Thoughts from Southpoint Central
Last Spring, Brent and the leadership team decided to try an experiment – moving Sunday worship from Morgan Creek to the Fellowship Baptist Church near Small Ritual. It would ease the workload of those setting up as well as the financial burden on the church. This September, after a survey of all church members and much discussion and prayer, the leadership team decided not to return to Morgan Elementary. The reasons were complex: the fatigue levels of those who had been setting up for years, the demographic mismatch between the members of our church and the Morgan Creek community, the emergence of a church plant that is thriving and successfully reaching out to the Morgan Creek Community, the dip in giving and the resulting decline of financial resources for Southpoint, the great children’s facilities at Fellowship Baptist,and a deep sense that God just might be up to something by placing us right next to Small Ritual for this season. With this decision, came some felt losses. Some members find the afternoon time slot difficult. Some find the space constrictive and the pews not conducive to creating community. However, the decision was made to not go back to Morgan Elementary.
On Tuesday night, a number of people responded to the invitation to gather at the Hardy’s to discuss our venue for worship. During this discussion, we reaffirmed God has a place for us and a vision for us. We believe God will make that known to us as we seek after and follow the Spirit. We are not certain whether or not Fellowship Baptist is that place. Brent has scoured the city for possible venues, but every door he pushed on remains closed. Last night, however, Brent and George were given the mandate to continue the search for more possible venues. In the meantime, we will seek God’s face, we will gather to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ, we will continue to listen for the leading of the Spirit. We will continue to be family, reaching out to one another, making room for the stranger, doing the work of the kingdom in our community.
Before leaving Kansas, a friend gave me a book entitled the Celtic Way of Prayer which I began to read on the first day of our drive to White Rock. The book described how the Celtic monks would see themselves as “hospites mundi”, guests of the world, ready to go wherever the Spirit might take them. Seeing themselves this way, they would leave their homes and set out on “peregrinatio”, a journey or pilgrimage often made in a boat with no oars which they would cast into ocean, radically dependent on God’s mercy. Wherever the current took them, they would land and continue the work of the gospel. They would do all of this “pro amore Christi”, for the love of Christ. These words resonated within me as I found myself leaving one home and setting out for a new one. Today, that phrase, “pro amore Christi”, greets me every time I use my cell phone. It serves to remind me that whatever I am experiencing, whatever I am facing, whatever experiences of loss or dislocation or blessings I am having, it is all for the love of Christ. In this way, the very upheaval of moving becomes a spiritual exercise that has the power to root me more deeply into Christ. This is my prayer for us as God’s people as we live as pilgrim people, as “hospites mundi”, guests of the world.
Thank you to each of you for your openness and flexibility during this time of change. Thank you to Fellowship Baptist for generously welcoming us into their home.