Weekly Update #137 – 25 December

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW

Weekly Update #137
December 25th 2022 – Christmas Day 

From the Minister                           Christmas Likes and Dislikes

What do you like about Christmas? I like getting presents, special food and drink, Christmas trees, and Christmas carols. Also, this year, I’m thrilled that there is a new episode of ‘Detectorists’ to watch on television. What are you not so keen on at Christmas? I don’t like that Christmas movies start appearing on tv in August, adverts encouraging people to overspend, and midnight church services. I imagine you have your own Christmas ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’. Maybe, like me, you like the fact that God decided to join us here on earth, born in Bethlehem a couple of thousand years ago. Maybe you don’t like the fact that poverty, violence, and a host of other wrongs continue to exist here on earth today, including at Christmas time. In our own settings and ways, we can all celebrate the one and continue to struggle against the other. And so, with that in mind, I wish everyone a very happy Christmas this year.


Image: Annunciation to the Shepherds by Heinrich Vogeler, 1872-1942. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Heinrich_Vogeler_Verk%C3%BCndigung_an_die_Hirten_1902.jpg


We thank you, Lord, our God, for the gift of your Son whom you commanded to be called Jesus; grant that we may so honour his name on earth, that others may be led to him who alone is Lord and Saviour.


(A New Zealand Prayer Book, 1989)

Christmas Message and Music

“Joy deeper than tinsel and turkey”:
A Christmas message from the URC Moderator of General Assembly, Fiona Bennett

To Listen Click Here

A Christmas Blessing Song
Whoever you are and wherever you are, this blessing is for you
To Listen Click Here

And a bonus Christmas song – genealogy of Jesus meets prophecy of Isaiah!
To Listen Click Here 

Christmas Eve
6.30 p.m. Carol Service    Our candle-lit service of carols, music, readings, and reflections. A service to which you can bring friends, family, and neighbours. Followed by mulled wine and mince pies in the church hall.

Christmas Day
10.30 a.m. Christmas Day thirty-minute morning service  A relaxed thirty-minute service, with carols, chocolate(!), and prayers for Christmas day, led by Trevor Jamison.

Don’t Forget – Even if you cannot be there at church you can watch the carol service and the Christmas morning service live online, or catch up afterwards.

To watch the services, Click Here 

New Year’s Day
10.30 a.m. at Church – A service led by Trevor Jamison, including some of the carols we didn’t get to sing at previous Christmas services, and a Christmas reading we don’t like, as well as one that’s a favourite.

6.30 p.m. on Zoom     A communion service led by Trevor Jamison, focusing on Mary the mother of Jesus, and what Christmas might have meant for her. To Join the Service, Click Here

Bible readings for this week

Bible readings for this week     
Isaiah 9:2-7               Light from God
Psalm 96                   The whole earth called to praise God
Titus 2:11-14             ‘The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all’
Luke 2:1-20               A journey, a birth, and a revelation to nearby shepherds
You can read the Bible passages online at https://www.biblegateway.com/

Reflection on the Readings

‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined’  (Isaiah 9:2) When times are hard people long for things to improve. Isaiah wrote for a Jewish nation that was going through very hard times. He proclaimed that a new King, a child (9:6), born a descendant of David, would bring better times. (9:7) What that nation needed two and a half thousand years ago was also what the world needed two thousand years ago (and needs today) – a saviour from God. No wonder, then, knowing that angels announced a saviour, born in Bethlehem, ‘the city of David’ (Luke 2:11), Christians connect, ‘a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’ (9:6), with Jesus and his birth at Christmas time: light for everyone, dispersing the gloom of the world.

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

A hymn that responds to the readings
‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined’ –  O Radiant Dawn by James MacMillan

To Listen, Click Here

News and Notices

Future Ministry at Saint Columba’s
Sign up now for events on January 7th/8th

There is a weekend of activities in early January to explore and decide on the possibility of a candidate becoming the minister of St Andrew’s URC, Monkseaton in 2023, then also of St Columba’s, North Shields, when Trevor is due to retire in three years’ time. The weekend includes events at both churches.

Those intending to take part in these events need to sign up on the sheets in the church hall by 28th December, please.

Christmas Market Fundraising Totals

The Social Events team would like to thank everyone who helped in any way at the Christmas market event in the church earlier this month. £1700 was raised for church funds and a further £240 for Pearey House Centre for Visually Impaired.


Café 2 21 – Christmas and new year break
Cafe 2.21 will be closed on 27th December, 3rd and 10th January, and will re-open on 17th January. “Thank you for all your support and we wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.”
HANDS Saturday Coffee –on holiday for Christmas and new year
Please note that there will be no HANDS coffee mornings on 24th or 31st December, or on 7th January.
Next Update – Sunday January 8th
Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. To get your information in the January 8th edition please have it with him by Tuesday January 3rd

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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