Weekly Update #193 – 3 March

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #193 – 3rd March 2024
From the Minister               Caring About Community

“Community” can be a slippery sort of word. It’s hard to be against community given its cosy associations. “Community work” and “community development” are perceived to be good things. Political or other leaders who make decisions without taking into account the views “the community” are seen as arrogant and/or foolish. Church congregations like to see themselves as offering the benefits of being part of a community. Sometimes we call our special meal, “Holy Communion”, implying that we form a community as we share the bread and wine; community with each other and being in communion with God. I’m not against “community” but we do need to ask what sort of community we are talking about. Communities create bonds between members, but these should be ones where all the members are enabled to flourish. In unhealthy communities some members get to flourish at the expense of others. Also, strong communities generate strong loyalties, but what about attitudes to those who are not members of the community? If you are not one of us … Yes, we want communities, but one where it is easy to join and where all benefit from being involved. That’s true whether we are talking about the community of creation, political community, or church community.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

PrayerGenerous God, look in love on all my friends and neighbours. Keep them from harm, deepen our friendships, and may we grow in love of you, our Saviour and friend.


Based on a prayer by Michael Botting

Worship   Sunday 3rd March

10.30 a.m.     A service led by Trevor Jamison – “Caring About Community”. At this service we welcome Joel from North Tyneside Council, answering questions posed by our church Eco Team about happens to the items that go into our recycling

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 10th March

10.30 a.m.     A communion service led by Trevor Jamison. This week’s theme: ‘Caring About Work’

Bible readingsExodus 20:1-17                    The Ten Commandments
Psalm 19                               ‘The heavens are telling the glory of God’
1 Corinthians 1:18-25          The message of the cross: foolishness to some, but …
John 2:13-22                         Jesus – not so gentle, meek or mild in the temple

Reflection on the Readings

First, don’t look at the Exodus reading. Second, now list how many of the Ten Commandments you can remember. Well done if you got all ten, or close to it. Does it matter if you cannot recollect all ten without peaking? Not really. What matters is if you can recognise them when you see and hear them, and also recognise when something is presented as one of the ten but is not: “You shall always obey the church minister” anyone? Third, these commandments should be interpreted dynamically. Take, for example, ‘You shall not steal.’ How widely can you define ‘steal’? If a worker is tempted to “knock off early on a Friday” are they stealing time from their employer? If an employer declines to pay the “Real Living Wage” https://www.livingwage.org.uk/what-real-living-wage does that qualify as stealing? Then, as well as interpreting widely, consider what the opposite of the commandment would be. If you are told not to steal then what sort of thing  should you do? That employer is under no legal obligation to pay the Real Living Wage, but if they seek to do positively the opposite of stealing then maybe they would decide to reward their workers in this way. Seek to interpret the Ten Commandments widely and positively and your community will be the better for it. And that, surely, is part of their original intention.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

A hymn that responds to the reflection

‘There’s a wideness in God’s mercy like the wideness of the sea; there’s a kindness in God’s justice which is more than liberty.’ A reminder to interpret the commandments (and the rest of the Bible) with God’s mercy and kindness always in mind:

To Listen click here

News and Notices

Lent Conversation Groups Start Meeting
Our Lent conversations begin this coming week: : Joanna, a woman with connections to a royal household, is present when Jesus and his disciples share a last meal together before his arrest.
Image: Church House Publishing / Ally Barrett

In-person meetings
St Andrew’s URC Monkseaton: Mondays at 2pm – Feb 26, March 4, 11, 18
St Columba’s URC North Shields: Thursdays at 7.15pm – Feb 29, March 7, 14, 21
Online meetings via Zoom
Mondays from 7.15pm – Feb 26, March 4, 11, 18
For Zoom link, click here 

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 Update – Sunday 10th  March 2024

Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. Please get your information to him by Tuesday 5th March.

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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