Weekly Update #30: Sunday 11 October

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #30: Sunday 11th October 2020

From the Minister        Putting our trust in…

Nowadays, many people still recognise the phrase, “golden calf”. Fewer know that it comes from the biblical story of when Israelites ran out of trust in God, and God’s representative, Moses. Instead, they decided to put their trust in gods they could create for themselves. They pooled their resources to create a golden calf as the focus for worship, but it all ended in anger and tears. When the going has been rough for a while it’s natural for a people to look to themselves for solutions – old time religion, nostalgic memories of wartime victories, or world-beating technological fixes. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with calves, gold, history, or modern technology. Treating them as substitutes for God, though, rather than gifts from God, whose use should reflect the just and loving nature of their giver, is liable to lead to disappointment.


Photo: Heil, Fri. Dancing Around the Golden Calf, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved October 6, 2020]. Original source.


Gracious God, your mercies are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness!
Do not leave us to faithless wondering ways, but shepherd us,
So that we take right paths, and know your presence in difficult times. Amen.

Adapted from Psalms for All Seasons © 2012 Faith Alive Christian Resources


To be able attend to attend the 10.00 a.m. or 11.15 a.m. service, 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.

Please remember to follow the practices that keep you and others safe in worship.

And some special reminders:

  • if you have a cough or a sniffle, please don’t come to church that Sunday
  • wear your mask over both nose and mouth at all times when in the building

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 32:1-14                    Choosing to worship God or a golden calf

Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23          ‘They exchanged the glory of God for the image of an ox’
Listen to a sung version of this psalm reading 

Philippians 4:1-9                  A better way of being God’s people

Matthew 22:1-14                  A parable about wedding invitations

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

Reflection on the Readings

No doubt about it, Jesus’s parable about a wedding banquet is a strange one! It includes potential guests who murder those who deliver their invitations (we’ll take that as a “no”) and an affronted host who retaliates by killing not only the murderers, but also by burning down their entire city. That king doesn’t sound like God, as represented by Jesus Christ. You would hope that picturing religious folk as having no time for God was similarly surreal, but I’m less confident about that. Someone who invites everyone from the streets, both good and bad, to share in a meal (21:9, 10,) does sound a lot more Jesus / God-like. Hopefully we look more like people who are happy to share space with the good and bad, all at God’s banquet.

Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

Two distinctively different versions of the hymn, We Come as Guests Invited.
Which do you prefer?


  • The first is by the orchestra and choir of All Souls Church, Langham Place, London 
  • The second from Highland Baptist Church, Kitchener, Ontario

For a sermon from 2011 where Trevor Jamison preached about the parable of the wedding banquet, click here.

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

Join the conversation on the day by clicking here.
Meeting ID: 856 7731 5000   Password: 521432

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 – takes place on the last Sunday of the month

Our thirty-minute gathering to bring concerns to God in prayer.
Next gathering Sunday 25th October.

Bible Exploration Meeting – Thursday 15th October at 7.15 p.m.

Our final one-hour explorations and discussion on the psalms, led by Trevor
Jamison – this week, psalms of lament and complaint.

When the time comes, click here to join.
Meeting ID: 880 6038 4018  Passcode: 346166  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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