Weekly Update #209 – 30 June

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update # 209 – 30th June 2024
From the Minister                How to Vote in This Election

I’ll tell you now how I am going to vote in the election which is due to take place on July 4th. I’m going to vote in a secret ballot! A couple of hundred years ago, presuming you had the right to vote, you did so in public, declaring your choice. Your landlord or your employer might be one of the candidates and they could be watching and listening as you made your choice. I prefer and value a secret ballot, but that doesn’t guide me in my voting choice. The Evangelical Alliance has published a survey of voting habits and intentions among British evangelicals. https://www.eauk.org/general-election/thinking-faithfully-about-politics The things that matter to them do not map easily unto the policies of any one of the major political parties. Perhaps you recognise that as applying to yourself. One notable finding from that report, though, was that those believers who were surveyed thought it important to take into account the needs of others, not just themselves, when deciding for whom to vote. That seems like a good approach to me: vote with the needs of others in mind, as well as yourself.                     

Image: Resizia at Wiki Commons



Gracious God, in this election period, we acknowledge the importance of discerning Your will amidst the noise and confusion of political discourse. In the midst of political debates and competing ideologies, grant us the gift of humility. Help us to listen with open hearts and minds to those whose opinions differ from our own. Grant us childlike curiosity to see beyond our own perspectives and to seek the common good above our individual interests. Help us discern the values that honour Your kingdom and guide us in making decisions that reflect Your justice and compassion. Amen.
                                    From the Joint Public Issues team jpit.uk/elections

Worship    Sunday 30th June

10.30 a.m.      A service led by the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison, one Sunday before a General Election
6.30 p.m.       A service led by the Revd Dr David Whiting, retired URC minister from Sunderland

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 7th July

10.30 a.m.     A service led by the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison

Bible readings

Lamentations 3:22-33         God ‘does not willingly afflict or aggrieve anyone’
Psalm 30                             ‘I cried to you for help, and you have healed me’
2 Corinthians 8:7-15           Jesus, who was rich, but for our sakes became poor
Mark 5:21-43                       Jesus heals both child and adult

Reflection on the Readings
Do you like sandwiches? Mark the Gospel writer likes them – story sandwiches. He takes two events in the life of Jesus and places one inside the other so as to reveal deeper significance for both, and we have an example of that in this week’s reading. Jesus is approached by a synagogue leader named Jairus with a request to heal his (unnamed) daughter who is gravely ill (5:22-23). Jesus sets out with Jairus and the crowd. But then things are put on hold. A woman (also unnamed) who has been ‘suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years’ (5:25), which is as long as the child has been alive (5:42) attempts to touch Jesus secretly and so be healed. (5:28) She is healed, but has to have a public conversation with Jesus first, where he commends her faith. (5:34) Then the journey to the younger woman recommences. Arriving at a house full of mourners, Jesus revives or resuscitates the girl to general amazement. (5:42) So whether you make the request or someone else does on your behalf; whether you are younger or older; whether you are regarded as socially respectable or a bit of an outcast, be your request is public or secret, Jesus is ready to heal you.
Image: “Just a Touch” by Cara B. Hochhalter The artist has granted permission for the non-commercial use of this image.

A hymn that responds to the readings

‘We cannot measure how you heal or answer every sufferer’s prayer, yet we believe your grace responds where faith and doubt unite to care.’ A hymn by John Bell and Graham Maule click here

News and Notices

Church Magazine – deadline for contributions
Last call for articles and contributions for “Square Magazine” which is a double issue July/August.  Please let Valerie H have any items by 28th/29th June.

Fundraising Event for Fishermen’s Mission
Fishermen’s Mission Fundraiser evening – fish and chip supper, art auction and music on Saturday 20th July, 4-6pm at the Christ Church Parish Centre, tickets £15 available from PeterDade@fishermensmission.org.uk

Coming Soon – Summer Bible Study Series on 1 John
Make a note in your diary now. Louise Sanders and Trevor Jamison will be leading a five-session, conversational Bible Study on 1 John during July and August: Monday afternoons at St Andrew’s, Monkseaton, and Monday evenings on Zoom, from 22nd July; Thursday evenings at St Columba’s from July 25th. This is open to all in the churches and anyone they wish to being along. You can find more details here.
Next Update – Sunday 7th July

Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. Please get your information to him by Tuesday 2nd July.

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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