30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #47: Sunday 21st February 2021
From the Minister Promises, promises …
On Monday 15th February the Westminster government announced it had made good on its promise to offer a jab to everyone in the top four priority groups in the UK. Congratulations to all who made that possible. Those in government must relieved to have delivered on a Covid-related promise, given that their recent record on Covid promise-keeping had been less than perfect. So now they are under pressure to make more promises, about the timing of relaxing restrictions! Today’s Bible readings (see below) include a well-known one about God’s promise not to destroy the earth, whatever life’s ups and downs. Whatever my uncertainties about what happens next, or how long current troubles will endure, God’s intention is not for my destruction, others’ destruction, or the destruction of the world. It’s for our flourishing and fulfilment, and I find that rather comforting.
God is the Friend of Silence by Paul Zach. Inspired by a comment from Mother Teresa: ‘We need to find God and God cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence.
To listen Click Here
‘Create in me a clean heart, O God’ (Psalm 51:10) begins this beautiful song from The Acappella Company.
To listen Click Here
Television BBC1 NEW: Sunday Worship for Lent 11.00 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 this week:
Genesis 9:8-17 The rainbow as a sign of …
Psalm 25:1-10 God as our trustworthy guide through life
1 Peter 3:18-22 The righteous one who suffered for the sake of the unrighteous
Mark 1:9-15 Baptised in the Jordan, tempted in the wilderness
Reflection on all the Readings God’s covenant with …?
People who have heard the stories associated with Noah (Genesis 6-10) are most likely to remember three things – a flood, an ark full of animals, and a rainbow in the sky. The latter is the sign of God’s covenant commitment to no more earth-destroying floods. Any covenant, contract, or agreement requires two parties. This one is widely known as the covenant between God and Noah, but that’s a bit misleading. ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I made between me and you [Noah] and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations.’ (Genesis 9:12) God’s promises are made not only to Noah (humankind) but to all living creatures. So loving what God loves includes not only our human neighbours but all other creatures, and the planet (including its rainbows) whose God-given ecological system sustains us all.
We are sorry to inform you of the death of our fellow church member, Anne Nathan. Anne’s funeral will take place on Monday 1st March at 12.00 p.m. at Tynemouth Crematorium. The service will be conducted by the Reverend Trevor Jamison.
Car crash at Church
Mathew Hall had a narrow escape on 10th February. As he exited the church, after completing a building’s safety check, a car coming round the corner in Northumberland Square skidded on the ice, ploughing into the railings. Thankfully Mathew only has some bruises. The church is now minus a couple of sections of railing, and our (new!) freestanding notice board has taken on a list. All that can be fixed, however, and is minor in comparison to what might have been.
Lent Discussion Group Opportunities
There’s a choice of online Lent discussion groups this year. Feel free to join the one(s) that speak to you.
Saint Columba’s URC Palms and Passion: Arriving in the City, Going to the Cross
Thursdays at 7.15 p.m., from this Thursday, February 18th – FOUR sessions, led by Trevor Jamison, following the story as it’s told in Mark’s Gospel. In week 1 we talk about Jesus entering Jerusalem and overturing tables in the temple.
Churches Together in North Shields Jesus: Love in Action
Mondays at 1.30 p.m. or Wednesdays at 7.30 p.m., from 22nd and 24th February – FIVE SESSIONS, using readings from Marks’ Gospel, seeking clues to how disciples of Jesus might contribute to a nation’s recovery from Covid 19.
URC Northern Synod Holy Habits: Following Jesus
Wednesdays at 7.00 p.m., from February 24th– SIX sessions, using Andrew Roberts’ book, Holy Habits in Lent: The Life and Passion of Jesus. For details and to book a place, contact Jane Rowell Tel: 07716 637584.
Our AGM in April, which will include the election of Elders. If you feel service as an Elder is something God might be calling you to do, please talk to Alison Drew. You may nominate someone for election, but must have their permission to do so. Closing date for nominations: Monday 22nd March – names to Alison Drew.
St Columba’s Coffee and Conversation
on Saturdays at 10.00 a.m.
Meet friends for conversation and company, online or by phone.