Weekly Update #20: Sunday 2 August

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #20: Sunday 2nd August 2020

From the Minister

I was in a meeting with other North Shields church leaders today. We shared our churches’ experiences of recent months – many things in common and some interesting variations. We also talked about local challenges made worse, or more apparent, by lockdown. One was the pressure on carers, especially those caring for a loved one with dementia. Another was the incidence of food poverty in these challenging economic times. That spoke to me, particularly since our Gospel reading this week is about Jesus feeding people who are hungry. So it was good also to be reminded that NiteBite, our local church provider is getting through large quantities of tinned food each week, and that if you wanted to donate some, Helen Saunders is happy to come to collect them from you!

(Helen Saunders 0191 258 5488 or email [email protected])


Image: Moloney, Helen. Loaves and Fish, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved July 29, 2020]. Original source.


O God who in your Son, Jesus Christ,
Fed a great crowd of people,
Make me grateful for the food I receive each day.
Keep me mindful of those who go without,
And supportive of those who help the hungry.

St Columba’s URC – Worship online on August 2nd at 10.30 a.m.

Continuing with the pattern of a Zoom service on the first Sunday of each month, we meet online for worship on Sunday August 2nd at 10.30 a.m.  This service, which includes communion, will be led by Trevor Jamison, with a reflection on the Bible readings from URC Northern Synod Moderator, Dave Herbert. A recording of the service will be available for those unable to make it on the day.

To join with the service online, when the time comes click here.

By telephone: 0131 460 1196
Meeting ID: 840 3791 6073         Password: 011762

Options for Worshipping at home on Sunday

Online           URC audio service (https://devotions.urc.org.uk/ )           10.00 a.m.

Radio            Radio 4          Sunday Worship                                          8.10 a.m.

Television      BBC1             Songs of Praise                                          1.15 p.m.

DISCLAIMER: TV and Radio schedules can change, so check the timings are correct!

Bible readings for Sunday

From the Revised Common Lectionary

“Loaves and Fishes” by John Swanson © 2003

Genesis 32:22-31                Jacob in a wrestling match with a mysterious stranger

Psalm 17:1-7, 15                  A prayer for deliverance
Click here to listen to a sung version of Psalm 17 

Romans 9:1-5                       Paul’s anguish about his own people

Matthew 14:13-21                Feeding more than five thousand people

Listen to “Break thou the bread of life … as thou didst break the loaves beside the sea”

You can read the Bible passages online at https://www.biblegateway.com/

Reflection on the Readings

“Struggling with faith”: how do you read that phrase? For you, is it about the struggles you have concerning faith, or is about the faith that enables you to keep up the struggle?          In the Genesis reading, Jacob wrestles or struggles with someone, but it’s not clear with whom. Perhaps it’s with a fellow human being, but they bring a message from God, so maybe it’s an angel. But then Jacob concludes he has seen (and struggled with) God face to face. This struggle leaves Jacob limping but also enables him to continue his journey. That’s how it is with us: sometimes circumstances cause our faith in God to struggle, but it’s that gift of faith from God that enables us to struggle on successfully through life.

For further reflections and prayers relating to the readings, including on sharing food, click here.

Information request about local conservation work

Are you to have you recently been involved in any local nature conservation activities e.g. local litter picks, beach cleans, RSPB or similar organisations? If so, please just let Trevor Jamison know (contact details below). This is part of the information-gathering being undertaken by our congregation’s Eco Church Group, and we would love to hear from you.

St Columba’s Coffee and Conversation – Saturdays at
10.00 a.m.

Join the conversation on the day by clicking here.
Meeting ID: 889 3371 5497, Password: 798702

To join by telephone, dial this local rate number: 0203 051 2874

For information or help, contact Mathew Hall: 07792782647 or

Online Prayer Gathering on Sundays at 6.30 p.m.

A thirty-minute opportunity for prayer together and hand it all to God, including learning a shared signed-response to some prayers.

For further information, contact Charlene Clark charleneclark@hotmail.co.uk

To join, when the time comes click here.
Meeting ID: 840 3791 6073 Password: 011762

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no online prayer gathering on Sunday 23rd August. Meetings will resume on 30th August

Bible Exploration Meetings

Bible exploration meetings are taking a break for August, returning in September.

Keeping in Touch

We will keep in touch with each other. Elders will have a list of members and friends to contact each week, both to provide information and to ensure that people are safe and well. You can contact your designated Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.

Minister: Reverend Trevor Jamison                 Church Secretary: Alison Drew
minister.northshieldsurc@gmail.com               [email protected].com
0191 290 1193         07896 899538                 0191 251 9774

Copyright © 2020 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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