Week of November 1-8, 2020.
“Yes, You are Here”
How are you doing, friends? These are rough days. Covid numbers spiked over the weekends. Things are tense south of the border. The election is today. If you are feeling a bit like the disciples after Jesus’ murder, huddled behind closed doors, waiting to see what will happen next, you are not alone. I’m a bit anxious, too. How I would love for Jesus to suddenly appear to us, like in this week’s story of Thomas in John 20, and offer us his hands to touch and his face to see. Can you imagine him reaching out his hands to you and saying, “Peace, friend, peace be with you.” ?
When Jesus spoke those words, he used a Greek word stemming from the verb “eiro”, which means to join together that which has been separated. Then he breathed on them and shared his Spirit with them so that they would always be connected to him, heart to heart, breath to breath, spirit to spirit. This is the peace he offered to his disciples in the midst of fear and danger.
It takes intention to cultivate the peace that flows from this connection with Spirit. For me, it’s like swimming. You know how noisy indoor pools are: the call of lifeguards, the loud music, the shouting and laughing of children, the splashing and kicking of water, the whir of fans and machines. It’s agitating. But then, when you dip below the surface, there is such quiet. You swim around in that quiet and feel the cool of the water surrounding your skin, and watch your limbs soundlessly moving before your eyes; it is soothing. I think we can learn to do this. We can pause, notice all the commotion around us and within us: the noise, the activity, the stress, the news; break away for a moment and dip down inwards – into the quiet, the silence – to relax into that deep, dark abyss of God.
When we are experiencing large, hard emotions, when we are scared, insecure, lonely, angry, or afraid, it is harder to remember that we, indeed, are already connected to God. Sometimes, we dive under the surface, feel God’s presence within us, and are able to say, “Here you are”. Sometimes, we dive under the surface and we wonder, “Are you here?” Whichever state we find ourselves in, a place of consolation or of desolation, a place of longing or of fulfillment, a place of asking or of receiving, we can continue cultivating space to receive that peace. In those moments, we can remind ourselves, “Yes, you are here.”
If you find yourself anxious this week, here is a way of practicing that peace: Rub your hands together quickly for a few moments until you feel the heat of friction. Then put your warm hands on your heart or on your belly and feel your breath. Breathe in slowly, then breathe out, even more slowly. As you breathe, practice the presence of Jesus by saying, either internally or as a whisper, “Jesus is with me… The Spirit is within me.” You can close your eyes and do this as you stand in line at the grocery store, or as you watch the news this week.
As we live into these extraordinary times, let’s also practice little ways of connecting with one another. Prayers, texts, phone calls, little acts of kindness go a long way these days. Dear Rheagan just dropped me off some homemade pumpkin snickerdoodles as a way of showing her support on election day. The Spirit manifests in the most unusual forms 🙂
We can do this.
The Vulnerability of Incarnation
I am experiencing anticipatory sadness over not worshipping all together during Advent! However, we can still find ways of experiencing “togetherness” in our practice of Advent. Here are three ways:
Sharing a common resource. Our Advent worship this year will centre on the artwork and reflections in Scott Erickson’s new book, Honest Advent. If you’d like to deepen your own experience of Advent, you can purchase this book for your household and read it together (link). **
Sharing a common symbol. You can build your own Advent wreath and say our weekly Advent liturgy together as a household. (Katya and Brent both make candle holders!)
Advent Buddies. Using a secret name exchange, each participating household will be given another household to keep close throughout Advent, praying for them and surprising them with little gifts or cards. If you are interested, sign up here (link).
** A Kindle version is available for ~$10. You can order a copy for pick-up from Black Bond or Indigo (~$25) but order soon to receive it before Advent. Karin ordered today; her pick-up day is estimated for Nov. 29th.
There is a Zoom meeting each week led by Anne, to anchor our community. Outdoor Church is held two Sundays a month. Designed to meet the needs of our youngest members, attendance will be limited to 30 participants and ONLY by advance sign-up by noon the day before.
Nov 8 Zoom Church led by Anne
Job’s Lament and Loss, Job 28:12-28
This link provides the information you need to attend Zoom church this Sunday.
Moses, Ex. 1:22, 2:1-10
Zoom @10 led by Anne
10:00 am Outdoor Church @Hardys’
11:00 am Oudoor Church @Kingfisher
A sign-up link will be provided in the next Southpoint News.
Nov 22 Zoom Church led by Anne
Jesus Heals Legion, Mark 5:1-20
If you are muddled, please contact Karin (email) for more information!
Cultivating small circles of connection, fun, and care during Covid. If you’d like to know more about these groups contact Angela (email).
K-3 gathering at Kingfisher Farm
Wednesday, Nov 4, 4:15-5:30 pm
Order of the Phoenix
Thursday, Nov 12, 4:00-5:15 pm
Monthly Roots Hangout & Potluck
Saturday Nov 21, 6:00-7:30 pm
Thank you to Loriane Frewing who, with her husband, would like to make available the prayer hut in their back yard. If you’d like a little prayer retreat, please phone her to let her know when you hope to arrive (604-534-7064). Curious? See a photo, here.
If you have a confidential prayer need, please contact John Hardy (email).
If you’re needing to talk or to pray, please call Anne (778-878-4352?).
Supporting the Work of Southpoint
Thank you for considering your giving during this unusual time. Options include:
– via Pre-authorized debit (monthly or one-time) with this form (link). Cost to Southpoint is only $0.50.
– via Paypal to The Church at Southpoint. Cost is 3% of the donation. No Paypal account is required, just a credit card.
– via Charitable Impact Foundation. Cost is 2.8% of the donation.