Weekly Update #8: Sunday 10 May

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #8: Sunday 10th May 2020 (Fifth Sunday of Easter)

Window was designed and made by Leonard Evetts MA, ARCA (1909-1997) of King’s College,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
 This copy was taken from ‘A Walk Around St Columba’s United Reformed Church’
compiled by John Robson, 2014.

From the Minister

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled,’ says Jesus (John 14:1), though that’s not easy in current circumstances. There are many spiritual issues facing us today: loneliness in midst of isolation, sadness in seeing others suffer, anger where those in greatest danger are denied the things they need. These things trouble our hearts. Also, there is gratitude for those who help, neighbourliness in shared difficulty, and generosity to those in need. These comfort our hearts.

All of the above are spiritual aspects of our present situation; yet none of them are religious ones as such. Yes, there’s a role in for groups that model good spiritual attitudes and practices, like gratitude, neighbourliness, and generosity, but only when they are practised in the world, not just within the context of our religion.



Risen Christ,
you prepare a place for us, in the home of the Mother-and-Father of us all.
Draw us closer to yourself, so that when our hearts are troubled,
we will know you more completely as the way, the truth, and the life. Amen.

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 7:55-60                         Stephen, the first Christian martyr
Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16             God, our refuge, rock, and fortress
1 Peter 2:2-10                       Christ the cornerstone of a spiritual house
You can read a sermon by Trevor Jamison on the 1 Peter passage here.
John 14:1-14                         ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled …’

A beautiful meditation in picture and song, Jesus telling his disciples not to be afraid 

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

Reflection on the Readings

‘In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?’ (John 14:2) These words from today’s Gospel reading are most often encountered at funerals. Maybe such associations make them sound sombre, even when we hear them in other settings.

These days, the prospect of going to someone else’s house is enough to make you nervous. Here, in John’s Gospel, though, it’s a promise from Jesus to accompany us all the way to God’s house; not so much the funeral but an invitation to a house party. As the African American spiritual puts it

Come and go with me to my Father’s house,
To my Father’s house, to my Father’s house.
Come and go with me to my Father’s house;
There is joy, joy, joy!

“Come and Go with Me to My Father’s House”: a traditional African American spiritual, when sung by Argentinian Presbyterians, is not at all sombre!

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

Music in Quarantine

One Christian’s roundup of spiritual music that keeps them going in these times – from America to the UK via India and Ethiopia, from church and college choirs to folk, the blues and Celtic prayer; all available for viewing and listening.

St Columba’s Coffee and Conversation – Saturday 9th May at 10.00 a.m.

Following last week’s highly success-ful online get-together, Coffee and Conversation is now happening weekly.

This week, to make more opportunities for conversation, for a part of the time, participants will be chatting in smaller groups at different “tables”.

Your host will arrange the “seating” according to the number of participants. Join the conversation on the day by clicking here.

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, click this link to join the meeting. For help, contact Oliver Storey.

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

Online Prayer Gathering on Sunday 17th May at 6.30 p.m.

A thirty-minute opportunity for prayer together and hand it all to God, including learning a shared signed-response to some prayers.

For further information, contact Charlene Clark charleneclark@hotmail.co.uk
The link to the meeting: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/75800748081

Bible Exploration Meeting new series starts Tuesday 19th May at 7.15p.m.

Jonah, the Runaway Prophet

May 19th     Jonah the runaway
May 26th     Jonah in the belly of the fish
June 2nd     Jonah and the conversion of Nineveh
June 9th      Jonah’s anger and God’s mercy

Meetings will be one hour long, including spending some time in smaller groups to enable better discussion.

To join the first meeting, click on this link.

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.

Picture from  

Synod Holy Habits Group

Northern Synod invites you to join our Holy Habits at-home groups! Explore the adventure of discipleship using Andrew Roberts’s book, ‘Holy Habits’. Either join with others across the synod in a zoom group at a time that suits you, form your own on-line group with friends and family, or join in with an ‘on-paper’ resource (material will be sent to you each fortnight for your own reflection and study).

For more details or to join a group please contact Reverend Jane Rowell (Mission Enabler), 35 Brackenbeds Close, Chester-Le-Street, County Durham, DH2 1XH. Email: jane.rowell@urc-northernsynod.org       Tel: 07716 637584

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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