncommongoodsd or email them to

You are loved
You are valued
You belong

The Uncommon [team]

Love is Everywhere 💕

So, I (Cody) seem to have a thing for hearts. I know that’s not the manliest icon out there, but I love the symbolism of it. It’s part of why we chose the heart as our logo. In addition to designing our heart, I also seem to find hearts in random places. At which point, I take a picture like the one above. That one was on a red-zone curb at my apartment complex. As I thought about this recurring theme of hearts in my life, I realized that it could serve as a great reminder for all of us; If you keep your eyes open, you’ll see that…

Love is everywhere. 

You see we, the uncommon [people], hold love up as a value. Which on the surface is an obvious choice for a Jesus community. But let’s unpack it a little more… Our three values are Love, Faith, and Community. All three of them are ingrained in who we are. But love… love truly is at the heart of the other two. Pun shamelessly intended. 😉 

Let’s start with Faith. We have faith in a God who loves us more than we can ever even imagine. And we want to invite people into that. We share our faith, and hold faith for others because we want everyone to experience the [good] love of a [good] God.

Community. Real community is rooted in love. When someone is loved they belong. And we believe everyone should belong in a community that loves them. That is why we are so stoked to keep setting tables of belonging, love, joy, faith, fun, and community in 2020.

Love. The uncommonly [good] message we bring to the world is one of love. A great love that welcomes all to the table. A love that truly knows us. One that sees the all cracks and blemishes and keeps right on loving. Love that offers life to the full here and now. A love that we can see in sunsets, nature, the face of the grocery store clerk, and even parking lot curbs… His love is showing itself to us all the time. And if we pay attention, we’ll see see it everywhere. 




Giving Tuesday 2019

And we have one goal: 
50 Gifts to Bless Our Community!


Uncommon [good] exists to create [space] for people to connect with God and one another in community.

Our hope is for people to know they belong and to connect them with the God who loves them beyond measure! We do this by setting tables of community for people who may have none. BUT we also love to extend the blessings of community to those who have tangible needs. So, even if you already give (THANK YOU) we’d be stoked if you joined this awesome-sauce day of generosity to impact our community.

Here’s three great ways to give…

2. JOIN 100 for 100

Help us reach our goal of 50 gifts in one day. Read below for more details on our three ways to give…


One time gifts are a HUGE blessing to us. Get your year-end giving out of the way now to help set tables of belonging in 2020.

Click the button below to give online or contact us if you’d like to give another way (checks, stock donations, charitable funds, etc…) 


JOIN 100 for 100

A few months ago, we launched a campaign to get 100 monthly gifts of $100. We’re about halfway there and would love to close out 2019 with all 100 monthly gifts locked down. And it doesn’t have to be $100. Some have signed up for as little as $20/month and as much $1000/month. Any amount is much appreciated and helps sustain us for the future.

To join and start your monthly giving, click the button below, select ‘Join 100 for 100’ in the giving type menu, and click “Setup Automated Giving”.

JOIN 100 for 100


Uncommon [good] has adopted two local families in need through Friends and Family Community Connection. Our hope is to bless the socks off these families this Christmas. We would be ecstatic if you could financially support this awesomeness. We will also have a giving tree with donation ornaments for the families at Uncommon Christmas.

Click the button below and select “Support Local Families This Christmas” in the giving type menu.



You can support us by shopping on Amazon Smile this Christmas Season. Just visit and set “Uncommon Good Church” as the organization you support.



Once you give, copy this graphic and share it on your social media to let everyone know what you gave to on Giving Tuesday. And bonus: this is a great conversation starter to tell your peeps about Uncommon [good].


In case you need more convincing, watch our latest video…

We asked our friends what Uncommon [good] has meant to them.
Their stories are our heartbeat…




The Spectrum of Goodness 🌈

When there’s so much good to give to…
– Ryan James Ross

Kids know stuff — and sometimes their clarity is profound.

We sat with some elementary aged kids in a park last week at [Good]life (our Uncommon youth ministry) and asked them some questions.

After hearing some stories about their October Halloween costumes, what they did with their families, and how much candy they all got, we then asked what they thought November was all about…

“November is about being thankful and giving thanks.”

