Weekly Update #31: Sunday 18 October

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #31: Sunday 18th October 2020

From the Minister        To Thessaloniki, with love…

ln 2018, whilst on sabbatical, and guided by our good Greek friend, Maria, Sue and I visited Thessaloniki. It’s Greece’s second city (and like many great cities, it’s located in the North east of its country). Drive around the city’s ring road and you will be directed to locations in Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey, as well as to Greek destinations. When Saint Paul wrote his first letter to the congregation, he reminisced about his arrival there (from Asia), and commented that now their faith was known right across the region. Even in ancient times the gospel could spread far, and quickly. Paul made use of ships, roads, and letters to share his message. We have these, plus, among other things, aircraft and internet to do the same in our own time.


Image: “Apostle Paul Street”, Thessaloniki, 2018


Thank you, God, that you are never without witnesses,
Ready to hear and willing to speak.
In the clamour of competing voices,
Thank you that your good news can still be heard today.

Inspired by a prayer by Stephen Brown (1957-2016)


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.


ALL THE SAINTS! Join us on Zoom to celebrate All Saints Day, to induct new Elders into office, and to share in communion. The service will be led by our minister, the Reverend Trevor Jamison.

To join, click here when the time comes.
By phone: 131 460 1196    Meeting ID: 838 7865 9168 Passcode: 410179

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 33:12-23                  Moses sees the glory of God (sort of)

Psalm 99                              Praising the awesome God Moses knew
To listen to Jason Silver’s version of Psalm 99, click here.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10       How the gospel came to Thessaloniki

Matthew 22:15-22                To pay taxes to the Roman emperor, or not
You can read Trevor Jamison’s Sunday sermon on this reading here

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

Reflection on the Readings

And God said to Moses, ‘While my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft in the rock,  and I will cover you … until I have passed by’ (Exodus 33:22) Back in the 1980s a book was published with the title, Jesus is Your Best Mate. I wanted to say both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to the that. Yes, in Jesus, God comes close to me, and is my friend. Yet at the same time God is more than that. Another book title, this time from the 1950s, Your God is Too Small, chimes well with this Exodus reading, featuring the reasonable fear of people, confronted by an entity powerful enough to make and remake the universe. This God is too powerful for humans to look upon and live, yet also caring enough, loving enough, to take the time to shelter Moses, a fragile human individual; just the sort of thing a matey, Jesus-like God would do.

Click here to listen to the Antrim Mennonite Choir (that’s Antrim, Ohio, USA, not Antrim, Northern Ireland!) sing the traditional hymn, “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me”. 

17-31 OCTOBER 2020

Northern Synod is running a fortnight of online events. This includes the Autumn Synod Meeting, plus a whole series of events offering practical resources, topics to explore, discussion groups, and social activities, such as a quiz, a scavenger hunt, and a concert. There’s even a photography competition to enter. To see the programme and find out how to take part, go to this link.

St Columba’s Coffee and Conversation –
Resumes on 24th October

No meetings on 17th or 31st October – Resumes on 24th October

Join the conversation on the 24th by clicking here.
Meeting ID: 867 4768 9957   Password: 260894

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 25th October at 6.30p.m.

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

To take part online, click here.
Meeting ID: 839 3117 3225   Password: 413968

Mark’s Gospel in an Hour! – Thursday 5th November at 7.15 p.m.

Travel through Mark’s Gospel in one hour in the company of our minister, Trevor Jamison. Who was Mark? Why did he write about ‘the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God’? What’s special about the way Mark wrote about Jesus? Trevor will cover these and other questions in his talk, with additional time for questions and discussion.

When the time comes, click here to join.
Meeting ID: 812 0199 6330  Passcode: 063418  Telephone: 0131 460 1196

Image: Winged Lion symbol of Mark’s Gospel – National Library of Wales

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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