Weekly Update #36: Sunday 22 November

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #36: Sunday 22nd November 2020

Hello from John

Our hard-working Trevor is having a week off this week. Whilst we may be in lockdown and required to stay at home, I hope that he has managed to have some quality time together with Sue as he relaxes and perhaps reduces the pressures of ministry at this time. He will be back on Sunday to lead worship with us.

As I write this the day is dull, cold and damp, a typical late autumn day. But I am reminded that in just a few weeks the days will become longer again. There are things to look forward to, Christmas, spring-time and new growth will be around us, a Covid vaccine may be available, restrictions may be reduced, safely this time, Easter and the associated celebrations may actually happen in 2021, wonderful!! Perhaps we will be back in Church again soon and even able to praise God vocally, fantastic!! Just as the seasons come and go, life continues, and no matter what comings and goings there are in politics, in the UK or abroad, we know that God is constant and his Light will overcome the Darkness around us. Alleluia.!!



Lord, at this time of year it is so easy to become depressed by the weather outside, even more so as we go through these restricted days. Give us more strength of faith and love that we may still find time to share with our friends and fellowship, to talk about how we are and what we look forward to with anticipation. Don’t let us forget those who are less able than us to cope with these days and to keep them in our prayers asking You for Your grace and mercy to sustain them. Perhaps we may be able to help them ourselves as well.



Following the announcement of a lockdown for England from November 5th to December 2nd, we have closed the church building for worship and other activities.

We will now offer worship online every Sunday morning, at 10.30 a.m.
See below for details on how to join in with this week’s service.

To join this Sunday’s morning service, online or by phone
When the time comes, click here.
Telephone: 0131 460 1196     Meeting ID: 890 4012 0961      Passcode: 050949

Hymns this Sunday: All creatures of our God and King; At the Name of Jesus; Rejoice the Lord is King.

To receive paper copies of orders of service please contact Trevor Jamison

Also, we will continue to worship online at 6.30 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month. All of these services include holy communion. The next evening service, on December 6th , will include remembering those associated with this congregation who have died during the previous year.

Other options for worshipping at home on Sunday

Online           URC audio service (https://devotions.urc.org.uk/ )                10.00 a.m.
Yourchurch Zoom service (Join – Password: YourChurch)    6.30 p.m.Radio            Radio Newcastle             Sunday Worship                              8.00 a.m.
Radio 4                           Sunday Worship                              8.10 a.m.

Television      BBC1                              Songs of Praise                               1.15 p.m.
 (Young Chorister of the Year)

DISCLAIMER: TV and Radio schedules can change, so check the timings are correct!

Bible readings for Sunday

From the Revised Common Lectionary

Ezekiel 34:11-16;20-24   God will look after His sheep and place David over them.

Psalm 95:1-7a  Come let us give praise and worship to our God, we are his flock.

Ephesians 1:15-23  Paul gives thanks for them and prays they will know God’s power which raised up Christ to God’s right hand, with everything under His feet.

St Matthew 25:31-46 The parable of the Sheep and the Goats

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

….and can listen to a version of Psalm 95, all of it, here and try to share the enactment of the Matthew 25 reading here.

Reflection on the Readings

I wonder what experience we have of sheep and goats? Having lived in an agricultural environment, I have witnessed how apparently stupid sheep are and how belligerent goats can be. Seeing TV programmes of ‘open farmyards’ and zoos does not give the full story. Sheep will do their own thing unless they are led, they are very able to get into trouble, but are very good at following the one in front, be it another sheep or a human. Goats are very inquisitive, and extremely agile. Unlike sheep they do not graze in herds but tend to go off and browse for food, anything they can find often. In our readings we are told categorically in Ezekiel and Psalm 95 that we are God’s flock. Note the use of the word ‘flock’ not ‘herd’. Matthew says how Jesus places the sheep at his right hand, as Christ is seated at the right hand of God in Paul’s letter. As sheep we need to be led from the front, not herded from behind like goats, we can trust our shepherd to lead us safely through good and bad times. As goats we tend to be wilful, and independent.

Which do we want to be, sheep or goat? It is easy to see the temptations to be a goat but the benefits of being in Christ’s flock are overwhelming are they not?

A Few Notices

This is the ‘Last Call’ for anyone wishing to obtain a catalogue from Peter Matthew, to whom orders can be sent and who will distribute the goods on arrival. It is intended to submit an order on 23rd November in the hope that all orders can be fulfilled before the end of November

Telephone 257 7498 or e-mail [email protected]

From our Magazine Editor, Catherine, please let her have all your contributions for the Christmas Greetings booklet by 30th November

Church Meeting will be held on 25th November at 7.15pm via Zoom.
Our first Ordinary Meeting since January so please join in if you are able.
Useful documents:       Agenda          Minutes of Last Meeting (omitted from the online version)

To join, click here when the time comes.
Telephone: 0131 460 1196     Meeting ID: 824 4880 1922     Password: 999685

Advent Exploration will be held next week, 26th November
These meetings usually start at 7.15pm and last about an hour, led by Trevor.

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

Meet friends for conversation and company

To join, click here when the time comes.
Telephone: 0131 460 1196     Meeting ID: 834 0558 7065      Passcode: 194969

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

Mathew Hall is hosting this week.

Online Prayer Gathering – Sunday 29th November
at 6.30 p.m.

Our thirty-minute gathering to bring concerns to God in prayer will take place next Sunday 29th November.

To join, click here when the time comes.
Telephone: 0131 460 1196     Meeting ID: 893 6147 2858      Passcode: 194969

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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