30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW Weekly Update #172 1st October 2023
From the Minister
It’s different living on or near the coast. Before I came to live in the North East of England, in my imagination ‘The North Sea’ was always grey. Experience has proved otherwise. Often, the sea here is blue, or a collection of blues and greens if you look hard enough. None of that is to claim that the sea here is never grey, of course, but that’s far from being the whole story. With North Shields being a fishing port it’s appropriate to include ‘the harvest of the seas’ in our thoughts when our annual harvest service comes around, as it does this Sunday. But it’s about more than fishing. The sea is also the means by which so much of the harvest from the land is transported to those who need it. And then there’s the (freshwater) river upon whose North bank this town sits. Our land-based crops would be non-existent if we did not have access to water. All in all, good reason to pause and give thanks to God for the harvest that comes to us through rivers, lakes, seas and oceans. Trevor Image: Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay
Prayer‘Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the mighty waters.’ (Psalm 107:23) O God, we praise you for your creative work, sustaining rivers and lakes, and seas and oceans; and we thank you for those who work upon the waters on our behalf. Amen.
Worship Sunday 24th September 10.30 a.m. Our annual Harvest Service led by Trevor Jamison – this year, thinking about the harvest that comes from rivers, lakes, seas and oceans.
Harvest Gifts for Nite Bite – in this service you are invited to bring food gifts for Nite Bite, the churches’ initiative in North Shields, providing a meal for those in need: any tinned meat, soups (not tomato), fish, carrots, tomatoes, custard, rice, tinned fruit. Also, biscuits, packet soups and noodles where people just add hot water, tea coffee. But all contributions gratefully received.
Image: Silar – https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16887092
Sunday 8th October
10.30 a.m. Communion service lead by Trevor Jamison, including welcoming two new church members.
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 Harvest service
Job 38:1-18 Who laid the foundations of the earth, putting limits upon the seas?
Psalm 65:1-2, 6-13 It’s God who silences the seas and fills the rivers
Colossians 1:15-20 For in Christ all things on earth and in heaven were created
Reflection on the Readings
‘Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?— when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped”?’ (Job 38:8-11) Over 70% of the surface of the earth is covered with water, and that looks only set to increase in the coming years due to the effects of climate change. Some island nations in the Pacific are faced with annihilation – coastal settlements are being swamped, and inland crops are failing as the land becomes increasingly salty. In Job 38 God, in answer to Job’s questioning about his situation of suffering, God confronts Job with a series of questions, ones which emphasise God’s power and Job’s lack of it. Contemplating the scale of the oceans, or the force of a waterfall I feel pretty puny, and rightly so. We humans now have the power to change the climate of the planet, but do we then have the power to cope with what results? Like Job, we would do well to be humble.
A hymn that responds to the readings
“O God, your creatures fill the earth with wonder and delight” – a hymn by the American Presbyterian hymn writer, Carolyn Winfrey Gillette
To listen click here
News and NoticesPhil Wright
We are sorry to inform you of the death of Phil Wright, member of Saint Columba’s. Phil’s funeral is due to place on Friday 6th October. Following a committal service at Tynemouth Crematorium there will be a service of thanksgiving for Phil’s life at Saint Columba’s at 11.15 a.m., led by Trevor Jamison.
Moderator’s Induction Service
A big ‘thank you’ to everyone from Saint Columba’s who helped in the organisation of the service where the Revd Kim Plumpton was inducted to serve as Moderator of the URC’s Northern Synod. The service, which took place at our church on Saturday 23rd September was a great occasion. Image: Media for Ministry
Café 2 21 on holiday
Café 2 21 will be closed on Tuesday 3rd October. It will re-open on 10th October.
Tickets Available for Pie and Peas Lunch – Saturday 14th October
Another of our very popular pie and peas lunches is taking place on Saturday 14th October at 1.30 p.m. in the church hall. There will also be a singalong, with Paul on the keyboard! Get your ticket now from Norma, while there are some still available!
Keeping in Touch
You can contact your Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.