30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #87 12th December 2021 Third Sunday in Advent
From the Minister Three to Get Ready …
Two weeks ago we lit our first Advent candle, thinking about hope for the future. Last week we lit two candles, remembering the message of hope from the prophets. This week we light the third Advent candle, remembering Mary, the bearer of hope for the world.
Millions of people throughout the world have been affected by meeting with Jesus, some directly, and most of us indirectly, through the Scripture stories and the faith of others. Among all these human beings, Mary was the first to meet Jesus, and in a uniquely intimate way.
As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, let’s take a moment to remember and give thanks for Mary, the first of us to meet with Jesus.
Image: Three Advent Candles Lit (NMc)
God of Elizabeth and Mary, make my heart leap with joy, and fill my mouth with songs of praise, to announce glad tidings of peace, and welcome Christ this Christmas.
(Inspired by a prayer in RCL Lectionary Prayers, Fortress Press, 2002)
WORSHIP AT ST COLUMBA’S THIS SUNDAY at 10.30 a.m.
“Advent Quickenings: Mary and Elizabeth” Led by Roberta Ritson, student minister on placement with St Columba’s
WORSHIP AT ST COLUMBA’S NEXT SUNDAY – DECEMBER 19th NATIVITY SERVICE AT ST COLUMBA’S at 10.30 a.m. Service led by Claire Constantine
This year our nativity will be an all-age service during which everyone can participate. To make the experience even more interactive you are invited to come wearing a nativity character’s head dress, costume or even an animal onesie!! This is of course optional!
REQUEST: If anyone has a large nativity set that we could borrow for the occasion please let Claire know asap
Bible readings for this week (from the Revised Common Lectionary)
Psalm 80:1-7 God, ‘make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved’
Luke 1:39-45 Mary and Elizabeth – two women who have been blessed
Luke 1:46-55 God lifts up the lowly and brings down the powerful
Philippians 4:4-7 ‘Rejoice … and again I will say, Rejoice!’
There will also be a Tree of Memories to enable visitors to hang a message on the tree to remember those who are no longer with us.
Reflection on the Readings A Woman’s Hope
Even if you don’t count the verses that feature Jesus, men get more mention in the Gospels than women. In Luke chapter one, though, God’s plan brings women to the fore. When Mary travels to visit her fellow mother-to-be, Elizabeth, Joseph seems to get left at home, and Zechariah has been struck dumb. Elizabeth and Mary get to speak their minds. Elizabeth declares that Mary is blessed, both for being chosen (1:42) and for her faith: ‘blessed is she who believed.’ (1:45) And Mary responds with a song about how God brings down the powerful (almost all of them men) and lifts up the lowly (which included almost all women of that time). Who do you think God is lifting up in our time? And who do you think God will bring low?
A song that responds to the readings
Jesucristo, Esperanza del Mundo / Jesus Christ, Hope of the World
A beautiful hymn, in both Spanish and English, originating in a Portuguese-language version from Brazil, and performed here by Capella, from Calvin University in the USA
Meetings last 45-60 minutes.
The content – reading, conversation and prayer – is the same on both days.
Saturday Coffee Taking a Break
There will be no coffee morning at church on 18th December (or the 25th!). We’re looking to restart in the New Year.
Christmas Post Box
The annual Christmas post box is still in place in the church hall. Cards will be sorted in a safe fashion and then be available for collection and distribution on Sunday 19th December.
Service in the Square, 10.00 a.m. Saturday 11th December
As usual, the Christmas market in Northumberland Square commences with a short carol service, with input from churches in North Shields, including music from the Salvation Army band. Please come along and add your voice to the singing.
To join with others in attending Tynemouth Priory Theatre’s pantomime, Sleeping Beauty on 14th January 2022 at 7.00 p.m., please book with Shirley, in person, by email, or by phone.
Tickets: Adult £8-00 Child £6-50
Keeping in Touch
You can contact your designated Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.