30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #105 24th April 2022
From the Minister With you always …
On four Friday afternoons in March and April church members gathered to create the large banner, pictured above, which currently adorns the railings in front of the church. Members of the weekly parent and toddlers group, and the yoga class which meet at the church also contributed items for the banner. It depicts four resurrection scenes from the Gospels: disciples at the empty tomb; two other disciples’ encountering Jesus on the road to Emmaus; Thomas meeting the resurrected Jesus; and disciples sharing breakfast on the beach with Jesus. The words on the banner come from yet another encounter with the resurrected Jesus. On a mountain top, at the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus sends them (and us) to make more disciples, baptise people, and teach them to obey Jesus’s commandments. That sounds like a BIG job! I suppose that’s why the final, final words of the risen Jesus Christ in Matthew’s Gospel are ones of reassurance: ‘And remember, I am with you always, to the ends of the age.’
(Image: Outcome of the “Thoughtful Art” project at St Columba’s, Lent 2022. Photo by TJ)
Risen Lord Jesus, in the good times, and in the not-so-good times, help me to remember that I am never alone, for you are there with me. Amen.
Quote of the Week
From a St Columba’s church member to the minister: ‘You know, Trevor, every time I see “Reverend Dr” in front of your name now I can’t help thinking, “Reverend Mother”, just like in The Sound of Music.”
(Should you have difficulty contacting the minister this week it’s probably because he’s out and about, climbing hills, fording streams, and following rainbows, ‘til he finds his dream.)
WORSHIP SERVICES AT ST COLUMBA’S THIS SUNDAY
10.30 a.m. Service led by John Drew, on the theme, “Have You Ever been Lost?” (Trevor Jamison is leading worship at Widdrington United Reformed Church)
6.30 p.m. Service led by Dr Ann Sinclair, from St Andrew’s URC, Monkseaton. Our monthly, last-Sunday-of-the-month
evening service at church – an opportunity to experience music, hymns, prayer and reflection in an intimate setting.
Sunday 1st May 10.30 a.m. at Church Service led by Trevor Jamison This service will be followed by the Church Annual General Meeting
6.30 p.m. on Zoom Service led by Trevor Jamison Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 843 1385 7117 Phone: 0131 4601196
Bible readings for this week
Acts 5:27-32 Apostles determined to testify about Jesus
Psalm 118:14-29 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
Psalm 150 Let everything that breathes praise the LORD!
Revelation 1:4-8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God
John 20:19-31 Peace and forgiveness, doubt and belief
Poor Thomas! He’s always associated with doubting, and that’s really not the whole story. Prior to his encounter with the risen Jesus Christ, in John 20:19-31, Thomas had been the disciple ready to risk death with Jesus by going to visit Bethany (11:7, 16) where previously opponents had been planning to stone Jesus. True, Thomas had doubted what the others had reported about seeing Jesus (20:24-25). But then, they had thought the report from the women disciples was an ‘idle tale,’ (Luke 24:11) and we don’t label them as ‘doubters.’ Here, it’s Thomas, seeing the material wounds of Jesus, who makes a significant declaration of faith and belief: ‘My Lord and my God!’ (20:28) Like Thomas, we all have doubts at times, but we don’t have to be defined by them. Reasonable doubts can go hand in hand with courage and with faith.
These Things Did Thomas Count – a hymn by Thomas Troeger, here sung by a quartet from Westmoreland Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) in Bethesda, Maryland.
“May we, O God, by grace believe and thus the risen Christ receive, Whose raw, imprinted palms reached out and beckoned Thomas from his doubt.”
News and Notices
Student Placement Concludes
In October last year, Roberta Ritson, a URC ministry student, came to St Columba’s on placement from URC Scottish College. Since then. Roberta has been observing and participating in a wide range of activities, including leading worship and working with groups associated with the church. Most recently Roberta conceived and led an art-based Lent activity (see the picture above of the banner they created), and organised and led a beach prayer walk. Roberta’s placement with us concluded on Easter Sunday, when we wished her well for the rest of this year, and for her next, final year in training.
Continuing COVID precautions
At the April Elders’ Meeting, taking into account the continuing high rate of infections, it was decided to maintain wearing face masks during worship for the time being. We continue to monitor the situation and will further relax precautions as soon as that’s consistent with our commitment to caring for one another.
Fire Drills at St Columba’s
It’s a long time since we held a fire drill at St Columba’s. So, some Sunday in the next few weeks, we are likely to hold a practice during a morning service. If we ever had to “do it for real” we would want evacuation of the building to go well, so we need to practice, to make sure that’s what would happen. If and when the fire bell rings, don’t be frightened, but do treat it seriously, and follow directions about leaving and returning to the building.
At Church meeting on 22nd March, among other things, we agreed plans to bring the Grads Room back into use (since achieved), to re-hang some of the banners in church (leaving space for new ones), and heard about services and other events planned for Lent and Easter. You can find the minutes of the meeting in the email version of the Weekly Update.
Church AGM on May 1st – agenda and minutes of previous meeting
This year’s AGM will take place after the morning service at church on May 1st. You can find the agenda for this meeting and the minutes of the previous meeting in the email version of the Weekly Update.
Reports from individuals and groups will be mailed out separately.
Church AGM Minutes-Taker Sought
We are seeking a volunteer to take the minutes at the Church AGM. Please contact the Church Secretary, Alison Drew (contact details below) if you are interested in or willing to undertake this task.
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – events at St Columba’s on 4th and 5th of June
This year marks the platinum jubilee of the accession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Here at St Columba’s we are planning for strawberries and scones at a coffee morning on Saturday 4th of June and the jubilee will feature as a significant part of our service the following Sunday morning. Then, after the service, we are planning for a bring-and-share “faith lunch.” More details to follow.
Memories of North Shields Good Friday Parades
A local TV report about Good Friday parades in previous years, featuring an interview with our own Alan! And watch out for images featuring St Columba’s and associated churches.
Take Part in The Big Plastic Count
Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic are holding a ‘Big Plastic Count’ from 16 to 22 May. They are asking people and groups to sign up to count the plastic they throw away over one week (both for rubbish and recycling). In return, participants receive a ‘plastic footprint’, showing what happens to the different plastics that they have used. Overall, the results are collated nationally, as part of a campaign to encourage government, big brands, and supermarkets to take bold action to tackle what has become a plastic crisis for the world. To find out about taking part: https://thebigplasticcount.com/