A Little Child Shall Lead Them

I’ve just gotten off the phone with a pastor down in Kansas. What a rich conversation. Among other things, we talked about collective trauma, a symptom of which is shutdown. It can appear like resistance, or being stagnant, but really, it’s a community immobilized. Unable to move.

We’ve all been through a lot of change, instability, and unpredictability in the last five years. Think about it—we’ve witnessed big shifts in politics, economics, religion, health care, technology. We’ve managed change in our jobs, schools, churches, families, and individuals. While we are collectively unfurl, many people are still carrying stress in their bodies. I know I am.

Our summer offering at Southpoint is a response of compassion to what we’ve been through. Instead of focusing on something you should do, I want to remind you that you are worthy of care, and that God has woven an abundance into existence which holds the potential to resource us when we are depleted. I believe our children are the pied pipers who can lead us back to this abundance, if we are willing to follow them.

This is the quote that awakened me to this awareness that our children are our teachers:

“I think to truly feel whole — it’s not about acquiring something that we don’t have. It’s about remembering who we fundamentally are [and I, Anne, would add, what we’ve already been given.] When we come into this world—as I see with my own kids—we are content. My kids don’t care whether we have a big house or a small house. They don’t care about how fancy the clothes are that they wear or not. They care about finding moments of joy. They care about their relationships they have with the people around them. They observe things whether it’s a fleck on the wall that wasn’t there before, or whether it’s the play of lights as they come through the window in the setting sun. And they find joy in that, in those day-to-day, seemingly ordinary moments.” 

—Vivek Murthy

Children are embodied and in tune with these sources of refreshment. Most parents are also in tune to what will resource their children–a rest, a run around outside, a snack, a play date. It’s just that sometimes we adults forget that we need these things as much as our kids do. 

In adult culture, refreshment often is connected to something we consume or pay for—a fancy trip, drinks out, a trip to the ski slope. All great things. But what if real refreshment is something we receive or open up to rather than purchase?

What if refreshment is a gift that our bodies, like our children, will recognize if we let them? What if the refreshment is available around us, right here, now—in the sun, the rain, the trees, the air. In the smiles, the laughter, the rest, the running. And also in the tears, in the self-expression of emotions. In our friendships. In the speaking and the sharing and the feeling of being seen and heard. These are accessible resources. 

To me, this abundance of what resources us, and the wide access to this abundance, are gifts of God’s grace. God created us to need these things, and created a world where we would have these things, where our needs would be met. We were all created to be “haves”, not “have nots”.

A society that deprives some people of the right to rest, breathe, sit under trees, play with their kids, to feel and express and dance, or that isolates us, is dehumanizing. It is stealing our birthright as children of God. Giving ourselves and others around us access to rest and play and relaxed conversation, and shade and the sound of birds is a matter of justice. Designing liveable cities, creating liveable minimum wages, building schools with outdoor classrooms, having church gatherings in the park, making spaces and opportunities where friendships can grow are all ways we rehumanize ourselves.

This summer, we will be exploring a topic each Sunday that reflects this radically accessible abundance of refreshment God has woven into existence. So far we’ve explored Resting, Playing, and Seeing Slowly. Unlike most summer’s, I’m still weaving this slowly, as we go. If you have an idea of something you’d like to include, let me know 🙂

See you Sunday at Redwood Park!

Deep peace and blessing,

Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor, The Church at Southpoint

(1) Forest Sunday
(2) Land Sunday
(3) Wilderness Sunday

Worship Calendar

Location & Zoom. We meet on Sundays at 15639 24 Avenue, Surrey. Zoom is offered if you cannot attend in person. If you have trouble with the zoom link, use: meeting ID: 831 1690 9977 with password: 753319

Sermons Are Podcasted
Catch up on Southpoint sermons by finding the podcast “Meditations from the Church at Southpoint” on Spotify, Apple and Google. They’re also available on our website: www.southpoint.ca.

Sun Oct 1  Joy Banks
Refreshing Our Imagination
Introducing our Core Images.
Isaiah 55

Sun Oct 8   Jake Tucker
Thanksgiving Sunday
The God of Small Things
Luke 13: 18-21

Sun Oct 15  Anne Baxter Smith
John 4:1-42 (**v 13-14)

Sun Oct 22 ALL OUT
No service in the Sunnyside building

For our next All-OUT Sunday, we’ll be splitting up into three ‘teams’ to enjoy a mixture of work and play near the ocean. Folks on the green team will get to join an invasive species removal event hosted by Green Teams Lower Mainland at Ruth Johnson Park. Just a short walk down from the park, folks on the blue team will participate in a beach clean-up walk. Finally, anyone who’d prefer coffee and conversation at the cafe can join the brown team — you are encouraged to bring brownies with you! 🙂 

Sun Oct 29 Fifth Sunday Brunches
No service in the Sunnyside building

Sun Nov 5   Anne Baxter Smith
Matthew 14:13-21

Sun Nov 12  Anne Baxter Smith
John 21: 1-14

Sun Nov 19 Anne Baxter Smith
Mark 4: 26-29, Ps 26:5,6

New to Southpoint?

At Southpoint, it all begins with God’s love. Just as a plant grows, it receives sunshine, so we grow as we receive God’s love. At Southpoint, we are growing in our capacity to love God, ourselves, one another, and creation.

We seek to be a community of grace that is intentional yet organic, spacious yet authentic, grace-filled yet accountable. * We are fully welcoming. *

We encourage relationships rather than run programs, yet we recognize the importance of intentionality and structure as we nurture life together.

As a community, we seek to put our love in action. We value helping out on Sunday mornings, sharing food, and showing up in hard times. We keep our church life simple so folk have time to build relationships with family, friends, and neighbours. We encourage folk to serve in tangible ways within the wider community. We rent space rather than own a building, allowing us to do more with less, supporting missions at home and abroad.

Curious to know more?

These six slides express what motivates our ministry (best viewed on a monitor). Here’s the bio of our Pastor, Rev. Anne Baxter Smith.

If you’d like to really peek inside, sign up for our weekly Southpoint News (scroll to brown footer at bottom of page). The Southpoint News is a MailChimp distributed email—you can unsubscribe anytime and will not be added to our contacts list. Email us at office@southpoint.ca. Website: southpoint.ca.

Progress Pride Flag by Daniel Quasar (link)

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