Weekly Update #166 – 23 July

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #166      23rd July 2023
From the Minister                                Living the Dream?

There are all sorts of words that get paired with ‘dream’: ‘home’, ‘holiday’, ‘interpretation’, ‘team’, ‘catcher’. Such words tell us about the hopes we attach to our dreams. Then there are words like ‘bad’ or ‘false’ which indicate the fears and anxieties we might associate with our dreams. During the next five weeks, at Saint Columba’s, we will be following the life story of a famous dreamer and interpreter of dreams – Joseph, the son of Jacob, who features along with his dysfunctional family in the final fourteen chapters of the Book of Genesis. You may have distant memories of hearing the story (or the parts of it that were thought suitable for children to hear). You may have seen the musical, Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Don’t let either or both of those (good) experiences fool you into thinking you know the whole story, though. It’s different when you read it in the Bible, and read it as an adult. Week by week we’ll (re)discover what Joseph’s story says to us about God and about today’s world. This week, Joseph’s experiences invite us to ask if God really speaks to us through dreams. We’ll also consider the nightmare that is modern slavery. Everyone’s welcome to come along, on Sunday mornings, in-person, or via the livestream, or to turn up for conversation on Monday nights (via Zoom) or Thursday nights (in-person at church).


Dream Catcher Photo by Jaime Handley on Unsplash

Loving God, give me good sleep, good dreams, and waking hours to do your will.Amen.

Worship    Sunday 23rd July

10.30 a.m. Service at church, led by Trevor Jamison, beginning a series of services following  the story of Joseph, and what that says to us today about God and the world – this week, ‘Bad Dreams and Trafficked into Slavery” (Genesis 37)

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 30th July

10.30 a.m. service at church, led by Trevor Jamison, continuing the story of Joseph – ‘A “#Me Too” Moment and Jail Time for Joseph’ (Genesis 39-41)

Bible readings for this week  (from the Revised Common Lectionary)                                      
Genesis 37   Joseph’s dreams get him into trouble, and trafficked into slavery
Psalm 105:1-6, 16-25        God’s acts in history, including in the life of Joseph
Matthew 1: 18-25              A second Joseph experiences God-sent dreams
You can read the Bible passages online at https://www.biblegateway.com/
Reflection on the Readings

Joseph, the son of Jacob, who appears in the book of Genesis, was a famous dreamer and interpreter of dreams. There is another Joseph, though, one who was even more well known. He also was both a son of Jacob (see Matthew 1:16) and a dreamer. This second Joseph is well known because he was engaged to Mary, the mother of Jesus, when he found out she was pregnant. (1:18) His plans to call off the marriage (1:19) were put on hold as a result of a dream. In the dream God told him not to be afraid to marry Mary, and about a child who would ‘save his people’ which may have reminded him of the story about God working through the first Joseph to save his people from starvation. Later, after the child’s birth, when the situation turned dangerous, Joseph number two dreamed again. Now the message was to flee to Egypt for safety (Matthew 2:13). Egypt, of course, was the land where the first Joseph had found freedom and prospered. It’s almost as though there is a recurring dream at work here, but that dream is not the property of either of these Josephs. Instead, it’s God’s dream of bringing everyone to safety.

A hymn that responds to the readings

It’s not easy to know if a dream comes from God or simply out of our own desires. Here’s a hymn by the URC minister, the late Caryl Micklem, asking ‘Give to me Lord, a thankful heart and a discerning mind’

To listen, click here

News and Notices

Strawberry Fayre and money raised for church funds
Strawberries, cream and scones were happily consumed by all who came to our Strawberry Fayre on 8th July, with £460.59 raised for church funds. A big thank you to all who helped with this event.

Huge response to fundraising effort for “Toilet Twinning

At our morning service on Sunday 16th July, we heard and prayed about the work of Toilet Twinning, a charity which since 2010 has been funding global water and sanitation programmes run by the Christian charity Tearfund. Our retiring collection raised the fantastic total of £498.00 on the day (with the promise of more to come).

Monday 24th and Thursday 27th July  – Joseph: More Than a Fancy Coat – discussion groups begin

Join with others, at Saint Columba’s, North Shields to discuss the biblical story of Joseph, son of Jacob, and what it says to us about some of today’s big questions.
From Monday 24th July – via Zoom at 7.15 p.m.
To join Zoom meeting, click here

From Thursday 27th July in-person discussion group at church at 7.15 p.m.
For this first week, you might want to read Genesis 37 in advance (though that’s not compulsory)

Churches Together in North Shields – Evening Services throughout August

The highly popular Churches Together August evening services are taking place this year, with the theme, ‘Churches for Positive Change’ – do not the dates in your diary and come along to take part.

6th August at 6.00 p.m. at Church of the Holy Saviour, Tynemouth (Trevor Jamison is the preacher)
13th August at 6.00 p.m. at St John’s, Percy Main
20th August at 4.00 p.m. at Christchurch – The Fisherman’s Mission Service
27th August at 6.30 p.m. at Saint Columba’s (Steve Dixon from Holy Saviour’s is the preacher)

Your Opportunity to “Mend Broken Hearts”

This year, once again, the United Reformed Church is present at the Christian arts festival Greenbelt and our Craft Team would like churches around the denomination to contribute to the URC’s tent decorations by creating Kintsugi hearts. The Japanese art of Kintsugi takes broken objects, often ceramics, and repairs them with gold resin. The resulting ‘flaw’ becomes part of the object’s story and is seen as a unique piece in its history, adding to its beauty. To find out more about making kintsugi hearts, talk to Liz M, and hand your broken/repaired hearts to her by August 9th

You can find more information HERE Image: United Reformed Church

Saturday August 12th – Granny’s Attic Sale – request for donations

Our next Granny’s Attic Sale takes place on Saturday 12th August, 10.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m.

So it’s time to clear out your wardrobes and your drawers, to provide items for the sale.

Please see Norma for details about details for delivering your donations to the church.

Next Update – Sunday 30th July
Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. To get your information in the 30th July edition please have it with him by Tuesday 25th July.

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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