Weekly Update #126 – 9 October

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW

Weekly Update #126
9th October 2022

From Andrew                                               A Juggling Act?

Sometimes we need to stop and reflect on what we are doing and where we are going.

We may acknowledge that things have changed.  We are not what we were 20 or even 50 years ago, either individually or as a church. We can lament that we are no longer able to do everything we used to do, but we can also rejoice in what we have now and the things that we can do.  With fewer hands, it may feel like trying to juggle more and more balls.

Rather than worry about what we can’t do, we can concentrate on what we can.  It is better to do a few things well, rather than try to do it all.  Our context has changed, and so has our capacity, so it makes sense that we should adapt in what we do.  We can focus on the important things, and do them faithfully and with love.


Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay


Living God, help us to see what is important in all our busyness.  Guide and enable us in our serving, our giving, our praying.  Inspire us with your love and bless all that we do in your service.

10.30 a.m. Service led by Trevor Jamison, focusing on the work of Christian Aid and the ‘Commitment For Life’ project.
After the morning service there will be a retiring offering for the work of Christian Aid in Pakistan.

3.00 p.m.   Service at Jesmond URC – see below for details.

NEXT WEEK – Sunday 16th October
10.30 a.m.   Service led by Trevor Jamison.

Livestreamed worship from St Columba’s

Each Sunday morning we livestream our services from Saint Columba’s.  To watch the service live, catch up with it later in the week, or view previous services, click here.

Bible readings for this week
Bible readings for Sunday       Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity

Jeremiah 29: 1, 4-7            Jeremiah tells the exiles to make Babylon their home
Psalm 66: 1-12                   Praise to God for rescuing the Israelites
II Timothy 2: 8-15               Paul’s suffering for the Gospel is worth it
Luke 17: 11-19                   Jesus heals ten lepers, but only a Samaritan thanks him
You can read the Bible passages online at https://www.biblegateway.com/

Reflection on the Readings

Jeremiah writes to those who had been forcibly moved from Jerusalem to the capital of the conquering Babylonians, urging them to make their home in this new place, and put down roots (29: 5).  The Psalmist praises God for bringing the Israelites out of Egypt to “a spacious place,” where they could make their home (66: 12).

Today is marked as Homeless Sunday.  A home is one of the basic human needs, but not everyone has permanent, safe and secure accommodation.  The Christian charity Housing Justice quotes a government estimate of 2,688 people in England sleeping rough, although the numbers in temporary accommodation or ‘sofa surfing’ are much larger.  Nearly 300,000 households a year need local authority assistance to prevent or relieve homelesseness.

Being homeless can affect physical and mental health, and can marginalise people.  The lepers in Luke 17 were excluded from Jewish society, yet by accepting and healing them, Jesus enabled them to be restored both physically and socially.  Housing Justice explains how churches can help in their booklet Many Rooms.

Image: Christ and the Lepers, by Gebhard Fugel, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Two hymns that respond to the readings

The US composer Marty Haugen sings “let us build a house where love can dwell” in his song All are Welcome.

Seventeenth century hymnwriter Samuel Crossman wrote movingly of how Christ had no home on earth (v6) in his hymn My Song is Love Unknown, sung here by the choir of Truro Cathedral.

News and Notices

News from Church Meeting held on Tuesday 27th September

At Church Meeting on 27th September we heard that work on the exterior and roof of the building is due start at the end of October, likely continuing up to Christmas.  As we emerge further from Covid, we’ll change some elements of Sunday morning worship (see next week’s Update for details), and preparations for discussion groups and services during Advent and Christmas are already underway.  We also had updates about livestreaming of our morning services and about fund raising events organised by our Social Events Team (SET).  You can read about all of the above and more in the minutes of the meeting that you can find in the email version of the Weekly Update.

News and Notices

Exploring Ephesians

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.

Click on the link to take part on Zoom.

United Reformed Church Jubilee Service – October 9th at Jesmond URC

URC 50 logoA 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 16th October 2022

Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. To get your information in both the online and printed editions, please have it with him by Tuesday 11th October.

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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