Weekly Update #27: Sunday 20 September

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #27: Sunday 20th September 2020

From the Minister         What Sustains You on Your Journey

Granted, fleeing a country overnight and setting out on a long march through desert terrain cannot have been easy, as the Israelites escaping slavery in Egypt found out, in the Book of Exodus. Picture marching through a desert and you tend to think about thirst, but food is just as important as water because you need the calorific fuel to enable you to keep marching. I wonder, what has kept you going in the “wilderness” of recent months? For me, it has been such things as reading (including the Bible), work, exercise, nature, the telephone, and the internet, including Zoom and BBC i-Player. What about you? Do share that with others and listen to what they have to share with you.


“Bread of heaven, bread of heaven, feed till I want no more …” to listen to a hymn inspired by this episode in Exodus, click here.

Image: Photo by Alexandra Kikot on Unsplash


Gracious God, thank you for your gifts that sustain on life’s journey;
For food and drink,
Other people, and the means to communicate;
For the gift of yourself in Jesus Christ, and your presence with me on the way.


There are two Sunday services in our building, one at 10.00 a.m. and one at one at 11.15 a.m., each lasting for approximately thirty minutes.To be able to attend you must contact Alison Drew between Monday morning and midday on the Friday in the week before the service.  (Contact details below.)

To receive an audio copy on CD contact Mathew Hall: 07792782647 or mathew.hall@stcolumbas-urc.org.uk.

You can read this Sunday’s sermon from Trevor Jamison here.

Worship in the church buildings – WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO STAY SAFE

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Additional Covid restrictions in the North-East are being introduced by the government. At the moment, we do not think these prevent us worshipping in the church, following our current practices. They may restrict after-service conversation. Please check the church website or Facebook page for current information before coming to the service.

When coming to worship in our building, we must adhere to the measures we have put in place for your safety and the safety of others. So, whilst normally, as a church, we are reluctant to instruct people what to do, in the current situation …

  • you must have your mouth and nose covered at all times with a mask or equivalent (which is also a legal requirement)
  • you must follow the directions of the stewards
  • we fill chairs from the front to avoid people crossing paths (so we can’t pick and choose where to sit)
  • you remain in your seat for the whole service, placing nothing on the floor
  • after the service, cross the road into the square or into Norfolk street before stopping for conversation, otherwise people cannot exit the building safely

Additional volunteers needed for supporting current church life

We are looking for additional volunteers from the congregation, from friends associated with it, or people known to us, to support three areas of church life which are very important at this time.

1. Weekly Update – someone to help with putting material for Weekly Update into its electronic format (using an existing template) and publishing it using our mailing list

2. Zoom meetings – another person who is willing to “host” online meetings on Zoom in addition to the two people already doing so (a surprisingly easy process)

3. Recording and editing videos of worship – so that those not in the building for our services can also participate (would need some knowledge of video editing software or willingness to learn to use it)

You would receive necessary training and ongoing support. To express an interest, find out more, or suggest a name, please contact Trevor Jamison or Mathew Hall.

Church Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 30th
September at 7.15 p.m.

The church AGM will take place on Wednesday 30th using Zoom

Phone: 0131 460 1196       Meeting ID: 821 1317 9302          Passcode: 283558

This includes election of Elders, for which members must vote in advance. A ballot paper, to be returned at church by 27th September, or posted to arrive by 28th September can be found here.

Other papers for the meeting can be found below:

Other 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
Exodus 16:2-15                    Bread from heaven for a nation of grumblers
Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45          Giving thanks to God, giver of good things
Philippians 1:21-30              Living life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ
Matthew 20:1-16                  Why be envious because God is generous?
You can read the Bible passages online at https://www.biblegateway.com/

Reflection on the Readings

Lots of complaining goes on in today’s readings. Israelites complain about the food. Vineyard workers complain about their wages. (Today, those who have kept to government “guidelines”, but still face a potential second lockdown, may feel the same.) Faced with different situations, Israelites and fictional vineyard workers both concentrate on the negative – loss of safety rather than grant of freedom, others working less yet receiving the same. Perhaps if they had started from the positive, that God was giving them enough bread for today, they (and God) would have been happier

Caspel, Johann Georg van, 1870-1928. Vineyard, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved September 15, 2020]. Original source

If you want to know what Trevor Jamison made of this Gospel reading in a sermon from 2009, you can read that here.

Church Magazine Editors want your contributions!

Plans are underway for the return of our church magazine. The emphasis will be on news stories from the life of people associated with the congregation. We hope to publish the first issue in mid-October. At this time, our editors, Valerie and Catherine, would particularly welcome stories about what has helped you keep going during recent months. These can range from a short sentence up to a maximum of 300 words, and should be sent to [email protected]
or [email protected].uk by Monday 28th September.

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

Join the conversation on the day by clicking here.
Meeting ID: 832 5847 8988   Password: 265346

To join by telephone, dial this local rate number: 0131 460 1196

Don’t forget, you’re allowed to invite friends along to take part in the conversation!

Online Prayer Gathering – last Sunday of the month
at 6.30 p.m.

Next gathering September 27th.

Bible Exploration Meetings

Returning soon!

Keeping in Touch – Your contact details

If your contact details (address, telephone or email) change please make sure to inform our Church Secretary Alison Drew.

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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