Southpoint News – Week of January 13th, 2019
Practicing the Presence
What must it have been like for the Creator to become one with Creation? What must have it been like for God to experience creation from the inside out? To actually feel the coolness of breeze across your cheek? Or the feeling of dipping your feet in flowing water?
In the incarnation, Jesus became a window through which the Trinity experienced creation. And Jesus became a window through which we, the creation, experience the Trinity. That’s a lot to get one’s head around!
Everything has become sacramental – matter itself is a doorway through which we glimpse the heart of God. Presence is all around us, closer than our breath closer than our hands and feet. At any given moment, wherever we are, we are standing on holy ground.
I have always loved this quote by Elizabeth Barrett Browning:
“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
and every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”
Yet now, I realize that even sitting around and plucking blackberries is holy too! The healing presence of Jesus is with us in the very stuff of ordinary life – sunlight, sand, rocks, soil, noises in a cafe, a good workout, a good movie, laughter with friends.
Sometimes we sense this presence. Often we do not. The Holy remains hidden from our eyes, like a seed quietly sprouting under ground. In these moments I suggest we continue on in faith, eyes wide open, believing we live in a God-soaked reality, no matter what the circumstances of our lives.
This epiphany, what if we experimented with “practicing the presence of Christ”? Practicing the presence is coming up for air now and then as we move through our day, remembering that there is a Presence that surrounds us. It’s looking around, paying attention, to where the invisible might be manifesting itself in the visible.
“The healing presence of Jesus is in this place,
may all who enter it find healing, rest, and peace.”
This is part of our epiphany liturgy. It appears at the very beginning of our service. As we practice the presence of Christ, we also remember that this presence is a healing one. We remember that this Presence is committed to our good, so we ask for help in whatever need we are facing. We remember that this Presence shepherds us, so we listen for guidance.
THE NET: What we accomplished together this year!
Thanks to your faithful generosity, we were able to give away all of our budgeted missions money this year! So exciting! Here is a summary of what we did together. This summary represents not just a lot of generosity, but also a lot of hard work. This money was earned by YOU, out there laboring, working your magic in the world, doing what you do. So, thank you for both your faithful labor, and for sharing some of the benefits of that labor, so we can in turn spread it back out into the world!
At Southpoint, we are intentional about our missional giving. First, we divide our budget in two: 1/2 stays local, 1/2 goes global. Then, we divide each portion again: 1/2 for development, 1/2 for relief. The NET allocates the mission funds, and we try to stick as close as we can to division of funds while also listening to the prompting of the Spirit. Here is where your money has gone this year:
Local Relief: $1450 went this year to support Umoja, an organization in North Surrey responding to the immediate needs of new refugee families arriving in that neighborhood.
Local Development: We are aware that a number of individuals at Southpoint have said “YES” to the call of Divine Love and as a result, raise their own support and are financially dependent on the good will of others. We wanted this year to support the risky “YES” of these individuals through a gift. Therefore, we’ve divided the local development money up between three organizations represented by folk in our church:
A Rocha: $750
Athletes in Action: $400
Youth Unlimited: $400
(Had extra $400 donated)
$1700 towards Lifewater Canada
$1200 – Himalayan Life
$500 – seed money for “Fill a Stable Campaign”
Christmas “Fill a Stable” Campaign:
$500 seed money + approx $600(still awaiting final # from Sarah) = $1100+!!
It costs $1190 to fill a stable – it looks like we’ve done it!
After researching which organization was both the most reliable and most cost-efficient, we chose to give this money to World Vision.
Save the date for our AGM
Our AGM will be Wednesday, February 27th. We begin with a celebratory pot luck desert bar (fruit, cheese plates, baked goods) @ 6:30 followed by the AGM where we will, among other things, vote on our budget for 2019.
One of our core images is the NET. As a church, we want to build and restore relational connections within and around our community, which includes being involved in good things happening around us. Here are a few offerings for you from the wider community…
An Invitation from Roland Balzer on behalf of Soulstream:
The Kairos Blanket Exercise
“The KAIROS Blanket Exercise™ program is a unique, interactive and participatory Canadian-Indigenous history lesson, developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators for reconciliation. Canada is in a season of reconciliation between “settlers” and its indigenous peoples and we are being invited to participate. Reconciliation requires understanding and a common memory. This SoulStream-sponsored event will help us on the journey together.
The event is Sunday, Feb 10 @ St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church. The fee is $40. Register at https://soulstream.org/blanket-exercise-february-2019/.” For more info contact Roland Balzer (email@example.com)
Next Life App:
January 18th, 7:30-9:30, Chief Sepass Theater. Theme: “Relationships: What Makes or Breaks Them?” for more info. https://www.lifeapp.ca/calendar/relationships2019
Interested? Contact Anne
Epiphany 2019: “In Search of Light”
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who set their hearts on pilgrimage.”
– Psalm 84:5
Throughout the Sundays of Epiphany and up until Lent begins, we will listen those in our community who have set out on a journey this year and returned with stories of epiphany. What would it look like if we too said yes and set our hearts on pilgrimage anew this new year? What if we began to listen, seriously listen, to our own holy hunger? What if we began to seek for the manifestation of God wherever our feet take us? Where would we find Christ?
Sunday, Jan. 13th: “Following the Light”
Sunday, Jan. 20th: Stories from the Road – Art’s Epiphany
Sunday, Jan. 27th: ALL IN
Sunday, Feb. 3rd: Stories from Himalayan Life in Nepal – Markku’s Epiphany
Sunday, Feb. 10th: Stories from Nagaland – Craig’s Epiphany
Sunday, Feb. 17th: Stories from Australia – Jarret’s Epiphany
Have an Announcement?
If you have an addition you would like included in this newsletter, please send a prepared announcement as you would like it to appear to: firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday and we will get back to you.
Thank you all for praying for Keegan, he is recovering well!
Johanna leaves for University down in Oregon on Thursday – prayers for that would be appreciated.
There are many prayer needs in our community right now. If you would like to join the prayer chain to be in more intentional prayer for our community, or if you have a need for prayer that you would like to pass on to the prayer chain, please contact John Hardy.