Fresh Church

Pentecost, 1991
Quilt by Linda S. Schmidt

I have been watching a series on Amazon prime called The Man in the Castle. In the series, Nazi Germany wins WW 2 and the world is parcelled out between the Japanese Empire and the German Empire. It is an interesting study of power and the way empires methodically and systematically employ fear and violence to maintain control. In the series, everyone exists within the matrix of fear and violence, even the resistance, even those with positions of power. As I watch it, I have been thinking of Jesus and his early followers in Acts, and how they existed, within this matrix of power, made even more complex by religious institutions with their own mechanisms of fear and control.

Jesus stepped into this matrix offering a fresh way of being in relationship with each other. A way of compassion, not of violence. A way of healing, not of destruction. A way of forgiveness, not of vengeance. A way of trust, not suspicion. A way of mercy, not of judgement. A fresh way that was not just preached but embodied in fresh expressions: baskets overflowing with fresh bread, nets packed with fish, mud and spit spread over eyes, precious oil spilled over muddy feet, unfurled grave clothes, eyesight restored. Even the inevitable death of Jesus, for of course the empire would use its bag of tricks against him, only increased the spread of his new way. A new matrix. A new net weaving itself like a parallel universe into the fibers of the world.

During this season of Eastertide I hope that the scent of Jesus’ fresh way lingered in our noses as we planted onions together in fresh soil. I hope that the freshness of his way tasted sweet, like the pancakes and syrup and orange juice passed around during our Fifth Sunday breakfasts. I hope that the texture of his way imprints itself on our skin as we shake hands and hug during the passing of the peace. I hope that the uniquely fresh vision of Jesus’ way became clearer as we listened to one another share and pray.

I hope we sense, if even for a moment, this fresh way of Jesus’ presence, ever present and intricately woven like the mycelium network within the forest floor. We are held by this network, and we are ourselves the filaments and fibers of this network. Through its strands flows an infinite power: faith, hope, and love. I hope that we don’t forget the freshness we have seen, heard, smelled, tasted, and touched this Easter Season.   

Our church is a fresh expression of this way of Jesus. I hope that we, the fruit of Jesus’ presence, would find ourselves emerging more and more into our selves, the way a mushroom emerges out of the mycelium of the forest floor. I hope and pray this for our church, as well as for our delegates, as we show up at the General Assembly June 1-3. May we show up a fresh expression of the way of Jesus, resisting violence, fear, and coercion while honouring and drawing on the power of faith, hope, and love.

Deep peace and blessing,


Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor, The Church at Southpoint

Worship Calendar

If you’re planning to join us for an in-person service, please read our Covid policy. It’s kept up to date, here.

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:

Sun May 28 — Pentecost
Angela Neufeld
Fresh Voices II   Acts 1:6-14

Sun Jun 4 
Our Summer Series begins
Brent Unrau

Sun Jun 11 
Anne Baxter Smith

Sun Jun 18 — Father’s Day
Anne Baxter Smith

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). Read Pastor Anne Baxter Smith’s bio here. Our website is

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Progress Pride Flag by Daniel Quasar (link)

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