Southpoint News August 3, 2017
Space for Sentness
As Jesus followers, we live not just with God in the world, but live in God for the world. We have a purpose on this earth that is broader and deeper than our own survival. This outward movement is expressed at Southpoint by one of our core images, the image of the NET. Our church founders envisioned us living out this image in two ways. First, Southpoint intentionally decided to be a low-program church so that folk would have time to engage and serve in the community. Each of us at Southpoint lives out his or her identity of “Sentness” beyond our cozy circle as we engage and serve incarnationally in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and communities. The second way, however, that our church founders wanted to live out this “sentness” was by responding in a collective way to a specific need in the community. The church noticed that one of the largest unmet needs was loneliness and lack of connection. Very soon after Southpoint began, our church created a “third space”, a not-for-profit café called the Small Ritual Coffee Society. It was a beautiful vision, and people put a huge amount of money, blood, sweat, and tears into starting it and managing it. But in the end, the coffee shop proved unsustainable for our church to manage. When I started at the church six years ago, it felt as if our community was weighed down and hurting from a narrative of apparent “failure”. There was confused: “If God had led us into this, why did this happen? There was burnt-out: fatigue and suffering from the depletion of physical, emotional, and financial resources. I sensed it was time to pull inwards to heal, re-nourish, and repair our nets. Over the past six years, God has been shaping us. We’ve learned the importance of rest as a key component of sustainable growth. We’ve pressed deeper into the contemplative life and are learning to sustain the active live by drawing deep from the WELL of God’s presence. We’ve learned the value of caring for one another as we’ve shared a series of really hard losses. We are learning the freedom and simplicity of focusing on Jesus as our bread of life, our cup of salvation. Our suffering has matured and mellowed us. It has also made us a unique oasis for fellow pilgrims. We’ve begun to attract people who also have had a pattern of overextending themselves for the kingdom, people who need permission to rest, people who are hungry for contemplative space, or people who value the joys and struggles of authentic community. This deepening simplicity is not a movement away from our identity as a “Sent” people. We still are called not just to being with God in the world, but in God for the world. However, our journey in the last six years has taught us that rest, community, and communion are essential elements to sustainable movements outward. This Sunday, Ruth Des Cotes will share about the founding of Imago Dei and the current patterns of ministry in Imago Dei practices. Imago Dei faithfully creates space for individuals to deepen their connection with God through contemplative prayer in communal settings. I hope you can come hear Ruth share her story. Alternatively, you can hear Ruth and the other talks in our summer talk series, “A Sent People” online at our church website. Peace, Joy, and Simple Rest to you this summer.
– Rev. Anne Smith
Local Youth Choir
Crescent Youth Choir is looking for singers! We are a brand-new vocal ensemble for mixed guys and girls voices, ages 13-21. Singers can look forward to learning a variety of different styles of music, performing two–four concerts throughout the season, and building community through making music with others. Weekly rehearsals begin Monday, September 11. Get in touch with choir director Samara Ripley at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website for details: crescentchoirs.com.?.
Invited, Empowered, and Sent: Sharing our Stories
August 6 Ruth des Cotes Imago Dei
August 13 David Evans-Carlson Counselling youth
August 20 Jen Hubbard Youth Unlimited
August 27 ALL OUT – Meet in Gathering Groups