Weekly Update #17: Sunday 12 July

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #17: Sunday 12th July 2020

From the Minister – Not going down the pub (just yet)

Unlike many others, I have little desire to ‘go down the pub’ at this time. I’m not desperate to get to cafés, restaurants, or book shops either, which is saying something. Truth to tell, I’m even reticent about going to church, and usually I’m hardly ever out of there. Government restrictions are easing but those within me are doing so less quickly – weeks of social distancing have an effect. This differs from individual to individual. Even twins (like Esau and Isaac) may have different personalities and responses. There are no universal rules we all must observe about the pace of our return to “normal”. So, let’s acknowledge that, and be considerate to each other in the coming weeks.




O God, you have shown great kindness to us all,
For you have spoken to us through Jesus Christ.
Encourage us, we pray,
To be kind to others and to ourselves,
And to accept kindnesses that are shown to us.

St Columba’s URC – Worship Online

More than thirty members of St Columba’s gathered online to worship on Sunday 5th July, with a service led by John Drew, and including a reflection form Trevor Jamison on who Jesus is and what that means for us. We’re intending to have a Zoom service on the first Sunday of each month, so the next one is due to take place on Sunday August 2nd at 10.30 a.m.  A recording of last Sunday’s service is available from Mathew Hall.

Back to Church – Please let us know your intentions!

We intend to re-open the church building for Sunday morning worship on August 16th. Please read the description of how worship will look in this setting here. Then, to enable us to plan, please fill in and return a simple questionnaire, either online here, or by downloading a copy of the form here and responding by email, post, or telephone to Alison Drew.

Options for Worshipping at home on Sunday

Online           URC audio service (https://devotions.urc.org.uk/ )           10.00 a.m.

Radio            Radio 4          Sunday Worship                                          8.10 a.m.

Television      BBC1             Songs of Praise                                           1.15 p.m.

DISCLAIMER: TV and Radio schedules can change, so check the timings are correct!

Bible readings for Sunday

From the Revised Common Lectionary
Genesis 25:19-34
Esau, Jacob, and a legal birth right

Psalm 119:105-112
‘Your word is … a light to my path’

Romans 8:1-11
‘The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus’

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
The parable of the sower

Sower by James Tissot (1836-1902)  – one of a set of 350 watercolours about the life of Christ, which the artist painted over the course of ten years

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Listen to the hymnNow the Green Blade Riseth, sung by the choir of Ely Cathedral.

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

Reflection on the Readings

‘Isaac loved Esau … but Rebekah loved Jacob.’ (Genesis 25:28) Two children, twins no less, and the parents have different favourites. In later chapters, parental failings combined with personality clashes, create a complex tale. For Israelites (descendants of Jacob), it explained or justifed their difficult relationship with Edomites (descendants of Esau). In our own time, we see similar difficulties in families. And nations love to find reasons (or excuses) for not getting on with other nations. So, when Jesus, comes along, spreading a message that God’s love includes that family member, person, or nation, with whom we’ve never really got on, will we prove to be stony or fruitful ground?

For further reflections and prayers relating to the readings, including why Jesus taught using parables, click here.

Five-minute introductions to all of the books of the Bible

Teaching staff at Fuller Theological Seminary in California offer five-minute video introductions to each book of the Bible. Which is your favourite? You can view them here.

St Columba’s Coffee and Conversation – Saturdays at
10.00 a.m.

Join the conversation on the day by clicking here.
Meeting ID: 815 5639 9164, Password: 313666

To join by telephone, dial this local rate number: 0203 051 2874

For information or help, contact Mathew Hall: 07792782647 or

Online Prayer Gathering on Sundays at 6.30 p.m.

A thirty-minute opportunity for prayer together and hand it all to God, including learning a shared signed-response to some prayers.

For further information, contact Charlene Clark charleneclark@hotmail.co.uk
To join, when the time comes click here.
Meeting ID: 843 2485 8994 Password: 083358

Columba Conversations – from Thursday 16th July
at 7.15 p.m.

Fifth in a series of six weekly, relaxed conversations, led by Trevor Jamison, to (re)explore things we’re taught as children and might believe as adults. This week: The Holy Spirit

Meetings will be one hour long. To join the meeting, click on the link or telephone in.

Meeting ID: 849 0652 0163      Password: 307692       Dial  0131 460 1196

If you can’t join in, don’t hesitate to contact Trevor to request a copy of the handout relating to the meeting

Keeping in Touch

We will keep in touch with each other. Elders will have a list of members and friends to contact each week, both to provide information and to ensure that people are safe and well. You can contact your designated Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.

Minister: Reverend Trevor Jamison                 Church Secretary: Alison Drew
minister.northshieldsurc@gmail.com               [email protected].com
0191 290 1193         07896 899538                 0191 251 9774

Copyright © 2020 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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