“November is about giving to others too, like groceries…”

“…because after Thanksgiving we get presents!

It was such a funny moment leading to a conversation about gratitude!

It was clarity about our season from a kids perspective:
Thanksgiving can merely be a polite onramp to Christmas consumer time.

First we give thanks, then we eat (a lot), and next we rest up for shopping on Black Friday. Somewhere in there, your family has figure out when they’re going to decorate for Christmas since all the stores jumped straight to it on November 1!

Being grateful for all the good in our lives can so easily get squished by meal preparation, Holiday to-do lists, Christmas shopping, and of course your day-job doesn’t slow down for any of it.

History moment here —
Something happened just seven years ago that deeply impacts your November (and the amount of phone calls and non-profit mail you get stuffed in your inbox and mailbox).

On a cold winter day in New York,Giving Tuesdaywas started in 2012 as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season (Black Friday and Cyber Monday). It is always on the Tuesday that follows Thanksgiving.

In the great annual storm of buying a lot of stuff, a simple idea was put forth about a day of goodness to partner with the heart of Thanksgiving: Giving Tuesday is a day that encourages people to do good and give to good.Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, to go out and do good things, and to celebrate generosity.

And, it’s a HUGE day for non-profits, churches, and charities to remind you that you can give to them and support all the good that they do in the world. This gets you a load of emails about giving (we recognize the irony ; ), and it makes it really hard to hear actual news on KPBS because of the giving campaigns.

All the noise about giving right now can be overwhelming and guilt inducing.  We are asked to give at every cash register and even at the doors to our grocery stores. And, with so many good options, here is the hard question for so many of us, “What do I actually give to?”  and “Does it make a difference?”

Each charity wants to be the one, but here’s what we want to remind you of:
It’s not about choosing one good thingto give to, but mindfully choosing what good you do give to. There are probably several non-profits and causes in your life that really connect with you and that you see great value in — call that your Spectrum of Goodness: It may be severalgreat groups you give to that are really impacting your community and changing the world for the better.

Rather than get paralyzed by the noiseof Giving Tuesday and all the requests for your generosity at the end of the year, here are a few questions that can help aim your generosity and help you feel really good about how you support awesome organizations in this world.

  1. Does their purpose spark your heart? —  When you hear about what they do and why they do it, does your heart resonate and ‘come to life’? When you hear about their cause, does it feel like your soul says, “oooh… that’s really valuable and good!!!” If your heart and soul get sparked by that organization and their mission… then give to that color because it’s on your spectrum!  Does something break your heart in this world and you see some non-profit doing something about that? Then give to that, because it sparks your heart.
  2. Do they personally impact me and/or my loved ones? —  There is so much good in the world, but you can only give to so much, so give to what personally impacts you because that is part of your unique story in the world. If your loved one has been impacted by a medical condition, give to that research. If you have been blessed by a community organization and what they do for you, give to them. If you are connected daily or weekly with a non-profit that benefits your community, give to them. Give to what you actually see and feel impact from, because that color is on your spectrum.
  3. Can I actually DO good WITH them?— More than just sending a a check, can you actually “in the flesh” be a part of what that organization does? If you can physically sit with them, pack food for the hungry with them, heal the sick with them, do good things in the community with them… then give to and get involved with thatorganization, because you are actually a beautiful color in theirspectrum!

Here’s the deal— Generosity is really spiritual… it’s a soul thing.

I deeply believe that God guides our hearts, minds, and souls with what good things we can give to in this world. Our job is to listen, and then give and get involved. As you give to non-profits, churches, ministries, charities, and causes in this world, you enhance their beauty and impact of their color! That is your personal Spectrum of Goodness, and it’s unique and beautiful. The person next to you has a different spectrum, and it’s beautiful too… and thank God that you’re colors are different… because we all can’t give to everything. In fact, when we give a tiny bit to everything, we can actually have very little impact — It’s better to aim well at our Spectrum.

Here’s a cool challenge:In addition to your personal spectrum, maybe your family could have a spectrum of goodness that you all determine to give to together— like a family mission statement that clarifies what good things you support in your community and in your lives. That’d be awesome, and it could help your children develop hearts of compassion and minds that see intentional goodness and generosity… and they get to see exactly what good things they contribute to in the world!

