Fresh Bread

Bread, 1968 Elizabeth Catlett

They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.
— Acts 2:46

This past Sunday, we didn’t meet at Sunnyside, sing worship songs, pray, or listen to me speak. Instead, we met in each other’s homes and shared breakfast. Fifty-three of us gathered, just to share food and spend time together. In my group, we feasted together on pancakes, sausage, bacon, fruit salad, eggs, freshly baked bread, coffee, juice. Afterwards, when the kids all took off to the park, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity for rich conversation.

Vivek Murthy, the US Surgeon General, is the author of Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World. For years he has been investigating loneliness as a public health matter. On Sunday, while sorting through clothes, I listened to Krista Tippett interview him on the On Being podcast. I highly recommend it (link)!

Listening to this podcast right after feasting together gave me a deeper appreciation of the breakfast I had just enjoyed. In case you don’t have the time to read it, here are a few salient quotes (lightly edited). 

“… over thousands of years, we’ve evolved to live in connection with one another. … we seem to, in modern society, value independence and we define that as not needing other people, not needing to rely on anyone else, being able to do everything on your own. But that person who thousands of years ago when we were hunters and gatherers tried to do everything on their own and go it alone — we know what happened to that person. That person got eaten by a predator… We learned over time that it’s when we built trusted relationships with one another that we all did better, that we lived longer, that we were safer, we were more fulfilled.”

“… I would think of [loneliness] like hunger or thirst. It’s a signal our body sends us when we’re missing something we need for survival. And if we respond to it by seeking out connection and experiencing it, then we are okay. But chronic loneliness is what pushes us in a bad direction.”

“… when people struggle with loneliness, not only is it bad for their mental health, increasing their risk for depression and anxiety, but it also increases their risk for heart disease and premature death and so many other physical illnesses. [This is]… a recipe for despair.”

“… that pain, that despair, is what we have to grapple with because I think for too long, what we have assumed is that dealing with that pain is up to each individual and it’s their responsibility. We can believe that all we want, but the reality tells us something very different, which is as social creatures, as communal creatures, that we have to help heal one another’s pain, that we have to help support and create the circumstances and institutions that allow people to heal, that helps prevent that pain in the first place. That’s our collective responsibility to one another.”

“I think that one of the most tangible and practical places we can start is by rebuilding social infrastructure in our country. Now, we’re used to thinking about infrastructure as bridges and roads, and that is part of the traditional infrastructure. But there exists in communities a social infrastructure that consists of the programs, policies, and structures that foster healthy relationships.”

“… if we want to break this cycle, if we want to actually reclaim lives that are full of joy, that are fulfilling, we have to rebuild, fundamentally, our connection to one another. 

“…for every generation there’s a moment where they face a moment of existential change, where there are forces that are visited upon society that threaten our way of life and our way of being. And it’s up to that generation to figure out how to respond. To me, this is that moment and we are those people who have to take it upon ourselves to stitch together the social fabric of our country once again because it is the foundation on which we build everything else.”

(Tippett) “What does this call us to collectively? What are the ramifications for our life together?”

“… our greatest source of strength comes from, I believe, our fundamental ability to give and receive love. We don’t think about love as a source of strength, but I find it hard to think of any force that is more powerful than love.”

When I look at our Sunday breakfasts through the lens of this podcast, I see that we are, through our collective choices to show up with our homes and food and stories and be part of that flow of love, we are rebuilding that valuable and important social infrastructure. And we are experiencing in that moment, a little taste of the kingdom of God.  

This Sunday we get to show up again and be together, this time to plant onions together, giving A Rocha our labour, love and support. I hope to see you there. 

