Southpoint News November 29, 2017
Our Advent Practice – Lectio Divina
On Sundays in advent, we will not be listening to a prepared talk. We will be listening for ourselves to the Spirit and the Text through a practice called lectio divina. What is it? Latin for “sacred reading,” lectio divina is an ancient practice of prayer and reflective reading of scripture dating back to about 300 AD. You can practice it with scripture, or with a poem, or a reading. You can practice it in a group, or by yourself. You can do it in 15 minutes, or you can stretch it over a number of hours. You can do it internally in the silence of your heart and mind, or you can include periods of writing and/or creative response. By entering into this journey inward, you are creating space to be attentive and present to God. Creating this space is your gift to God. No matter what happens, or what you get out of it, just showing up to one another is a gift. By entering into this inward journey, you are also creating space to be attentive to the reality your own life and the reality of scripture. The Holy Spirit has a wonderful way of connecting these two realities in meaningful ways. Lectio divina, although quite simple, is therefore also transformational. Before the journey begins…There are many little variations in how people practice lectio divina. I share with you my practice: First step is to choose your reading – a scripture passage, a poem, a prayer, a passage from a book. If you are just beginning, choose something that already has resonance for you, something you would like to pay attention to more deeply. Second step is to figure out how much time you have. This will help you figure out how many times you want to repeat the readings and how much of a pause you want to leave between each cycle. Finally, get cozy. Get in a comfortable position, ready to listen. You want to be comfortable, but not so comfortable you fall asleep:) If it helps, you can put a blanket around you, or light a candle, or set a timer, something to show your intention of settling into God’s presence. Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to be with you, and trust that whatever happens is enough. The journey…Take your time as you read the text out loud, going slowly enough that you can pay attention to each word as it goes by. At times, your mind will wander. When this happens, gently redirect it back to your listening.
First Cycle: “Listening to the words” (Read 1-3 times, depending on time)
Read: In this first set of readings, you are listening for little nuggets in the text- words or phrases that catch your attention, “shimmer”, provoking some inner response.
Pause: Pause long enough to hold the word or phrase in your mind, lingering over it.
Share: If alone, you may want to write it down. If in a group, pause to name the word/phrase to one another. Resist the temptation to explain why it matters. In this first reading, just naming the word/phrase is enough.
Second Cycle: “Listening to your heart” (Read 1-3 times)
Read: In this second set of readings, you are listening to your own heart. Listen for the emotions, memories, insights, or images that begin to bubble up as you pay attention to these words.
Pause: As you pause, pay attention, listening and observing the silver threads beginning to emerge which connect the reality of scripture with the reality of life. Beware the temptation to get lost in analysis, figuring out the passage rather attending to what connections the Spirit might be making.
Share: If alone, you may want to write some of these things your are noticing down. If in a group, pause to share briefly these with one another. The listening is part of the praying, so resist the temptation to dialogue at this point, just receive one another’s words in a spirit of quiet and humility.
Third Cycle: “Listening to God’s invitation” (Read 1-3 times)
Read: In this third period of quiet, listen for how God might be inviting you into a new perspective, a new posture, a new direction.
Pause: As a sense of God’s invitation begins to solidify within you, hold this invitation in your heart and mind….perhaps you will have a clear sense of action you are to take, or a new perspective on an issue in your life, perhaps you will just be led into a place of deepening quiet. Let God lead you during this time of quiet and trust the movement of the Spirit within you. If you sense little happening, relax and rest in God, which is its own invitation. You do not need to make anything happen. Trust that God is doing what is necessary in you.
Share: You may write down at the end what you sense God’s invitation to you is at this time. If in a group, you can pause to share this invitation with one another. Again, beware the temptation of dialogue…we listen to one another as part of the prayer, paying attention to any patterns emerging in our sharing, for the Spirit also speaks to us through one another.
End with Gratitude: When you are finished, pause to say thank you, resting in the awareness that you are surrounded by God’s love and presence. Thank God for whatever happened in your time, no matter how ordinary. Thank those you’ve journeyed with for entering into this process together and generously sharing from their journey. ??If you find symbolism meaningful, you might want to end with saying a blessing, such as: “May the Lord bless us and keep us, may the Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious to us, and give us his peace.” Or you can blow out your candle, fold up your blanket, and go back to your day:).
– Pastor Anne Smith
Our Advent Practice: Loonie Tunes!
When was the last time you, in desperation, bought a bottle of water? How much did it cost? A couple of dollars? Did you know that 1 loonie can provide 1 person water for 1 year? Now that’s a Loonie Tune! This Advent, Southpoint is having a “Loonie Tune Drive”. Collect your loonies during Advent, bring them to church each week, and at the end of Advent, the NET will match your loonie with another loonie! We’ll give away all our loonies to Lifewater Canada to help them build a WELL that provides clear, sweet, fresh, living water to a community. As one of our core images is a well, wouldn’t it be cool if we could actually help build one? Check out: http://www.lifewater.ca.
Celebrate Christmas with A Rocha – Open House
December 2nd, from 1:00- 4:00 pm. Bring your family to Brooksdale Environmental Centre for some good Christmas cheer. Join in caroling and story reading by the fireplace, site tours, kids crafts, plus hot drinks & treats for sale! You can even get some Christmas Gifts that are fair trade and locally made at A Rocha’s Farm and Gift Shop (Visit here).
Performed by the Handel Society of Music, with orchestra on Saturday the 23rd of December at First United Church, 15384 Semiahmoo Avenue, White Rock. ?A beloved Christmas tradition and a musical work of art. Tickets at the door, or call 604 591 2632.
Sunday the 3rd: dvent week 1: Isaiah 64: 1-9. Service with lectio divina at 10:00 am, Sunnyside
Sunday the 3rd Junior Youth 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Sunday the 10th Advent week 2: Isaiah 40: 1-1. Service with lectio divina at 10:00 am, Sunnyside
Sunday the 17th Advent week 3: Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11. Service with lectio divina at 10:00 am, Sunnyside
Friday the 22nd Christmas Party at 6:30 pm, Centennial Arena, White Rock
Sunday the 24th Advent week 4: Luke 1: 26-3. Christmas Eve Communion and Carol Service at 4:00 pm, Brooksdale Environmental Centre Main house, 1620 192 Street, Surrey
?Please pray for Anne and Chris Hartnell. Chris suffered a small stroke during a medical procedure at St. Paul’s hospital. He is home now, recovering. ??Please pray for Laura’s mom, Ann. Ann suffered an unexpected brain aneurism and is now in the process of recovery at VGH. These are critical days, please keep them in your prayers. Laura is keeping this blog updated as she is able. Pease pray for Kate Morgan who has been experiencing severe pain from her shoulder injury for many months now since her accident. Please keep her in your prayers. And this is just our little corner of the world. Consider the suffering of our world, and the lovingkindness of God who holds this pain within God’s Self. Contemplate how Jesus drank our cup of suffering so that he might offer us the cup of life. May you grow aware of the God that cradles you, especially in middle of night.
Southpoint Staff Position
Community Engagement Facilitator: ? ?The leadership team will soon begin the search for a five hrs/week community engagement facilitator. We also are looking to fill some administrative needs currently unmet since Karin returned to school. There is some flexibility to craft the position/s around the availability and skills of the individual. If you are interested in one or both of these positions, would you be in communication with Brent and/or Anne?