Southpoint News May 18, 2017
The Hidden Christ
“In times of anguish you have widened my way”
– Ps 4:1
During my seminary days I spent a summer studying ecology at Au Sable Institute. Part of my coursework was to sit in a small plot of land daily for one hour, simply observing, cataloguing each living thing, noticing how all the pieces of this little ecosystem fit together. As I sat there day after day, I grew aware of how life and death were inextricably intertwined in the little patch of dirt. This caused me to ponder my own views of creation. If every inch of creation was born out of and sustained by things that had died, then how could there have been no death in Eden? If God intended for humans to be infinite and infinitely populating, what would happen when the human population on earth exceeded the Earth’s capacity to sustain us? I remember feeling guilty for asking these questions of scripture, as if I was betraying God’s very self. Have you ever felt confused trying to reconcile what you’ve been told about God with what you see in the world? I imagine you have, particularly nowadays when God talk is used to justify all sorts of repugnant human behavior. Three days after Jesus’ death, a little cluster of disciples were walking down the road, away from Jerusalem. That morning, they’d heard strange stories that Jesus was alive. This was not just a theological conundrum for these disciples. They had loved Jesus. They had put their hope in him, and that hope had set the direction of their feet. He had just been arrested, tortured, and murdered by their own religious leaders. Grief, horror, betrayal, and now confusion were reverberating through their bodies as they headed down the road towards Emmaus. They were “on the way”… neither here nor there… traveling through doubt between the certainties of belief and disbelief. Have you ever walked this road? Into this emotional maelstrom of doubt, confusion, and tension, Jesus showed up. He engaged them in conversation, companioning them, listening to them, drawing them out, feeding them truth, without them even knowing it. They didn’t know it was him the whole seven-mile walk, even though their hearts burned within them; and he seemed perfectly OK with that. Indeed, Jesus lived that way for the first 30 years of his life, quietly being among humans. He companioned the world, content with enfolding the glory of his holiness into himself the way a peacock enfolds the glory of his tail. It makes me wonder. How many times have we experienced the presence of the hidden Christ and not even known it? How many times have we been confused, not sure what to think of God, yet all the while bearing the flush of the holy in our hearts?
– Pastor Anne Smith
*translated from Hebrew by Pamela Greenberg in The Complete Songs
Arising out of one of our core images – the Table, which represents hospitality – it’s been a year since we Southpointers began Gathering Groups. When neighbours come together for fun, it’s often around a table. When neighbours need help, it’s those connections made at the table that spur us to “make tracks to each other’s doors”, offering the help that’s needed, or simply offering warmth and caring. Our congregation has some interesting features, with certain folks sharing connections through work with A Rocha or living in intentional communities like the Hardy household, Kingfisher Farm or A Rocha’s Brooksdale Environmental Centre, and others living in White Rock, central & north Surrey and Langley. Not all of us are actual neighbours and some really are! The intention of our Gathering Tables is to foster connections amongst us as if those who come really are neighbours: relationships deepen over time by sharing bits of our ‘real life’ with each other. The leadership model is intended to be collaborative, one of Southpoint’s favourite words! Each member is invited to envision what a Gathering time might be: a Sunday night film, a Saturday lunchtime picnic, a potluck breakfast and thoughtfully-led conversation. If you aren’t yet part of a Gathering Group, and would like a gentle way to get to know some Southpointers and be known, please contact Anne
Up Close and Personal Sermon Series
21 May – “By the Sea” Pastor Anne Smith Text: John 21: 1-19
28 May – ALL OUT: Meet in Gathering Groups rather than at Sunnyside. Talk to Anne if you’d like to join in!
4 June – Pentecost Sunday, regular service.
11 June – Regular service.
18 June – ALL OUT: Meet in Gathering Groups rather than at Sunnysidee. (Also Father’s Day!)
25 June – Baptism service at Brooksdale (620 192 Street, Surrey)
Let’s pray for David, Shauna, Aidan, Noah and their wider family and friends like Rhonda and Dave. Monday the 22nd will be the first anniversary of Thea’s death. May God’s Spirit give them comfort in their grief and loss. We could use a reminder that Thea is impishly accompanying Jesus. Please pray for Kate M. this week, whose car was hit side-on by an elderly driver and who is bumped and bruised. Remember Anne H., too, as she journeys with concussion symptoms from a car accident in March.
Next week, not this long weekend: Drinks and Delight: Southpoint women Friday, 26 May, 8:00 Hosted by Angela Neufeld
+13 Youth Group at Jen and Andrew Hubbard’s home Friday, 26 May, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Baptism class meeting with Anne Monday, 29 May, 5:00 – 6:15 pm at kingfisher Farm.
Gathering Groups: 28 May
Baptism class with Anne Mondays, 5:00 – 6:15 pm at Kingfisher Farm.
+13 Youth Small Group Retreat Friday, 2 to Sunday 4 June
Southpoint Hot Dog Roast: Save the Date Saturday, 10 June, 5:30 – 8:30 pm. Campfire and old-time entertainment at Kingfisher Farm
Meeting New Youth Initiative Friday, 16 June Save the Date Location / Time TBA. For parents of kids entering grades 6, 7, & 8
Gathering Groups 18 June
Youth Intern meeting with Anne Thursday, 1 June at 4:30 pm at Kingfisher Farm
Camping with your Southpoint Famiy: Friday, 30 June – Monday, 3 July. We have the Group Camping Site reserved at Hazelmere and are working on confirming numbers. Good times for drop-ins: Tea party later Sunday afternoon Marshmallow roast TBA
Gleaners ‘bee’ near Vernon, BC Sunday 27 to Thursday 31 August. Contact Anne for details