30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #100 20 March 2022
From Andrew One Hundred Not Out
Two years ago, this country was about to go into its first “lockdown.” For many weeks, we were confined to our homes apart from one hour a day, and unable to meet together. That day also saw our Minister, Trevor, send out his first Weekly Update… and now we have reached issue number 100! We continue, as a team effort, sharing news, building faith and keeping us all connected.
So much has changed in those two years. Things we had always taken for granted were no longer possible. We had to adapt to new ways of doing things. We lost many dear friends.
That all seems an age ago now, as the world has changed again, with war in Europe, the cost of living rising, and the climate of our common home in crisis.
At least spring has come again, and God promises hope for the future.
Image: AA, Spring in Northumberland Square, taken on this Sunday two years ago
Loving God, we still face so many fears and frustrations from forces beyond our control and understanding. We bring all these concerns to you and place them in your hands. Hear our prayers, heal our broken world, and guide all of us in the parts we can play to make a difference for your sake. Amen.
Worship Services at St Columba’s
Sunday 20 March at 10.30 a.m.
Service led by Roberta Ritson, ministry student on placement with St Columba’s.
Sunday 27 March at 10.30 a.m. – Worship on Mothering Sunday
Service led by Trevor Jamison. (Don’t forget – the clocks go forward one hour on 27 March!)
Sunday 27 March at 6.30 p.m. – Evening Worship at the church
Service led by Trevor Jamison.
This is the first in a series of seven services on the last Sunday evening of each month, offering a comfortable setting for worship and reflection. This service will include Holy Communion.
Changes to Covid precautions at Sunday services
Following discussion, and bearing in mind advice from the United Reformed Church as a denomination, the Elders’ Meeting has decided to make some changes to Covid precautions on Sundays. From 27 March, the clear screens in front of the lecterns at the front of the church will be removed. Also, those reading from the Bible or leading prayers will no longer be asked to sit at the front of the church on that day (though they may do so, if they wish).
Aware that Omicron remains highly contagious, and that several members of the congregation are included in categories of those most likely to be badly affected, we will continue to wear masks during the service at this time. We will monitor the situation and move from wearing masks when it becomes possible.
Bible readings for this week (Third Sunday in Lent)
Isaiah 55: 1-9 An invitation to seek nourishment from God
Psalm 63: 1-8 Thirsting for God and being satisfied
I Corinthians 10: 1-13 Lessons of testing and judgement from the past
Luke 13: 1-9 Repent and be fruitful, or perish
Have you ever been invited to an all-you-can-eat meal? In Isaiah 55, God throws open the doors for a banquet that will satisfy your deepest needs… and the best news is that it is all free! God has paid the price, which is just as well, because we could never afford it. The offer is for all who recognise their need, who thirst for a more meaningful life, even in the midst of challenging times.
On this third Sunday in Lent, we are urged to take seriously our need for spiritual nourishment, and to ‘grow up’ in our discipleship. Don’t assume that you can just sit back and that will be enough. The life of faith calls for focus and effort. So, this Lent, let’s make time for God. Let’s make time to acknowledge our own shortcomings and repent. Let’s make time to focus on Jesus.
The sum of £381 has been raised in the collection for the work of Christian Aid in Afghanistan, as a food crisis looms there. Thank you to all who have donated.
Messy Church Meeting.
We are hoping to have a ‘Come and go as you please’ Messy Church on Good Friday as we have done in the past. This would begin after the Churches Together event at approximately 11 a.m. for about an hour.
If you would like to help with an activity, whether you have helped before or whether it is something you would like to try please let Claire know.
We are having a short meeting to discuss the activities on Tuesday 29 March at 7.15 p.m. in the Lishman Hall.
Church Meeting on Tuesday 22 March at 7.15 p.m.
The meeting is to be held in the Church rather than the Lishman Hall so that social distancing can be adhered to.
Also in the email version of the Weekly Update are the reports from Elders’ Meeting, Finance and Property, Congregational Care, and Worship and Nurture teams.
Election of Elders
We are coming to the time of electing the next Elders to serve St Columba’s URC. If you would like to share this work or know of someone who might, please have a word with Alison before the end of March.
You can find the helpful URC booklet, “They’ve asked me to become an elder” here.
Lent events at St Columba’s
Three Pictures for Lent – Commences on Thursday 24 March at 7.15 p.m. on Zoom
Gentle conversation and prayer, around James Tissot’s picture, inspired by Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15: 1-7).
2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m., Friday 25 March, and 1 and 8 April – at St Columba’s
Creating a shared artwork, where your gender, age, previous experience (or lack of artistic talent!) is no bar to taking part. Each session will end with a short act of worship, followed by a cuppa and a hot cross bun.
Prayer Walk on the Beach
Saturday 9 April at 2.00 p.m.
A guided stroll with pauses for listening and for praying, both with and without words.
North Tyneside Council have organised a tree planting day at Alexander Scott Park, off Coach Lane. Overseen by the Wildlife Trust, three hundred and fifty trees will be planted between 10.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. on Saturday 26 March. Just come along if you wish to help out.
If you are looking for practical tips for enjoying and respecting God’s creation, read Green Christian’s newly-published 7Rs leaflet.