Perhaps Uncommon [good] is part of your spectrum of goodness – we’d love if you took a few minutes to watch this video and consider helping us keep the good going

If you’d like to help create more stories like this, please consider giving online. Or check out the other ways to give on our giving page

GIVE to the GOOD

Life is Hard, But…

Cody James Vermillion

Yep. Life is hard sometimes.
Can I get an amen?

I am sure most of you reading this have gone through some hard things in life. It’s kind of the human experience, right? We come into this life screaming. Every minor discomfort is a painful reminder that we are no longer in the warmth and tranquility of the womb.

As we get older, we find that some things are harder than others. Some experiences are more painful. Some tasks are more challenging. And worse, we see others having an easy go at the things that give us the most trouble (spoiler alert: it’s hard for them too). Which seems to make things feel even harder. Thankfully, that’s not always the case. But in a culture that celebrates the “hustle”, it sure seems like we spend a lot of our lives struggling to keep up.

I personally feel that lately. Everything from getting the kids to school on time to sending that lingering email reply feels like a slog. What’s weirder though… even the good things (and there’s tons of good things) feel like a lot of work for some reason. In the words of Coldplay “nobody said it would be easy…” So yeah… life is hard sometimes.


There’s one thing that is easy. One thing that is light. One thing that isn’t a burden or a weight on our shoulders. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says…

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Rest. For. Your. Souls… Doesn’t that sound nice?

At Uncommon [good], we talk a lot about the Good News of Jesus not being particularly good if it has no impact on our lives here and now. These words from Jesus are a reminder that this life doesn’t have to be a burden or a weight on our shoulders. That there’s someone who carries it for us. That there’s rest for the weary and grace for the burdened. A grace that requires nothing of you. Now, that’s good news…

So I think it’s time we all accept the grace Jesus offers. Really embrace it. Claim it as your own. Because it is the gift that He gives us… A life that isn’t plagued by guilt, shame, or feelings of inadequacy. No, Jesus doesn’t come with a list of to do’s. He doesn’t offer a life of striving for perfection. He offers a life of resting with Him.

Don’t get me wrong, He doesn’t promise that life will be easy. This isn’t about deluding ourselves into thinking that everything is puppies and rainbows. We are grown ups, after all. There will still be challenges to face and work to be done. Accepting grace doesn’t mean you stop trying. It simply gives you the freedom to stop feeling like you don’t measure up. Grace gives us a reprieve from the weight and expectations of perfection. So that even when things are hard, we can rest with Him knowing that we are just as loved, just as valued, and that no matter what, we always belong at His table.

Sacred vs Secular

– Dawn Neldon and Cody Vermillion

If you’ve been following on this Uncommon journey for any amount of time you know that we are in the business of reframing and reclaiming truths about life, faith, and being human. Because we are certain that there are things that we, as a culture, have believed and are believing that need to be tweaked (and some that just plain need to be thrown out).

This month we want to tackle the false dichotomy that exists in our culture between the sacred and the secular. See, we tend to give in to the belief that there are places, spaces, times, things, and people that fall into the category of “sacred.” Those might be things like church and….church…and church music….and things and people that operate in church. And in general all things church.

But the problem with this belief is that we neatly package God into the box of religious activity that happens in churches and remove Him (in our minds) from all sorts of places where God is fully present. Because God is in churches AND in businesses, doctors offices and grocery stores. He is in worship music and pop radio. He is in missionary work and the 9-5 workplace.

God is over all and through all and in all. He created everything and holds it together. Granted, we as humans have a tendency to inject our own brokenness into the good He has created. But if you really pay attention, you can find God in the ordinary things of life. From the birds chirping before your alarm, to the cup of coffee that gets your day started, to the face of the barista who made it.

Church isn’t the only place to find God. In fact, you are made in the image of God. So He is with you always. You don’t have to be at church, you don’t have to be a pastor, or missionary, or Sunday school volunteer to experience something sacred. Those things are all great! But you can live in to the sacred calling God has given you in your every day experiences.

