New Name! New Name!
Introducing : SoCo Beach Project
The South Coast Beach Project, or SCBP, has been a bit of a mouthful to say! It will still be considered the South Coast Beach Project, but instead it will be called the SoCo Beach Project. A little easier to say and a little more pizzaz!
Update : June 24
It’s been 6 weeks of the SoCo Beach Project already, can you believe it? Because we can’t. It's hard to believe that we even made it here, in Port Dover, amidst a pandemic. God had plans and still has more in store for this group of young adults, the community of Port Dover, and Immanuel CRC. Back on May 9th, 7 SoCo participants arrived in Port Dover and moved into two cottages. We would then spend the next 6 weeks getting to know each other, starting at our full time jobs, joining in bible studies, discussing what the summer means to us, and exploring the community. When Willemina pitched the project and how great living on the beach would be, she was not wrong. Our cottages overlook the water and the breeze is wonderful for keeping us cool.
As a group, we have also been asking the question : what is the South Coast Beach Project?
I bring this up because I am sure you've been asking the same thing. As it says on the home page : The South Coast Beach Project is a 4 month spring/summer discipleship and community living experience for young adults. Participants will engage in intentional Christian living with bible study and discussions while engaging with the community through full time work.
And I think this does explain the foundations of the SoCo project, but what we wanted to discuss as a group is : what do we actually do? Are we here to simply take in good information or are we here to serve and to be out on the streets sharing the news and do we need to figure out exactly what we are going to do with our life? Taking a step back and seeing ourselves as children of God who need to work our own relationship with Him and others is important before we even think about the rest of our lives. I think as young adults, we get lost in the pressures to find ourself, find a partner, find the perfect job and get started on life as soon as possible. But what I feel that we are learning here, is to take the time to hear closely from God and the people around us before we disappear into the many plans we think the world has in store for us. Our story is actually God's story and we should never want to put that part of our lives down.
For me personally, what has made the SoCo and Port Dover experience so meaningful is that this summer is real life. It’s not a camp that I leave in a week or a conference that I get for a weekend and don’t know what to take back into normal life. This summer, I get to intentionally spend time in deep discussions and study about God and Christianity but I also get to see the Spirit working in our every day encounters with each other and the people we work with and meet.
As a group, we began watching the video series : Reframe. Reframe is a multiple session course that focuses on connecting your faith and vocation. It takes the story of Scripture and explores how the gospel reframes all of life, not just our church life. We don’t just watch the stories of business people and farmers bringing their faith to their work in the video, we get to put it into practise in our own workplaces each day. On separate nights, we’ve been going through a Spiritual Formations books and learning about the different spiritual practise traditions. Each week we’ve been challenged to learn about and participate in one of the spiritual practises. This has been a great opportunity to take the time to try out many different practises and learn more about ourselves and God through the process. And through the busyness of life, we don’t always follow through, but this lets us be vulnerable and lean on the people around us for encouragement and accountability.
This past week, we got to experience our first guest speaker : Jon Berends. In multiple sessions, Jon will be talking to us about : A Theology of Place. It’s a joy to see more of the summer plans come into place and get to learn and grow with the various speakers and each other through discussion.
And after all of this, we are tired. There is no doubt about that, but what is different about this summer is that we are tired because we have been given so much life through God, through your prayers, through the community's love. The pandemic has been a difficult year and there has been so much lost, but I believe that this year's SoCo Beach Project and the year's to come will be a beautiful part of God's story for young adults and the people we encounter along the way.
Pastor Cara DeHaan
6/24/2021 07:46:33 am
Dear Maddy and everyone, thanks so much for giving us our first window into the real life of the SoCo BP! I resonate with so much of what you write, but I especially like your last paragraph about being tired, in a good way. Sounds really good and positive.
6/25/2021 06:56:44 am
Thank you so much for your kind words and support! Blessings to you and your church from the SoCo team!
6/25/2021 10:51:32 am
Dear SoCo Beach Team, It's so great that you have decided to spend your summer in our community and at Immanuel! Thanks for the updates - it's great to hear how things are going for you!! Thank you for blessing our church with your presence and gifts, whether you are directly involved in our church or not. with prayers for a great summer for all of you!
Pastor Jenn Burnett
6/25/2021 04:24:24 pm
I love you intentionally living in community and building into Port Dover!! What a beautiful picture of early church practice! Will continue to hold you in prayer! Can’t wait to get to know you all through your blog!
6/28/2021 07:35:58 am
Thank you Maddy for taking the time & effort to enlighten us on some of the activities and learnings that are taking place in SoCo Beech Project. I'm thinking that this 'Project' is more mentally & physically demanding than one of you more recent summer jobs of creating & painting a wall Mural. Blessings to ALL !!
Paul and Michelle Zomer and family
6/28/2021 07:59:24 am
From one of the few people who still call you Madeline (I'm her Dad), thanks for this update! I think it's really neat for us back at GCRC to see in writing what you and your young adult peers are up to. We are praying for you all. And thanks to all of the local church community in and around Port Dover for all of the support and love!
6/28/2021 08:31:49 am
Hi Maddy,thankyou for your well written update on your experience at South Coast project. I can’t wait to hear more,
6/29/2021 01:38:50 pm
So nice to read your blog Madeline , and sharing with us what Soco is all about . Blessings to you , and your new friends . OMAZ 💕
7/5/2021 12:49:17 pm
Hey Maddy, Thanks for this update. I (and your church family) are so thankful for this experience for you. It is great seeing you being stretched and growing in your understanding of who you are and where God has you at this time in your life. Of the various spiritual practices that you have engaged in, is there one that seems to fit really well? And is there one that you are finding challenging to engage in? Interested in hearing your perspective on your experiences of these spiritual pracitces. Shalom!
7/15/2021 05:28:05 am
Thanks to you and your team, for this new effort in outreach. I hear it is returning to you more than you give. Thanks for the blog.
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SoCo Beach Project
Port Dover, ON, Canada
SoCo is a ministry of Immanuel CRC, Simcoe
and in partnership with Resonate Global Mission
© South Coast Beach Project 2021