Week of Feb 28-Mar 6, 2021
A Better Way
“The ultimate adventure God invites us into is the challenge of making peace without scapegoating anyone, neither neighbour nor stranger, neither human nor non-human creatures. This is not easy! It can be done, but it is going to take a lot of spiritual discipline, continual practice to escape rivalry, and a continually expanding awareness of the crucified one in our midst.
The grace we need for this task comes towards us from the Eucharistic banquet of Christ, which turns inside out our old sacrificial patterns in an astonishing surprise. Our peace comes about not by appeasing the wrath of an angry god; our peace comes about by a God who absorbs human wrath, a compassionate God. This God has been present in our midst with the sacrificed ones from the very beginning. God is present with the scapegoats, those we made monstrous as “goat-demons”, long before YHWH’s revelation to the Israelites.”
– Marcus Peter Rempel
“And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.” Zephaniah 3:19
As we prepare the way this Lent, removing boulders, clearing the path, we ask ourselves, “When have I scapegoated someone in order to create a false peace, either within me, or within my community?”
Say a fracturing occurs, a violence; or perhaps, more blandly, an unwitting error. Upon whose back do you place the full force of blame and shame so that you are absolved of any wrongdoing? Or, when have you – by choosing to absorb the weight of shame and blame – taken the responsibility fully upon your own back, thus scapegoating yourself? Alternatively, when have you been scapegoated, handed the full weight of blame and shame, then packed out into the wilderness to wander, cut off and exiled?
Perhaps more importantly, how does Christ teach us how to step out of this toxic mix of blame and shame? Is there another way, besides violently judging, cutting off, casting out? Might confession, repentance, forgiveness, compassion, humility, grace, and kindness be part of how we prepare the pathway home? If you see your experience in any of these questions, what is the next step that the Spirit might be nudging you to take?
Here are the three questions from our break out groups on Sunday for your collective pondering:
1) What caught your attention in Marcus’ talk?
2) What further questions did the talk raise for you?
3) Reflect on a moment when you were an outsider or a scapegoat. How does this open your heart to those who are your “other” today?
Here is a complete list of dates & speakers. Missed the first one? You can still view the David Gushee video: watch.
Invite a friend to hear
Wednesday, March 3, 8:00-9:30 pm
Inquiry: “What cultural filters have shaped our perceptions?”
We’d love to this week’s event widely – you can send this poster to your contacts. The zoom link is included – sign-up is appreciated so we have an idea of numbers.
Because the evenings below touch on the personal journeys of people who attend Southpoint, we will provide a zoom invite only to people who regularly attend. Thanks for your understanding.
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?”
Live Zoom and conversation
Inquiry: “How do we understand and care for transgender youth?”
This link will provide you with the information you need to join our Sunday service at 10:00 am.
You may like to have a candle at hand to light during the service, and the elements of Communion ready for that portion of our worship.
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
A Luke reading
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
Lean into these practices with your children and yourselves : the Lenten Pathway (link) and Prayer Journey (link).
The prayers can be incorporated wherever you can carve out a window in your day to turn your attention towards the well of God’s love.
As you 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.