Deep peace and blessing,

Anne

Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor, The Church at Southpoint

Worship Calendar

Location & Zoom. We meet on Sundays at 15639 24 Avenue, Surrey. Zoom is offered if you cannot attend in person. Zoom link. Meeting ID: 831 1690 9977 password: 753319

Listen to Sermons
Follow “Meditations from the Church at Southpoint” on SpotifyApple and Google

Blogs
Catch up on Anne’s recent blogs under “News” on our website, southpoint.ca

Sun Feb 18 
(1) Jesus Sought Me
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
Luke 5: 1-11

Sun Feb 25  Brunches
All OUT—No service at Sunnyside

Sun Mar 3
(2) Praise the Mount
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
Matt 16:13-20

Sun Mar 10
(3) I’m Fixed Upon It
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
Matt 16: 21-23

Sun Mar 17
(4) Teach Me
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
Matt 18: 15-22

Sun Mar 24 Palm Sunday All IN
& Potluck Lunch
(5) Songs of Loudest Praise
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
John 12:12-16

Sun Mar 31 Easter
(1) And I Hope
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
Luke 24: 1-12

Sun Apr 7
(2) Here’s My Heart
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
John 21: 1-19

New to Southpoint?

At Southpoint, it all begins with God’s love. Just as a plant grows, it receives sunshine, so we grow as we receive God’s love. At Southpoint, we are growing in our capacity to love God, ourselves, one another, and creation.

We seek to be a community of grace that is intentional yet organic, spacious yet authentic, grace-filled yet accountable. * We are fully welcoming. *

We encourage relationships rather than run programs, yet we recognize the importance of intentionality and structure as we nurture life together.

As a community, we seek to put our love in action. We value helping out on Sunday mornings, sharing food, and showing up in hard times. We keep our church life simple so folk have time to build relationships with family, friends, and neighbours. We encourage folk to serve in tangible ways within the wider community. We rent space rather than own a building, allowing us to do more with less, supporting missions at home and abroad.

Curious to know more?

These six slides express what motivates our ministry (best viewed on a monitor). Here’s the bio of our Pastor, Rev. Anne Baxter Smith.

If you’d like to really peek inside, sign up for our weekly Southpoint News (scroll to brown footer at bottom of page). The Southpoint News is a MailChimp distributed email—you can unsubscribe anytime and will not be added to our contacts list. Email us at office@southpoint.ca. Website: southpoint.ca.

Progress Pride Flag by Daniel Quasar (link)

Sun Apr 30 Good Seed Sunday
All OUT, 10:00 am
No Service at Sunnyside! 

Join us at A Rocha Brooksdale
1620 192 Street, Surrey
Bring yer boots and a bag lunch.

Sun May 7
Anne Baxter Smith
Fresh Mercy   Acts 7:55-60

Sun May 14 — Mother’s Day
David Morrison
Fresh Vision   Acts 17:22-31

Sun May 21 

Lee Kosa
Fresh Voices I  Acts 1:1-11

Sun May 28 — Pentecost
Angela Neufeld
Fresh Voices II   Acts 1:6-14

New to Southpoint?

At Southpoint, it all begins with God’s love. Just as a plant grows, it receives sunshine, so we grow as we receive God’s love. At Southpoint, we are growing in our capacity to love God, ourselves, one another, and creation.

We seek to be a community of grace that is intentional yet organic, spacious yet authentic, grace-filled yet accountable. * We are fully welcoming. *

We encourage relationships rather than run programs, yet we recognize the importance of intentionality and structure as we nurture life together.

As a community, we seek to put our love in action. We value helping out on Sunday mornings, sharing food, and showing up in hard times. We keep our church life simple so folk have time to build relationships with family, friends, and neighbours. We encourage folk to serve in tangible ways within the wider community. We rent space rather than own a building, allowing us to do more with less, supporting missions at home and abroad.

Curious to know more?

These six slides express what motivates our ministry (best viewed on a monitor). Here’s the bio of our Pastor, Rev. Anne Baxter Smith.

If you’d like to really peek inside, sign up for our weekly Southpoint News (scroll to brown footer at bottom of page). The Southpoint News is a MailChimp distributed email—you can unsubscribe anytime and will not be added to our contacts list. Email us at office@southpoint.ca. Website: southpoint.ca.

Progress Pride Flag by Daniel Quasar (link)

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