Southpoint News December 18, 2015

Guinea pigs do this funky little thing called popcorning when they are very little. Happy or excited, they jump straight up, turn in the air, and land, often in the opposite direction. They literally LEAP with joy.

In this week’s lectionary passage, when the hidden presence of Jesus dwelling within Mary connected with the hidden presence of John dwelling within Elizabeth, baby John literally leapt within her.  He responded to the hidden Christ by leaping with  joy!

I wonder if you have ever had this experience? Has the hidden Christ in you connected with the hidden Christ in another, and inside you, there has been this little leap, this little “YES!!” I felt an inner leap when Christie spoke last Sunday. I felt that leap when I read Kate Morgan’s instagram post describing her experience of  eucharist at her tutoring table.   I broke into an internal happy dance when I read this letter published in the Toronto Star, December 10th:
“Welcome to Canada. Ahlan wa sahlan. You’re with family now.  And your presence among us makes our Christmas season of peace and joy just that much brighter…. It’s been a long trek, but you are no longer refugees. Your days of being strangers in a strange land are over.”
It is important that we honour these little leaps within us, particularly in the dark, pregnant waiting of Advent.  The presence of Christ can be sensed, like a quiet fluttering,  if we quiet ourselves enough to listen. Even in the anxiety of uncertainty, the cavernous sorrow of grief,  and the emptiness of holiday hooplah, the presence of Jesus is curled up within us. We have fellowship with this hidden presence of Jesus, even in our suffering. We have fellowship with one another, through this hidden presence, even in our isolation.
I know these days are hard for some of you.  They are hard for me too.  Be gentle with yourself.  Rest as you are able. Lament when you need to do so.  And listen. Listen for the quiet flutter of the Coming One who is yet already Within.
“Fear not, my little flock, it is your Father’s great delight to give you the kingdom…”Luke 12:32


To make our celebrations complete, we are looking for these goodies:

homemade bread and/or  wine for our communion service (contact Anne..),

your favourite cookies to our  ice-skating skating party, and more cookies to share with residents when we carol on the 27th

December 18th:   “Joyeux Noel” 7:30 movie screening @ Brooksdale:  bring a snack to share

December 20th:    ALL IN SERVICE: CHILDREN COME DRESSED AS ANGELS! (or any other member of Christmas cast, if this is easier for you parents:) PLEASE BE EARLY – by 11:00 –  so we can run through songs.

December 21st:    Ice Skating Christmas Party: 6-8pm We have rented the Centennial Arena Rink plus a room for mingling. (If  you don’t like skating, come for the goodies!) We’ll provide hot chocolate. Please bring your favourite christmas cookie to share. Rentals available for a fee. Skating from 6:30-7:30

December 24th:    CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE @ Brooksdale, 4-5 pm

December 27th:    Christmas Caroling at Retirement Communities. We will split into 2 groups to sing at Evergreen in White Rock and Nair in Langley. Gathering times and places TBA next week. Please bring cookies to share with residents:)

Mending the Net:  Community Connections

The Refugee Response
We as a church are committed to using the money budgeted for missions in the 2015 budget for refugees, splitting the funds between global and local responses. Half of the funds will go towards global relief work and support for CBM refugee work in Lebanon. Half of the funds will go towards Journey Home, Umoja, and Friends of Families to support the work they do locally. If you would like to contribute to this response, please place a cheque in the offering this week.

Youth Refugee Response
Our church youth group has pledged to make welcome baskets for  10-15 families arriving in Surrey sponsored by fundraising efforts of the Muslim Association.  They are hoping to fill these baskets with homemade items from our church such as candles, soaps, scarfs, hats, blankets, cookies, breads, jams, etc. etc.  Alternatively, you can contribute by purchasing these items or buying them a gift card to a grocery store.  Our youth will begin collecting these items this Sunday.  Donations will continue to be collected  throughout January, or until families arrive.

Winter Retreat – February 5-8, 2016
We have a great response so far for the winter retreat.  The camp is a wonderful way of deepening our connections as a community and is open to ALL ages and all stage of life.  Registration forms and first payment were due December 13, final payments by January 17. Please put check and form into offering, clearly marking memo line of check “retreat”, check made out to church).  

Prayer Needs
Please pray for all refugees entering Canada this week, and for those actively helping these families relocate.
Pray for all those in our families, church family, and community who struggle emotionally at this time of year.  Please remember to continue praying for Thea and the Andersons, Rob, Sandra’s father, Kate, and Chris, and for Becca as she experiences  her first Christmas with us.

Hospitals never close and neither does Canadian Blood Services.  They need donors throughout the entire month of December. When donating remember we are in the Partners for Life Program and our church ID is: THEC180665.

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