30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #125 2nd October 2022
From the Minister Jesus Christ Superstar and the URC
What do Jesus Christ Superstar and the United Reformed Church have in common? (Apart from Jesus.)
Well, both made their first London appearance in 1972. Jesus Christ Superstar debuted in the West End and the URC came into being at a (live televised!) service at Westminster Central Hall on October 5th fifty years ago. Both JCS and the URC are still on the go. If you want to see JCS live at the moment, though, then a trip to the USA is on the cards. However, currently, there’s good availability for United Reformed Church live performances. They are taking place at hundreds of venues up and down the length of Great Britain. There’s even one on in North Shields, running most days of the week. There is also (at least) one major difference between these two ‘productions.’ Jesus Christ Superstar is seeking people to be part of an audience – to come and watch. The United Reformed Church is inviting us to be members of the cast; with no audition required, just a willing ness to play your part in the company of saints.
PrayerSaving God, we praise you for your love for us, poured out in Jesus Christ. Help us all to play our parts, lifting our hearts and voices with thanksgiving and singing your praise for your faithfulness and love in the work and life of the United Reformed Church. Amen.
(Adapted from a prayer in URC 50th Anniversary ‘Worship Materials for Local Churches.’)
WORSHIP SERVICES AT ST COLUMBA’S
THIS SUNDAY – 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. To follow us on livestream, click here.
6.30 p.m. A Zoom Communion Service, led by Trevor Jamison, on the theme of ‘What helps us keep faith in difficult times.’ Join Zoom Meeting.
NEXT WEEK – Sunday 9th October 10.30 a.m. A service led by Trevor Jamison, focusing on the work of Christian Aid and the ‘Commitment For Life’ project.
3.00 p.m. A service at Jesmond URC – see below for details.
Bible readings for this week
Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 Maintaining hope when evil seems to triumph
Psalm 37:1-9 Put your trust in God
2 Timothy 1:1-14 Coming to faith, hanging on to faith
Luke 17:5-10 Why expect God to thank you for having some faith? … You can read the Bible passages online at https://www.biblegateway.com/
Reflection on the Readings
Just prior to Luke 17:5-10 Jesus has told his disciples that they must not be obstacles to the faith of others, and that they must be ready to forgive again and again when someone who has offended them repents. So the disciples respond with a request: ‘Increase our faith!’ (17:5) Jesus replies that they only need a little faith in order to accomplish great things, but they shouldn’t expect thanks for being faithful. To illustrate his point, he refers to a contemporary situation: masters don’t expect to thank slaves for doing their duty. (We should not read this as an endorsement of slave owning or slavery, but rather an indication of the gulf in status between ourselves and God.) How can we expect God to be grateful to us for being faithful? Rather, we should be the ones thanking God and just get on with being faithful. It’s no surprise then that Luke’s next story is about ten lepers healed by Jesus, only one of whom comes back to say, ‘thank you’.
Trevor Jamison continues to lead eight weekly sessions on The Letter to the Ephesians, Thursdays in-person at Saint Columba’s repeated at 7.15 p.m. on Mondays on Zoom. Details about the series is available here.
Traidcraft Christmas catalogues and order forms will be available in the church hall on Sunday 2nd October, ready for you to choose and purchase all those gifts!
United Reformed Church Jubilee Service – October 9th at Jesmond URC
A service to mark the 50th anniversary of the formation of the United Reformed Church is taking place at Jesmond URC on Sunday October 9th at 3.00 p.m. It was when meeting at Jesmond that the Presbyterian Church of England General Assembly voted to unite with the Congregational Church in England and Wales, so forming the URC. Everyone from around Northern Synod is invited to this service where the preacher will be this year’s Moderator of General Assembly, the Reverend Fiona Bennett.
Next Week’s Update – Sunday 9th October 2022
Andrew Atkinson will edit the next Update. To get your information in both the online and printed editions, please have it with him by Tuesday 4th October.
Keeping in Touch
You can contact your Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.