Weekly Update #119 – 31 July

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW

Weekly Update #119
31st July 2022

From the Minister                                             “Not Bad”

So, England have reached the final of a major international football tournament. Congratulations to the “Lionesses” – I wish them well. The quality of women’s football has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. As one man I know commented wonderingly, ‘Have you seen the women’s football? Actually, they’re not bad.’ Back-handed compliments apart, though, see what people can achieve when attitudes change, and resources are provided. Of course, unlocking potential is an ongoing task. A recently published independent report concerning the London Fire Brigade noted that whilst women comprise 17% of the local workforce they represent only 9% of fire fighters, and that the LFB was still slow to provide station facilities for women. I wonder how many people are held back from flourishing by prevailing social attitudes and lack of resources, whether that’s in sport, society, or in churches? Given that we are all created ‘in the image of God’ (Genesis 1:26) and that social divisions are supposed to be dissolved among followers of Christ (Galatians 3:28) removing barriers to human flourishing are a Christian concern; and social progress is a Christian joy.


‘London Fire Brigade needs improving, says watchdog’ 


Gracious God, help me to be everything that I can be, and help me to help others be what they can be – people made in your image. Amen.


10.30 a.m. A service led by Trevor Jamison, including the baptism of Nicolas Johnson, and welcoming his family and friends to worship.

6.00 p.m. (Note the earlier time for this evening service)
A Service to Remember Those Who Have Died During a Time of Covid – see below for more information about this service.

NEXT WEEK – Sunday 7th August

10.30 a.m.    A service led by Trevor Jamison, on the theme of having a vision for the future, for ourselves and for others.

6.00 p.m.      Churches Together Service at Church of the Holy Saviour, Tynemouth


2022 sees the return of the highly popular weekly Churches Together in North Shields services during August. Each service is in the style of the host congregation. Do come and participate in these services, at St Columba’s and elsewhere:

August 7th     6.00 pm        Church of Our Holy Saviour, Tynemouth
August 14th   5.30 p.m.      St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Chirton
August 21st   4.00 p.m.      Christ Church – the work of the Fishermen’s Mission
August 28th   6.30 p.m.      Saint Columba’s United Reformed Church

Bible readings for this week

Ecclesiastes: 1-2, 12-14; 2:18-23 ‘Vanity of vanities .. all is vanity’
Psalm 49:1-12                    The folly of trusting in riches
Colossians 3:1-11              Clothe yourselves with the ‘new self’
Luke 12:31-21                    What does life consist of?
You can read the Bible passages online at https://www.biblegateway.com/

Reflection on the readings

‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.’ (Ecclesiastes 1:1) Some years ago I was a tutor for the URC’s Training for Learning and Serving course Each term’s material included studying a biblical book. One of those books was Ecclesiastes. Previously, most students had never read Ecclesiastes. The first question many asked was, “Why is this book included in the Bible?” Read this passage and you can see why they said that. The writer experiences life as full of toil and injustice. They despair, regarding human efforts to find meaning in life as ‘vanity.’ Ecclesiastes is helpfully realistic in naming a problem – struggle and suffering in the world that it is beyond human capacity to resolve. Ecclesiastes is less helpful in offering no solution. It needs to be read in conjunction with other biblical books in order to find good news concerning the situation that it names. The New Testament book, Colossians, for example, suggests that those who ‘have been raised with Christ’ (3:1) have ‘clothed’ themselves ‘with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.’ (3:11) Even in the midst of this world’s struggles a process of profound, positive change is underway.

A Hymn that responds to the readings

‘Through this vain world he guides our feet, and leads us to his heavenly seat.’ Isaac Watts’ hymn, Give to Our God Immortal Praise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKfCf3D01d0

News and Notices

Truth Telling in a World of ‘Fake News’          
Third of three Bible exploration sessions on God, Greed and Truth, led by Trevor Jamison – on Zoom and in-person – open to all.
On Zoom, Monday 1st August at 7.15 p.m.
Meeting ID: 861 6906  Phone: 0131 460 1196

Repeated in-person at Saint Columba’s, on Thursday 4th August, at 7.15 p.m.

In John 18:28-40 Pontius Pilate weighs up the witness of religious leaders, a restive crowd, and the accused. Jesus says that he has come ‘to testify to the truth.’ Pilate responds, ‘What is truth?’ In today’s political, social and  economic world how do we define truth, discover it and be confident in it?

A Service to Remember Those Who Have Died During a Time of Covid
On Sunday 31st July at 6.00 p.m., Saint Columba’s Church, North Shields.

We are returning to a something close to the “normality” that preceded the Covid pandemic, and we will mark that on September 4th with a service of thanksgiving and celebration.

First, though, we will acknowledge difficult times, remembering those who died during 2020, 2021, and earlier this year. Family, friends, and anyone you know who might find this service helpful are warmly invited.

The service will last for approximately forty-five minutes. It will include music,
prayers, readings and a reflection. The names of those known to the congregation who have died will be read aloud. There will be an opportunity during the service to light a candle in memory of each one. Then, after the service, there will be tea, coffee and light refreshments in the church hall, with giving time for conversation and reminiscence.

If there is a name that you would like to be included among those remembered,
please contact Alison Drew. If you intend to be at the service, please let Alison know by Thursday 28th July, to help with catering arrangements, but if you are not able to say in advance don’t let that prevent you from being there.

mugsCafe 2.21 closed for a one-week holiday
Tuesday 2nd August
Café 2.21 will be closed this coming Tuesday,
then re-opening on Tuesday 9th August.

Saturday Morning Coffee takes a break in August
Saturday morning coffee at the church hall is taking a break for the month of August, but will resume again in September.

Image by Nicole Köhler from Pixabay

Saint Columba’s Social Events Team – Dates for your Diary

Saturday August 13th – Granny’s Attic Sale 10.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m.
(Bring items for the sale to church on Friday 12th August, between 2 and 4 p.m.)

Monday 29th August – Official Opening of the revamped Northumberland Square.  (We’ll be offering refreshments on the day – offers of help on the day, and of scones and traybakes to Norma, please)

Saturday 10th September – Heritage Open Day – church open for visitors
(As above, offers of help on the day, and of scones and traybakes to Norma, please)

Support group for those living with depression, anxiety, and other distress

Peer Talk, a nationally registered mental health charity, is setting up an additional peer support group for people living with depression, anxiety, and other related distress and mental health issues.

It meets on Wednesdays, 11.00 a.m. -12.30 p.m., starting on 3rd August at Meadow Well Connected, Waterville Road, NE29 6BA. (Another group already meets in Whitley Bay on Wednesday evenings).

The group, offering support not therapy, is run by trained volunteers. It is free to attend and there is no need to book.

Next Week’s Update

Next week’s Update will be edited by Trevor Jamison.  To get your information in both the online and printed editions, please have it with him by Tuesday.

Keeping in Touch

You can contact your Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.

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

Copyright © 2022 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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