30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW Weekly Update #171 24th September 2023
From the Minister Back to Work
So I’ve been on holiday, but I couldn’t forget Saint Columba’s United Reformed Church, North Shields. We were in Athens, staying with friends. They took us to a music event at the Odeon, or Theatre of Herodes Atticus, an ancient amphitheatre, built at the base of the Acropolis, the ancient citadel which towers above the city centre. You find yourself gazing up at the Acropolis, and its most famous building, the Parthenon, lit up against the night sky. As I looked up, I smiled Just like Saint Columba’s, currently, the front of the Parthenon is swathed in scaffolding. It looked to me like the church had been transplanted to the top of the Acropolis (some say I have a vivid imagination). Athenians and tourists will be glad when the scaffolding goes. So will we when our building re-emerges, with the necessary work done to preserve the fabric for another day: ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.’ (Matthew 5:14-16)
Image: Restoration work at the western facade of the Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens, Greece. Wikipedia.
PrayerO God who shone forth to us in your Son, Jesus, encourage me to be like a light that shines before others, so that they might give glory to you. Amen.
Worship Sunday 24th September
10.30 a.m. Service led by the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison on the good news of NOT getting what we deserve
6.30 p.m. Service led by Dr Andrew Graydon Sunday 1st October
10.30 a.m. Our annual Harvest Service led by Trevor Jamison
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
Bible readings for this week
Exodus16:2-15 Complaining people have bread rained upon them
Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45 Remembering the good things God has done
Philippians 1 21-30 Living life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ
Matthew 20:1-16 A parable of equal wages for unequal work
Reflection on the Readings
Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be! In Exodus 16 the Hebrew people have been having a challenging time travelling through wilderness terrain. They look back longingly to their time in Egypt, which they describe in glowing terms: ‘we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread.’ (16:3) The reality, though, had been very different. They had been enslaved, worked hard, and subject to a plot to get rid of all their newborn male children. Having rescued them from this fate, complaints were the only thanks that God now received. Those determined to seek an angry, vengeful God in the Old Testament will be disappointed, however, because God responds by supplying them with all the bread (“manna”) and meat (quails, no less) that they could possibly want. Whilst not taking it as an excuse to behave poorly, it’s encouraging to think that when we fall short, despite the provocation, God responds generously. It’s also makes us think about how we might respond to others when they are not so positive towards us.
Image by BeyondJ from Pixabay
A hymn that responds to the readings
Guide me, O thou great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land … bread of heaven, bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more
News and NoticesCafé 2 21 takes a two-week holiday
Café 2 21 will be closed on Tuesday 26th September and 3rd October. It will re-open on 10th October.
Nite Bite Seeks Volunteers
Nite Bite, the churches’ initiative in North Shields, providing a meal for those in need, is seeking additional volunteers. You might offer to dishes, sort goods into cupboards, or provide a front-of-house welcome. If you might be interested in volunteering, please talk to Helen, or come and talk to the Nite Bite workers on Tuesdays between 2-4 pm at the Baptist Church in Howard Street.
Moderators Induction Service – TODAY at 3 pm.
If anyone is unable to make the service or would like to catch up later. To view the service Click Here
Keeping in Touch
You can contact your Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.