Weekly Update #154 – 30 April

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #154          30th April 2023
From the Minister                                      Twenty First Century Monarchy             
I imagine that you are aware that there is a coronation taking place next Saturday, the 6th of May. It’s hard to avoid the fact, given that the media have been reporting on all aspects of it for months now. And even if you have somehow missed all of that then don’t forget about our church’s Coronation Afternoon Tea, taking place on Monday 8th of May! Lots of people are looking forward to the coronation with anticipation, and have positive feelings about our royal family, though not everyone. A recent survey for the BBC shows much less support for the monarchy among younger age groups, with a majority of 18-24 year olds favouring having an elected head of state instead. It’s not easy being a monarch when you occupy the throne according to the will of the people rather than because you can impose your royal will upon them. I’m not expecting the UK to become a republic any time soon. I suspect that monarchy is here to stay as long as we as nations continue to value tradition and spectacle, and  as long as our royal family combines that with a clear commitment to service. For ourselves, I’d suggest, let’s be respectful of those who occupy positions of responsibility, and equally respectful of each other’s’ different views about what’s right for monarchy today.
Image: UK Government. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
A Prayer for Coronation Day from the United Reformed Church
Eternal God, you order and govern our world and all that is therein. Bless, we pray, Charles and Camilla today as they are crowned and anointed, that amid the pomp and ritual, they may feel your loving presence, that they may fulfil the roles prescribed for them, and that we may, in this kingdom, be better governed, and always reminded of your eternal Kingdom which is to come. Amen.

WORSHIP    Sunday 30th April
10.30 a.m. service at church – led by Trevor Jamison, featuring an interview with Liz McElvenny, paediatric social worker at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), about work made possible through the  Paediatric Hospital Social Work Fund.
Also, this service will be followed by our Annual Church Meeting.

6.30 p.m. service at church – led by Lisa and Norma McAvoy

Livestreamed Worship from Saint Columba’s

To watch the morning service live, catch up with it later in the week, or view previous services, click here

NEXT WEEK – Sunday 7th May
10.30 a.m. service – led by Trevor Jamison, including marking and responding to the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla

Bible readings for this week
Acts 2:42-47            How the first church members spent their time together
Psalm 23                 God is our shepherd
1 Peter 2:19-25     ‘You were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned’
John 10:1-10           Jesus is our shepherd

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

Reflection on the Readings

Three out of four of this week’s readings reference shepherds and/or sheep. Psalm 23 famously commences with the declaration that the Lord (God) is our shepherd. In John’s Gospel Jesus pictures himself as a shepherd (and also as the gate behind which the sheep are kept safe). In I Peter the letter’s recipients are described as sheep who had gone astray, but who had ‘now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.’ In Old testament scripture monarchs and other political leaders might be described as ‘shepherds’, appointed by God with responsibility to protect the people of the nation. For the writer of Psalm 23, then, expectations were high concerning such leaders for God was the role model for how they should care for the people. For those who follow Jesus, and are responsible for others, like shepherds for the flock, God is still our role model, but now with the example of Jesus to show what God-like shepherding looks like in practice.                     

Image by António Cascalheira from Pixabay

Hymns that respond to the readings

Psalm 23, click here to listen to the traditional version to the tune, ‘Crimond, then click here to hear the more recent, popular version, written by Stuart Townend

News and Notices

Thelma Miller
We are sad to report the death of Thelma Miller, a member of Saint Columba’s. Our prayers and sympathy are with Thema’s family and friends. On Monday 15th May, following a short committal service at Tynemouth crematorium (family-only), there will be a service of thanksgiving for Thelma’s life at Saint Columba’s at 9.45 a.m., led by the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison.

Keys and Heating – Two Volunteers Sought for Church Jobs

We are seeking volunteers to do two jobs for Saint Columba’s:

  • Key Fob System – we use an electronic key fob system to enable entry to the building by appropriate members and user groups, both on Sundays and during the week. As soon as possible, we need someone to oversee and update this system on an ongoing basis, including issuing new key fobs as required.
  • Church Heating – we are seeking a volunteer to update the timings on the heating system for the church and halls on a weekly basis. This can be done either at the church or remotely from home via computer. We are looking for someone to shadow the person currently doing this job, taking over from them by September.

For each task, ‘how to’ instruction will be provided plus ongoing advice and support from those who have done the job previously.
For more detail about the tasks or to make an offer please contact our Church Secretary, Alison Drew.

No Saturday Coffee on May 6th
Please note that there will be no HANDS Coffee Morning on Coronation Day, Saturday, 6th May
Tickets Now Available for Coronation Afternoon Tea – Monday 8th May

Coronation tea flyerTickets are now available for our Coronation Afternoon Tea, due to take place at Saint Columba’s on Monday 8th May at 2.00 p.m.

Tickets cost £8.00 and are available from Norma.

Christian Aid Activities and Events in May

Christian Aid Week begins with a Coffee Morning in our Church on Saturday 13th May 10 am until 12 noon. There will be a Cake Stall and any donations of cakes etc will be greatly appreciated.

Volunteers to help serving refreshments or on the stall will be welcome – please see Shirley or Evelyn.

Christian Aid Envelopes will be available from this weekend. If you are able to deliver envelopes where you live, please see Shirley for any advice.

The Annual Christian Aid Service will take place at Christ Church on Sunday 14th  May at 6 pm.

Book Now for the Northern Synod Gathering at The Alnwick Garden – 3rd June

Alnwick Garden flyerFollowing from the positive feedback and joy felt last year at our gathering at Beamish, Northern Synod are offering another opportunity for fun and fellowship, this time at the Alnwick Garden.
This is free event includes admission, parking, activities, and a buffet lunch.
For further information, and book tickets visit:

Next Update – Sunday 7th May
Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. To get your information in the 7th May edition please have it with him by Tuesday 2nd May.

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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