Weekly Update #60 – 23 May 2021

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #60 – 23rd May 2021
From the Minister                                Pentecost Fire

Pentecost mosaicPentecost Fire: Image by Holger Schué on Pixabay

‘And a tongue of fire rested on each one of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.’ (Acts 2:4) Pentecost is celebrated by the Christian Church as the day when the Holy Spirit came in a distinctive dynamic way in Jerusalem. It is associated with images of fire and speaking in many languages. Importantly, different peoples with different languages could hear and understand what was being said. God’s Spirit was reversing the babble associated with Babel (Genesis 11), when the peoples of the world were scattered, divided, and confused. Now, in recent days, we have seen images of fire in Jerusalem and Gaza, from rockets, bombs and missiles. Retaliation and tit-for-tat seems to constitute the only shared language. The human need for a shared language of reconciliation that is based upon truth, justice, repentance, and forgiveness, remains urgent. Come, Holy Spirit.

Trevor

Prayer

Holy, sprightly Spirit of God,
In a world where things seem predictable, spark new possibilities into being;
Purge our sin with the warmth of your breath,
And free us from bondage to past wrongs.
Amen.

Inspired by a prayer by John McLuckie.

Worship for Pentecost

SUNDAY May 23rd May

The Revd John PaulSt Columba's Church

St Columba’s United Reformed Church
10.30 A.M. SERVICE
Led by The Reverend John Paul

Worship Services in the Building

You need to book your seat for a service in the building. To do so, please contact Alison Drew between 9.00 a.m. and 12.00 noon. on the Friday immediately prior to that service.

We have one 30-minute service at 10.30 a.m. Physical distancing and wearing of face coverings are observed, but those from the same household should be able to sit together. Seats will be filled from the front of the church to the back, and you must take the seat allocated to you by the stewards.

Other options for worshipping at home on Sunday

Other options for worshiping 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      BBC 1                       Worship for Pentecost                     10.30 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 This Week

Acts 2:1-21                            ‘All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit …’
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b           The presence and work of God throughout the world
Romans 8:22-27                   ‘We, who have the first fruits of the Spirit’
John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15       God’s Spirit, ‘the Advocate’ is the Spirit of truth

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

Reflection on the readings

detail from Pentecost mosaic‘We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now  … we, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly, while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.’ (Romans 8:22, 23) Receiving God’s Holy Spirit may not make us comfortable. Paul suggests the Spirit makes us (more?) aware of our estrangement from God, and the need to be brought (or bought) back into God’s family. That God works through Jesus Christ to bring about reconciliation with humankind is amazingly good news. Paul goes further, though, linking this with God’s relationship with the whole of creation. All is groaning for freedom, and even that which can’t put such longings into words (8:26b) will be saved.

A Prayer and a Song that respond to the readings
A prayer video, based on the hymn, O Breathe of Life, Come Sweeping Through Us (R&S 302)

And the same hymn, here from Emu Music

News
We are sorry to share the sad news that one of our members, Dorothy Riddiford, died on the 17th of May. We send our prayers and sympathy to Dorothy’s family and friends. The funeral service, to be led by the Reverend Trevor Jamison, will take place at Tynemouth Crematorium on Wednesday 2nd June at 10.30 a.m.
A Thank You Letter to Church Members from the URC’s Treasurer
URC letterheadThe URC’s Treasurer, Ian Hardie, has written to thank church members throughout the denomination for their continued financial giving during the troubled times of this past year. With congregations unable to meet in person, plate offerings were impossible to collect, and rental incomes from premises hire disappeared. Even so, in 2020 churches and synods contributed £18 million of the £18.5 million that had been budgeted for the denomination’s Ministry and Mission Fund.

Reductions in expenditure by Church house staff and denominational committees closed the gap. Together, he writes, this ‘enabled us to meet the full costs of our Ministries, Education & Learning, Children’s and Youth Work, and Mission departments in 2020 as well as covering amounts spent on safeguarding, denominational governance and communications.’

He concludes, ‘it is important for us to thank every one of you for what you do for God, your congregation and its and our denominational finances. Thank you!

You can read the full text of the letter here.

St Columba’s Coffee and Conversation
on Saturdays at 10.00 a.m.
coffee
Meet friends for conversation and company, online or by phone
To join the Zoom meeting, click here.

Meeting ID: 894 9023 6595            Passcode: 301478               Phone: 0131 460 1196

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               alison@jubileedeepdale.plus.com
0191 290 1193         07896 899538                 0191 251 9774

Copyright © 2021 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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