Weekly Update #37: Sunday 29 November

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #37: Sunday 29th November 2020

From the Minister                One candle burns…

Sunday 29th November is the first Sunday in Advent, as the picture of this year’s church Advent ring illustrates. “Advent” means “coming to”. It’s a time of preparation, of pondering Jesus coming to earth, both at his birth in Bethlehem and in his return at the end of this era. Traditionally, in the first week of Advent, the emphasis is more on Jesus’s “second coming”, and that’s reflected in this week’s Bible readings. We’re reminded that Christmas is not the story in itself, but part of the bigger story of God’s dealings with creation, in the past, the present, and also in our future.


Image: First Candle of Advent (photo by MH; Advent ring by NMc)

People Look East – a song for Advent

Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965), best known for penning the words of the poem/hymn, Morning Has Broken, also wrote, People look East, the time is near, for the crowning of the year. This Advent carol is sung to the French traditional carol tune, Besancon. Click here to listen.


Gracious God,
As the day of your redemption draws near,
Extend to me your saving mercy,
That my life may be filled with your grace
And my worship may show forth your praise;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From a prayer by C. N. R. Wallwork (altered)


Currently we are worshipping online every Sunday morning, at 10.30 a.m.

For this Sunday’s service, you can also have a candle at home
(or other light)

To join this Sunday’s morning service, which begins the Advent season
When the time comes, click here.
Telephone: 0131 460 1196     Meeting ID: 890 4012 0961      Passcode: 050949

Hymns this Sunday: O come, O come, Immanuel; Lo! He comes with clouds descending; Hark, the glad sound! The Saviour comes

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. To take part in the service:

When the time comes, click here.
Telephone: 0131 460 1196     Meeting ID: 886 0896 7582      Passcode: 975267

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                              Worship for Advent                         10.30 a.m.
Songs of Praise                              12.20 p.m.

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

Bible readings for Sunday

From the Revised Common Lectionary

Isaiah 64:1-9                         Good news that deliverance is on its way

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19             A prayer to God for restoration

1 Corinthians 1:3-9               Awaiting ‘the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ’

Mark 13:24-37                      ‘Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds’

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

Songs that respond to the readings

Listen to the Australian group, Sons of Korah, singing this version of Psalm 80 here.

Charles Wesley responded to Mark 13 with his Advent hymn, Lo! He comes with clouds descending, sung here by Richard Jensen here.

Reflection on the Readings

Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory’ (Mark 13:26) Asked what will signal the end of all things, Jesus replies, using an image from the Old Testament Book of Daniel (7:13) about someone coming with God’s judgment. It’s an unsettling image, but this figure comes to gather up ‘God’s elect’ and no limit on the numbers is mentioned. Attempts to calculate when this will happen and what form it will take are pointless for no one knows when that hour will come (13:32). What matters, says Jesus, is to maintain an attitude of expectation, which influences how we live in the here and now.

Image of clouds: cjohnson7 from Rochester, Minnesota, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

News and Notices

Brenda Beck  – We are sorry to share the news that Brenda Beck died on the 18th of November. Her funeral will take place at Tynemouth Crematorium on Monday 30th November at 12.45 p.m. The service will be conducted by Trevor Jamison.Christmas Greetings Booklet – Please let magazine editor, Catherine Collins, have all your contributions for the Christmas Greetings booklet by 30th November

Join In These Advent Activities

Advent Conversations – a series of three relaxed conversations, on Thursday evenings at 7.15 p.m., led by Trevor Jamison, on the themes that will addressed in worship the following Sundays

  • Thursday 3rd December      God’s Word (the prophet Isaiah)
  • Thursday 10th December    Our faith (John the Baptist)
  • Thursday 17th December    God’s love (Mary, the mother of Jesus)

To take part in any of the meetings, click on the Zoom link or follow the instruction for telephone


Telephone: 0131 460 1196                        Meeting ID: 860 7160 3960    Passcode: 684583

Northern Synod Advent Prayers – simple daily prayers, lasting approximately fifteen minutes, 9.00 a.m., Monday-Friday, led by members of congregations from around Northern Synod – come and join in with this large and growing group

When the time comes, click here to join.
Meeting ID: 982 5776 5048            Passcode: worship

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: 858 8119 4385      Passcode: 389653

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 5.15 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: 257406

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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