SouthPark Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is an open, friendly, and caring church fellowship, founded in 1969 with 128 charter members. We are a church home for a wide range of age groups who participate in worship, fellowship, and activities for all. We have a “dynamic...Read More
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), while founded on American soil in the early 1800s, is uniquely equipped to live up to its identity that it is a “movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.” The denomination was born in the 1800s, and continues to be...Read More
The Youth Program at SPCC is dedicated to helping form girls and boys into young Christian men and women. The goal is to provide them with information and skills to understanding what it means to be a Christian. The idea is that it’s not about turning them into who they will...Read More
In opinion, liberty; in essentials, unity; in all things, charity
Becoming the Story
The dictionary defines imagination as “the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.” We are accustomed to trusting our senses to tell us what is true. It is true, for example, that rocks break windows. How do I know? Because I’ve seen a rock break a window. Or at least I have seen something hard (like a rock) break something fragile (like a window), and I can apply the principle. For many people, especially nonreligious people, the arbiter of truth is experience—only what I have perceived and can perceive with my senses can be trusted. This rules out things like Creation, the Incarnation, and the Resurrection. Imagination offers a broader perspective on truth. If imagination is the capacity to visualize, to be confident in or hopeful of a reality that contradicts our experience, then it refuses to let our senses determine the limits of what is possible. This is why faith is an act of the imagination. Faith requires us to envision and inhabit a world that we cannot perceive with our senses.
From beginning to end, the Bible calls us to adopt a sanctified imagination that helps us look beyond our own experience. When the biblical writers call us to faith, they are calling us to foster an active imagination that can see what God sees. When the prophets looked around them, they too saw injustice, sin, and unrighteousness. The rational response to this sort of experience is despair. But the prophets called the people—and us—to hope. A constant refrain of the prophets is a summons to imagine a godly future. “The day is coming,” they said again and again, a day when injustice will be judged, when evil will be put right, when exploitation will cease, when God’s faithful people will experience the deliverance they have hoped for—hoped against experience. This is a radical message. It requires a godly imagination that can form “images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses,” an imagination shaped by the truth that God is a loving Creator who is deeply connected to his people and works tirelessly for their good. The prophets call us to share this vision, and they do so by painting landscapes of a world that contradicts our experience because it exists only in the mind of God until that “day” comes.
Jesus calls us to an even more demanding act of imagination. He stood in the line of the prophets, but he radicalized their message. “The day is coming,” they had said. He changed the tense. He says, “The day has come.” The world the prophets had envisioned is no longer a future reality. It is happening here and now. Jesus invites his followers to imagine that the kingdom of God is at hand, and with it have come all those promised reversals. With his parables about the kingdom of God, Jesus helps us peek behind the veil and see the truth beneath the appearances of our experience. A statement like “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” takes considerable imagination to believe.
So how do we strengthen our imaginations? The best way to develop a biblical imagination is to spend time dwelling in the Scriptures. This requires more than reading a few verses a day. It is a lifelong habit of meditating on the stories of God’s creation, redemption, and new creation. Christians have used practices such as lectio divina (slow, meditative reading) to help internalize the Bible’s worldview in their own hearts. In this way, over a lifetime, we can “be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind.” Then we “will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:2-3).*
Questions for reflection:
By what practices can you immerse yourself in the stories of our faith?
Which faith story are you most familiar with? Why? How does this story speak to you?
* This in an excerpt of an article entitled, “Can You Imagine?” by Brandon J. O’Brien You can find the entire article online at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/biblestudies/articles/theology/canyouimagine.html?start=3
The executive committee for 2014 here at SouthPark Christian Church is already working hard for things to come. The following dates are board meetings that are scheduled on the calendar. All SPCC members are encouraged to attend these meetings following worship.
o 3/16 – 12:15p
o 5/18 – 12:15p
o 7/20 – 11:15a
o 9/21 – 12:15p
o 11/16 – 12:15p
o 1/18/15 – 12:15p
Just a friendly reminder to our congregation and any visitors…
We are postponing the carpet installation due to our heating unit needing replaced in the sanctuary. Because of our chilly sanctuary space, worship service will continue to be held in the Fellowship Hall unless noted otherwise. Our next worship gathering is on February 2 and we hope to see you there!
Discipleship Hour meets at 10am on Sunday mornings. Please come, share, and learn as “The Story Begins”
Lay Renewal Weekend will be on Feb 8-9 and there are great activities and moments of discussion planned. This will be a weekend of spiritual renewal and ministry enrichment for all members and leaders of SouthPark Christian Church.
Please stay updated through our bi-weekly emails and our Facebook page. If you are not connected to these, contact our office administrator (Officespcc@bellsouth.net) and she will gladly help add you.
Our church is happy to welcome our new Administrative Assistant, Tiffany Rendleman. Below, you will find a short bio.
A little about me: I may look young but I was born in 1985 so I am young but not as young as I look. I love people and I enjoy learning their stories and tend to connect with just about anyone. I love to travel the world and discover new places and things…locally and internationally. I’m excited to work close to the Park Rd. Shopping Center and SouthPark area now so if there are any places or restaurants that I should check out, please refer me. I have two other part-time positions which will now coincide quite perfectly with this one. I am in my third year as a Campus Minister for Baptist Campus Ministry and greatly enjoy working and ministering with college students. They are my passion (one of my passions). I also serve and work at Hyaets with Helms and Greg. I am currently an “apprentice” with them and have been working with them since June of last year as an adult ministry leader in the summer and am now transitioning into different roles. I believe I have known the Jarrells for as long as they have lived in Charlotte. – I graduated from UNC-Charlotte in 2008 with a degree in Business Administration and Managerial Leadership and then recently graduated from Gardner-Webb Divinity School with a Masters in Christian Education. I am also recently married to John Rendleman and we live in the University area with our adorable and wacky black lab, Mac who is about 8 months old.
On Christmas Eve, we will keep holy vigil for the coming of the Christ Child
with candlelight, scripture reading, and carols.
Join us for the Christmas Eve service on December 24th at 7pm.