Southpoint News – Oct 7, 2018
Last year we began a practice on Thanksgiving Sunday I’d love to repeat. I invited you to send in photos of “micro-graces” in your life – glimpses of beauty and goodness that have sustained you and brought you life. I’d like to repeat this practice!
As I extend this invitation, I am aware that what some of us have in abundance other’s long for and mourn as absence. When you pick your images, think about those who will be sitting around you.
What image can you share that expresses your gratitude AND draws others into a deepening awareness of the goodness of life?
(Nature is great at this!)
Sometimes it feels a little forced to have one weekend out of the year when we are suddenly asked to turn on “gratitude”, particularly if you are struggling to feel grateful. It’s easy to get guarded and defended from all that hasn’t been “good”, so much so that we struggle to wake up to the gift right in front of us. Emotions have a habitual dimension to them. It’s easy to get in the habit of taking good for granted and hyper-fixating on what doesn’t seem right.
These thoughts by Don Postema gives us a clue about gratitude that might help us wake up. Gratitude is both a practice and a feeling. Sometimes it is the expression of gratitude, rather than the feeling of gratitude, that wakes us up:
“Gratitude recognizes that a gift has been given, a favour has been done by someone. There is a gift and a giver, but there is more. Gratitude calls for a response to that gift. We thank the giver with an expression of appreciation – a handshake, a hug, a note. A gesture of gratitude completes the exchange, closes the circle, lets the love flow back to the giver.”*
What expression of gratitude to another might wake you up
to your own awareness of goodness?
Don Postema also suggests that gratitude has a wider impact on the world around us, linking gratitude to last week’s teaching about anger on the sermon on the mount:
I wonder whether gratitude can be at least a partial answer to greed and anger. Anger and greed move us to competition, manipulation, grabbing, and clawing. I see gratitude as just the opposite – receiving, encouraging, uniting people. We gripe a lot; perhaps we could say thanks much more and cut through our complaining. Anger separates, gratitude unites. Greed claws to get, gratitude receives…Making gestures of thanks could create more solidarity in our human relationships.” *
Gratitude helps to heal not only our heart, but also our world. Gratitude allows us to hold light and darkness, joy and sorrow, goodness and evil. I believe that this is, in part, what it means to be awake in this world, open to the fulness of reality, yet still choosing hope.
Thomas Merton wrote, “To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything God has given us – and God has given us everything.” Where have you experienced the micro-expressions of God’s grace in your life this year?
We will be making space to share these glimpses of grace with one another….what might you like to share?
* for more thoughts on a spirituality of gratitude, check out Don Postema, Space for God, chapters 3 and 4.
Please send your pictures by Friday night.to either
Hi Southpoint family… you all had a hand in planting the A Rocha garden in April, putting in thousands of onion transplants, now it is time to come celebrate the abundance of the harvest together!
This Saturday, October 6, 1-4pm, Paul Neufeld and the A Rocha team invite you to Join us for A Rocha’s annual Harvest Celebration at the Brooksdale Environmental Centre. Check out cob-oven flatbread baking and try your hand at apple pressing, garlic braiding, folk dancing and more! Hang around for live music and browse our Farm & Gift shop for fresh winter squash and seasonal vegetables for your fall meals.
Admission by cash donation. Suggested donation is $10/adult $5/kid (12 and under) and $20/family.
Forgiveness + The Art of Letting Go:
A discussion starter geared towards young adults but open to all.
As a small church, sometimes its good to make use of resources right in our backyard. LIFEAPP is an organization in Langley creating communal spaces for conversations about important topics. I would love to check it out and am looking for some company to go with me and rehash the experience afterwards over coffee. If you enjoy live music, food, conversation around relevant topics and are free Friday, Oct 12th, let me know:)
What: This is a monthly event hosted by LifeApp, mixing something like a TED talk, a live band, an Oprah interview, and an after-party with some great food – creating an environment where anyone regardless of spiritual belief, cultural background or sexual orientation, is inspired to take action toward personal growth in their relationships at home, work, and in the community.
When: Friday, October 12
7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: Chief Sepass Theatre
9096 Trattle Street, Langley
For further information, check out: www.lifeapp.ca/calendar/forgiveness2018
October: Community Lectio Divina
September is such a period of adjustment. Kids and grandkids go off to school, activities and routines start back up again. It’s all a bit of a blur. Then October comes. The days grow cooler and bit darker, creation gives hints of slowing down. In this season of change, I’d like to offer space to our community for our hearts and minds to slow down as well.
Lectio Divina is an ancient form of prayer using scripture which can be practiced in community or by yourself. If you are interested in practicing this prayer, we will gather in the Shiloh Shelter of Kingfisher Farm on 4 Tuesday mornings in October. Afterwards, feel free to extend the spaciousness by walking to the beach or through the woods, or simply sitting in the late autumn light.
Location: Shiloh Shelter,
Time: Tuesdays, 9:30-10:30 am.
Fall 2018 Ordinary Time:
The Flow of Love: Where the Rubber Meets the Road
“I am Grateful”
“Blessed are those who mourn”
“I am Sorry”
“Blessed are the Meek”, Mt. 5:38-48
“Do I really want to Love?”
ALL OUT – Gathering Groups
“Blessed are those who Hunger for Righteousness”, Mt. 6:1-18
“Why am I doing this?”
“Blessed are the Pure in Heart”
“What do I desire?”
“Blessed are the Merciful”, Mt. 7:1-12
“What if I let go of judgement?”
“Blessed are the Peacemakers”
“Which is the way of peace?”
Christ the King Sunday: ALL IN + POT LUCK – Advent Preparation
(please bring plenty of food to share at our Pot Luck!)
An Announcement for the Men of Southpoint:
The Words of Your Life – Friday, Oct 19th.
We started with The Soundtrack of Your Life (2014), then did The Movies of Your Life (2015) and now after a three year-hiatus we’re returning to this theme with an evening of sharing the books, short stories, and poetry that shaped your life.
This IS NOT a list of your Top 10. This is a list of works that help to tell the story of your life. (e.g. I think the Macdonald Hall kids book series might land on my list since I read a lot of those my years of elementary school.)
Date: Friday, Oct 19th
What You Do:
1. List the titles of the works that were an important part of different phases of your life. Please keep the number reasonable and digestible to the rest of the group. (i.e. a list of 50 works isn’t going to stimulate as much conversation and 10 really well thought out ones. )
2. Limit this to a single sheet of paper. And, bring copies to pass around.
3. If you are up for it, write a description under each title that tells the story of the works’ relevance to your story. (If this sounds too much like work that would deter you from participating, just bring the list of titles. Don’t sweat the descriptions.)
4. Be prepared to briefly walk us through your list.
Please RSVP to Jason (email@example.com) as soon as you can, so he can anticipate numbers and determine a place to host it.
There are many prayer needs in our community right now. If you would like to join the prayer chain to be in more intentional prayer for our community, or if you have a need for prayer that you would like to pass on to the prayer chain, please contact John Hardy.