Technology and participation marked the ecumenical service for Christian Aid Week hosted this year by St Columba’s.
During the course of the service, led by our own Revd Liz Blair, we were shown 3 short videos from Christian Aid. The first was a humorous view of the responses collectors may encounter with door-to-door collections (including mistaking them for take away meal deliveries). The second, narrated by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, told the story of a family in South Sudan, who were one of many helped by a local partner of Christian Aid in rebuilding their home after the civil wars. The third was entitled One Step to Change a Life, and emphasised the importance of the work done by volunteer collectors in Christian Aid Week, who brought in 75% of the charity’s income.
Adults and young people from various churches in North Shields took part in the service, with readings, a prayer, and a choir. The congregation of nearly 100 was in good voice, and sang the six hymns with gusto. We heard of a thrice-repeated dream about a door in the house that had never been noticed before, but which led to another house, this one in ruins. For one of our members, that was a spur to action to help others in countries where there is war, poverty and injustice. Liz heartened us that although this may seem like a mountain to climb, it was possible if taken one step at a time. Worshippers were invited to write on a cut-out footprint what step they would take. Finally the collectors were commissioned for their work in the week ahead, and after the blessing refreshments were served in the hall, as we chatted with friends old and new.
An offering taken at the service raised £221 for Christian Aid, added to £578 taken at yesterday’s coffee morning, and over £100 with this year’s north east quiz: a very good start to the week!