30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #1: Sunday 22nd March 2020
From the Minister
Greetings from the manse! I hope that you are all well and adjusting to the present situation. Sadly, currently we are unable to meet together physically, either at the church or in other locations. This does not mean we have stopped being Church. It does mean that we will be finding new ways of being so in the present time. This update, issued in electronic and paper formats, is our first step in that direction. Please make use of the opportunities mentioned below to pray, worship, and read the Bible.
Remember, God’s love for you and me remains a constant in changing times. As Jesus said, when preparing his followers for a new role in a new situation: ‘remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ Matthew 28:20
Pray Together this Sunday Evening
Churches Together in England have issued a call to prayer in the light of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is for all churches and people of prayer to join on Sunday 22nd March, Mothering Sunday, at 7.00 p.m. If it’s safe to do so, please light a candle in the window of your home as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer.
You might like to use this prayer, written by Nigel Uden and Derek Estill
‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’ Psalm 46:1, NRSV
Living, loving God,
we praise you,
and through times of peril we lean into you,
for in Jesus Christ
you have trodden paths as difficult as ours,
revealing there a love that nothing defeats,
a love that bears us through.
Even as we strive to behave responsibly,
and to care reliably,
so we feel after you
that in these uncertain times we might trust you are with us,
that you are our refuge and strength,
and that, in you, faith, hope and love might be renewed,
through Jesus Christ, Amen.
Options for Worshipping at home this Sunday
Online URC audio service for Mothering Sunday 10.00 a.m.
Radio Radio 4 Sunday Worship 8.10 a.m.
Television BBC1 Songs of Praise 3.15 p.m.
Bible readings for Sunday
From the Revised Common Lectionary
1 Samuel 16:1-13 Samuel anoints the shepherd, David, as the new king of Israel
Psalm 23 The LORD is our shepherd
Ephesians 5:8-14 Living as children of light in difficult times
John 9:1-41 Jesus heals a man blind from birth, but who is really blind?If you don’t have a Bible at home, please let Trevor or Alison know. We will try to get one to you. Or, if you have internet, go to https://www.biblegateway.com/
Reflection on the readings
Jesus was asked, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?’ (John 9:2) Often, when things go wrong, we try to find someone to blame. In a more religious age we attributed calamity to God. Nowadays we tend to blame governments or, more generally, ‘them’, whoever they might be. Jesus’s answer: ‘he was born blind that God’s works might be revealed in him’ (9:3), might make us want to ask yet more questions. Still, before doing that, consider how in doing good for others, such as keeping touch with those who might (also) be feeling anxious and isolated at this time, God’s works of love might be revealed in us.
Keeping in Touch
We will keep in touch with each other. Elders will have a list of members and friends to contact each week, both to provide information and to ensure that people are safe and well. You can contact your designated Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.