Weekly Update #135 – 11 December

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW

Weekly Update #135
December 11th 2022 – Advent 3

From the Minister                   Messenger Alert!

megaphoneWeek three of Advent, and a third candle is lit at our morning service on Sunday. This time we have John the Baptist in mind. There are only two more Sunday morning worships to go until Christmas, so what’s John the Baptist got to do with Christmas? Well, he’s a Christmas messenger – Jesus said so: ‘this is the one about whom it is written, I am sending my messenger.’ (Matthew 12:10) And John’s message is that Jesus is on his way: ‘the kingdom of heaven has drawn near … one who is more powerful than I is coming after me.’ (Matthew 3:2, 11) Certainly, that sounds Christmas-related. I wonder what message I would want to give others about Jesus as we approach this Christmas. I wonder what message you would want to share about him as we approach Christmas.

Image by Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay

An Advent Song

Veni, Senor Jesus, Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus, Come, O Lord)
Harpa Dei, four siblings, born in Germany raised in Ecuador, sing a beautiful traditional chant in ten languages.


O God, since you sent John the Baptiser as your messenger, encourage me to listen to him, so that we can focus on the coming of your Son Jesus, and the message he brings to us. Amen

Sunday 11th December
10.30 a.m. “John the Baptist” – a communion service for the third Sunday in Advent, led by the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison, focusing on John the Baptist, and his ministry of preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah.
(Our third advent candle is lit by representatives from our Congregational Care Team and the church’s Prayer Circle)

To watch this service live, catch up with it later in the week, or view previous services, click here.

Worship services next Sunday – 18th December
10.30 a.m. “Tinsel and Tea Towels!”
nativityOur All-Age Christmas Nativity Service – immerse yourself in the Christmas story by becoming part of the story yourself! To add a touch of “authenticity” we would be delighted if you would wear a “costume” of your choice!

You might go for a full-blown outfit, or just prefer to wear a halo, a crown, some ears, or a tea towel – the choice is yours!
Looking forward to seeing you there, and be sure to invite family and friends along.

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

Bible readings for this week

Isaiah 35:1-10           Good times are coming for God’s people
Psalm 146:5-10        God’s on the side of the oppressed and the hungry
Luke 1:46b-55           Mary says God wants radical social and economic change
James 5:7-10            Be patient while waiting for God
Matthew 11:2-11       John the Baptist and Jesus in conversation

You can read the Bible passages online at https://www.biblegateway.com/

Reflection on the Readings

If asked the question, ‘what do you think Christmas is really about?’ few people are likely to answer, ‘it’s about political and economic revolution.’ Reading Luke 1:46b-55, I wonder why more people don’t give that answer to the question. Having travelled to meet up with her cousin and fellow mother-to-be, Elizabeth, Mary, the soon-to-be mother of Jesus, launches into a celebration of God-caused revolution. God, says Mary, scatters the proud (1:51), brings down the powerful from their thrones and lifts up the lowly (1:52), fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty (1:53). You would almost wonder why, traditionally, Mary is pictured wearing blue, not red! Of course, in God’s way with things, once the proud have been humbled, the powerful brought low, and the rich left hungry, they then become the ones who God brings close, lifting them up and filling them with good things. Taking this Bible passage is very challenging, both for our ideas about God and our ideas about Christmas.

A hymn that responds to the readings

On Jordan’s bank the Baptist‘s cry announces that the Lord is nigh,’ is an Advent hymn, with a message of joy from its first verse. Here, it is sung by the choir of Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, Michigan.

News and Notices
Traidcraft Stall

Please note – no Traidcraft stall in the church hall on Sunday 11th December.

Advent Conversations

Sharing the Christmas Story
Advent conversation groups continue this week, looking at the booklet, Sharing the Christmas Story.

Tuesdays at 1.15 p.m. at church,
Thursdays at 7.15 p.m. on Zoom.

Church Christmas Post Box Open for Business

The Church Christmas Post Box is open for business this Sunday and next, but then the box closes, and distribution takes place on Sunday 18th December.

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Church Meeting Minutes

The minutes of the Church Meeting held on Sunday 27th November are now available with the emailed version of the Weekly Update.

Compassion Urgent Food Crisis Appeal

£92.00 raised to date. Thank you for your donations. Next collection – February 2023.

Next Update – Sunday 18th December

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 13th December.

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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