Weekly Update #28: Sunday 27 September

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

Weekly Update #28: Sunday 27th September 2020

From the Minister         First the blade, and then the ear…

“First the blade, and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear …” (Henry Alford (1810-1871) It’s Harvest Sunday at St Columba’s, but not as we have known it. Like many aspects of our church life, and life in general, government regulation and advice affects what we can and can’t do, and that changes from week to week – last week, “everyone back to the office”, this week, “everyone try to work at home (again)”. Even in the midst of such upheaval some God-given, essential processes continue, such as the growth processes that provide a harvest that feeds the human population of the world. In this case, even in the midst of lament for all that’s being lost, it’s still true that “all the world is God’s own field”; a good reason for also being thankful at harvest time.


To listen to three traditional harvest hymns, including “Come, ye Thankful People, Come”, by Henry Alford, click here.

Image: Wheat Field, Eugene, United States, by Melissa Askew – Unsplash


Praise God from whom all blessing flow;
Praise God all creatures here below;
Praise God, the Trinity of love,
Before, beneath, around, above.

Harvest Collection 2020

This year you are invited to make a cash donation to NiteBite.  This will be used to purchase such items as tins of soup, beans, meat, potatoes, custard, fruit, rice pudding, and cup-a-soup are, as well as cereal and biscuits. Either bring your cash gift to the church, leaving it in the vestibule as you enter the building, Alternatively, contact Helen Saunders, who is willing to collect gifts of food items from you: telephone 0191 258 5488 or email [email protected]


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

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, exit the building as directed, remembering current government advice concerning not socialising in any public setting

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
When the time comes, click here to join.

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
Genesis 8:15-22                   God’s promise about ‘seedtime and harvest’
Psalm 65                               God’s bountiful ongoing care for the earth
Matthew 13:24-33                 A harvest parable from Jesus
You can read the Bible passages online at https://www.biblegateway.com/

Reflection on the Readings

Traditionally, three aspects of “harvest” are celebrated by churches – God’s gift of food itself; the just sharing of harvest among the peoples of the world; and God’s harvest of souls at the end of time. Jesus’s parable about the wheat and tares emphasises the last of these three. I wonder how many people who sing (when permitted) the hymn, Come, Ye Thankful People, Come, pay close attention to the words: ‘Even so, Lord, quickly come … gather thou thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin.’ In Jesus’s parable, the landowner is concerned to leave it as long as possible before weeding out occurs, so as to ensure that everything (everyone) gets the chance to flourish and live.

Parable of the Sower, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.  [retrieved September 21, 2020]. Original Source – Fikos

Click here to listen to an interesting solo version of , “Come ye Thankful People, Come”, a hymn which closely follows the themes of the Matthew 13 reading.

Operation Christmas Child – your opportunity to fill a shoebox

Shirley McKay has ordered fifty Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for anyone who would like to fill a box for a child. Either collect the box and return it to Shirley’s home, or Shirley will deliver to and collect from you. Boxes cost fifty pence and contain a list of suggested items: 0191 257 4687 or  [email protected]
Alternatively, make a donation and Shirley will fill the box for you, or you can fill a shoebox online https://shoeboxonline.samaritans-purse.org.uk/

Church Magazine Editors still want your contributions!

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: 811 0136 1519   Password: 179531

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 – Sunday 27th September
at 6.30 p.m.

Our thirty-minute gathering to bring concerns to God in prayer.

When the time comes, click here to join.
Meeting ID: 815 1265 9072    Passcode: 799047    Telephone: 0131 460 1196

Bible Exploration Meetings – Thursday 1st October at 7.15 p.m.

A one-hour exploration and discussion on a biblical theme, led by Trevor Jamison

When the time comes, click here to join.
Meeting ID: 851 5453 2116  Passcode: 671368  Telephone: 0131 460 1196

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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