Weekly Update #200 – 28 April

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #200 – 28th April 2024
Hello again everyone, from John.

Well, that is a little milestone for us, 200 editions of the Weekly Update. Who would have thought that the initial idea to ensure contact and pass on information to those connected with church during that sudden panic lock-down period, would have continued this long. Indeed, as so often happens, the time has flown by so quickly, 4 years !
Talking about flying by, those of us who attended on Sunday evening had a flying-by event shortly before Charles Jolly started speaking. A pigeon flew in through the front doors and up into the balcony area. It was travelling at some speed so perhaps it was being chased? It must have got a shock because it stayed very quiet while we were in the church, thankfully! After we had a Q&A session and adjourned into the hall, Louise volunteered to try and apprehend it so it could be put outside again. She discovered that it had a damaged beak, perhaps it had injured itself flying in and landing, or perhaps it had been fighting. Enough to say, it was decided to leave it in peace, let it calm down and see if the RSPCA would rescue it later. That is as far as I can tell you at present.
So, when you arrive on Sunday morning, we hope that it will have been recovered and set free or taken safely to be nursed back to health, however, I must warn you that it might not be and it may have left ‘messages’ saying ‘Let me out’, or ‘Where is some food and drink?’ So please be careful. Obviously, any ‘messages’ found will be cleaned up as best as possible beforehand.
Despite the distraction, Charles talked to us about A Rocha UK, the Climate Change movement, how nature has been, and is being, affected. He also made the point that just because the minority are concerned and active, it should not give up. Every little bit of effort to save our planet is vital and makes a difference. So thank you, the Eco-team, for arranging this event and please continue in your efforts to educate and persuade the rest of us. Hopefully, the rest of CTNS are organized in their own churches.

(Photo by notperfectpic 233323 through Pixabay)


Lord, during this time of Easter as we ponder on the message of that weekend, help us love and protect the environment around us. Not just the air, grass and plants we see but also each other, other people, animals and birds. Help us to appreciate what people do for us, individually and collectively as a church. All done because of love. Amen

Worship Sunday 28th April   5th Sunday in Easter

10.30 a.m.     Led by Trevor Jamison.  The service will be followed by our 2024 AGM, see below.
6.30 p.m.       Led by Mrs Lucy Cooke, Synod Learning and Development Officer.

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 5th May

10.30am     Led by Trevor Jamison. This service will be followed by a meeting in the hall when we continue to investigate and discuss our ‘Church Growth’ project. Cake will be provided to sustain our deliberations.

Bible readings                     Fifth Sunday of Easter

Acts 8: 26–40   Philip leads the Ethiopian eunuch through the scriptures to Christ and baptism.
Psalm 118: 19–25   Give thanks for our cornerstone, our Lord and our salvation. Rejoice and be glad.
1John 4: 7–21   This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
St. John 15: 9–17   Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. My command is this: love one another as I have loved you.

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

Reflection on the Readings
We are now at the 5th Sunday of Easter so our thoughts remain on the message of Easter and the subsequent events. The reading from Acts demonstrates how God’s message was not confined to the Israelites and also demonstrates the simple method of sharing the Good News and bringing people to Christ. There were no complicated rituals before the Ethiopian could be baptised, a simple teaching about the word of God and the love shown through Christ’s death and resurrection. The Ethiopian was searching for the Way, he needed guidance. He was shown God’s love in action and realized his quest was over. People tell us that there are many people like him out there in the world. Young and old, of all different nationalities and backgrounds. People who try drugs and alcohol, and other ways of finding meaning and satisfaction in their lives, they need to find the God who loves them. We know how He loves us, the passages from John’s writings tell us how much he loves mankind. ‘This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins’. These readings are so full of LOVE how can anyone turn away from it? And yet love is one of the hardest emotions to express and share with other people, why, for fear of rejection! In verse 18 of his letter, John writes ‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment’.
Rejection is a cruel punishment. It is casting out, driving away of a soul when God is love, total and perfect love. How can a loving Christian reject anyone and how can a loving Christian feel rejected when they know how much God loves them?
Why do people not come to a church, one reason is for fear of rejection by those already there.
In his Gospel, John recalls Christ’s words to his disciples ‘You did not choose me but I chose you……. This is my command: love each other’.
Meeting with and sharing His love with others will enable them to, as the Psalmist wrote, ‘Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord’.
As we review the work and happenings of our church since our last AGM and we continue to look at our ‘Church Growth’ project, may we do so in the love of God, following Christ’s command, and as the Psalmist says in verse 25, ‘Lord, grant us success!’

A hymn that responds to the readings

A hymn to go with this reflection, there are so many to choose from. Today I choose: – ‘Come let us sing of a wonderful love, tender and true; out of the heart of the Father above,’  click here

News and Notices

After today’s morning worship, we hold our AGM when we receive reports from the various parts of our church and elect officers and representatives for the coming year. Full details were issued last week.

News of members
We have received news that Alex Gosling died on 29th March in Dunedin, New Zealand.
He was a member at St Columba’s but returned to New Zealand about 25 years ago.

We have also heard that Olive Malcolm passed away on Sunday.  We are sad to have lost her and grieve with the family but we give thanks that she has found peace and rest with our Lord. Further information in due course.

Church Key Fobs last warning!
We are reviewing the key fobs used for access to the church building, and plan to deactivate them all on 1st May, apart from the ones that are confirmed as still being needed.
If you have one and still need it, please contact John Drew at Church or on 0191 251 9774 and let him know the reason and the times when you need access.  Please return any fobs no longer needed.

15th June at Bishop Auckland – Faithful Flourishing: a Northern Synod festival of faith, fellowship and fun!

People from churches around Northern Synod are invited to take part in this festival, which gives participants free access to all of the venues at The Auckland Project as well as workshops on faith conversations, music, poetry and prayer – plus a packed lunch.
We are hiring a bus to take participants from St Columba’s and St Andrew’s URC, Monkseaton.
You can find more information about the event by clicking here.
Contact Mathew to book your place, there are only 3 places left!
Closing date for booking for the coach is Sunday 28th April 2024, this Sunday!!
Once the coach is full you can make your own way there by booking directly with Lucy Cooke. (lucy.cooke@urc-northernsynod.org or phone 07752 385197)

Next Update – Sunday 5th May.

Trevor will edit the next Update. To get your information in for that date please have it with him by Tuesday 30th April.

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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