Weekly Update #145 – 26 February

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW

Weekly Update #145
26th February, 2023

From the Minister                 Giving Up For Lent?

Have you evJesus transported by a spirit to a high mountainer given anything up for Lent? One year, for lent, a flatmate and I gave up being sarcastic to each other. Believe me, we both found that to be a struggle. Lent commemorates the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, facing a number of temptations – to turn stones to bread; to put God to the test; to rule the world, but only as the devil’s right-hand man. Lent also functions as a time of preparation, pondering the meaning and purpose of the suffering and death of Jesus, before going on to celebrate the resurrection which follows at Easter. Traditionally, people have ‘given something up for Lent’, as an ongoing reminder of what Jesus gave up for us. Alternatively, some take something up for Lent. It’s also a time for charitable acts and/or opportunities for learning together. All that’s great, as long as it does not get turned into an occasion to make people miserable, with another set of resolution, replacing the New Year ones they failed to keep. Giving up, or taking up, something for Lent can be helpful, when it’s used as an opportunity to connect with Jesus.


Image: ‘Jesus Transported by a Spirit to a High Mountain’ by James Tissot (1836-1902) Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Worship Services     
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

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.

Sunday 5th March
10.30 a.m. service at church – led by members of the congregation, celebrating “The Rainbow of Fair Trade”

6.30 p.m. service on Zoom – led by Mr John Drew

Bible readings for this week

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7                    Adam and Eve give in to temptation
Psalm 32                                         The joy of forgiveness
Romans 5:12-19                              Adam and Christ: compare and contrast
Matthew 4:1-11                                Jesus faces up to temptation

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

Reflection on the Readings                So you think you’ve read this before?

red apple‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.’ (Genesis 2:16, 17) Despite popular tradition, it doesn’t actually say that the fruit of this tree was an apple! Nor was this a case of ‘don’t do this because I say so.’ It was a warning that against doing something deadly. Also, despite popular tradition, it’s not the woman’s fault (or not all of it). Although the woman has the conversation with the wily serpent, we’re told the man was there ‘with her, and he also ate.’ (3:6) This is a story seeking to tell us something about humankind – right from the beginning there’s been a problem with us, which is deadly to us. But also, there’s a God who is concerned that we should live, not die, and is ready to do something about that.

Image by NoName_13 from Pixabay.

A hymn that responds to the readings

‘Praise to the holiest in the height, and in the depth be praise’ by John Henry Newman. A hymn that references both the Genesis story and the Apostle Paul’s reflection upon it in Romans 5, seeing Jesus as the ‘second Adam’, who puts right what went wrong at the beginning.

News and Notices 

Change to Minister’s Synod Work

Trevor’s ministry works on the basis of 75% of his time being Minister at Saint Columba’s and 25% of his time working on behalf of the URC Northern Synod. Until recently, that 25% was allocated to being ‘Green Apostle’, encouraging churches to make care of creation part of their life and witness. Now that 25% will be in the role of Synod Clerk. The percentage allocated to Saint Columba’s remains unchanged.

Traidcraft – last chance to make a purchase

Following the closure of Traidcraft, this Sunday (26th February) is the last day to purchase fairly traded goods from our church Traidcraft stall. Everything must go!

Invitation to HANDS open meeting

All are welcome to attend on Wednesday 1st March at 2.00 p.m., in the Lishman Hall, when Simon Burnage will be speaking regarding his work taking supplies to help those in need in the Ukraine.

Lent Opportunities in North Shields

Churches Together in North Shields logoThree Conversations for Lent – Saint Columba’s
We will be running three weekly conversations for Lent on Tuesdays (Zoom) and Thursdays (in-person), beginning Tuesday 14th March. Each conversation is a mixture of scripture, song, prayer and conversation. All are welcome to participate and to come with a friend. You can find more details about the conversations here.

To join the Zoom Meeting, click here.

Retreat in Daily Life opportunity – Saint Cuthbert’s
Saint Cuthbert’s Roman Catholic Church, North Shields, is offering a ‘retreat in daily life’ experience.  In this six-week experience participants are assigned a prayer guide, with whom they meet weekly, receiving and reflecting upon Bible passages and prayers prior to their next meeting. If you are interested in participating please contact Fr Chris Hughes for more details.

Be Transformed – Hawkey’s Lane Methodist Church
A weekly course, starting on 23rd February, Thursday evenings, 5.00 – 6.00 p.m., drawing on Bible, prayers and stories concerning people whose lives have been changed.

Pie, Peas and Bingo – 11th March

steak and onion pieOur 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.

Image: Steak and onion pie, by Alpha, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Retirement of the Revd Liz Edwards – 19th March

Liz Edwards is retiring after twenty seven years ministering at North Shields Baptist Church. Her final service is at 11.00 a.m. on Sunday 19th March. Whilst aware that people might have other commitments on a Sunday morning, those at the Baptist Church are also inviting everyone to that service and/or to the lunch that will follow it.

Cedarwood Trust – seeking to recruit new trustees

The Cedarwood Trust, which works in Meadow Well, is seeking as trustees two or three people with experience and expertise in strategy and management of organisations. More details are available here.

Next Update 

Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. To get your information in the 5th March edition, please have it with him by Tuesday 28th February.

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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