This weekend, try looking for the ways in which God is present in the every day things of life. And on Monday, as you head to work – or as you get the kids ready for whatever you’re doing to stay sane while they’re not in school – try to find the sacred moments. The times when God shows up in the ordinary.

Then join us on July 7th to talk more about it…






How To Have A Great Summer

– Ryan James Ross

I love sitting at tables with people I admire and just asking them about living a good life. I really love getting to do this with good food too. So…
Partner Margie and Ken Blanchard up with some breakfast soufflé and parfaits, and we get one awesome morning!

Many of the best Blanchard family stories and memories (and books) have come from summer adventures. So before they took off on their next trip, we asked them “what is the key to a great summer that is remembered forever?” And here’s what they shared…

Invest in creating experiences.

More important than buying stuff, or even just getting stuck in an summer rut, use your energy and resources to give your kids and friends a memorable experience. Experiences are the source of life’s stories and lasting memories, not stuff. Go try to build a raft that may or may not float. Get out there and gather up the people to ride bikes, go on a hike, take a road trip, or eat a burrito on a lifeguard tower at sunset. It takes energy, but it’s worth it. 

Create rituals.

Margie and Ken weren’t suggesting religious tradition here, but they were challenging all of us to create some unique things you do with your kids and friends that you can repeat monthly or annually. Make a unique food around a campfire. Go see fireworks from a boat. Walk to the store and back in crazy hats. Do that “burrito in a lifeguard tower” thing above… but do it a few times! When we have unique and creative rituals/traditions that we repeat a few times, those often become the best times. These rituals become the best moments with friends too. I’ve heard it said that even if you do a unique family ritual just three times with your kids, they’ll remember that “we did it all the time” when they’re adults! It takes effort to create a cool ritual, but it’s worth everything you put into it.

One cool ritual that the Blanchards have created is a “Breakfast with the Ancestors”. Every summer they get the whole family together and throw a potluck party in a cemetery. [Yes, we reacted to that too!] Weird as that sounds, they gather together and share stories of their ancestors and all the people that have shaped the family. They even share about the pets that they loved and lost, and all the fun stories about them. The first time they did this, not everyone thought it was a good idea… but now, years later, everyone loves and looks forward to this very unique Blanchard ritual.

Ask this question regularly: “What makes our family unique?”

When you’re together at a meal or one of these experiences you create, ask yourselves what makes your family (or your group of friends) unique… special… different. This question brings out appreciation and builds up identity. You may even come up with some cool family values and traits that you could creatively put up in your living room to further build the unique identity of your tribe.

So, here is our hope for you this summer…
Go invest your time and energy in creating unique experiences with your loved ones. Make up a new ritual that you can repeat — it will become a life long memory. Always ask what is special about your family and friends… it will form the beauty and appreciation of your little tribe of goodness.

May your summer be full of life, love, and enjoying the people that God has placed around you!

And if you want some ideas for great experiences, check out the Uncommon summer haps…






Words on Wine & Words

– Ryan Ross

We couldn’t have had a more beautiful night to talk about hard things.

God gave us the perfect break in the rain to talk about how we reason through the concept of a good God in light of evil and suffering in the world (not to mention pain in our own lives too). It was such a gift to have Jared Herd from Church at Rancho Bernardo join us in this conversation. He brought us his heart, his wisdom, and his laughter!

All together – with good wine and food – we shared about seasons of pain and reasons for hope. We shared, we cried some, and we laughed a lot. We are so happy to create these spaces in our community to have real and powerful conversations. Conversations about doing life together all while walking with a God who loves us and gives us freedom to choose our next steps in life.

Thanks for joining us! You can check out photos from this event on our Facebook Page. And be sure not to miss our next Commune event on June 2nd.

Also, check out our podcast with Rabbi Mendy to continue the conversation on dealing with darkness in the world… and being the ones that get to usher in the light.

God bless!

Uncommon [Cast]

In the midst of tragedy and darkness, the light shines brighter than ever…

We are so glad we got the opportunity to sit down again with Rabbi Mendy from the Chabad of Poway for part two of an incredible conversation! (let’s be honest, it was a part one do over…) Rabbi Mendy’s wisdom, perspective, and humility is such a privilege to experience! We’re so excited to share this episode and the message that God has for all people!!!

