Weekly Update #177 – 5 November

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #177    5th November 2023
From Andrew                                  Domino Effect

The news can be gloomy these days.  It seems to me that the world is failing to get a grip on the serious issues facing us.  One thing leads to another, and can produce a domino effect of unintended consequences.  Long-festering international tensions slide into proxy wars.  Modern lifestyles and industries emitting carbon cause climate change leading to wilder weather patterns, rising sea levels and biodiversity loss.  Unfair global trade, bad lending and corruption drag down poor countries with unpayable debts.  All of these factors, and more, cause mass migration.  And so on….

Let’s not pretend these are easy problems to solve, but often they are not helped by a lack of international will to seriously address them.  They are complicated, and solutions may be costly, so can end up in the “too difficult” box.

And how about us?  Do we put off dealing with things because they are too difficult, even if they might get worse?  Are there small things we could do to start to make things better, in our own lives, in the church and in the world?  Above all, we can pray, tell God our concerns, ask for help and guidance, and perhaps even a few miracles!


Photo by Dushyant Kumar on Unsplash.


Loving God, we bring to you all our worries, for ourselves, our families and friends, our church, and our world.  Sometimes these seem so tightly wound that we can’t see where to begin.  We pray for your help in each of these situations, and we ask that you enable us to be part of the answer to this prayer.


Worship   Sunday 5th November
10.30 a.m.     A service led by the Revd Dr Richard Firth.

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

Next Week
Sunday 12th November
10.30 a.m.                 Remembrance Sunday Communion service led by the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison
Bible readings for this week      
Micah 3: 5-12                        A curse on those who prophesy for money
Psalm 43                               A cry to God for help, and hope for salvation
I Thessalonians 2: 9-13      The evangelists’ care for new believers
Matthew 23: 1-12                 Be humble, not showy, in what you doYou can read the Bible passages online By Clicking Here
Reflection on the Readings

In today’s society, there is a recognisable phenomenon of people using social media to present themselves in the best light.  They may show edited highlights of their life, exaggerating the good bits, manufacturing a carefully curated better-than-real-life version of themselves.

Jesus criticised the scribes and Pharisees for showing off their piety (Matthew 23: 5-7).  We too should avoid hypocrisy or trying to appear better than we are.  We should be humble and realistic, but we should not hide our light.  St Paul urges the new Christians in Thessalonica to lead good lives, worthy of their calling (I Thes 2: 12).  We too are to aim to be pure, upright and blameless in our conduct (2: 10), in living out our faith.

Micah criticised the leaders of Judah for taking bribes, acting unjustly, and telling what people wanted to hear rather than listening to God (Micah 3: 11).  He warned them that a nation that has abandoned truth has abandoned God.  It is tempting to keep quiet for an easy life, but we are challenged to be real, and to call out injustice and fake narratives.

Photo by Daniela Araya on Unsplash.

A hymn that responds to the readings

American Presbyterian pastor and hymn writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette’s 2014 song

Lord you teach us to be humble, sung by Raquel Reigns.

To Listen Click Here

News and Notices

Margaret Armstrong – funeral service

On Friday 10th November at 2.30 p.m., at Saint Columba’s, there will be a service of thanksgiving for Margaret’s life, led by the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison. This service will also be livestreamed.

To view the service Click Here 

Poppies Available at the Church

For your information, Royal British Legion poppies are now available for purchase at the church.

Image: Royal British Legion

Carol Service Planning Meeting – Monday 13th November

On Monday 13th November we will have a meeting to plan for our Christmas Eve Carol Service, and for how we will publicise our Christmas services this year. This is an open meeting, so if you want to take part just come along to the church on the night. If you can’t be there but have thoughts or suggestions, please contact Trevor Jamison to let him know what they are.

Humpty Dumpty – Friday 19th January

We are going to see a pantomime at Tynemouth Priory Theatre on Friday 19th January 2024.  See the booking form on the notice board in the hall.

Image by azwer from Pixabay.

Next Update – Sunday 12th  November

Trevor Jamison will edit the Update for 12th November.  To get your information in both the online and printed editions, please have it with him by Tuesday 7th November.

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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