Weekly Update #39: Sunday 13 December

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #39: Sunday 13th December 2020

From the Minister                Three Advent candles burning…

A ministerial colleague of mine used to be part of a team that wrote and published support material for worship leaders. He gave up doing so, however, because, due to publishing schedules, he had to think and write about Christmas in June, and about Easter in November. It all felt out of focus. John the Baptist, according to a traditional Christmas reading, ‘came as a witness to testify to the light … He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.’ (John 1:7, 8) Our cultural Christmas season is full of all sorts of good things, many of which I intend to enjoy, but John reminds me to keep my focus on Jesus at Christmas: ‘The true light which enlightens everyone was coming into the world.’ (1:9)



Thank you, God,
for food and drink, for carols and gifts;
for all good things at Christmas time.
Thank you, above all,
For lighting up with the world
Through the coming of your Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ.

A song for Advent

A haunting modern take on an ancient Advent hymn
Click here to listen.

On the First Day of Christmas Covid Gave to me…

Some musical fun, with a hopeful Christian Christmas message attached

Sunday morning worship in the building

To be able attend to attend the 10.00 a.m. or 11.15 a.m. service, contact Alison Drew between Thursday morning and midday on the Saturday before the service.  (Contact details below.)

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

And some special reminders:

  • your safety and that of others comes first – you are not obliged to attend
  • 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

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

Hymns for this Sunday morning:
On Jordan’s bank, the Baptist’s cry 
Hail to the Lord’s Anointed!

St Columba’s Zoom Nativity Service – Sunday December 20th 5.00 p.m.

Everyone’s invited to our all-age, interactive nativity service on Zoom. To make the service as interactive as possible you are encouraged to ….

  • come dressed as a nativity character of your choice
  • create a prayer space near your screen, perhaps with a nativity set or beside your Christmas tree.
  • bring a candle, or string of lights and a bell / bells of any kind.
  • Bring drawing implements or model making toys, like Lego or playdough, to draw or model the story as we – then take a picture to share on the church Facebook page
  • Make a Christingle on the night (which requires an orange (with a small cross carved in the top), a red ribbon and pin or a piece of red tape, 4 cocktail sticks, a small candle, a small square of tin foil and some small sweets like dolly mixtures or fruits like raisins)

And all in thirty minutes! And please forward this invitation to your friends both near and far!

To join in, register at nativity@stcolumbas-urc.org.uk and Zoom codes will then be sent to you.

Image : Nativity Scene 2020 (photo by MH)

St Columba’s Carol Service to screen on Christmas Eve at 6.30 p.m.

Join our annual carol service, this year filmed at the church in its usual candlelit setting. It will be led by the Reverend Trevor Jamison, with a mixture of carols on video, and live music, played by our organist. Readings and prayers come from members of the congregation. Simply follow the link to join via YouTube a few minutes before 6.30 p.m. (Please note that the link will not work until the 24 December).

St Columba’s URC Christmas Collection for Pearey House, North Shields

Each year, at our Christmas Eve carol service, we take up a collection for a local charity. This year we are having a collection for Pearey House, a locally based charity for blind and visually impaired adults in North Tyneside. At morning services at the church on the 13th and 20th of December there will be a separate collection plate available for donations. Alternatively, you can donate online via the charity’s webpage or send a cheque to Pearey House, Preston Park, North Shields, NE29 9JR, letting them know it is part of this appeal.

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                         11.30 a.m.
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
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11                Good news for the oppressed and the captives
Psalm 126                             A harvest of joy
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24      ‘Don’t despise the words of the prophets, but …’
John 1:6-8, 19-28                 ‘A man sent from God whose name was John’

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

Songs that respond to the readings

Psalm 126 (All those who are weeping)

On Jordan’s bank, the Baptist’s cry … again (see above for Sunday’s hymns), this time, to the tune, Moville, sung by New Scottish Hymns Band

Reflection on the Readings

‘The LORD has anointed me … to bring good news to the oppressed.’ (Isaiah 61:1) This comes from a familiar passage from the Book of Isaiah. We hear it often near Christmas time, and it seems it was a favourite of Jesus because he chose to read it out loud in the synagogue and apply it to himself. (Luke 4:16-21) Doing so got Jesus into trouble. Asking people to take it seriously at Christmas time might get you into trouble: helping the oppressed, the broken-hearted, the captives and prisoners (61:1-2); suggesting Christmas is about loving justice and hating wrongdoing (61:8). But if Christmas is about Jesus, and Jesus said this was what he was about …

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: 829 0083 6940      (No Passcode)

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

Mathew Hall is hosting this week.

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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