Weekly Update #189 – 4 February

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #189 – 4th February 2024
From the Minister       Cheers?
I was drinking in a pub in North Shields last week, and I was in good company. In fact, the majority of drinkers in the pub that night were church ministers. We were saying farewell to Glyn Evans from Christ Church, who is due to retire soon. In the UK, pubs, like churches, have been having a hard time in recent years. In fact, the closure rate for pubs is greater than that for churches. Many of the pubs that have survived and flourished have done so by becoming pub-restaurants. Another trend is for locals to try to buy their ‘local’ when it closes, and run it as a community enterprise, such as in Gilsland, midway between Hexham and Carlisle and close to Hadrian’s Wall. The BBC report https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-68142950 about their efforts makes for interesting reading. The organisers see the pub as an important part of maintaining community life. They also see it as important to maintaining the community’s economy by encouraging visitors to stop and spend in Gilsland. They hope that if locals invest money they will be encouraged to make efforts to retain the pub in the years ahead. Churches might offer lessons to community pubs, particularly about how to organise as a community for decision making and for the long term. Pubs might have lessons for churches, about how to change as times and tastes change, yet retain your identity; about how to welcome not only the regulars but the visitors.
Trevor                                                             Photo by Amie Johnson on Unsplash

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. Amen.
                              (Prayer from ‘Leading Your Church Into Growth’)

Worship 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.

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 11th February

10.30 a.m.     A communion service led by Trevor Jamison

3.00 p.m.     “Frozen” Messy Church – worship, learning and fellowship for all ages through craft-based activities and eating together, exploring characters and themes from the movie, “Frozen”.

Bible readings

Isaiah 40:21-31             ‘The everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth’
Psalm 147:1-11, 20        Praise is the appropriate response to God, the Creator
1 Corinthians 9:16-23     Being ‘all things to all people’ – in a good way
Mark 1:29-39                  Jesus heals, prays and proclaims his message in Galilee

Reflection on the Readings

‘Those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.’ (Isaiah 40:31) Have you ever watched Chariots of Fire? These lines from Isaiah are quoted in the opening scene of the film. It tells the story of two athletes, Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell, both of whom won gold medals at the Olympic Games in Paris in 1924. Abrahams, an Englishman, faces prejudice because he is a Jew. Liddell, a Scot, despite pressure forgoes running in one event because the final falls on a Sunday.(Liddell went on to become a Christian missionary in China, dying in a Japanese internment camp during the Second World War.) Isaiah, a Jewish prophet whom Christians treasure, reminds us that we don’t have to depend only on our own resources in times of difficulty, be we Jewish, Christian, or any other sort of human being – God is available to us, to renew our strength, even when circumstances combine to make us weary and faint.             Image by Pexels from Pixabay

A hymn that responds to the reflection

‘And did those feet in ancient time walk upon England’s mountains green?’ Hubert Parry’s music combines with William Blake’s words, including ‘ bring me my chariot of fire.’
To listen click here

News and Notices 

News of members
Our sympathies to our fellow member, Gordon Adam, following the death of his wife, Sarah. The funeral service will take place at Saint Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Monkseaton, on Monday 12th February at 12.30 p.m. It will be conducted by the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison.

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.
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]
Next Update – Sunday 11th February 2024
Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. To get your information in the11th February edition please have it with him by Tuesday 6th February.

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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