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)
Prayer 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
NATIVITY SERVICE THIS SUNDAY AT ST COLUMBA’S at 10.30 a.m. 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 WORSHIP SERVICES AT ST COLUMBA’S
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
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
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: