Weekly Update #87 – 12 December

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW

Weekly Update #87
12th December 2021
Third Sunday in Advent

From the Minister                                      Three to Get Ready …

Three Advent candles litTwo 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)


“Advent Quickenings: Mary and Elizabeth”
Led by Roberta Ritson, student minister on placement with St Columba’s

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!’

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

Festival of Carols advertisementThere 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

News and Notices

Saint Columba’s Advent Groups

Our Advent groups continue to meet:

The Tuesday group meets at church at 1.15 p.m.

The Thursday group meets at 7.15 p.m. via Zoom

To join the Zoom meeting, click here.

Meeting ID: 858 9117 2965 Phone 0131 460 1196

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.

Sleeping Beauty

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.

Minister: Reverend Trevor Jamison                 Church Secretary: Alison Drew
minister.northshieldsurc@gmail.com               [email protected]
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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