Weekly Update #10: Sunday 24 May

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #10: Sunday 24th May 2020
(Ascension/Seventh Sunday of Easter)

“Ascension”, Anish Kapoor, 2003.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ascension_(54%C3%A8me_biennale_de_Venise)_(6220245513).jpg – Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

From the Minister

‘As they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.’ (Acts 1:9) I really like this “Ascension”, created by the artist, Anish Kapoor, for the Venice Biennale festival in 2003. For me, it indicates the strangeness of the other-worldly idea of Jesus leaving here and going “up” to heaven.

After all, living in the space age, we know that God is not simply “up there” next to the moon, the planets, and the stars. If it happened today, perhaps disciples would be granted a vision of Jesus stepping into the next room of another dimension instead.

Whatever the case, it’s a reminder that here and now is not all that there is to life. With God, there is something more than current circumstances. And these days, I find that a comforting thought.



‘Why do you stand looking up towards heaven?’ (Acts 1:11)

Lord Jesus Christ,
Through your ascension, give me vision to look beyond the here and now;
To see things from your heavenly perspective.
And by the presence of your Spirit, assure me, and reassure me
That you are also with me and beside me every day. Amen.

St Columba’s URC – Pentecost Sunday Worship – May 31st 2020, 10.30 a.m.

We are planning to worship together, including holding a virtual communion, on Pentecost Sunday. We will use Zoom software that will enable those who have internet to see and hear what’s happening. Those who do not have internet will be able to dial in to a local-rate telephone number to hear the worship. More details to follow in the next Weekly Update.

Options for Worshipping at home this Sunday

Online           URC audio service (https://devotions.urc.org.uk/ )           10.00 a.m.

Radio            Radio 4          Sunday Worship                                          8.10 a.m.

Television      BBC1             Sunday Worship                                         10.45 a.m.
Songs of Praise                                           1.15 p.m.

DISCLAIMER: TV and Radio schedules can change, so check the timings are correct!

Bible readings for Sunday

From the Revised Common Lectionary
Acts 1:6-14                            The Ascension of Jesus
You can listen to the Charles Wesley hymn Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise 

Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35            God scatters enemies, but protects the vulnerable

1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11          Be humble – God will exalt you in due time

John 17:1-11                          Jesus prays that his disciples may be one
A sermon by Trevor Jamison, based on the reading, John 17:1-11 here

You can read the Bible passages online at https://www.biblegateway.com/

Reflection on the Readings

‘And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.’ (John 17:3) The Sunday morning worship service on BBC1 is due to be an hour later this week. The BBC is marking Eid first, the celebratory feast that ends the Muslim fasting period of Ramadan. I wonder what the Gospel writer, John would have made of that? Of course, if, as Christians and Muslims (and Jews) say, there’s only one true God, then we must be trying to worship the same one. As for how we all regard Jesus Christ (whom we Christians believe God has sent), that will be sorted out in due time. Until then, we just get on with loving our neighbours.

p.s. And Eid Mubarak! to all our Muslim neighbours.

For further reflections and prayers relating to these readings, click here.

NigHtingaleS – a song for this time, available for listening now

Many people who listened to last Sunday’s URC online service really appreciated the  song, NigHtingaleS, (the capital letters in the title are intentional) written and sung by Jo Baird, a member of Nairn URC. Jo is pleased for her song to be used in any way that his helpful, so you can listen to it again here or you can download it here. You can see the lyrics here.

St Columba’s Coffee and Conversation – Saturdays at 10.00 a.m.

Join the conversation on the day by clicking here.
Meeting ID: 898-5280-9412, Password: 328328

For information or help, contact Mathew Hall: 07792782647 or

Online Prayer Gathering on Sunday 24th May at 6.30 p.m.

A thirty-minute opportunity for prayer together and hand it all to God, including learning a shared signed-response to some prayers.

For further information, contact Charlene Clark charleneclark@hotmail.co.uk
To join, when the time comes click here.
Password: 594664

Bible Exploration series on Jonah – Tuesday 26th May at 7.15p.m.

2 – Jonah in the belly of the fish

Meetings will be one hour long, including spending some time in smaller groups to enable better discussion.

To join the meeting, click on this link.

If you can’t join in online, don’t hesitate to contact Trevor to request a copy of a reflection and the questions relating to the reading.

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.

Minister: Reverend Trevor Jamison                 Church Secretary: Alison Drew
minister.northshieldsurc@gmail.com               [email protected].com
0191 290 1193         07896 899538                 0191 251 9774

Copyright © 2020 St Columba’s United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.

Registered Address:
St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square

North Shields, Tyne and Wear NE30 1PW

United Kingdom

St Columba’s United Reformed Church Charity is a registered charity in England & Wales, number 1164784.

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