30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #64
20th June 2021
From the Minister Keep Calm and Carry on Sailing
I find this picture, Sleeping in the Storm, rather amusing. I know it portrays Jesus ‘in the stern, asleep on the cushion’ (Mark 4:38), but to me it looks more like Jesus is slapping his forehead in frustration. Maybe the artist intended to portray that as well. After all, when their boat was caught in a storm, the disciples woke up Jesus, only for him to still the waves and then confront them with a question: ‘Have you still no faith?’ If you are as poor a sailor as I am that sounds a bit harsh. On the other hand, by now these disciples had been with Jesus for a while. They had heard his teaching. They had observed miraculous healings. What more did they need? Maybe they needed to ask themselves what the meaning was of the things they had seen, just as we have to ask what’s the meaning of the things we have heard about Jesus. ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:41)
O God who gives structure to the universe,
When the storms of a changing climate are overwhelming the planet,
Protect and save me.
Jesus, who walked the land the stilled the sea,
When the storms of life threaten to overwhelm me,
Protect and save me.
WORSHIP FOR SUNDAY 20th JUNE 10.30 a.m. Service at St Columba’s United Reformed Church
Led by the Reverend Trevor Jamison
See below for how to book your place
I sing the almighty power of God;
Eternal Father, strong to save.
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
Online URC audio service https://devotions.urc.org.uk/ 10.00 a.m.
Radio Radio 4 Sunday Worship 8.10 a.m.
Television BBC 2 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
Job 38:1-11 Who ‘shut in the sea with doors’?
Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32 ‘Some went down to the sea in ships …’
2 Corinthians 6:1-13 What Paul (and Timothy) endured for the sake of others
Mark 4:35-41 Jesus, ‘do you not care that we are perishing?’
You would hope that if you asked a civil question you would get a civil answer, but it doesn’t seem to work out that way with God. Job, who is blameless and upright (1:1), has nevertheless endured thirty-seven chapters worth of suffering and catastrophe in his life. Finally, Job has asked God, ‘Why?’ Instead of a straight answer to a straight question Job gets treated to three chapters of questions from God in return. Implicitly, God’s questions question our right to question God! As an individual human being how can I hope to fathom the meaning behind my life experiences when I play so small a role in God’s creation? It would help, though, to know that even if I cannot understand the One who has the power to control the seas (38:8, 11) this God is loving. If I met God on a human level, in a person who can command the waves, ‘Peace! Be Still!’ (4:39), that would be reassuring.
Church Railings and Christian Aid Week – Some Thank Yous!
Thanks to those who have tidied up the area outside of the church buildings (you know who you are!) and are arranging for the railings to go back in place. We hope to have the damaged railings reinstated during July.
Also, thank you for the donations to Christian Aid; to those who put envelopes through doors and those who donated online. We have raised £477-00, an excellent result in current circumstances. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Church Meeting – 23 June 2021, 7.15 p.m.
Our next Church Meeting is due to take place on Wednesday 23rd June at 7.15 p.m.
More details are in the agenda and notes from a meeting about remembrance and celebration events. Minutes of the previous Church Meeting are available in the email version of the Weekly Update.