Weekly Update #158 – 28 May

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #158          28th May 2023
Hello again everyone, from John.

Last weekend the news was about the G7 meeting at Hiroshima where nations heads, from a select group, were getting their heads together to discuss various matters. Similarly, the Arab Nations also held a conference last weekend, and included Saddam Hussain in their number this time. Both groups looking to cure the wrongs and ills of the world as they see them.
This weekend we celebrate another gathering of people at a special event. The Jewish ‘Feast of Harvest’, when Jews gathered together to celebrate what God had provided for them. This was the time when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles, and those gathered with them, in a house in Jerusalem.
This event changed the world.
But what do we understand about the Holy Spirit, what is it and what does it do?
Do you remember when it was called the Holy Ghost? In those days I heard about ghosts and skeletons and such-like, it was always fun at Halloween parties. What was so special about the Ghost of Jesus?
As I read the New Testament there is so much information about the Holy Spirit I hardly know where to start, but looking at it simply, Jesus said “I am going to send you what my father has promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24.49) then in John we have more from Jesus, in John 14.16 the promise of an Advocate to help and be with them for ever. Our interpretation of Advocate is someone who helps you in court, an expert witness, or someone who supports your cause against others.
William Barclay writes “We often talk about being able to cope. That is precisely the work of the Holy Spirit. He takes away our inadequacies and enables us to cope with life.” (He writes much more than just that of course.)
The Holy Spirit has many gifts which he uses to do this work; as we need them so he gives them and as we use them more and more so we learn how to use them properly. A bit like driving a car or learning a language.
I will leave this subject there or it will develop into a ‘message’, perhaps John Paul will have a similar theme on Sunday.

(Picture on Pixabay, no attribution required.)

Why this picture? It reminds us of God’s world being in His hands, not ours.


Lord, thank you for sending Jesus to us so we may learn about the real You. We want to do Your work in this world, and we thank you for your Holy Spirit giving us the strength and the guidance enabling us to cope with all that is to do. For we cannot do it without Your help.

Worship    Sunday 28th May

Whit Sunday
10.30 a.m. service
Rev. John C. Paul will be visiting us.

At 6.30 p.m. members of our congregation will lead a Joint Churches Together North Shields Pentecost service at our Church.

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

Sunday 4th June – Trinity Sunday

10.30 am – Rev. E.H. Marley O.B.E. will lead our worship.

(Trevor will be leading worship at St. Andrew’s, Monkseaton that Sunday.)

Bible readings for this week
Bible readings for Sunday (from the RCL)
Acts 2: 1-21.                   The Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples in its fullness.
Psalm 104: 24-34, 35b.  The Lord’s works are too many to count, give Him glory, give him praise.
1 Corinthians 12: 3b-13   There is only 1 Spirit which gives many different gifts to its people.
John 20: 19-23.               Jesus appears to his disciples and breathes the Holy Spirit upon them.

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

Reflection on the Readings

The readings tell us about 2 occasions when the disciples received the Holy Spirit; 1 from the risen Christ in the locked room and the other when they were all together in one house. The 1st time they received Christ’s peace, for they were extremely troubled after the events of the recent days. They regained their composure, their faith and belief that Jesus had not left them to fend for themselves, so come on stop sitting around in fear and trembling, get on with the work of the Gospel. The 2nd time they received the gifts from the Holy Spirit, initially the gift of language, for they were understood by so many different visitors, and the gift of speech to Peter which enabled him to address the vast crowd. The gifts continued to be used and found by the disciples, or should we now call them apostles, for they were now able to spread the word far and near and continue the work of teaching and caring for God’s people.
I wonder if anyone was envious of Peter who was their orator, or perhaps Luke who recorded their doings. These were the gifts they were given and they used them to the best of their ability. In the wide Church today, there are needs for many, many different gifts. Some in high places, of authority and responsibility, others are humble and menial but each one is as vital to God and His church as the other. I don’t suppose Peter was envied because he was the one who got thrown into prison and dealt with harshly most. He took the responsibility and the rap.
Thankfully the Holy Spirit is still active in His church, sometimes we see it working. It still gives gifts to people to do jobs and support His work in this kingdom.
We all need to use those different gifts for the Body of Christ in this Community and His World. No one can deny that our God has done great works for us and His created world, but he has more to do yet and needs our help.

Picture by Andry Djumantara on Vecteezy

A hymn that responds to the readings

A couple of songs to fit today’s theme, out of the many possible;

Holy Spirit, we welcome you, click here to listen

Spirit of God divine, fill this heart of mine, click here to listen

News and Notices

From Café 2.21
Please note that we will be closed on 30th May for one week only for staff holidays.  We will re-open 6th June.

A Church Pioneer Worker for North Shields

Saint Columba’s has been successful in its bid to have a URC Synod Pioneer Worker based with us in North Shields. The post is for twenty hours per week, and for two years in the first instance.
The person appointed will help, support and strengthen current activities where we are most effective in engaging with others. Also, they will pioneer new opportunities in North Shields for working with children, young people and families, exploring faith in everyday life.

A job description has been agreed and the post is being advertised, with a closing date for applications on 14th June, and the intention of holding interviews on 24th June. Please share the advertisement for this post with anyone you know who might be interested in applying, or who might share it more widely. You can view the advertisement HERE.

Next Update – Sunday 4th June

Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. To get your information in the 4th of June edition, please have it with him by Tuesday 30th 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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