Week of Feb. 7-13, 2021.
The Bravery of Generosity and Openness
There is the ideal of unity and there is the reality of living together in the same tent. There is the ideal of belonging and there is the gritty work of inclusion. There is the ideal of hospitality and there is the inconvenient practice of it.
“What… ? I have to make room for them around the well of Christ? They sing “Jesus is my boyfriend” songs and don’t wear masks, let alone recycle.”
“What… ? I have to make room for urban libtards who talk about love all the time but don’t take the Bible seriously?”
When Roman persecution started to recede after the conversion of Constantine, the differences between Christian peoples separated by thousands of miles – or even between one valley and the next – became ever more apparent. How could people groups so vastly different, some even former enemies, with different theological nuances, ethics, and practices, grow and shift into a people united by new values, a new worldview, and a new grace?
Lent emerged within the early church of the second-third century as a practice that united disparate peoples and cultures within the growing movement of The Way. Of course, humans being what we are, even the practice of Lent today contributes to polarization amongst Christians. As a university chaplain, I was viewed as suspect by my academic dean because I used the word Lent and distributed ashes to students. And so it goes, the gritty work of inclusion. To whom do we open up? Whom do we leave out? What is acceptable? What is not?
This week, Lydia modeled for us the bravery of generosity and openness. She welcomed four strange men, not just into her prayer circle, but into her home. Because of her thirst for God, her openness to this new story of Christ, and her generosity to Paul and his friends, the church of Philippi was born. Looking at Lydia, inclusion doesn’t seem quite so arduous after all, does it?
SOUTHPOINT CENTRAL: LENTEN CONVERSATIONS
“We grow in the direction of the questions we ask.”
– Christie Goode
Wednesday evenings, 8:00-9:30 pm
Beginning Feb. 17, Ash Wednesday
This Lent, we will be having a series of weekly Southpoint Centrals over zoom. Our desire is to create space where each person at Southpoint can deepen their own inquiry into the wider cultural conversation around the full acceptance of LGBTQ Christians in the church.
At Southpoint, unity grows from our level of love and respect rather than uniformity of position or opinions. We seek to cultivate productive, respectful conversations about this intersection of faith, community, culture, and individuals.
As to why this conversation is so important, see David Gushee’s article in Baptist News Global: ‘On LGBT: What I have learned since [writing] ‘Changing Our Mind.’ link
David Gushee: Video + Conversation
Inquiry: “What are the ethical grounds for inclusion?”
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?”
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
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).
RESOURCES FOR SMALLER PEOPLE
Angela shares: “this is what the Kids’ zoom included this week. We were led through the book, I Can Do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmations for Kids by Gabi Garcia, read aloud in this video.
We danced to the energetic song, “Brave”, from the Saddleback Church Kids YouTube channel (2014 John Cassetto ASCAP Publishing, CCLI #7025449).
This link will provide you with the information you need to join Sunday’s service at 10:00 am.
Epiphany Series: Bravery
Feb 14 Anne Smith
The Ethiopian Eunuch
Acts 8: 26-40
Lenten Calendar of Worship
Preparing the Way: The Gritty Work of Inclusion
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
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.