30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #11: Sunday 31st May 2020 – Pentecost Sunday
From the Minister – Going Wild
Several months ago we stopped mowing a large circle of grass/moss in our front garden and sowed it with wildflower seeds. Initially the lawn looked as though an alien spaceship had landed on it and then taken off again. Sitting at my desk, overlooking this embryonic wildflower meadow, I have observed people walking by notice it, and comment to each other. Maybe it’s for the best that I can’t lipread. Now, at last, amidst all the tall blades of grass, some flowers are appearing. After a period of uncertainty, when things were out of our hands, something new and beautiful emerges. Let’s hope that’s true of other things in life as well.
Pour out your Spirit upon your world,
This world of fields and flowers,
This world of human loves and fears.
Enter now this heart of mine,
That I might find beauty in your world,
Will feel your love in my heart,
And share these things with others.
St Columba’s URC – Pentecost Sunday Worship – May 31st 2020, 10.30 a.m.
We will worship together this Sunday, including holding a virtual communion, so you might have bread and wine, or equivalents, to hand.
To participate, click on this link when the time comes to see and hear what’s happening. Alternatively, if you don’t have internet access, dial this local-rate telephone number to listen to the worship: 0131 460 1196. You can join the Zoom session starting from 10.00am on Sunday.
Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you … receive the Holy Spirit.’ (John 20:21, 22) Usually, we associate receiving the Holy Spirit with Pentecost, as described in Acts 2, with accompanying rushing wind and tongues of fire. It’s not that simple, however, as these verses demonstrate. Before Pentecost, even before his death and resurrection, Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit on his disciples. When asked to explain what’s going on at Pentecost, Peter quotes the Old Testament prophet Joel about God pouring out his Spirit upon the world. The psalm speaks of God’s Spirit at work in creation. We can’t pin down God’s Spirit. If we could then we would be able to control God. Instead, as Jesus pointed out elsewhere, God’s Spirit – God – is a wind that blows when and where it will. (John 3:8)
For further reflections and prayers relating to these readings, click here.
The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
As well as being Pentecost Sunday 31st May also marks the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-57). To hear a contemporary song that responds to that click on this link.
In his book, Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year (Canterbury Press, 2012), Malcolm Guite includes this poem:
Here is a meeting made of hidden joys
Of lightenings cloistered in a narrow place
From quiet hearts the sudden flame of praise
And in the womb the quickening kick of grace.
Two women on the very edge of things
Unnoticed and unknown to men of power
But in their flesh the hidden Spirit sings
And in their lives the buds of blessing flower.
And Mary stands with all we call ‘too young’,
Elizabeth with all called ‘past their prime’
They sing today for all the great unsung
Women who turned eternity to time
Favoured of heaven, outcast on the earth
Prophets who bring the best in us to birth
Normally, at this time of year we would have inducted new members to the Elders Meeting, whilst others would have completed a period of service. Now Louise Charlton steps back as a serving Elder, whilst continuing in her role as Convenor of the Congregational Care team. Lesley Waugh has been co-opted to join the Elders Meeting at this time. Thanks both to Louise and Lesley for their work on behalf of the congregation.
St Columba’s Coffee and Conversation – Saturdays at
Join the conversation on the day by clicking here.
Meeting ID: 832-0912-6069, Password: 443750
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.