Weekly Update #7: Sunday 3 May

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #7: Sunday 3rd May 2020 (Fourth Sunday of Easter)

From the Minister                Psalm 23×10 (+2)

The fourth Sunday of Easter is sometimes called “Good Shepherd Sunday” because Bible readings for the day feature images of shepherds and shepherding. Did you know that? I didn’t (either), only discovering this when I came across one person’s choice of ten hymns inspired by Psalm 23. You can listen to all of them here.

There are two versions I would have included that did not make his list. First, I like this psalm to the tune, Brother James’s Air, perhaps out of nostalgia for far-off days when I could sing the descant, effortlessly hitting all of the high notes!

Also, these days, many people, myself included, would want to add Stewart Townend’s version to the list

Whether spoken or sung, Psalm 23 still affects many people. Comforting familiarity certainly plays its part in that, but by no means is that the whole story. The twenty third psalm has its hold on us, I suspect, because it says we are not alone; a benevolent, guiding God, accompanies us on life’s journey, including its difficult parts, ultimately bringing us to a good destination: ‘Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.’
(The Message)



Loving Shepherd of your sheep,
We pray for those who hunger for love:
may they lie down in the green pastures of your care.
We remember those walking through valleys of deepest darkness:
may they know your comfort, protection and guidance.
We thank you that you have provided us with the things we need:
Give us grace and courage to follow your path all the days of our lives. Amen.

Based on a prayer by Christine Odell

Options for Worshipping at home this 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             Sunday Worship                                         10.45 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
Acts 2:42-47             Everyday life in the first Christian congregation
Psalm 23                   The Lord’s my shepherd
1 Peter 2:19-25        ‘For you were going astray like sheep …’
John 10:1-10             Sheep, sheepfolds, and shepherds

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

A hymn for Good Shepherd Sunday

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written a hymn, “Good Shepherd, We Are Not Alone”, which picks up on this theme in our Bible readings. You can sing it to the tune,  “Maryton” (“Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts”)  or to Tallis’s Canon (“Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow”).

Good Shepherd, we are not alone,
For you protect and love your own.
And we, responding, know your voice;
We hear you calling and rejoice.

Another shepherd might turn back
And flee at danger’s first attack;
But you laid down your very life —
A loving shepherd’s sacrifice.

A thief may well destroy and steal,
But you, Good Shepherd, save and heal.
You lead your sheep to pasture land,
To life abundant, by your hand.

You gather sheep from far and wide —
From folds we know and from outside.
One flock, one Shepherd, there will be —
A loving, blest community.

Text © 2012 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved. Permission received.

Reflection on the Readings

‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers.’ (Acts 2:42) We really do live in unprecedented times. In Acts we are told that all these activities of the young church involved being with each other, including spending time in the Jerusalem temple. “Normally”, like them, we would meet up together, but not so now. Yet, we can still learn about the faith (you’re currently reading a reflection about a Bible reading after all). There’s nothing stopping us from praying. We can all, courtesy of modern technology, enjoy fellowship (and don’t tell me you don’t do technology unless you don’t have a telephone). Breaking bread together, however? Well, next time you eat a piece of bread, think of others, and be confident that others are thinking of you as they too break their bread.

For further reflections and prayers relating to these readings, click here.

Bible Exploration Meeting on Wednesday May 6th at 7.15p.m.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11         All the people who saw the risen Christ

Our third forty-minute online conversation about meetings with the risen Jesus. New participants are welcome to join the group. When it’s time for the meeting just click on the link https://us04web.zoom.us/j/71656623717

If you can’t join in online, don’t hesitate to contact Trevor to request a copy of a reflection and the questions relating to the reading.

Northern Synod Weekly Newsletter

The URC Northern Synod is publishing a weekly newsletter during these times. You can view the most recent edition here. To receive the newsletter, email wendy.watson@urc-northernsynod.org

St Columba’s Coffee and Conversation – Saturday 2nd May at 10.00 a.m.

Missing out on catching up with your church friends? Why not go online to join in with St Columba’s Coffee and Conversation? Bring your tea or coffee, then sit down at your computer to see and chat with others. Conversation lasts for 40 minutes. Everyone may come and go as they please, and the first Coffee and Conversation starts on Saturday 2nd May 2020 at 10.00 a.m.

When the time comes, just click on this link:

For information or help, contact Mathew Hall: 07792782647 or

Church Quiz on Monday 11th May at 7.00p.m.

Following the success of this month’s quiz by video conference we are holding a second one on Monday 11th May, 6.50 p.m. for a 7.00 p.m. start. To take part, email Oliver Storey for the link to join the meeting.


As with the previous quiz, questions and answers will be made available to those not able to connect online.

Keeping in Touch

We will keep in touch with each other. Elders will have a list of members and friends to contact each week, both to provide information and to ensure that people are safe and well. 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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