Southoint News November 13, 2015
THE CHURCH @ SOUTHPOINT
We Are Divergent, Part 3- The Grand Finale:)
For the last few weeks we’ve been exploring Urban Holme’s four different types of spirituality. He devised this not so we could pigeon hole people but to affirm that there are differing well worn spiritual paths people follow to connect deeply and authentically with God. No one type takes priority over the other, each type needs the balance of the others, and we are all “divergent” – no person fits completely into one type.
Just as our individual stories reflect different spiritual types, so to our church traditions and corporate worship experience reflection these different types. I imagine each of us can remember a worship experience that felt profoundly significant. Similarly, we can probably describe plenty more that felt empty and devoid of meaning. My hunch is that if you dig deep enough, you’ll find both your positive and negative reactions reflections of your spiritual preferences.
Leaders naturally create worship that reflects the spiritual type most familiar and comfortable to them. We do this almost unconsciously – we recreate ourselves. This works well for those in the community who share the same preferences as the leader. However, those who do not find it easy to connect to God through that type can leave feeling confused and frustrated. “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I connect with God? Why don’t I fit in?” Too often they leave, frustrated with the church for not being “enough”, frustrated with God for playing a game of hide and seek, and frustrated with themselves for not being spiritual enough.
As a church community, we have the privilege of feeding and nourishing each other spiritually. Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” It will take intentionality, creativity, and some gentle spiritual practices within our worship life to provide windows of connection for these different spiritual types. As individuals, we have the privilege and responsibility of feeding and nourishing ourselves. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are heavy laden… Abide in me…Receive from me…Seek, Ask, Knock…” It will also take intentionality, creativity, and some gentle spiritual practices to make room for connections with God in our daily life. We are called to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. This is a way of life, not something that simply we do on a Sunday morning. What do we need to do in between Sundays to nourish ourselves spiritually so that we come with full cups, eager to worship Jesus Christ, rather than with empty cups, desperate to be fed?
As a church family, we have the privilege and responsibility of laying down our lives for one another. Church will not always meet our needs. Worship will feel awkward, uncomfortable, and we will go away scratching our heads. Beautiful! Let it be so! These are the moments when we learn to set aside our own needs, preferences, and desires for the sake of the Other. At these times, we learn to love God unconditionally, not for what God gives us, but simply for who God IS. Worship that places one’s own needs and preferences at the center is not worship at all.
As we begin the slow swing towards Advent, let us prepare our hearts to worship Christ the King. Let us worship the Glory of Jesus with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. And in a world full of great pain and turmoil, let us remember to take every opportunity presented to us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.
Pledges for 2016
Thank you for faithfully returning your pledges by November 1st. After meeting as a leadership team and reviewing the pledges, we realize that we are standing at a crossroads. Our pledges are significantly below the amount needed to keep us on the same track we travelled this past year. We invite you to stand at this crossroads with us, asking where the ancient path lies, asking where the Holy Spirit is leading us, so that we can walk in it and find rest. We long to keep our missional commitment, as well as our commitment to our staff. What is God inviting us to in this season of Southpoint? Brent and Sarah will address this opportunity for discernment this Sunday.
The leadership team is praying about how we as a church can respond to the refugee crisis and be involved in welcoming the Syrian refugees that will soon begin flooding into Surrey. We have decided to use the remaining amount allocated for missions in our 2015 budget towards this end. However, due to the gap between money pledged for 2015 and money given, we currently do not have these funds. Again, we stand at a crossroads. We long to respond to this crisis as a community. How might the Holy Spirit lead us? How can the abundance of the Kingdom flow like a river from the altar of our little church and out into the desolate landscape of the refugee crisis?
Evelyn Phillips and Matt and Roxy Humphrey will be joining the church on November 29th. We stand at this crossroads with them in great joy and look forward to welcoming them into our church family.
Rev. Anne Smith
Pastor of Church at Southpoint