An understandable question to ask about a church is, “So what is this place about?” This symbol reminds and summarizes for us what we are about as a church family. It expresses three key relationships which Jesus Himself modeled: Up, In & Out.
First, the Cross at the center means that we are centered on Jesus Christ. Our focus at Southview is not on religion, but on a growing relationship with God made possible through faith in Jesus Christ, who died on a cross and conquered death at his resurrection. We refer to this as our “UP” relationship with God. We want to know and follow Jesus.
Second, the Circle around the cross symbolizes again that we are a community gathered in Jesus’ name. Life with God was not meant to be an individualistic journey, but a journey travelled in community with others seeking to follow Jesus. This is our “IN” relationship with one another in the church family. The church is called the “body of Christ,” and as such we are to support, edify, encourage and love each other as we walk through the challenges and joys of life. Jesus gave us the Eucharistic meal, or Communion, as a sacrament declaring our unity in him.
Third, there are the Four Arrows. These simply represent that we want to go “OUT” out in every direction, to all people, with the good news and love of Jesus Christ. The church exists, not primarily for the well-being of its own people, but for the purpose of honouring God by reaching out to others in word and action with the good news about a new kingdom established in Jesus Christ.
Within the symbol there are Four Letters. These letters remind us of the most fundamental elements of how we grow, minister and journey with Christ as a community.
“W” represents the Word of God, the Bible: We believe that the Bible is God’s Word to all people and is the supreme source of truth and guidance for what we believe and how we live.
“P” represents Prayer: God invites us to communicate with him in prayer – to share our praise, thanksgiving, requests and burdens. The early followers of Jesus saw prayer as central to a life of faith. Like those early followers, we are asking God to teach us how to pray.
“S” represents the Spirit, who is the “Spirit of Christ” or “Holy Spirit”: Jesus did not call us to a life of merely self-effort and striving as we follow him, but to a relationship with him where we can grow and live by the power of the Holy Spirit who is within us. The Bible describes this Spirit-filled life as the normal pattern for those who want to follow Christ.
“L” represents Love: Jesus made it quite clear. If there is one fruit, one distinctive that is to be the mark of his followers – it is love. Love for each other in the church family and love for those around us. To paraphrase the words of the apostle Paul, we could display amazing spiritual gifts as a church community, be giving sacrificially to those around us, and know Scripture backwards and forwards… but if we don’t truly have love for those around us and actively display it, we’re nothing more than a clanging cymbal.