Fresh Soil

The Photosynthesis Project, II
The People’s Church of Kalamazoo (Linda Rzoska) link

Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of the gorgeous book Braiding Sweetgrass, once confessed her envy of plants: “I have photosynthesis envy. The ability to take these non-living elements of the world, air and light and water, and turn them into food that can then be shared with the whole rest of the world, to turn them into medicine that is medicine for people and for trees and for soil. And we cannot even approach the kind of creativity that they have.”

It struck me, as we gathered on Sunday for our annual tradition of onion planting at A Rocha, that we weren’t merely serving A Rocha, as important a labour as that is. We were getting to participate in the miracle that sustains our Earth. All life, except for a few little creatures at the bottom of the ocean near sulfur vents, are dependent on the alchemy of photosynthesis. All life on Earth is sustained by the way plants convert sunlight into an energy which is safe for soft bodies to consume and combust. We got to participate in that miracle by helping the fragile roots of onion plants find purchase in fresh soil.

I also noticed a gladness that seemed to move amongst us as we chatted. We participated in this miracle, together. I enjoyed chatting with Summer about her ideal birthday celebration and marvelled at the Hubbard boys’ attempts to climb a cedar tree. Nate was so convinced I could do it if I gave it a try—bless him! Then there was the unexpected extended conversation, as rich as the soil underfoot, with someone new to Southpoint, and the joy of seeing Jess come and join us, recovering slowly from her surgery. Surely this, too, is worship—this communal participation in the miracle which is life.

In Luke 24: 13-ff, you’ll find the subtlest of resurrection accounts, one which invites us to pay attention to the sudden appearance of gladness in our midst. Two disciples were walking down the road, heading towards a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. Jesus joined them. It wasn’t until he left them, hours later, that the penny dropped and they realized they had been companioned all along by the miracle of the Risen Christ. They observed, retrospectively, “Were not our hearts burning within us?”

Someone, as they said goodbye to me standing out there on the field of fresh soil, said, “Thank you. I needed that. I feel… soothed.”  And then they put their hand on their heart. Maybe that’s our sign that the presence of the Risen Christ was with us planting onions on Sunday, too. 

  Nature runs on sunlight.
  Nature uses only the energy it needs.
  Nature fits form to function.
  Nature recycles everything.
  Nature rewards cooperation.
  Nature banks on diversity.
  Nature demands local expertise.
  Nature curbs excesses from within.
  Nature taps the power of limits.

                      —Janine Benyus

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 7
Anne Baxter Smith
Fresh Mercy   Acts 7:55-60

Sun May 14 — Mother’s Day
David Morrison
Fresh Vision   Acts 17:22-31

Sun May 21 
Lee Kosa
Fresh Voices   Acts 1:1-11

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

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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