Weekly Update #88 – 19 December

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW

Weekly Update #88
19th December 2021
Fourth Sunday in Advent

From the Minister               Four Down, One to Go …

One more candle to go until Christmas! Working on the basis that in biblical time one day ended and the new one began when night fell, I’m looking forward to lighting the Christmas candle on our church Advent wreath on the evening of the 24th. In a previous church where I ministered, the Christmas Eve service took place late in the evening. The worship leader was expected to time the service so that they would light the Christmas candle exactly at midnight, just as the congregation began singing the final verse of O Come All Ye Faithful: ‘Yea, Lord we greet thee, born this happy morning’. No pressure! The Christmas season seems to generate all sorts of pressures, and churches are not exempt from them, but for Christians, at its core, Christmas is pressure-free. God has acted to do all that’s needful for us. All we have to do is to respond gratefully.

Trevor                                                 Image: Four Advent Candles Lit (NMc)

Almighty God, shed upon me the new light of your incarnate Word.
May this light, enkindled in my heart, shine forth in my life this Christmas. Amen

(Based on a prayer form the Book of Alternative Services of the Anglican Church of Canada, 1985)

Sunday Morning Worship

Suspension of After Worship Refreshments 

With the swift spread of the Omicron variant of COVID 19, which is highly
infectious, even for those who have been twice-jabbed, it has been decided
to suspend after-worship gathering for refreshments for the rest of this
year. The Elders meeting will review the situation in the New Year, trying
to balance the benefits to well-being from being able to socialize against
the potential to create a “super-spreader” event, with harm to ourselves
and others.
Service led by Claire Constantine
An all-age service during which everyone can participate. You are invited to come wearing a nativity character’s head dress, costume or even an animal onesie!! This is of course optional!

Christmas Eve Carol Service at 6.30 p.m.

Our traditional blend of Christmas carols and readings.
Please note the precautions we’ll be taking for your safety and that of others. The balcony will be open (adults only) so that there’s more space available between participants. Face coverings will be worn throughout the service.

Sadly we will have to forgo after service mulled wine this year. 

Christmas Day Service at 10.30 a.m.
Led by Trevor Jamison, a thirty-minute celebration, with carols, readings and prayers
Sunday 26th December at 10.30 a.m.
Led by Roberta Ritson, gathering round the crib with readings, music,  carols, and a dash of story-telling!
Bible readings for this week (from the Revised Common Lectionary)

Micah 5:2-5   Something big at little Bethlehem
Luke 1:39-45 Mary and Elizabeth – two blessed women
Hebrews 10:5-10      Jesus has come to do God’s will
Luke 1:46-55 God lifts the lowly, brings down the powerful

Image: ‘Visit of Mary to Elizabeth’ by George Saget https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:KeurMoussaAutel.jpg

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

Reflection on the Readings                    Déjà vu all over again!

Did you notice that the Gospel readings about Mary and Elizabeth are the same ones we had last week? That’s because we jumped a week ahead of the lectionary readings so that we could hear them in a Sunday service, whilst having our Nativity service this Sunday. Last week, we noted that women get more of a say here than they often do in the four Gospels. This week, notice how excitement about the coming birth of Jesus is rendered as a song. (1:46-56) Perhaps the Magnificat qualifies as the first ever Christmas carol?

My heart sings out with joyful praise to God who raises me,
Who came to me when I was low and changed my destiny.
The Holy One, the Living God, is always full of grace
To those who seek their Maker’s will in every time and place.
                                                            Ruth Duck (1947 – )

A song responding to the readings

My heart sings out with joyful praise to God who raises me

To Listen, Click Here 

News and Notices
Money Raised for Church and the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade

Whilst the market went on in Northumberland Square the church was open for visitors, with imaginative displays based on Christmas carols, plus a ‘tree of remembrance’. Refreshments were being served in the church hall. £70 pounds was raised for TVLB and £579 for church funds.

Thank you very much to all those who organized, stewarded, catered, served, and otherwise participated in this event.

News and Notices

Saint Columba’s Advent Groups

Our Advent groups final meetings in the coming week:

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,25th December or 1st January. Coffee mornings are due to restart on January 8th.

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 McKay, 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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