On this Christ the King weekend, when we look ahead in the story of God and see Christ seated on the throne over all creation, saying, “Look! I am making all things new,” we want to remind ourselves of our future hope, based on what Christ has done in the past, so that we can live it, anticipate it, and be a part of building it here in the present. In this Viewpoint we have some resources and upcoming events to point us UP, IN, and OUT as we passionately follow Jesus. We hope that somewhere in these links and descriptions you find a next step for yourself into the richness of life together as we seek to learn from Jesus and experience a foretaste of His coming kingdom here and now. And if you are unsure where to begin, please contact one of our pastors; we’d love to help you!
Over the last few years we have paired Christ the King weekend with a focus on our International Workers because their work is the work of anticipating and bringing that future hope into the present to people around the globe. It also reminds us and encourages us to listen for God’s call in our lives – for as we often say, we are all sent ones.
We encourage you over this next week to dig deeper into how our church and denomination support and participate in International Missions, as well as to learn more about the many International Workers that are a part of our cluster who we support. Maybe you will want to commit to reading their bios and praying for them over the next week (or more).
I (Shawn) would love to hear about how you choose to engage with these resources and what God stirs up in you as you do, email me your experience!
Did you know that the Calgary Food Bank is the first line of emergency food support for families and individuals in our city who are in crisis? And that the Food Bank also works with hundreds of other charitable organizations that address the root causes of food insecurity?
This December our church is partnering with the Food Bank in providing desperately needed food items for our fellow Calgarians in need. Last spring, we had a short 3 hour food drive, and collected 1200 lbs of non-perishable items! Let’s aim for 5000 lbs of food this Christmas, to help those in our city who are struggling as a result of COVID or otherwise. Monetary donations may also be given.
This is such a simple way for us to proclaim that our God, Christ who sits on the throne over all creation, is not a God of scarcity; this is a foretaste of the coming kingdom. We hope you will be able to join us in this! Information on when to drop of items (spoilers: Dec. 5-13), along with a list of what items are needed will be available next week from our website.
Last week we let you know about the new Core Practices page on our website. This is a still developing, and evolving collection of different resources and ministries organized by which Core Practice they fit with. “Wait, what is a Core Practice?”, you may be asking… good question!
Scripture and followers of Christ across the centuries point to a number of spiritual practices that help nurture the heart, will and mind on the pathway of discipleship. At Southview, we emphasize five of these as “Core Practices.” These five practices are how we seek to grow as disciples who are learning from Jesus to know the Father’s voice, follow in obedience, and teach others to do the same by the power of the Spirit.
There are many different ways to live and engage with these practices; therefore, it is important to be mindful of the spiritual seasons we find ourselves in. One particular method of reading scripture, for example, that, at one time, bore fruit may be feeling a bit lifeless for you now. That’s okay. These changes are invitations to explore new ways of engaging; the Christian tradition is abounding with practices, methods and expressions that are well-suited to whatever season you may find yourself in.
While not an exhaustive list, we hope you will check them out, particularly prayer, as prayer is one of the most significant and accessible ministries for us to engage with right now.
Every Thursday morning a group of men meet virtually from 6:15 to 7:15 together in prayer. Next week, the Men’s Prayer Group will begin a special four-week advent focus. If you are feeling the nudge to make prayer a more active next step in your life, this is a great time to jump in with this group.
Put on a pot of coffee, log in from the comfort of your home and, for the next four weeks, with eyes fixed on Christ and the hope, peace, joy, and love he brings, let’s make room for God to break into our time and space and enter our world in fresh new ways.
Giving and receiving care is much more challenging in times like these. We are missing our usual touchpoints at weekend services, weekly ministries, and simply passing by one another in our Cardo or our parking lot. For most of us, we haven’t seen one another in 8 long months!
Thankfully, we don’t need a formal ministry of Compassion and Care in order to care for others. There are those with whom we can each reach out to - within our family, friendships or community. I encourage all of us to find ways to stay in communication, even if it is slightly different. Phone calls, walks outside, emails and virtual visits online are some safe ways to continue caring with and being in one another’s lives. We need one another.
Compassion and Care continues to offer some ministries, as able. For a full listing or our ministries and support groups please visit our Compassion & Care page, otherwise, here are two spotlights:
There are 45 individuals who regularly check in with and pray for those in our congregation who are going through challenges of health, grief, or other. Contacts are necessarily by phone these days, but a warm and caring voice on the other end of the line can be exactly the reassurance needed for a hard day.
Christmas Grace Givers: Our annual Christmas hampers ministry is going to look very different this year, because of COVID restrictions. We will not be able to enjoy the excitement of 250 people working together, as in the past 17 years. But we will need some people to help assemble or deliver a much smaller number of Grace Givers gifts. If you have an interest in being a part of this small team, please let us know as soon as possible. It will have to be “first come, first to serve.”
Please be our eyes and ears. If you hear of someone in our church family who is going through a challenging time, don’t assume that we, the church staff, are aware. With their permission, we would love you to let us know.
For more information on any of these ministries, or to seek personal support or encouragement, please reach out to us.
Weekly Online Liturgies for those joining with us from home.
Join us for our online liturgy premier, every Sunday at 10 am.
Weekend lessons to engage your kids and help them learn about Jesus.
Those are the updates for this week! If you would like to connect with us further, learn more about our ministries, or submit a confidential prayer request, I encourage you to get in touch.