30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW Weekly Update #152 16th April 2023
It was good to see the golden daffodils adorning our Easter cross in the church garden, heralding spring.
Saturday 22 April is marked around the world as Earth Day, when we are all encouraged to do our bit for sustainability and protecting the environment. This can include small steps like using less plastic, recycling more, and thinking about what we buy, how we travel and how we use energy. We can also plant trees and make our gardens more wildlife-friendly. We could even urge others to consider what more they could do.
Avenue St Andrew’s United Reformed Church in Southampton has recently achieved the Eco Church bronze award. They shared their story online. The church agreed that there was a need to act on the climate emergency, and formed a Green Living Group with a neighbouring church to coordinate their action plan. There are solar panels on the church hall and they monitor their carbon footprint. There are recycling collection points and information about other local schemes. Avenue St Andrew’s also takes part in a local neighbourhood association, playing their small part in caring for creation and loving their neighbours. I found this a very encouraging story, and hope that you are heartened by it too.
Image: St Columba’s Easter cross, photo by AA.
Living God, we give thanks for the spring flowers, and the beauty and diversity of the natural world. Help all of us to see how we can best care for your creation, in ways great and small.
WORSHIP SERVICES THIS SUNDAY – Sunday 16th April 10.30am at church A service led by Valerie Taylor, member at St Andrew’s, 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.
NEXT WEEK – Sunday 23rd April
10.30 a.m. at church A service led by Trevor Jamison.
Bible readings for this week – Second Sunday of Easter
Acts 2: 14a, 22-32 Peter declares that Jesus rising from the dead had been foretold
Psalm 16 “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
I Peter 1: 3-9 A living hope of salvation, through the resurrection of Jesus
John 20:19-31 The risen Jesus appears to his disciples, and Thomas
On the day of Pentecost, Peter explained to the gathering crowd that King David had foretold Jesus’ resurrection, quoting a Greek translation of Psalm 16: 8-11 (Acts 2: 31). He expanded on this in his epistle, “Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy” (I Peter 1: 8). We look to Jesus as our living hope, our salvation in heaven. Whilst the Psalmist was ready simply to trust God on things he had not seen and could not understand, Thomas needed to see in order to believe that Jesus had been raised from the dead. He was a disciple who had to think through his faith and ask questions before he could put faith into action. Thomas was the first to confess Jesus as Lord and God.
We weren’t there in that locked room in Jerusalem, but we do have the Bible as a witness to us, instructing us in our faith (John 20: 31). We can also learn from each other how our faith helps us in our daily lives, and we can share the story of the good news about Jesus being raised from the dead with those who haven’t seen or heard it.
O Sons and Daughters, Let Us Sing is attributed to a 15th-century French Franciscan friar, Jean Tisserand, and was translated into English by John Mason Neale. It is sung by the Sunday 7 pm Choir of St Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church, in Ajax, Ontario.