Week of Feb. 14-20, 2021.
Preparing the Way: The Gritty Work of Inclusion
In Advent, we wait with longing for something new, something that will allow us to see the meaning, purpose, and significance within our singular, small lives. Something that will allow us to witness healing, reconciliation, and justice within our diverse, wide world. On Christmas, we learn that there is one who encompasses all for which we long – Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, Saviour, Lamb of God, Light of the World, Good Shepherd, Alpha and Omega. We hear that the one for whom we long is among us. Hidden, like a seed, but very much present in the chaotic swirl of life.
In Epiphany, the magnificence of God’s New Way is made manifest before us in the life of Jesus. He captures our imagination. We set out upon this journey. We seek and we find. Like the Ethiopian eunuch with Philip, we rush into the waters of God’s New Way as Divine Love breaks in upon us with joy. We commit ourselves to Jesus’ Way. We are full of zeal and hope.
Very soon, however, we learn that the ideal of this Magnificent Way and the reality of walking it are different. A conversion of the heart is easy; walking the way of newness is far harder.
We bump up against boulders. We trip over stones that litter the path. Our egos are bruised. Our sensibilities are challenged. Our fellow traveling companions are different from us. It hurts. It is hard. Like the different-coloured belts of Karate, there is always a new threshold, a new edge, a new discomfort, a new call to conversion.
Lent makes room for this process. It takes grit to sit at the threshold in the wilderness, considering the rocks and stones. Where is the path of this New Way? What must be removed? What must remain? What is the voice of the temptation? What is the voice of wisdom? Embracing the discomfort, staying there long enough for its contours to shift from being painful and scary to winsome and good.
This year during Lent we will be sitting in the wilderness, considering the boulders and stones. Which stones need to be removed to clear the way not just for our own feet, but for others? Lent is the hard work that clears the ground to make room for the new way. In Lent, we sit in the tension at the edges of inclusion, awaiting the inner transformation that will shift us into becoming the whole people of God.
2020 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Held by Zoom
6:45 pm Wed., February 24th.
Please set aside an hour for this important meeting in our church life. Everyone is encouraged to attend (although only members can vote).
Members of Southpoint (and those in the process of becoming one!) will receive an email by Wed. February 10 containing the AGM package – including the agenda, (unapproved) minutes from the 2019 AGM, membership list, reports from our Staff, Leadership Team and Committees, the 2020 financial statements and the proposed 2021 budget.
This AGM package is available to everyone on request to Karin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Still thinking about membership? Contact Anne (778-878-4352, email).
SOUTHPOINT CENTRAL: LENTEN CONVERSATIONS
“We grow in the direction of the questions we ask.”
– Christie Goode
Wednesday evenings in Lent, 8:00-9:30 pm
Beginning Feb. 17, Ash Wednesday
Feb 17, 8:00-9:30 pm
David Gushee: Video + Conversation
Inquiry: “What are the ethical grounds for inclusion?”
This is an open event – you are welcome to invite people to join. David Gushee is a foremost expert in the field of Christian ethics and author of Changing Our Minds. He advocates for the full acceptance of LGBTQ Christians in the life of the church.
Feb 24 (After the AGM)
Storytelling – Our Journeys as Leaders
Inquiry: “How have you wrestled with the theological tensions around inclusion as leaders?
Kathy Baldock: Live Zoom + Conversation
Inquiry: “What cultural filters have shaped our perceptions?”
This is an open event – you are welcome to invite people to join. Kathy Baldock is executive director of Canyonwalker Connections and author of Walking the Bridgeless Canyon. Baldock’s mission is to repair the division between conservative Christian and LGBTQ communities through education, training, encouragement, and civil conversations. Her writing explores the long-standing historical, cultural, medical, and political filters that lead to discrimination against the LGBTQ community.
Storytelling: Our Journeys as Parents
Inquiry: “As a parent, how has presence and attentiveness to your LGBTQ child expanded your experience of being a parent and changed your understanding of God?”
David Evans-Carlson: Live Zoom + Conversation
Inquiry: “How do we understand and care for transgender youth?”
Storytelling: Journeys of Personal Healing
Inquiry: What’s it like to accept ourselves and one another as fully clean, beloved by God?
Film “Between a Shoe and the Roof” + Discussion
This link will provide you with the information you need to join our Sunday service at 10:00 am.
Lenten Calendar of Worship
Feb 21 Christie Goode
Befriending the Grit: Sitting with the Tension, Mark 1: 2-3
Feb 28 Marcus Peter Rempel
Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones? The Grit of Naming the Tension
Marcus Peter Rempel
March 7 Anne Smith
Clearing an Inner Pathway: The Grit of Listening Within
Psalm 40: 5-10
March 14 Brian Oger
Clearing an Outer Pathway: The Grit of Courageous Hospitality
March 21 Nadia Vanderkuip
Removing Boulders: The Grit of Changing Your Mind
March 28 Christie Goode
The Cleared Path: When Tension Eases into Spaciousness
Rev 7: 9-10 and 22: 17
Lent At Home
We have an online kit to provide you with resources for the forty days of Lent. It includes this Lenten Prayer Pathway (link) and this list of Prayer suggestions (link).
These prayers could be incorporated into your day as a household – perhaps at meal times or right after school – wherever you can carve out a window in your day to turn your attention towards the well of God’s love.
As part of this Lenten Prayer Journey you are invited to gather three things:
1) tray or box lid or 8×8 baking pan
2) a small cup or bowl to be the “well” in the middle
3) some sand and rocks
At the same pick up locations that we have used before (Hardy’s, Hubbards and Kingfisher Farm), there will be a bag of sand and rocks for those who need these raw materials. It will be there all day Saturday February 20 for you to pick up.
This may seem like one more thing to do in lives that often feel full and cluttered but I want to give you encouragement to lean into these practises with your children and yourselves. Lent and Advent offer gifts of ritual and intentionality that we can so easily shrug off.
Rhythms like this are so formative. I have tried to make these very accessible for all ages.
For instance, on Mondays, you are invited to drink a tall glass of water and pray for people who are in need of care and protection. Maybe you just decide to remember to pray whenever you are drinking water this Lent.
However you are able to enter into this season: drinking deeply, clearing out the rocks and enlarging the circle, may you be met in your journey towards the well.
Wednesdays at Noon, by Zoom
If you would like to join in, please contact Anne (778-878-4352, email).
If you have a confidential prayer need, please contact John Hardy (email).
If you’re needing to talk or to pray, please contact Anne (778-878-4352, email).
Thank you for considering your giving while we are not meeting in person.
Possible means of giving include:
Pre-authorized debit (monthly or one-time) with our linked form.
Cost to Southpoint is $0.50.
Paypal to the The Church at Southpoint. Cost is 3% of the donation. No Paypal account is required, only a credit card.
Charitable Impact Foundation.
Cost is 2.8% of the donation.