Weekly Update #73: 22 August 2021

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW

Weekly Update #73
22nd August 2021

holiday images
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Hello everyone, from John.

August is a time for relaxing and recuperation, so this will be the last Weekly Update until September, that means 2 weeks off. But don’t forget that we are still worshipping in Church each Sunday and all are very welcome, though we only have room for up to 40 people at present. Church life does not stop completely, there will be a Square Magazine in September so send your contributions to Catherine by the 30th of August please, and I expect that other groups are beginning to plan for the autumn season so we will find out what new proposals come forth as the church looks forward in September.

If you are taking a break in the next few weeks I wish you, on behalf of St Columba’s, a very happy time, take care, don’t bring the Covid back with you and we look forward to seeing you when you return.


Lord, you know the stresses and strains we have gone through these recent months. As we try to find a place and space to relax safely, we pray for those who cannot do so, the NHS and associated workers who are still battling against the repercussions of the pandemic and those who are mourning loved ones. We pray that those who are awaiting hospital treatment will get help as soon as possible, and as I say that I think of all those in the world who need medical attention, war torn and disaster zones, like Haiti, especially. We are so very fortunate, help us to share what we have with those who have not. Amen.

Worship Services in the Building
SUNDAY 22nd August
St Columba’s United Reformed Church
10.30 A.M. SERVICE 

Led by Mr Vaughan Armstrong (Son of Stuart & Margaret Armstrong)

We are still booking our seats for a service.
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 of 1 metre and wearing of face coverings are observed, but couples from the same household should be able to sit together as we can now seat 40 people.
If you book a seat and find you are not able to come, please ring Alison by 9.15 on Sunday so your seat can be offered to another person.

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.

Future Services: –
August 29th – Rev. Ted Marley,
September 5th – Rev. Richard Firth.

An evening service will be held that day which will include Holy Communion, led by myself. This will be via Zoom for those with internet access but you can also access by telephone. Contact Mathew for details and assistance.
Join Zoom Meeting        Meeting ID: 815 9926 7310        0131 460 1196

Other options for worshipping at home on Sunday 22 August

Radio Newcastle   Sunday Worship for local radio                                          8.00 a.m.
Radio 4                   Sunday Worship with poet Jay Hulme                               8.10 a.m.
Television               BBC 1  Songs of Praise from the Jurassic Coast             1.15 p.m.
Online                URC national audio service   https://devotions.urc.org.uk/      10.00 a.m. 
Yourchurch service – share nationwide worship                    6.30 p.m.

 Join Zoom meeting        Meeting ID: 965 1457 5443        Passcode: YourChurch

DISCLAIMER: tv and radio schedules can change, so check the timings are correct!

Bible readings for Sunday (from the Revised Common Lectionary)

1 Kings 8: 22-30, 41-43. The Israelites are told to share their God with foreigners.
Joshua 24: 1-2a, 14-18. God gives the Israelites an ultimatum, which God do they follow?
Psalm 34: 15-22, God’s eyes are on the righteous, no matter who they are, he protects them.
Ephesians 6: 10-20, Paul describes the protection offered by God, but we must always pray.
St John 6: 56-69, Many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.

You can read the Bible passages online at:
Year B – Season after Pentecost – Proper 16 (21) : Revised Common Lectionary

Reflection on the Readings

Paul tells us “Put on that full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes”, and he lists the various items of the armour so that the reader knows that not one piece of armour is omitted and each has its special task. With God, we are not left to our own devices when it comes to battles with evil of any kind. We have all the equipment at hand to use to stand firm and defeat the devil. We must never neglect prayer but make it so much a part of our lives that it becomes second nature to us, and we must remember those who minister and spread His Word in those prayers, for they have the hardest battles to fight.

But why should we, in the 21st century, follow this God? We have all the wonderful technology, wealth, possessions and power that we need. What good will it do us to follow God?

Jesus tells us why, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.” We still need His protection, He still promises us the words of eternal life, He promises forgiveness of sins and a place of peace with Him on our death. We probably all have our own reason for choosing our God.

Simon Peter answered “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know you are the Holy One of God.”

And Joshua declared “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”.

As the world, this country, the Church, your household, gradually come out of the Covid situation, which of the many gods who vie for your devotion will you follow?


magazineSquare Magazine
Please send all your fascinating and wonderful contributions to Catherine by 30th August for the September edition.

There will be no Weekly Update for 2 weeks. If you have any important or urgent concerns, please contact Alison direct. If any information needs to be circulated during these 2 weeks a special bulletin will be issued.

Church Meeting   Wednesday 22nd September. Details to follow later.


Hot off the press –
Tuesday 21st September will see Café 2.21 restart.
Thursday 23rd September will see Square Table Lunches restart.
I expect we will see any further information about both these events in later issues.

We are sad to announce the passing of Julie Slorance on Tuesday 17th at
home. Her funeral service will be at Tynemouth Crematorium on Friday
September 10th at 11.15 a.m, conducted by Rev. T. Jamison. Our prayers
go out to the family at this time.
We are pleased to announce that the sum of £322 was raised by your
generosity to the Mozambique and Christian Aid appeals. That total will
be shared equally between the 2 charities. Thank you to everyone who
Finally, we all know how important our ecology is, so I pass this information on to you from Trevor: –

Dear Friends,

All of you have connected with me in my role as the United Reformed Church Northern Synod’s Green Apostle. On that basis I commend to you a half-day conference taking place via Zoom on Saturday 4th September, 9.30 a.m. – 1.30 p.m.

The conference, organised by North East Churches Together, is aimed at church members and leaders across the North East of England, includes presentations on the challenge posed by climate change, it’s impact on poor communities, why churches should be concerned, and practical actions that they can take.

Please take a look at the attached publicity, to consider taking part, and/or to share news of the event with others. Details of how to register to take part are included in the publicity.

With best wishes,


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

You can contact your designated Elder, or Church Secretary.
Church Secretary: Alison Drew          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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