Weekly Update #190 – 11 February

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #190 – 11th February 2024
From the Minister

cancer under magnifying glassKing Charles has cancer. We know this because he has told us so. How times change. When the present king’s grandfather, George VI was diagnosed with cancer not only did they not tell the public, but his doctors concealed the fact from him as well. There’s still a reluctance to be open about illness, especially about cancer, so ‘hats off’ to His Majesty for being so open about the matter. Also times have changed with regard to cancer and one’s life prospects. A diagnosis once regarded as a death sentence is no longer necessarily so. Many of us who experience cancer are cleared of it through medical treatment (as I can attest from personal experience), or it can be turned into a condition that is managed over a number of years. Of course, as well as openness there’s also an expectation of privacy; and beyond cure or management of a condition, there is the inevitability of death – for we all die one day. Today, one person’s illness has reminded us to be kind to one another. It encourages us to be thankful for the benefits of medical science and those who facilitate it. And to be hopeful, for God loves us. God is with us now. God is with us for the rest of our lives (however long they may be), and beyond.


Image by PDPics from Pixabay.


Almighty and everlasting God, who canst banish all affliction both of soul and body; show forth the power of thine aid upon those who are sick, that by the help of thy mercy they may restored to serve thee afresh in holiness of living; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

(From the ‘Gelasian Sacramentary’ c. 750)
Worship Sunday 11th February

10.30 a.m.     A communion service led by Trevor Jamison – Transfiguration Sunday (last Sunday before Lent).

Messy Church flyer3.00 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.”

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 18th February – First Sunday in Lent

10.30 a.m.     A service led by Trevor Jamison – “Caring About Time.”

Bible readings

2 Kings 2:1-12         The prophet Elijah is taken up into heaven
Psalm 50:1-6           ‘The heavens declare God’s righteousness’
2 Corinthians 4:3-6  ‘The light of … the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’
Mark 9:2-9                Up on a mountain, Jesus’s appearance is transfigured

Reflection on the Readings

The TransfigurationLife has its highs and lows. One moment you are on top of the world, the next you are down in the depths. Peter, James and John are treated to a spiritual high. They get to accompany Jesus at a special moment (Mark 9:2), seeing him in the company of two of the “greats” of their Jewish faith (9:4), witnessing his transfigured appearance (9:2, 3), and hearing God’s voice of command (9:7). Then, however, they come back down from the heights (9:9), only to be confronted with a sick person that they cannot cure (9:14-19). We can’t hide from the imperfect realities of everyday life by retreating up some spiritual mountain and refusing to come back down. When we engage with earthly reality, though, it’s with the reminder to be guided by Jesus, who has been revealed as God’s own Beloved Son. (9:7)

Image: JESUS MAFA. Transfiguration, http://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr

A hymn that responds to the reflection
Transfigured Christ, none comprehends your majesty’ – a hymn by a URC minister, the late Alan Gaunt, sung here by members of Victoria Methodist Church, Bristol.

News and Notices

“Caring about …” – Theme for worship during Lent

During Sundays in Lent (18th February to 17th March), we’ll focus on things Christians should care about:: Caring about … time, creation, community, work, and spiritual gifts.

Church Meeting on Growing as a Church – report back

LYCIG logoOn Sunday 4th February, fortified by copious amounts of cake, forty members of the congregation gathered together after the morning service to talk about being a growing church. We talked about growth in faith, service and numbers. We looked at a seven-step process we might use as a tool to help us grow. At the end of a positive meeting, we asked the Elders to enable the next Church Meeting to move the process forward. A fuller report of this Church Meeting should appear in the next edition of our church magazine.

Image: Leading your Church into Growth.

Pie and Pea Lunch – Saturday 23rd March at 1.00 p.m.

Our church Social Events team (SET) are busy planning for events in 2024. The next one is a pie and pea lunch on Saturday 23rd March at 1.00 p.m., to include a game of bingo and an Easter raffle. Tickets will be on sale soon, priced at £8.00.

Next Seeking Representatives for URC General Assembly, 12th-15th July

General Assembly imagesGeneral Assembly meets annually to celebrate, discuss, worship, and make decisions about the life and work of the United Reformed Church. There are sixteen places available for Northern Synod representatives. We are looking for members and ministers. Might you be one of them? You can find more information here, or you can speak to Trevor Jamison about this possibility.

Image: United Reformed Church.

Next Update – Sunday 18th February 2024

John Drew will edit the next Update. To get your information in the 18th February edition, please have it with him by Tuesday 13th 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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