30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #50: Sunday 14th March 2021 (Fourth Sunday of Lent)
From the Minister Fifty Updates And Still Going
My first thought was that I would illustrate this item with the first image ever to appear in our church’s Weekly Update. That turned out to be a photograph of me that had been deemed suitable (by someone else) to illustrate the ‘From the Minister’ article. I decided to spare you that. It’s astonishing to think that fifty editions of Weekly Update have been written, edited, and distributed, by email, by post, and by hand. Whilst never suggesting that Covid-19 has been a ‘good thing’, some good things have emerged as we have been forced to respond to it. One of these has been renewed, regular links between the church and its members, which is something that we won’t want to lose as things return to ‘normal’.
Television BBC1 Sunday Worship for Lent 11.15 a.m. BBC1 Songs of Praise 13.15 p.m.
DISCLAIMER: TV and Radio schedules can change, so check the timings are correct!
Bible readings for this week:
Numbers 21:4-9 Poisonous serpents and divine healing
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-21 Sick through sin, healed through love
Ephesians 2:1-10 Dead through trespasses, made alive through Christ
John 2:3:14-21 ‘So must the Son of man be lifted up’
‘And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.’ (John 3:14) The Hebrew people, traveling from slavery to freedom, are complaining about the itinerary and the quality of food (Numbers 24). They end being bitten by poisonous serpents, and can only find healing through gazing upon a bronze serpent, which Moses lifts up on a pole before them. This story stuck in the Jewish memory – it got included in Psalm 107. And in John’s Gospel, Jesus most likely links his being lifted up on the cross to the Old Testament story. There’s a tendency to understand solely sin in terms of rule-breaking (‘trespasses’ – Ephesians 2:1), but it’s also a condition, a sickness, from which we can be made well.
O lift us up, strong Son of God; restore our fallen race; We who have marred your image shall regain it through your grace. The subtle serpent of our sin ensnares our helpless feet; The lifted serpent of your health can make our souls complete. Cyril G. Hambly (1931 – ) (R&S 337)
A song that responds to the readings
‘For by grace you Have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.’ (Ephesians 2:8) Listen to an a cappella version of the hymn, Amazing Grace, sung by Peter Hollens and the singing group, Home Free
Following the death of our fellow church member, Sylvia Carr, her funeral is due to take place on Wednesday 24th March at Tynemouth Crematorium Chapel, 10.30 a.m., followed by a graveside committal at 11.00 a.m.
The service will be conducted by the Reverend Trevor Jamison.
Easter Hearts – Keep Them Coming!
For Easter we are all encouraged to make a heart, by knitting or drawing, or copying from the computer. Some we place it in our windows to show the love of Jesus Christ. We are also placing knitted hearts on the church railings for people to take away. Shirley McKay or Norma McAvoy are delighted by the numbers received so far but are happy to receive yet more. Contact either one for further information.
Our AGM will take place via Zoom on Wednesday 21st April, at 7.15 p.m. This will include the election of Elders. Closing date for nominations for Elders election: Monday 22nd March – names to Alison Drew. Induction of Elders will take place during morning worship on Sunday 2nd May.
St Columba’s Coffee and Conversation
on Saturdays at 10.00 a.m.
Meet friends for conversation and company, online or by phone. PLEASE NOTE: there will be no meeting on March 13th,
but meetings will resume on March 20th
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.