30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #82 7th November 2021
From the Student Minister
Agreeing to walk a dog regularly has been a blessing. The weather is dreadful and we go anyway. Hips and haws are deepest red. Silver birches release damp, golden confetti.
Our walks follow Synod morning prayer (online) and familiar lines: We bring ourselves to God that we might grow in generosity of spirit, clarity of mind, and warmth of affection.
Passing a particular house, I ask God’s healing and comfort for someone inside. There is no worry about formalities or ‘getting it right’. Letting (optional) words flow is like dropping watercolours onto a wet page.
At St Columba’s I look forward to all kinds of praying, alone and together. May strong mutual encouragement develop.
Happy November! Roberta
Image credit: RR
Bless, O God, the house,
Bless, O God, the fire,
Bless, O God, the hearth;
May you yourself be our stay. Carmina Gadelica
Minister on Holiday Trevor Jamison is on holiday until 7th November. Please contact the Church Secretary concerning any urgent matters.
WORSHIP AT ST COLUMBA’S – 7th November 2021 10.30 A.M. at the Church – All the Saints
Led by John Drew This will be a communion service – see below for further information.
Communion Services in the Church Building
We return to having communion services in the church building from November 7th, and on the first Sunday morning of each month thereafter. Practices we will follow to keep people safe include:
Those preparing the bread and wine will wear gloves and masks
The two serving Elders will also wear gloves and masks
They will serve the bread to each member, using sugar tongs
They will hand the glass of wine to each member
Used glasses are placed on chairs and collected after the service – only by the two serving Elders
6.30 P.M. ON ZOOM – What’s it mean to be ‘Reformed’?
Led by Trevor Jamison, with Roberta Ritson as preacher
This will be a communion service –
please have bread and wine, or equivalents, to hand
Radio 4 Sunday Worship 8.10 a.m. OnlineURC audio service https://devotions.urc.org.uk/ 10.00 a.m. Television BBC 1 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 (from the Revised Common Lectionary)
‘I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug …’
Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 Desperate women take desperate measures
Psalm 127 Depending on God
1 Kings 17:8-16 A prophet, a widow, and a little food
Psalm 146 ‘I will praise the LORD as long as I live!’
Hebrews 9:24-28 It’s enough for Christ to have died once
Mark 12:38-44 Beware of religious professionals
Many of us have been inside our houses a lot recently. Whatever your experiences, I wonder if you now see ‘home’ differently?
Many have given things away to good causes. The idea of less being more rings true. People matter more than possessions.
For me, space and solitude matter. This leads me to wonder about crowded places without gardens, homes with too much noise or unwelcome silence.
The psalm tells us that God’s presence is all important. God is always ‘there’ yet our awareness fluctuates. Deep peace comes as we stop striving and burning the candle at both ends.
Places acquire an atmosphere of harmony and warmth, qualities not dependent upon material wealth. I think of a dear friend who died recently. Visiting Horsley church she exclaimed “I can feel all the prayer that has been offered here.”
May your home be filled with God’s bright presence as we go into these short, dark days.
News and Notices
Volunteers needed for Christmas Market weekend
Norma needs people to make tray bakes, act as stewards and doorkeepers, and serve in the café during the Festival of Carols on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 December. Please sign up for these duties on the notice board in the hall if you are able to help.
Keeping in Touch
You can contact your designated Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.