Paul’s kale plants are a marvel to behold. What might be less obvious, until you get closer, is the quality of Paul’s soil in which these glorious plants grow.
Creator made the earth to be fruitful and multiply. Flourishing is God’s desire for creation. Soil is an amazing part of what makes life on earth flourish.
Did you know that one tablespoon of soil has more living organisms in it than all the people on earth? Did you know that there are 5,000 different types of bacteria in one gram of soil? Soil is alive! It’s teeming with life!
Soil stores more carbon than the atmosphere and all of the world’s plants and forests combined. Soil is one of our great allies in this climate crisis.
Good soil multiplies a single seed into an abundant harvest. Healthy soil feeds the world.
Our sermon series this October and November grows out my great respect for all who labour in love to cultivate safe soil in which things can grow.
Most churches describe themselves as safe places, as “good soil” where people can grow, and flourish. However, more and more we are hearing stories about toxic church cultures where people have not felt safe.
Jesus once told a parable about different types of soil. Good seed, planted in soil that didn’t offer adequate protection, never grew to fruition. Safety for a seed means that the soil holds moisture, is soft enough to sink roots into, has room enough to stretch and grow, and offers protection from birds and blinding sun.
Jesus compared the soil to the state of an individual’s heart. Soil is a good metaphor for the heart of a community, as well.
People who have experienced some form of spiritual abuse or religious trauma, like the seeds in the parable, did not receive the necessary protection. What makes a church feel unsafe? And what makes a church feel safer?
How can we, as a community, become a safer harbour for one another amidst the storms and challenges of life, particularly for those who have suffered some form of spiritual abuse or religious trauma?
What dynamics creep into the soil of a community that cause its members to armour up? What can we do, as a church, to make it as safe as possible for us to lay our defences down?
“Ever since Eden, the human struggle, our struggle has been to escape from the grip of the spirit of fear and to be open to the embrace of love.” (1)
How can we make it safer for people to open to the embrace of love?
These are the questions we’re teasing out the next two months in our new series called, “Safe Soil”. I hope you can join us, either face-to-face, over zoom, or by heading over to our website to listen to a recording.
(1) James H. Olthuis. The Beautiful Risk: A New Psychology of Loving and Being Loved. (p.75)
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: www.southpoint.ca.
Sun. Oct 16Defended and Undefended
Sun. Oct 23 ALL OUT
No service at Sunnyside:
Come to Kingfisher Farm to be steeped in the goodness of the land, learning about compost and soil with Paul and Angela Neufeld!
Sun. Oct 30 Resistance and Vulnerability
Potluck lunch to follow service
Sun. Nov 6Unsafe or Uncomfortable?
Sun. Nov 13Holding Space
Sun. Nov 20Right and Wrong
Joining by Zoom?
We continue to have a zoom offering if you cannot attend in person! The Zoom meeting link is here.
If you have trouble with the link, use:
meeting ID: 831 1690 9977
with password: 753319
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?
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