Week of April 4-10, 2021.
Genesis begins with emptiness. Over that emptiness, the Spirit hovered and the Creator spoke, “Let there be light.” And there was light! Creator made the land, sea, sky and then filled them with life: plants and animals, fish, birds. “Be fruitful and multiply. Cultivate abundance!”
The Easter story also begins with emptiness. A lifeless form is placed in an empty tomb. In the darkness, the Spirit hovered over the emptiness and the Creator spoke, “Let there be life!” And there was Life. Brilliant, abundant life poured from the Creator and the Spirit back into the empty body of the Son, until it was full with the knowledge of the goodness of God, the fullness of the One who fills all in all. A new Adam opened his eyes. “Be fruitful and multiply. Cultivate abundance!” From out of the ashes and dust of death, a renewed creation was born.
Our story begins with emptiness. Over our emptiness the Spirit is moving, the Creator is speaking, the life of the Son is rising so that our emptiness may give way to fullness, so that our dead bodies may know resurrection, so that our agony may become a pathway of redemption, so that from our empty hearts will flow streams of living water, and from our empty mouths will flow words of life, and from the movements of our hands and feet will flow the peaceable Kingdom of God. “Be fruitful and multiply! Cultivate abundance!”
Every Wednesday, I go out to tend the chickens. There is an outdoor water spout that I use to change the water. The force of the water is so strong that I must be attentive to how I position the bucket. If I am not careful, I will position the bucket in such a way that I get a soaking, which is not pleasant on a cold morning. Therefore, I take great care to tilt the bucket away so that any excess sprays into the world.
It’s been a year of great emptying. We have been hollowed out, like Jesus himself, in so many ways. And that emptying process isn’t over yet. The important question I am asking today is what fullness is available to us through Christ, even in this great emptying, and how might we position our emptiness in such a way that we get not only a full bucket, but the world around us gets a good soaking? How might we position ourselves in such a way that people have a wide and clear access to the abundance of life in Christ? In a year where we have experienced a great emptying, how may we bring our collective emptiness to Jesus for the great filling?
I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
Anne’s Sabbatical Plan
Dear church family,
I want to thank you for making it possible for me to go on sabbatical. This Sunday will be my last with you until September. My two weeks of study leave are from April 17th to the end of April. During that time I will not be involved in any “present tense ministry” but rather will make preparation for my return in the fall and pursue subjects of personal interest to me. My official sabbatical begins on May 1st and continues for four months, with a return date of September 1st.
Know that the Leadership Team, the Sabbatical Coordination team, our administrators, Angela and myself – have all been working very hard to make sure everything is well organized for my absence. We have a well-oiled four-month plan in place complete with liturgies, themes, speakers, kids’ curriculum, a rhythm of indoor and outdoor church, a Pastoral Care Team, etc. My hope and prayer is that things will run very smoothly without requiring heroics on anyone’s part.
Covid has simplified my expectations. I am relishing the thought of unstructured time when I can follow the impulse of the Spirit and the curiosities within my mind and heart. I am looking forward to hanging with my family, taking some adventures with “Matilda Jane”, our new-to-us ’06 Dodge Sprinter van, and living a bit more of an embodied life.
I am curious as to what my withdrawal symptoms will be like? I try hard not to shape my identity around what I do, whom I serve, or how much I please/perform, but it is a hazard of the job and worth a detox now and then. Sunday morning zooms have lifted my spirits during covid. I will miss seeing your faces, and you will be with me in my heart:)
I hope to be off screens as MUCH as possible! However, I’ll try to post on my instagram account now and then: anne_baxter is my account name, Anne Baxter Smith is my user name.
Again, my whole being thanks you!!
EASTER SEASON WORSHIP
Zoom Sunday service at 10:00 am.
You may like to have a candle at hand to light during the service, and the elements of Communion ready for that portion of our worship.
Apr 11 Anne’s Sunday before Sabbatical
Speaker: Anne Smith
Diligence, Delight and Congruence
Spring Theme: God’s Heart for Creation
Spring liturgy begins
Apr 18 Zoom Church
Speaker: Rick Faw
The Story of God’s Creation, Part 1
Ps 104:10-17a, 24-28
Apr 25 Good Seed Sunday
Activities at A Rocha and at Kingfisher
Deepening Our Participation in Creation
May 2 Zoom Church
Speaker: Rick Faw
The Story of God’s Creation, Part 2
May 9 Wonder Walks
Download Guide prepared by Leah Kostamo
May 16 Zoom Church
Speaker: Leah Kostamo
Jesus the Outdoorsman
May 23 Outdoor Church begins!
Playfully Engaging the Spirit in our Imaginations
Pentecost special liturgy
Youth, in April
Got a question? Contact Katie (email)
Order of the Phoenix
Zooms 6:00-7:00 pm
Tuesday, April 7, 21
Fellowship of the Rings
Zooms 6:30-7:30 pm
Tuesday, April 14, 28
Zooms 7:30-8:30 pm
Friday April 23
Pastoral Care Team
If you’re needing to talk or to pray, or would like support while you figure out what you need(!), our Pastoral Care Team is here for you.
A team member fills this role for two weeks before passing the torch to the next team member. The Southpoint News shows the name and contact details of our ‘active’ pastoral care person.
Current Pastoral Care Person
Until Fri, April 16 please contact
Anne Smith (778-878-4352, email).
From Sun, April 18 to Sat, May 1 please contact Anne Hartnell (email).
Southpoint Gathering Groups
These are designed also to show care and be neighbourly – let your group facilitators know that you’re limping a little. Let’s lift each other up.
Wednesdays at Noon, by Zoom
If you would like to join in, please contact Anne (778-878-4352, email).
If you have a confidential prayer need, please contact John Hardy (email).
If you’re needing to talk or to pray, please contact Anne (778-878-4352, email).
Thank you for considering your giving while we are not meeting in person. Possible means of giving include:
Pre-authorized debit (monthly or one-time) with our linked form. Cost to Southpoint is $0.50.
Paypal to the The Church at Southpoint. Cost is 3% of the donation. No Paypal account is required, only a credit card.
Charitable Impact Foundation.
Cost is 2.8% of the donation.