Week of September 27 – October 3, 2020
There was once a zen master who said to his students, “If you say this stick is real, I will beat you. If you say this stick is not real, I will beat you. If you say nothing, I will beat you.” The students saw no way out of their bind.
One student, however, saw a way out by changing the terms of engagement. He walked up to his teacher, took the stick, and broke it.
We can’t think our way out of double binds. It’s a new creative action, not rumination, that will release us from confinement.
Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector for Rome, was stuck in a double bind. On one hand, by perpetuating the Roman machine, he had made a lot of money. On the other hand, by perpetuating the Roman machine, he was alienated from his own people. Despite all his weary nights of rumination, he could not figure out how to be free.
By the end of this passage, Zacchaeus had a lot less wealth, and a lot more welcome. His money unraveled back into the community. His identity unraveled from the machine of Rome. His loneliness unraveled into welcome. His lostness unraveled into forgiveness.
Salvation in this story is a holy unraveling: freedom from the double bind, the end of self-betrayal, a restoration of true self. Yet in this story, salvation is also communal. As Zaccheus divested his funds, he leveraged his money to bring abundance to others, increasing the wellbeing of his community. As this story unfolded, Zaccheus began acting from his true self.
If you are in a double bind, can you get curious about it? Even in your stuck place, Jesus is compassionately addressing you, asking you to come down. Can you hear the invitation? Is there something you need to divest yourself of to be free? It can be as concrete as money, or as invisible as a false narrative you tell yourself. It can be a relationship, or the way you show up within relationships. It can be the way you use your phone to hide from the world, or it can be the way you use your phone to woo the world.
Double binds are varied and highly personal. They are often a dance between two weighty and opposite fears. They keep us stuck, and they also have the power to break us open into freedom.
No matter how tightly we are bound, it is not too late to be unraveled. Can you take one small, courageous act on behalf of your true self this week?
Oct 4 Outdoors Church –
When Humans Unravel God’s Plans for Justice
Exodus 5:1-2; 7:8-23
Invitation to Fall Worship: this link provides all the information you need to know where your Gathering is meeting another Gathering for Outdoor Church this Sunday. It also contains the zoom link for a 10:00 am small group time for those needing unable to be in-person.
If you are new and would like to join us for either small group zoom or one of our outdoor services, please contact Karin (email) for more information. Have you become a regular and want to be in a Gathering? Contact Angela (email).
Cultivating small circles of connection, fun, and care during Covid:
Youth and Younger
If you’d like to know more about these groups contact Angela (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fellowship of the Rings at the Hardy’s
Tuesday Sep 29, 5:30 pm
Grades 3-6 kids gathering in Redwood Park
Thursday Oct 1, 4:00-5:30 pm
K-3 gathering at Kingfisher Farm
Wednesday, Oct 7, 4:00-5:15 pm
Monthly Roots Hangout
Saturday, Oct 17, 6:00-7:30 pm
Contact Anne, text (778) 878-4352? or email.
Small Zoom Circle for Women
Tuesday, Oct 13, 7:00-8:00 pm
Last spring we started two small groups so that women could support women during Covid. We kept them small, because zoom conversations can be tiring, and small seemed more sustainable. This fall, one group is continuing. If there are other women interested in being a part of a group like this, please contact Anne, text (778) 878-4352? or email.
Friendship Bench for 20+
Young adults between the ages of 20-30! Anne would love to host a conversation with all of you about life, spirituality, and what it’s like to be curating a life for yourself in times of Covid. What do you hope for this year? What do you need this year? How may she support you? If you’d like to be a part of this kind of conversation, please contact Anne, text (778) 878-4352? or email.
Creative Gatherings and Designers of Space
Are you someone who thinks about how to gather folk together? Frustrated that we’re not “doing more”? Have dreams of a Southpoint movie series? An extrovert who loves connecting? A strategic implementer who likes bringing ideas into fruition? If you would like to be part of a conversation about how we can worship, connect, and care for one another this fall/winter, Anne would love to facilitate this kind of conversation. Please contact her, text ?(778) 878-4352? or email
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 (repeating 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.
– via the Charitable Impact Foundation (link). Cost is 2.8% of the donation.