Weekly Update #188 – 28 January

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #188 – 28th January 2024
From the Minister       You Can’t Grow a Church Without Distributing Eggs

Late last year, along with someone else from Saint Columba’s, I participated in a conference called ‘Leading Your Church Into Growth.’ We were introduced to a seven-step process that has been used to help congregations grow in their faith, their mission, and in numbers. In one exercise we were asked to imagine we had four baskets, labelled ‘prayer for growth,’ ‘presence’ (in the community), ‘proclamation’ (events which include a simple presentation of the gospel), and ‘persuasion’ (encouraging others to join us on the faith journey). Then we were asked to picture ourselves distributing a dozen eggs among the baskets in proportion to how those activities feature in the life of our church. My baskets had 0, 1, 3 and 8 eggs in them, but which basket had which number of eggs in it? What number of eggs might you put in each of those baskets? If you want to know how I distributed my ‘eggs, and would like to try that exercise along with others then come along to the Church Meeting that follows the morning service on the 4th of February. We’ll be focusing on how Saint Columba’s might grow in faith, mission and numbers in 2024.

Trevor                                Eggs image by Varintorn Kantawong from Pixabay


God of mission, who alone brings growth to your Church, send your Holy Spirit to give vision to our planning, wisdom to our actions, joy to our worship, and power to our witness. Help our church to grow in numbers, in spiritual commitment to you, and in service to our local community, though Jesus Christ our Lord.


(Prayer from ‘Leading Your Church Into Growth’)

Worship Sunday 28th January

10.30 a.m.     A service led by the Revd Kim Plumpton, Synod Moderator, URC Northern Synod

(Trevor Jamison will be leading worship at St Andrew’s Church of Scotland, Newcastle)

6.30 p.m.       Our first evening service of 2024, led by The Revd Dr 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.

Sunday 4th February

10.30 a.m.     A service led the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison. This service will be followed by a Church Meeting, focusing on growing the church in 2024. See below for further details.

Bible readings

Deuteronomy 18:15-20     God will supply an authoritative prophet
Psalm 111                             God, the object of our praise (and fear?)
1 Corinthians 8:1-13          Those who are strong should do nothing to hurt the weak
Mark 1:21-28                       Jesus both teaches and heals

Reflection on the Readings

‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom.’ (Psalm 111:10) That’s not a popular way of describing our relationship with God. In most churches the day of hell-fire sermons is over. Occasionally, someone may be referred to as ‘God-fearing’ but mostly fearing God is seen as a bad thing. I wonder, does a nuclear scientist or engineer fear nuclear power, whilst at the same time seeing it as a good thing? Yes, they may fear it’s capacity for destruction, worry about the possibility of an accident, be concerned about the safe disposal of waste products. On the other hand, this power, which has capacity to injure or destroy, also delivers great good, providing heat and light for homes and industry. We are happy to join with the psalmist in delighting in ‘the works of the Lord’ (111:2) in creation. That awesome divine power, which created and sustains the universe, is beyond our control. We are totally dependent upon God’s good graces. Thankfully, God is gracious as well as great, but might have chosen not to be, and we would be wise to remember that.

A hymn that responds to the reflection

‘Alleluia! Laud and blessing to our God whose Word is sure;
By whose grace we find redemption, in whose love we live secure ’ A hymn inspired by Psalm 111, which concludes by mention of ‘fear of the Lord’,’ and Psalm 112, which begins by mentioning it. Sung here by the choir of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York

To Listen, Click Here

News and Notices 
Church Meeting on Growing as a Church – Sunday 4th February
There will be cake and conversation after the morning service on Sunday 4th February! The cake and conversation will be in a Church Meeting after the morning service. Together, we will be exploring a way in which we at Saint Columba’s might grow in faith, mission, and in numbers in 2024. Please make sure to be there, not just for the cake, but to take part in the discussion and discernment.

Please note the Meeting will be from 12 noon until 1.30 pm. More information and papers for the meeting will be sent out next week.

 Women of Holy Week – Advance notice of four conversations for Lent

This year, in our Lent conversations, we listen to stories based on the events of Holy Week, told from the perspective of four women who were there, or could have been there.
The conversations will be led by Trevor Jamison and Louise Sanders, There will be in-person meetings at Monkseaton and in North Shields, as well as a Zoom meeting. Conversations commence on Monday 26th February.

You can find more information by Clicking  HERE

 Image: Church House Publishing / Ally Barrett

Synod Retreat – March 12th – 14th at Shepherd’s Dene
This year’s Synod Retreat takes place at Shepherd’s Dene Retreat House, near Riding Mill. The retreat conductor will be Professor David Ford. Financial support from Synod is available for those taking part. To find out more and register your interest please contact Andy Lie [email protected]
Collection for Newcastle Cat and Dog Shelter

A message from Lisa “Following a discussion at our Church Meeting I volunteered to organise some fundraising for the Newcastle Cat and Dog Shelter. The Cat and Dog Shelter is currently closed to the public so I will make a donation of money at the end of January. A box will be placed in the main entrance of the church on 28 January – all donations will be gratefully received. Thank you.

Photo: Lisa and Poppy

An Extra Update Compiler Sought

The Saint Columba’s Weekly Update goes to all members of the church, plus to numerous friends, supporters and others. Currently, three people take it in turns to put the Update text together. It would be very helpful to share the load, however, by adding one more person to the rota. Training and support would be provided to a new volunteer.

If you think you might be interested in helping with this work, or want to know more about what is involved, please contact Trevor Jamison.

Next Update – Sunday 4th February 2024

Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. To get your information in the 4th February edition, please have it with him by Tuesday 30th January.

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 © 2024 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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