Weekly Update #148 – 19 March

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #148          19th March 2023
Hello again everyone, from John.

An item later in this Update set me thinking.

Recently St Columba’s has supported two important appeals, the Turkish/Syrian earthquake, and Ukaid2Ukraine.

The first raised the magnificent sum of £1100 which went to Christian Aid for their work. The second resulted in a very generous donation of tins of food and items which could be of use to the Ukrainian forces which are resisting their invader. Both appeals show that we are very prepared to give to needy worthwhile causes, indeed, St. Columba’s has always been generous in giving to charities.

In support of the earthquake appeal, Trevor painted a vivid verbal picture for us of how we could be affected by an earthquake. The collapsed buildings, the injury, and death inflicted the lack of infrastructure, and the difficulty of movement on damaged roads.

HANDS invited people to hear Simon Burnage talk about the appeal fund Ukaid2Ukraine, and he was overcome with the task of explaining the work to us. He was not a speaker, but a doer; he was not a professional, confident, person but he spoke from the heart and soul, he knew what it is like over there. He told us some of the scenes he had witnessed and been told about during his recent visits over there, and how his family had been affected. He was quite open that the main cause is to support the troops, to help them win the battle to keep Ukraine free, not to provide direct aid to the people who live in Ukraine. After all, it is the troops who need to win to save the people. Any aid given to the civilians is a bonus.

Neither of these situations are going to be resolved soon, they will join the growing list of major concerns in this world. Both of these have been caused by mankind. In one there is the corruption which allows buildings to be built below the required standard for earthquake protection, in the other is the apparently megalomaniacal mind of one person in control of a large state.

We live in desperate times and can easily be depressed by it all, but we know that in a few weeks, we will be remembering Good Friday and celebrating Easter Sunday. The 2 days which brought despair to the disciples followed by great joy, Christians in Turkey, Syria, and Ukraine will be sharing that festival with us. No matter how badly man behaves to man, the love of God in giving Jesus for our sins, continues.

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash


Lord, the world around us is desperate at times yet You are always there. Help us to look to you for support and comfort in the bad times and remember to give you praise, even when it is tough, for you are faithful and constant, loving and caring; You are our Father in heaven.


Worship Services in the Building
SUNDAY 19th March 2023

10.30 A.M. SERVICE 

Our minister Rev. Dr. Trevor Jamison

                 On the theme of “God, Mothers and Children”

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.

Bible readings for this week

Bible readings for this week – Not the ones for Mothering Sunday 

Samuel 16: 1-13 The call of David to be God’s King of the Israelites
Psalm 23: David, the shepherd boy, acknowledges his God and his Saviour
Ephesians 5: 8-14 “Wake up O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
John 9: 1-41 Jesus gives sight to the blind man and challenges some Pharisees

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

Reflection on the readings: –

Many of us are blessed with good eyesight, many of us need a little help to read, and drive, as our sight is not quite as good as it was. Some need extra help because age, illness or for other reasons their sight has been taken from them. Those who have it take it for granted, those who have not miss it and make the best of their situation. Whatever we see, our brain explains it to us so whilst one person would describe it one way, another person would describe another way, because we don’t think alike. God tells Samuel not to judge the sons because God knows the one He is calling to be King. “For the lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart”. The chosen King David wrote Psalm 23 describing how he experiences His Lord God, he ‘sees Him’ in all His blessings and he knows God knows him totally. Paul calls the people to put aside their lives of darkness and live the life of light, for darkness is the place for sin to hide but light exposes the sin and makes it visible to everyone. Then John recounts the story of the healing of the blind man, noticing that Jesus tells them the man is blind so that He may heal him. This is not a passing incident but one planned by God so that His glory may be seen and He may bring hope and enlightenment to the people. The Pharisees challenge his story, how can anyone make a blind man see? They do not see for they are in darkness. There is a lot of darkness in the world nowadays, pray that people will see God’s light and that it will overcome the darkness soon.

Photo by Katelyn Greer on Unsplash

A couple of songs to fit todays readings;

Open our eyes Lord, we want to see Jesus,

To Listen, Click Here

Open my eyes that I may see

To Listen, Click Here

News and Notices 

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 could, please have a word with Alison or Trevor before the end of March.

St Columbas Church Meeting Minutes

Sunday 12th March 2023

The meeting Minutes are attached to the email version of the Weekly Update.

A notice from Rev. Steve Dixon of Holy Saviour’s Church –

We are delighted that Musica Johannis will be performing a Lenten concert at Holy Saviour’s Church Tynemouth on Friday 31 March at 7:30pm.

Musica Johannis is an octet of accomplished and experienced singers performing pieces by Byrd, Purcell and Stainer.

The programme will lead us through reflective music and readings into Holy Week.

Tickets are £8 by contacting [email protected] or on the door.

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  

From HANDS – Simon Burnage (Ukaid2Ukraine group), accompanied by two Ukrainians currently living here, collected a second big car load of aid from us on Saturday 11th March and expressed deep gratitude for the efforts made by St. Columba’s Church. They left a collection box at the church in the hope that people might continue to give cash gifts, however small. The cash will enable them to obtain a suitable van to transport the aid to Ukraine and buy more tourniquets, trauma bandages and evacuation stretchers.

There is a Go Fund Me page:

To Donate online, Click Here

Next Update – Sunday 26th March

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

One comment on “Weekly Update #148 – 19 March

  1. Dear friends , my name is Simon Burnage and I would like to thank you for your incredible welcome !

    When I arrived I wasn’t expecting to be giving a talk . Needles to say it was emotional for me because it is so personal . Thank you for patience and understanding . It wasn’t easy !

    The pain and loss is still fresh 💙🙏💛

    This time last year we were working with 200 defenders and now it’s 160 !

    Due to the increased ferocity of the fighting in the region there have been many fatalities.

    Tomorrow, my Ukrainian family will be driving to a place called Bakhmut . They will be distributing and delivering much-needed medical supplies , ration packs , clean, clothing, Uniforms , boots and hygiene products . Thanks to your selfless giving and cash donations this will be a huge moral booster.

    You have our deepest respect and eternal gratitude for the warmth, kindness and generosity you have shown towards our appeal.

    St Columba’s really know how to donate

    Thank you on behalf of our little group and extended family for you assistance !

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