30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #124 25th September 2022
From the Minister Harvest Time
It’s harvest time again. And once again, in a practice that spans generations in church life, we will be celebrating that in our worship this Sunday. We’ll be giving thanks for the abundance of good things that we enjoy, though I understand that it has been a challenging year for the farming community. In the UK, and in Europe more widely, a very dry summer has affected the crop yield, As our climate changes we can expect this to be more the norm than exception. Added to this, there are increased energy prices and inflation, which affect farms and farmers as much as anyone. All in all, for many people it’s not easy to make a living in farming; it never has been. It’s good to give thanks for the harvest – not only for what we receive but also for the work people have done to grow and get that harvest to us.
PrayerLoving Creator, God, the whole earth proclaims your glory. We pray for those who work the land, both nearby and in distant countries. May they receive just reward for their labour, and may their work both as food producers and stewards of the land be honoured. In Jesus’ name.
From a prayer by Elizabeth Clark, retired Methodist Minister
WORSHIP SERVICES AT ST COLUMBA’S
THIS SUNDAY – Sunday 18th September
10.30 a.m. HARVEST SERVICE at church, led by Trevor Jamison PLEASE NOTE: There will be a collection of food items for NiteBite at this service – all items welcome, but especially soup, tinned tomatoes, tinned fruit, packet custard, tinned meat, juice, coffee, and sugar.
6.30 p.m. Communion service at church, led by Trevor Jamison, on the theme, ‘Harvest and Creation’
NEXT WEEK – Sunday 2nd October 10 .30 a.m. A service marking the 50th anniversary of the formation of the United Reformed Church. Service led by Trevor Jamison
A Bonus Song
‘Together Through the Father’s Love,’ by Naomi Sharp and Stephen Newell, one of the winning entries in the URC 50th anniversary hymn competition.
Bible readings for this week
Jeremiah 32::1-3a, 6-15 Investing in property in the middle of an invasion
Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16 God, our refuge and fortress
1 Timothy 6:6-19 ‘For the love of money is …’
Luke 16:19-31 The rich man in his ‘castle’, the poor man at his gate … You can read the Bible passages online at https://www.biblegateway.com/
Reflection on the Readings
‘The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate, God made them, high or lowly, and ordered their estate.’ Some people really hate the hymn, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful,’ though I’m not one of them. Certainly, very few people have a lot of time for this verse which appeared in the original version of the hymn, published in 1848, and it was quite quickly dropped from use. A charitable interpretation of Cecil Alexander’s verse is that she meant to say that the prayers of all are equally acceptable to God, whatever their social status. Whatever the case, Jesus’s parable in Luke 16:19-31 makes troubling reading for those living in castles, unless they make sure to treat well the poor who are at their gate. Rich nations that try to ‘draw up the drawbridge’ against poorer ones, or are reluctant to share the fruits of their harvest, might also want to take note of the outcome of this parable.
Image: Lazarus at the Gate by Peter Koenig (The artist has granted permission for the non-commercial use of this image)
A Hymn that responds to the readings
A Mighty Fortress is Our God – Martin Luther’s hymn with a modern beat and some editions
All relevant documents and papers relating to the meeting will be sent straight after the weekly update as a seperate email.
News and Notices
Exploring Ephesians – one session postponed, one continues
Trevor Jamison continues to lead eight weekly sessions on The Letter to the Ephesians, at 7.15 pm. on Mondays on Zoom, repeated on Thursdays in-person at Saint Columba’s. Details about the series is available here.
No previous knowledge about Ephesians is assumed or required. As well as members of Saint Columba’s, those from other churches (or no church) are invited to take part, either online or in-person. All that’s needed is a willingness to talk to others and to listen to them.
On Friday 30th September, HANDS is hosting a coffee morning at Saint Columba’s, as part of the effort where people all over the UK host coffee mornings and donations raised are made to Macmillan Cancer Support. In addition to those provided by HANDS members, donation of cakes brought on the day would be very welcome.