Weekly Update #160 – 11 June

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #160          11th June 2023
From the Minister                Après moi, le déluge …                

Kakhovka damI imagine you have seen pictures of the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine which has been destroyed, flooding large areas of land, rendering many people homeless. Russia and the Ukraine are blaming each other, with talk of it being a ‘war crime.’ According to the BBC, our Prime Minister commented that if the dam was breached intentionally it would represent a ‘new low’ in Russian aggression. Such attacks on civilian infrastructure, he says, are ‘appalling and wrong.’ Is it my imagination, though, or is the rhetoric from our government somewhat muted? After all, in the UK we have a history of celebrating the destruction of dams by bombing. Famously, in 1943, RAF bombers, deploying ingenious “bouncing bombs” breached German dams in the Ruhr, causing catastrophic flooding. It’s thought that sixteen hundred civilians perished in the floods, the majority of them slave labourers from the Soviet Union (perhaps some were Ukrainian). Obviously, there are differences between the two situations; one being in time of total war in the face the evil of Nazism. And no one can deny or detract from the courage of aircrew, fifty three of whom died in that raid in 1943. That said, perhaps the resonances between today’s events in the Ukraine and those in our nation’s history are a warning against self-righteousness. When judging the actions of others, Jesus warned, those who judge may also find themselves judged. (Matthew 7:1-5)


Image: Kakhovka Dam before the deluge, by GennadyL, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.


Holy God, faithful and unchanging: enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth, and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love, that we may truly worship you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

From the hymn, ‘We Pray for Peace’ by Alan Gaunt (R&S 641).

Worship    Sunday 11th June

10.30 a.m. Communion service  led by Trevor Jamison.

3.00 p.m. – 5.15 p.m.   Messy Church, led by a team from Saint Columba’s.

Messy Church flyerJoin us for ‘Messy Church’ – an all-age event, combining craft, conversation, and eating together.

This week we are exploring the theme, ‘All are welcome in God’s Family!’

Come along, and feel free to bring friends or family of any age.

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 18th June

10.30 a.m. Service – led by John Drew.

Bible readings for this week (from the Revised Common Lectionary)
Genesis 12:1-9                     Abram is sent on a journey by God, but with a promise
Psalm 33:1-12                      The God of creation is sovereign over the nations
Romans 4:13-25                  Abraham received God’s promise in faith
Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26        Jesus, calls, heals, and spends time with all sorts

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

Reflection on the Readings

Women with the issue of bloodWhat an amazing variety of people Jesus engages with, and in different ways, in just fourteen verses of Matthew’s Gospel. A tax collector is summoned to be an apostle. A group of tax collectors and ‘sinners’ dine with Jesus. Pharisees get to have a conversation with him, and are challenged to learn something new about sin and mercy. A synagogue ruler gets his request for help met. An older woman manages to touch Jesus, is healed, then has her faith publicly affirmed. He sends a sceptical crowd on their way. Then he revives a younger woman from death, ‘and the report of this spread through out the district.’ (9:26) Reading all of that makes you realise why Jesus would get tired at times, and why sometimes he sought solitude. It also gives you hope that whoever you are, whatever your circumstances, need or request, God is ready and willing to respond.

Image: ‘Woman With a Flow of Blood’ (detail) by Frank Wesley, © Estate of Frank Wesley, Permission granted for non-commercial use of this image.

A hymn that responds to the readings

O Christ the healer we have come to pray for health, to plead for friends’ by
F Pratt Green.

News and Notices

24th June – The Sound of Music? – get your tickets now!

concert flyerA musical evening with Paul Elliott and other invited performers, at Saint Columba’s on Saturday 24th June at 7.00 p.m.

Tickets are £8.00 and are available from Norma.

Next Update – Sunday 18th June

Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. To get your information in the 18th June edition, please have it with him by Tuesday 13th June.

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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