Weekly Update #71: 8 August 2021

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW

Weekly Update #71
8th August 2021

From the Minister               Managing Expectations

‘China’s mixed doubles table tennis team made a tearful apology at the Tokyo Olympics last week – for winning a silver medal.’  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-58024068

Presumably, telling the team which came second, or their enraged nationalist ‘supporters’ who savagely criticised them, that’s ‘it’s only a game’ won’t be much comfort. The fact that they lost to Japan will only have made matters a lot worse. Of course, it really is more than a game when national pride is at stake. Somehow, your worth as a nation is judged on the ability of your representatives to run, swim, shoot, skateboard, and ride BMX bikes. No wonder that some athletes find it all too much and withdraw to preserve their sanity, or mental health. Without decrying those who excel, in whatever field, perhaps an attitude of ‘just carrying on, doing our best’, would serve us well – in sport, in work, in relationships, and in church life as well.                 Image by MasterTux from Pixabay


ps        Congratulations to Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen on their silver medals in mixed doubles table tennis – that’s some achievement.


O God,
Help me to do my best for you, for others, and for myself;
In work, in leisure, in relationships with others.
And when I fall short of my best, be kind to me,
And help me be kind to myself, as I am kind to others.


This week’s bonus songs

‘We’ve Come a Long Way, Lord’,
a traditional Liberian hymn, arranged by Wendell Glick. Sung by Oasis Chorale at Cornerstone Mennonite Fellowship in Ephrata, Pennsylvania on July 11, 2021.

And then listen to what American Mennonites do with a song from Taizé

Led by the Reverend Trevor Jamison
Theme – What sort of people does God Want?

10 .30 a.m. Service at Saint Columba’s United Reformed Church – now singing the hymns, and seating capacity increased to forty
Book your seat by contacting Alison Drew between 9.00 a.m. and 12.00 noon. on Friday immediately prior to the service.

Other options for worshipping at home on Sunday

Radio                  Radio 4                                                                                8.10 a.m.
Television          BBC 2               Songs of Praise                                         1.15 p.m.
On-line          URC audio service   https://devotions.urc.org.uk/                   10.00 a.m. 
DISCLAIMER: tv and radio schedules can change, so check the timings are correct!

Bible readings for This Week

2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33         ‘I wish I had died instead of you … my son, my son’
Psalm 130                                         Placing hope in God for your redemption
1 Kings 19:4-8                                  The prophet Elijah gets food for his journey
Psalm 34:1-8                                     Praising God for deliverance from trouble
Ephesians 4: 25 – 5:2                        Gods people model their conduct upon God
John 6:35, 41-51                              No one has seen God except the one from God

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

Reflection on the Readings                    True to Life             

One of the sillier things I have heard said by a ‘celebrity’ was that they preferred the Greek myths to Bible stories because they were more true to life. I wondered how much of the Bible (or the Greek myths) they had read. Surely they had not read 2 Samuel, concerning the story of King David and his son Absalom. David loved Absalom but Absalom tried to overthrow him and replace him as King. Even in the midst of a civil war David told his commanders to deal gently with Absalom. When, courtesy of a freak accident, an opportunity arose, however, they took no chances, and killed him. King David, hearing this news, was devastated: ‘O my son, Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would that I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!’ Family love and strife, politics and war, violence, death, and emotional devastation. The Bible is just full of stories that are true to life, including human failings, but it also tells the story of God’s response to that.              Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Songs that respond to the readings
‘Out of the depths I cry to you’ – different versions of, or inspired by,  Psalm 130

A traditional metrical version

By Keith and Kristyn Getty

By Gentleman Singers


A reminder that the funeral service for Vera Hall is due to take place at Tynemouth Crematorium on Monday August 9th at 3.00 p.m. The service will be conducted by the Reverend Trevor Jamison.

Opportunity to take part in URC Holiday Forum – 21-27 August 2021

Holiday Forum is a week of faith, fun and fellowship, with friends from all around the
URC – this year online. You can join in with  Forum on the theme of living and loving in a world that seems ever more tribal. Worship is led by Northern Synod’s Mission Enabler, Jane Rowell, who has led worship at St Columba’s in recent times. The main speaker is the lively and challenging Professor Anthony Reddie, from the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture. To find out how to take part, contact Mathew Hall mathew.hall@stcolumbas-urc.org.uk

St Columba’s Coffee and Conversation
on Saturdays at 10.00 a.m.

Please note: Coffee and Conversation will be taking a break in August

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               [email protected].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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