We have recently launched a new Guides company in North Shields, meeting at St Columba’s Church in Northumberland Square.
The group is open to girls aged 10-14, and enquiries are welcomed.
The highlight of the open air service on Good Friday was a dramatic presentation on the theme of “What is Truth?” This also reflected the theme of North Tyneside’s contribution to the BBC’s Great North Passion event at South Shields later that morning.
The drama involved movement and speech both by individuals and groups of people, punctuated by sharp taps of wood on wood.
Revd Liz Edwards led the service in Northumberland Square, which was also addressed by Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell, who noted the good work done in the town feeding the hungry and caring for strangers. Singing was led by the Salvation Army, who also led the walk of witness round the town centre, with a stop for a Bible reading halfway down Bedford Street.
Thereafter there were services in various churches. St Columba’s had Messy Church, which included a puppet show. The hall was filled with the noise of happy chatter as children and others engaged in a variety of seasonal craft activities, including making mini Easter gardens, painting with fingertips, decorating Easter cup cakes, making Easter nests, colouring in ‘stained glass windows’, scratching out brightly coloured patterns on to crosses, decorating felt purses to hold a chocolate silver coin, sticking scenes from the life of Jesus onto crosses, decorating cross keyrings, sculpting with playdough, decorating pots and planting poppies.
During Holy Week, St Columba’s was also open for an hour in the mornings for prayer stations. Nine small displays around the church invited visitors to sit, read part of the Easter story from the Bible, hold a tangible object linked to that episode, reflect, and pray. The nine objects were coins, a rooster (although in that case the tangible element was string rather than a farmyard bird), a purple robe, thorns, wood, nails, a sponge, stone, and a white cloth. For those who were able to spend the time, they made for thought-provoking reflections.church, Easter, Good Friday, march, messy church, north shields, st columba's, united reformed, urc, witness
Uniformed organisations were out in force at St Columba’s for Mothering Sunday. Rainbows, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts were among the congregation, where we all gave thanks for the many good things that mothers, fathers and other carers do for us. We also heard about other traditions associated with this fourth Sunday in the season of Lent. In centuries gone by, this was the day in the year when domestic servants would return to their parents’ home and their mother church, often bringing a simnel cake.
We also enjoyed some rousing songs and hymns, a miming competition in teams, and a puppet show to the tune of “You raise me up to more than I can be.”
Afterwards, we tasted some simnal cake and had the opportunity to visit the pop-up breakfast bar and fair trade stall.church, mother, mothering, north shields, st columba's, united reformed, urc
On Sunday 23 March, St Columba’s Church received the good news that the stewardship campaign run earlier this year had exceeded all expectations.
Members showed their commitment to God and the church by making pledges to increase their giving to St Columba’s by nearly double the original target.
The stewardship team expressed its satisfaction that this had set up a firm financial foundation for the worship, nurture, care and outreach of St Columba’s.church, north shields, st columba's, stewarship, TRIO, united reformed, urc
“Leading public prayers is a privilege and an opportunity.” This was the realisation voiced by one of the participants at third in a series of 4 training days for worship leaders and worship teams, organised by the Coast Mission Partnership.
Nearly 20 people from across the Synod attended the session held at North Shields Baptist Church, led by Revd Dr Jan Berry of Northern College. We learned about different forms of prayer, such as invocation, adoration, confession, thanksgiving, petition, intercession, offering, benediction and sending out, and when to use them in the context of a worship pattern of gathering, hearing and responding. Jan described different styles of prayer, such as structured, extempore, sung, responsive, bidding, silent, visual, musical and symbolic. We also shared experienced of what worked and what didn’t from the congregation’s point of view.
Good resources for prayer include:
In the afternoon, Jan explained how to write prayers – by meditating on a theme, drawing on imagination to brainstorm words with both positive and negative associations, focussing on the angle to take, drafting out the prayer as it flows, then revising after a break. Prayers may have a definite structure and vivid imagery, and should be clearly spoken and not too long, but should avoid jargon, long phrases, clichés, and language that unnecessarily alienates or distracts the congregation.
Finally, we spent some time writing our own prayers, which were shared at the end. There were good points in each of them, with some expressing themselves particularly poignantly.
We all agreed that it had been a useful day, giving us greater knowledge, confidence and inspiration in leading prayers in our own churches.church, north shields, prayer, st columba's, urc, worship