Twenty Years Old

The Well. Joy Banks, 2023.

The history of a church is difficult to record in a few lines. We would have to tell you about the time when our children were born, or when people joined our community, or when others left. We would have to tell the stories of challenge, frustration, breakthrough, joy and sorrow. The true history of a church is found in the collected stories of the people, and the story of a collected people.

The seeds of our community began 20 years ago. In September 2003, Broadmoor Baptist, Berea Baptist, and White Rock Baptist collaborated on a church planting partnership, with assistance from the Baptist Union of Western Canada. In October, eleven people, mostly from Broadmoor Baptist, began meeting at Morgan Elementary to explore the possibility of starting a new church in the “Southpoint” area.

In Oct 2004, Southpoint was registered as a non-profit society in the province of British Columbia. Chris Hartnell was one of the five initial members. (Thank you, Chris and Anne, for being such a strong foundation for our community.) In April 2006, Southpoint received federal status as a registered Canadian charity.

Somewhere during these early years, Scott Simpson, the founding pastor, along with the Leadership Team gave us a beautiful legacy: four core images which captured the vision of this fledgling community.

The beauty of an image is that it can continue to speak freshly to each generation. Each generation can reflect on them anew through art and each generation can reflect on them through words. Twenty years later, we are refreshing our imagination with these images through the artwork of Joy Banks.

It is also important to allow the vision of those who founded our community to speak freshly to us about why they chose these particular images. What did these images mean to them, at the time of choosing?

In today’s blog, I’d like to offer you both: the refreshed image of the Well, as seen through the eyes of Joy, which is at the top of this blog. And the original description of the well, as articulated by our first leaders, which I share with you now:

WELLS: Belonging @ Southpoint

In the Outback, there are two ways of keeping sheep: fences or wells.

We prefer wells.

Belonging at Southpoint isn’t about being in or out. It’s about movement toward the centre. At Southpoint, we are seeking to foster the widest possible sense of belonging and participation while maintaining a strong identity in Jesus.

Visitors and regulars alike are welcome to participate in our conversations. Everyone, including children, are welcome to take part in the celebration of the Lord’s Table (the bread and juice) as an act of remembrance and thanksgiving.

Belonging at Southpoint isn’t about having a static membership status. It’s about journeying together toward a common centre.

—Scott Simpson and founding members of Southpoint

What has the potential to unite us—our common thirst for love, home, safety, belonging, God—can also divide us. This week our hearts are devastated. We have seen images that horrify our imagination—images of devastation, war, violence, genocide, and heartache. We see images from the war between Russia and the Ukraine. We see images from the war in Gaza. Horrific images flood our screens. Images not of welcome and belonging, but of decimated hearts and bodies. Stripping people of water, food, shelter, safety, worship, life, and dignity in order to gain power over them.

Any solution seems so far removed from reality. If a solution is to be found, surely it is to be found here… in recognizing our shared thirst. Recognizing that an enemy’s need for food, shelter, safety, security and even worship has equal validity to our own. These thirsts are not vulnerabilities to be weaponized. Where is compassion? Where is decency?

As we continue journeying together toward a common centre, drawn by our common thirst, may we love God and love one another. May our love be shown in the way we worship, connect, serve, and care, not just for those within our fences, but for anyone who shares the breath of life of the Creator. Kinship knows no borders.

Warmly,
Anne

Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor, 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)

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *