Weekly Update #144 – 19 February

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW

Weekly Update #144
19th February, 2023

From the Minister                           What’s your vision of God?

What do you think of this picture and what’s your picture of God? This Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday. On this Sunday lots of churches remember the occasion when three disciples accompanied Jesus up unto a hill where his appearance  was transfigured: ‘his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.’ (Matthew 17:2) They had a vision of Jesus where they saw him in a new way. We all have our own vision of God, often influenced or set by early life experience or surrounding culture. Many of us find it hard to avoid picturing God as an old, male figure, even though we know God’s not a white-bearded man. That’s why I like this abstract image, painted by Mike Moyers. It references the hymn, ‘Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart.’ Being abstract, it does not narrow down our vision of God from the outset. Rather you’re invited to look at it and consider your vision of God. Enjoy!

Image: ‘Be Thou My Vision’ by Mike Moyers https://www.mikemoyersfineart.com/ Permission given for non-commercial use.


Open our eyes, O God, to your glory, that we may worship you in spirit and in truth, and offer to you lives of love and righteousness.

Adapted from a prayer in ‘New Every Morning’, BBC, 1971.

Worship Services       Sunday 19th February

10.30 a.m.   led by Mrs Valerie Taylor, St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Monkseaton

Livestreamed Worship from Saint 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 

3.00 p.m.         Messy Church Worship

Sunday 26th February – First Sunday in Lent

10.30 a.m. service at church – led by Trevor Jamison, on the theme of ‘Temptation’

6.30 p.m. service at church – led by the Revd Rob Hufton, Hawkey’s Lane Methodist Church

Bible readings for this week
Exodus 24:12-18                              Moses ascends the mountain to be with God
Psalm 99                                           God sits high above the earth
2 Peter 1:16-21                                 Memories of a mountain top experience of God
Matthew 17:1-9                                 Jesus is transfigured on the mountain top

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

Reflection on the Readings                     Did Andrew feel left out?

When Jesus took Peter, James and John up the mountain (Matthew 17:1) I wonder if Andrew felt left out? After all, according to Matthew (4:18-22), it was these four fishermen that Jesus called as his first disciples. Now one member of the group had been left behind. Then, when Jesus and the three returned, was Andrew excluded from knowing what had taken place? After all, Jesus ordered his mountain top companions to ‘tell no one about the vision until after the Son of man was raised from the dead.’ (17:9) At what point was Andrew let in on the secret about their time with Jesus, when the three had been ‘eye witnesses of his majesty.’ (2 Peter 1:16) If even disciples did not get to hear about it until after Jesus’s resurrection maybe Andrew and others were a bit miffed. Of course, by then, in the light of Jesus’s resurrection, disciples’ concerns, jealousies, and grudges would pale in comparison to hearing and experiencing that good news for themselves.

Image: ‘Transfiguration’ by Kelly Latimore https://kellylatimoreicons.com/ Permission granted for non-commercial use.

A hymn that responds to the readings            Be Thou My Vision

A traditional, congregational version, sung on Songs of Praise,

To Listen Click Here 

And then a distinctive contemporary twist to the hymn, from the group, Celtic Worship

To Listen Click Here          

News and Notices 

Dorothy Fairley

A service of thanksgiving and celebration of Dorothy’s life will take place at the church on Monday 20th February at 11.30 am. Dorothy’s family say, ‘As Mum’s life and personality was so vibrant and colourful, we encourage colourful attire on the day to reflect this. Family flowers only please; donations in lieu of flowers to Breast Cancer Now/The Pink Ribbon Foundation in Mum’s memory. A donations box will be available at the service.’

HANDS collection of goods for Ukraine

On Wednesday 1st March at 2.00 p.m., Simon Burnage will be speaking to a meeting of HANDS regarding his work taking supplies to help those in need in the Ukraine. From this Sunday there will be a box in the church hall for those wanting to donate items to pass to Simon at the meeting. Goods sought include tinned foods, hygiene products, over the counter medicines, thick socks, thermal underwear, and hiking boots.

‘People Meeting Jesus’: final Bible Exploration in series

Monday, February 20th on Zoom and Thursday from February 23rd in-person
Peter meets with Jesus.

To find out more details, please click here.

To join via Zoom, click here.

Coming Next … Three Conversations for Lent

We will be running three weekly conversations for Lent on Tuesdays (Zoom) and Thursdays (in-person), beginning Tuesday 14th March. Further details in the next edition of the Update.

Pie, Peas and Bingo

The church’s Social Events Team is organising a pie and pea lunch on Saturday 11th March at 1.00 p.m., followed by a game of bingo. Tickets cost £5.00 Please see Norma to reserve your place.  Proceeds from this event go to church funds.

Next Update 

Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. To get your information in the February 26th   edition please have it with him by Tuesday February 21st

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 © 2023 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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