You can find us on Apple Podcasts and Spotify by searching Uncommon [cast]. Or click the link below to visit our podcast site.



Sunday, June 2nd, 4 PM, Rancho Guejito Vineyard, FREE

What if communion looked more like a meal at a table where all are included? What if something as normal as eating together could be something… sacred?

You are invited to rediscover what communion is all about at the beautiful Rancho Guejito Vineyard.

We will provide some wine and bread. There will also be food tickets from the amazing Smoking’ J’s BBQ as well as drinks available to purchase. Kids are welcome! We’ll have a bounce house and fun activities available. Plus there’s plenty of room for them to run amuck.

We can’t wait to see you there!

RSVP to Commune

Join the 100…

100 for 100 is moving along nicely! We are getting close to one of our smaller benchmarks of 20 monthly gifts of $100.

So exciting!!!

This campaign is all about keeping the [good] going. We are hoping to get 100 people to give $100 a month to help make the work of Uncommon [good] sustainable for the future.

If you are one of the amazing people giving to the [goodness]…


If not, and you have found yourself blessed in any way by Uncommon [good], we want to invite you to join 100 for $100. If you’d like to know more, please click the button below and join the 100.


Watch our NEW VID

100 for 100 will help us invite people into conversations where we reclaim truths about faith, life, and being human.

Join the 100




When Bad Things Happen

One thing has been on my mind for the past few weeks – what do we do with faith when bad things happen?

I mean rewind it all back! Rewind back to before the diagnosis came in, before the relationship fell apart, before the company went under, before the tragedy struck – what did your faith (by the way both belief and unbelief in a higher power are forms of faith) have to say about tragedy?

In our normal, smooth-ish sailing, mostly-unruffled life – many of us don’t consider our faith too deeply. We believe platitudes like “everything happens for a reason” or  “God has a plan” or “God doesn’t give you more than you can bear,” without thinking about what those phrases actually mean in the face of real tragedy. 

But once the boat (and your life) has been rocked a bit, suddenly the platitudes don’t hold up.

We start wondering:  
How can God be good if terrible things happen?
How can God have a plan that allows for such tragedy? 
If there is such a God, why would I want to be a part of his plan or be in relationship with Him? 
If there is no God, why is hope possible in the face of hopelessness?

All of these are excellent questions. Questions that we shouldn’t be afraid of. Questions that we shouldn’t push away. Because if we don’t have a faith that makes sense in tragedy… we probably don’t have much of a faith to speak of. 

That’s why this Sunday, at Wine and Words we are going to dive head first into these hard questions. Nothing is off the table. Let’s lean in together and wrestle with this question:

“What do we do with faith when bad things happen?”


Sunday, May 19th, 6:30 PM, Espinosa Vineyards, $25

We are. SO. EXCITED. for this Wine & Words! Not only do we have Pastor Jared Herd from The Church at Rancho Bernardo joining us… but we’ll also return to our friends at Espinosa Vineyards!

Have you ever wondered where God is during the hard times of life? How do we navigate that? Pastor Jared and the Uncommon [team] will lead a conversation around this very topic.

There will be wine. There will be words. $25 gets you said wine and even some delish charcuterie.

So call up the baby sitter and get ready for another great conversation about faith, life, and being human… while drinking amazing wine. [responsibly, of course!]

RSVP to Wine and Words

100 for 100 – PROGRESS!

100 for 100 is moving along nicely! Since we launched last week, we have already had 13 monthly gifts of $100 committed to Uncommon [good]. That’s pretty awesome!

We’re so excited!!

This campaign is all about keeping the [good] going. We are hoping to get 100 people to give $100 a month to help make the work of Uncommon [good] sustainable for the future.

If you are one of the amazing people giving to the [goodness]…


If not, and you have found yourself blessed in any way by Uncommon [good], we want to invite you to join 100 for $100. If you’d like to know more, please click the button below and join the 100.

Join the 100

Or… Watch our NEW VID

100 for 100 will help us invite people into conversations where we reclaim truths about faith, life, and being human.

Join the 100