30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #147 12th March 2023
Hello everyone, from John.
This was the scene of one of the most famous storms in the Bible. We are now having spell of winter, but have just had the driest February since 1993 and could be heading for a drought this year, so the experts predict,1993 does not seem long ago to me. This was the 8th driest February since 1836, which is a while ago! People still deny the effects of, and our part in, climate change. But it is a fact that the weather patterns are changing. Millions of people are suffering because of it, more than are affected by war and turmoil in the world. Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees that they can foretell the weather by looking at the sky but they will not see ‘signs of the times because none will be given except the sign of Jonah’ (Matt.16 1-5). Even our well-equipped weather people cannot be sure of the forecast all of the time! We have to accept that we get whatever is coming our way and make the best of it. What we can do is make every effort not to cause more damage to the natural world and ecosystems around us, each in our own small way. [Just a thought, what caused the dry February in 1836?]
(Image: St Paul’s Bay Malta; Photo. J Drew)
Lord, we have spoilt the world around us by our ignorance and selfishness, we have taken what we wanted not knowing the affects that would have on Your Creation in the future. Not knowing how it would put other civilisations at risk of extinction even. Now we find that our lives are impacted, we start to worry and take measures to change our ways to lessen the impact on ourselves, as much as anything else. Guide us and our leaders, politicians, scientists and engineers to find the best ways of rectifying the damage we have caused, and help us to have the courage, and will, to adopt them so that this world becomes a better place for all your creation to continue.
Worship Services in the Building
SUNDAY 12th March 2023
10.30 A.M. SERVICE – Led by our minister Rev. Dr. Trevor Jamison
Welcoming new church members, and asking what sort of person ‘qualifies’ to be a follower of Jesus.
Church Meeting follows this service.
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.
St Columbas Church Meeting
Sunday 12th March 2023
After Morning Worship
To view the meeting agenda and reports, please see the email version of the Weekly Update.
We hope to see as many of you there as possible.
Bible readings for this week
Bible readings for this week
Exodus 17: 1 – 7. The Lord provides water for the rebellious Israelites.
Psalm 95: Let us worship our Lord and not test Him like our ancestors did.
Romans 5: 1- 11. Paul boasts in the love and grace of God through Jesus Christ.
St John 4: 5- 42. The Samaritan woman learns about living water and others come to believe.
‘Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink,’ the escaping Israelites have walked between the walls of the sea to escape Pharoah’s army but now find themselves wandering without any water to sustain them. How long can they last without it? Apparently, it takes about 3-4 days before you start suffering from dehydration and then your body and brain start to close down. Having said that, a young man survived 18 days in a police cell because the police forgot about him, not in the UK I add.
The Israelites look to Moses to answer their needs, Moses turns to God to deal with the complaining tribes. God answers by leading Moses to a rock which, when struck, issues with water for the people to satisfy their need. Psalm 95 is an ‘enthronement’ psalm, reminding those who hear it about God’s place on high, his eternal kingship, and how the people should worship Him, not test him as they did in the desert. Paul became a messenger for God through his persecution of the Early Christians, having challenged and fought against God for several years. Jesus won him over. Paul already knew of God’s greatness, his kingship. Shown God’s love and Christ’s message, Paul’s message here is one of peace with God through His Son, by His grace not of our endeavors, by faith not by our works. Jesus asks for water from the well, is he thirsty or just making conversation? He has a message for the woman about himself and he explains the ‘water’ he can give to those who believe in him. How important is water to us? It gives us life. How important is God’s Word to us? Through our faith and God’s grace and love, it gives us everlasting and unconditional life. Drink it deep!
Image: The Samaritan woman at the Well Photo J Drew, courtesy of Knitted Bible
A song to fit one of the week’s readings;
A modern version of Psalm 95, To listen Click Here
News and Notices
From Traidcraft Team
The Traidcraft team would like to thank everyone for all the support you have given the stall over the years. Sadly, the firm has closed, but Fairtrade goods are still available in other shops. Thank you.
Election of Elders.
We are coming to the time of electing the next Elders to serve St. Columba’s URC. If you would like to share this work or know of someone who might, please have a word with Alison before the end of March.
Pie, Peas and Bingo
The pie and pea lunch on Saturday 11th March is at 1.00 p.m., followed by a game of bingo. If you have not got a ticket contact Norma as there may be space still. Proceeds from this event go to church funds.
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
Next Update – Sunday 19th March
John Drew will edit the next Update. To get your information in the 19th of March edition please have it with him by Tuesday 14th March.
Keeping in Touch
You can contact your Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.