Southpoint News November 6, 2015
For a few weeks now 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.
Last week, 21 of you took an online inventory to help determine your preferred type. My intention was to provide you with a online way of playfully exploring these types. If your results seemed a mismatch, follow your instincts about yourself.
As I look at the results, it comes as no surprise to me that we are a wonderfully diverse bunch. I’ve known that by listening to your longings, your frustrations, and your suggestions for our communal life. To provide a summary of our preferences in broad strokes, I added up the the number of folk who gave each type a first or a second vote. Here is what I found: 71% preferred Heart as a first or second choice. 62% chose Soul as first or second choice. Head and Strength were tied with 42.8% of folk choosing these categories as either first or second choice. What a wonderfully diverse and balanced bunch we are. Thank you for participating in the discussions and the survey.
No one type takes priority over the other. Each quadrant provides a deepening knowledge of God and a deepening response to God, therefore each brings transformation. However, just as there is a beauty to each style, there is also a danger to each style if it becomes cut off from what Holmes calls “the circle of sensibility.” Each type is strengthened by being held in life-giving tension by the others. In fact, the type directly opposite from you on Holme’s model is the type that will provide you the most balance. (Head and Soul uniquely need each other, as do Heart and Strength.) If you simply remain within the safe confines of one type, you will be truncated spiritually. You miss the opportunity to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.
As you continue to reflect on this tool, ask how you can create space in your life for that which most naturally and deeply connects you to God. If you are contemplative at heart, you really do need silence. If you are scholar, you really will grow by spending time deeply immersed in scripture. If you are an activist at home with little ones, you will go stir crazy if you don’t find some way of getting out there and influencing the world around you. If you have a heart hungry for human connection, find others hungry for the same thing and make a covenant to meet together regularly.
However, ask also what you will need to press into for growth and balance. Here are a few suggestions to get you going:
- HEAD: Growth will come as you begin to explore ways to love God with your soul. Begin to pay attention to your interior connection with God. Solitude and silence will give you space to pay attention to the feelings within you and open up opportunity to explore ways of knowing God that are more experiential than rational. Notice that there are different ways of knowing God, and allow yourself to be a beginner again, someone who knows far far less than you had assumed. Schedule in a silent retreat, and spend some of it NOT reading:)
- HEART: Growth will come as you begin to explore ways to love God with all your strength. Growth will come as you find the strength to wrestle with and acknowledge the harder, darker side of life. Courageously explore your own messiness – your anger, disappointment, sadness, and doubt – as a way of deepening your intimacy with God. As you encounter a God who loves the grittiness of YOU deeply and compassionately, so you will begin to love imperfection and grittiness of your neighbour, even those who are different than you.
- SOUL: Growth will come as you combine the wisdom of the soul and mind. As you give yourself permission to seek the nourishment of silence and solitude, notice any internal judgement you carry in your mind – any guilt you might feel, any fear or judgement you carry for being antisocial or unproductive. Find a spiritual director who can help you understand this need for silence and solitude and who can support your exploration of this need. To avoid becoming too disengaged and passive, seek soul friends who can companion you on your quest for God. Engage your mind by finding writers who can be soul companions and mentors for you.
- STRENGTH: Growth will come as you cultivate supportive, honest relationships with close companions able to patiently hear your exasperation yet also challenge you. Find alternative rhythms of worship and practices that sustain you personally and help you experience a personal connectedness with God. These will help you be patient in relationships with people and communities that do not mirror your preferences. Growth will also come as you learn to rest in a God who holds all things. Although you bring considerable gifts to the world, your trust in God will release you from the need to be God. Julian of Norwich’s words express the essence of this trust: “But all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”
When we gather for worship, may we be aware of one another’s needs and preferences as well as our own. May we be held in that life-giving tension of loving God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, AND loving our neighbour as we love ourselves.
- November 6th: Youth Group, 7:30 – Jen and Andrew Hubbard’s House.
- November 8th – SUNDAY SERVICE @ SOUTHPOINT Speaker: Brian Oger. Brian, as many of you know, has been studying at Carey Theological Seminary. He will be preaching the next two Sundays to fulfill a course requirement. Let’s take this opportunity to pray for Brian, Lynne, and their 4 children. Pray for Brian’s work at WRCA and training at Carey.
- November 13th – Family Games Night, 7:30 pm, Shiloh Shelter, 512 172nd St., Kingfisher Farm.
- November 15th – SUNDAY SERVICE @ SOUTHPOINT Speaker: Brian Oger
SEEDS @ SOUTHPOINT
Seeds remind us of organic patterns of growth. At Southpoint, we don’t run programs. We wait to see what the Spirit is growing in us, and we watch for people to emerge who have a desire to grow something in us. Each of these groups is a seed that someone in our church planted. What is seed is waiting within you?
- Our youth group is open to anyone 13+ and meets weekly/biweekly on Friday nights at Jen and Andrew Hubbards home.
- Jason Goode is the catalyst behind Southpoint men getting together for discussion, engagement, and fun.
Parents with Young Kids Group
- Lynne Kergan is the catalyst behind parents and children getting together once a month to play, have a bit of adult company, and share a hot drink. The location rotates between parents.
- Cheryl Emanuels is the catalyst behind a new kind of connection. Cheryl would like to share her love of knitting and crocheting with anyone interested. Group meets @ Cheryl’s house, 7-9pm, every other Tuesday. Beginners welcome:)
Family Games Night
- Willy Bartell is the catalyst for this group. Once a month any one of any age who loves games, snacks, and togetherness is invited to bring a board game and a favourite snack to the Shiloh Shelter on Kingfisher Farm for a night of fun! I
This Friday, November 6 at 7:30 pm at Kitsilano Christian Community Church (1708 16th Ave W.) The Kwerks will be performing at Kits Church to help raise $30,000 to sponsor a refugee family — and get them to Canada before Easter. Admission free — but it is a fundraiser! Tax receipts available. 100% of funds raised goes to rent, food & basic needs for the family’s first year in Canada. Bring your kids, invite your friends!
Refugee Response: Check out this link: www.cbmin.org and look for Hopeful Gifts of Change. $95 will provide a refugee family a food basket of basics for the month, a gift that will be matched 4:1 by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. You will have fed a family for 4 months! That makes a difference!
Blood-Drive update: There is still enough time to donate twice more this year and help Southpoint meet our goal of 15 donations.
Rev. Anne Smith
Pastor of Church at Southpoint