Weekly Update #182 – 10 December

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #182    10th December 2023
 From the Minister                                       Being Angelic

Do you need wings to qualify as an angel? This weekend we’re having a ‘festival of angels’ at Saint Columba’s. The church building is open across the weekend in conjunction with the North Shields Christmas Market, which is taking place just outside our doors. Do come along and view the imaginative installations in the church building which reflect the theme, and stay for the tea, coffee and edibles being served in the church hall. And while you are eating and drinking, ask yourself, ‘what’s an angel?’ Are angels simply supernatural winged creatures that turn up in a burst of light. Well, yes, sometimes, as with a heavenly host visiting shepherds at the first Christmas (Luke 2:8-14), though you will search in vain for any reference to wings. In the Bible angels are ‘messengers’ from God: the opening line of the carol, ‘Hark! The herald angels sing’ gets that right. What makes an angel an angel is not their wings but their job: bringing a message from and about God. On that basis any one of us can (and should) be an angel.


Gracious God, by whose tender compassion the light of Christ has dawned upon us; open our hearts, so that joyfully receiving Christ, like angels, we may declare his glory to the ends of the earth. Amen.

Worship  SUNDAY 10th December 2023

10.30 A.M.  

Service led by Trevor Jamison, on the theme of ‘Angels, Prophets and Messengers at Christmas’

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 17th December – Nativity Service

10.30 a.m.

The story of the birth of Jesus retold, with opportunities for participation by all people of all ages

Bible readings for this week
Isaiah 40:1-11 Proclaiming the arrival of God

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 God will speak peace to the people

2 Peter 3:-15 The ‘Day of the Lord’ will come

Mark 1:1-8 ‘The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ’

Reflection on the Readings

‘The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.’ (Mark 1:1) If you were going to write a Gospel (a word which means ‘good news’) where would you begin? Many of us would do so with the birth of Jesus, which is what Matthew and Luke did. Mark is different. In eight short verses he begins with a prophet, John the Baptist, preparing the people for the arrival of Jesus. Immediately after that Jesus is baptised (9-11), tempted (12-23), then embarks on ministry in Galilee (14-15). If we depended on Mark alone for information about Jesus Christmas would be a very low key event. Usefully, Mark reminds us not to focus our attention on the birth alone. What comes after – the adult ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus – is every bit as significant. No one moment by itself is more important than all the others put together. Instead, it’s the person – ‘Jesus Christ, the Son of God’ – who matters, who holds the story together, and who makes it ‘good news.’

Image: Photo by Lauren Kan on Unsplash

A Hymn that responds to the reflection

‘On Jordan’s bank, the Baptist’s cry announces that the Lord is nigh’

To Listen Click Here

News and Notices 

Forgiving and Forgetting: Advent meetings

The third Advent meetings take place on Monday 11th and Thursday 14th December.

Week 3: ‘A Time for Forgiving’ – seeking forgiveness, finding forgiveness, showing forgiveness

2.00 p.m. at St Andrew’s URC, Monkseaton

7.15 p.m. on Zoom
To join via Zoom, Click Here

7.15 p.m. at St Columba’s, North Shields.

Special Collection for Compassion – additional chance to donate.

This Sunday there will be a collecting box for Compassion to give extra support to their children this Christmas. We are asking for donations of £1 if possible.

Christmas Leaflet drop volunteers

We plan a Christmas leaflet drop in central North Shields during the week beginning Monday 11th December. If you can deliver some leaflets please meet briefly after the service at church this Sunday or contact Trevor Jamison.

Next Update – Sunday 17th December

John Drew will edit the next Update. To get your information in the 17th December edition please have it with him by Tuesday 12th December.

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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