Weekly Update #146 – 5 March

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW

Weekly Update #146
5th March, 2023

From the Minister     Fairtrade Fortnight –  What’s That Got to Do With Us?

Take a look at the Fairtrade logo. What do you see? Some people see islands in the sea. Some see a blue fried egg and others see a blue parrot! Whatever you see, what’s that got to do with church? Why should we be bothered that we are in the middle of ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’? Well, it’s quite simple really. Since God is creator we are interested in and concerned about what happens in the world. Jesus said that the life of faith is about loving God and loving our neighbours. Loving neighbours across the world involves treating them justly. The Fairtrade Foundation works with farming co-operatives, businesses and governments across the world to make trade fair. Whether people or organisations do this from a faith perspective or not, we see such activity as embodying the Spirit of God, working in the world. Rather than ask why a church or a believer is concerned about fair trade, we should be asking those who don’t care about it, ‘why not?’

Image: Fairtrade Foundation

To find out about the work of the Fairtrade foundation click here 


Lord we thank you for this world which you created, which you love, and which you are reconciling to yourself. In a world where unjust global trade laws and unrighteous consumerism darken the plight of those without influence, make us a holy people. Make us aware of the effects of our spending habits; God-fearing and righteous in the way that we go shopping.   Amen         

A prayer from The Baptist Union (adapted)

Worship Services     
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. Zoom service – led by Mr John Drew, responding to ‘The Great Commission’. To join the service click here 

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 12th March
10.30 a.m. service at church – led by the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison – welcoming new church members, and asking what sort of person ‘qualifies’ to be a follower of Jesus. Also, Church Meeting follows this service.

Bible readings for this week

Bible readings for this week
Genesis 12:1-4a            God sends Abram off on a journey into the unknown
Psalm 121                      God is with us when the going gets tough
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17   The role of faith in life’s journey
John 3:1-17                   Jesus meets someone who wants to be ‘discreet’ about faith

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

Reflection on the Readings 
Nicodemus was wary about being seen with Jesus. So he came to him by night with his questions. (John 3:2) A religious teacher who was also a member of the Jewish ruling council (the Sanhedrin), he came asking questions on behalf of others too: ‘we know that you are a teacher.’ (3:2) And Jesus seems to reply on behalf of his followers as well as himself: ‘we speak of what we know,’ (3:11) What Jesus says about the need to be born again / born from above (3:7) has kept Christians talking for centuries. Some think that there are set thoughts, words, or actions required for that to happen. Given that Jesus connects it with God’s Spirit blowing where God chooses, though, there could be any number of ways that enable people to experience spiritual re-birth.
Image: ‘Nicodemus and Jesus on a Rooftop’ by Henry Ossawa Turner (1859-1937) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/25/Henry_Ossawa_Tanner_-_Jesus_and_nicodemus.jpg?20120221080600
A hymn that responds to the readings

‘To Abraham and Sarah the call of God was clear’ – a hymn inspired by God’s call to Abram in Genesis 12, and linking it to God’s call to us in our journey through life today: ‘we of this generation… can journey to the future, secure and unafraid.’  Click here to listen.

News and Notices 

Minister on holiday
Trevor Jamison is on holiday, returning on Sunday 12th March. Please contact the Church Secretary if you have a concern that is both significant and urgent.

Three Conversations for Lent

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  

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.

Response from Christian Aid our after-service collection in February

We acknowledge receipt of donations from North Shields St Columba’s URC’s collection – £1011.00;  plus £200.00 from the Cafe 2-21 group at St Columba’s.  Thank you for your generous donations to the Turkey and Syria Earthquake Appeal!  Your donations will have a real impact on our global neighbours and we’re extremely grateful for your support.  We are already working with partners to provide winter kits to people seeking shelter.  These kits include plastic sheeting, mattresses, blankets, and heating materials.

Updating Your Contact Details

If your address/telephone number/email have changed recently please remember to tell the Church Secretary, Alison Drew (her contact details are below).

Next Update – Sunday 12th March

John Drew will edit the next Update. To get your information in the 12th of March edition please have it with him by Tuesday 7th March.

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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