Weekly Update #9: Sunday 17 May

St Columba’s United Reformed Church

30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #9: Sunday 17th May 2020 (Sixth Sunday of Easter)

From the Minister – Ready for the New “Normal”

The latest Westminster government document talks about places of worship possibly beginning to re-open in July. As the URC advice Ready for the new “normal” points out, however, at that point many people will still be expected to self-isolate, and social distancing means that those able to attend will have a different form of worship experience. Our Elders and others are considering carefully the many decisions to be made as we emerge (gradually) from lockdown.

As a congregation, we need not go back to doing all the things we did, in the way we did them, prior to the beginning of lockdown. Also, there may be things that we have started since then that we will want to retain in the new “normal”. In this current time of lockdown are there good things you would like us to continue and develop? Are there new things you would like us to try during lockdown? Do talk with others about those questions, and tell your Elders and Minister what you and others think.


You can read Ready for the new “normal” at this link.


Gracious God,
We are on a journey and we do not know our destination.
In our hopes and our fears, our doubts and our faith,
Help us to know that you are beside us, supporting us on the way. Amen.

Options for Worshipping at home this Sunday

Online           URC audio service (https://devotions.urc.org.uk/ )           10.00 a.m.

Radio            Radio 4          Sunday Worship                                          8.10 a.m.

Television      BBC1             Sunday Worship                                         10.45 a.m.
Songs of Praise                                           1.15 p.m.

DISCLAIMER: TV and Radio schedules can change, so check the timings are correct!

Bible readings for Sunday

From the Revised Common Lectionary
Acts 17:22-31           Knowing all about religion, but nothing about resurrection
Psalm 66:8-20          ‘For you, O God, have tested us …’
1 Peter 3:13-22         Suffering for doing right
John 14:15-21          ‘If you love me … the Spirit of truth … will be in you’

Click to listen to “If Ye Love Me” by Thomas Tallis, which is based in John 14:15.

A sermon by Trevor Jamison, based on the readings from Acts and John’s Gospel .

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

Reflection on the Readings

‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments And I will ask the Father and he will give you … the Spirit of truth.’ (John 14:15, 16, 17) Certainly, we could do with the truth in our present times. We hope for it from our political leaders, and demand it from our medical and scientific experts, but finding truth in the midst of complex situations is never easy. Jesus connects this Spirit with keeping his commandments (14:15) – love God and love your neighbour. When being asked or told what to do, this forms a good rule of thumb for discerning if these such things are “true”.

For further reflections and prayers relating to these readings, click here.

St Columba’s URC – Pentecost Sunday Worship – May 31st 2020, 10.30 a.m.

We are planning to worship together, including holding a virtual communion, on Pentecost Sunday. We will use Zoom software that will enable those who have internet to see and hear what’s happening. Those who do not have internet will be able to dial in to a local-rate telephone number to hear the worship. More details to follow in the next Weekly Update.

Christian Aid Week – 10-16 May 2020

Last year, £8 million of Christian Aid’s income came from Christian Aid Week. This year, many of the traditional fundraising events have had to be cancelled. You can still donate online, however, at this link.

Music for Christian Aid Week: the choir of Shrewsbury URC came together online to mark Christian Aid Week by singing the hymn, “God of Freedom God of Justice (R&S 625). You can listen to them here.

St Columba’s Coffee and Conversation – Saturdays at 10.00 a.m.

Join the conversation on the day by clicking here.
Password: coffee 

For information or help, contact Mathew Hall: 07792782647 or

Church Quiz – Questions & Answers from Monday 11th May at 7.00p.m.

If you missed our second church quiz, you can find the questions and answers here.

Next time – Bingo!

Online Prayer Gathering on Sunday 17th May at 6.30 p.m.

A thirty-minute opportunity for prayer together and hand it all to God, including learning a shared signed-response to some prayers.

For further information, contact Charlene Clark charleneclark@hotmail.co.uk
The link to the meeting: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/75800748081
Password: 2VKzE3

Bible Exploration Meeting new series starts Tuesday 19th May at 7.15p.m.

Jonah, the Runaway Prophet

May 19th     Jonah the runaway
May 26th     Jonah in the belly of the fish
June 2nd     Jonah and the conversion of Nineveh
June 9th      Jonah’s anger and God’s mercy

Meetings will be one hour long, including spending some time in smaller groups to enable better discussion.

To join the first meeting, click on this link.

If you can’t join in online, don’t hesitate to contact Trevor to request a copy of a reflection and the questions relating to the reading.

Synod Holy Habits Group

Northern Synod invites you to join our Holy Habits at-home groups! Explore the adventure of discipleship using Andrew Roberts’s book, ‘Holy Habits’. Either join with others across the synod in a zoom group at a time that suits you, form your own on-line group with friends and family, or join in with an ‘on-paper’ resource (material will be sent to you each fortnight for your own reflection and study).

For more details or to join a group please contact Reverend Jane Rowell (Mission Enabler), 35 Brackenbeds Close, Chester-Le-Street, County Durham, DH2 1XH. Email: jane.rowell@urc-northernsynod.org       Tel: 07716 637584

Keeping in Touch

We will keep in touch with each other. Elders will have a list of members and friends to contact each week, both to provide information and to ensure that people are safe and well. 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].com
0191 290 1193         07896 899538                 0191 251 9774

Copyright © 2020 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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