30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #95 February 13th 2022
From the Minister An Out-of-Control Sermon
I have preached a lot of sermons, and listened to quite a few as well. Every so often someone tells me that sermons are outmoded; expecting people to listen to a single voice rather than interact. Well, yes, if that the only way you work, then sermons are insufficient, though I note that college and university lectures are still alive and well. Currently, I’m preaching an out-of-control sermon. Last Sunday, I preached on 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, concerning the Church’s shared message of Christian faith. (If you want to read that sermon instead of/as well as having listened to it, it’s on the church website.) By the time I got to the end of it, though, I still had not said much about the resurrection, so this week, it’s ‘sermon-take-two’ time. If you can’t wait for episode 2 to come out online then you will have to get to church this Sunday morning. Of course, by the time I get to the end of that sermon, there might be yet more to be said …
Image: Detail from Victorian stained glass in St Giles, Edinburgh, showing John Knox [no, not Trevor Jamison] preaching in 1570 (Kim Traynor, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
Risen Christ, help me to recognise you in words written and heard, in bread broken and shared, in the lives and actions of others. Amen
WORSHIP SERVICES AT ST COLUMBA’S
Sunday 13th February at 10.30 a.m. – a communion service led by the Reverend Trevor Jamison, focusing on resurrection in the here and now
Sunday 20th February at 10.30 a.m. – Fairtrade Fortnight begins! Marked in a service led by members of the congregation, along with Roberta Ritson
The URC Moderators have issued advice to churches in response to easing of legal restrictions. Noting that infection rates remain high, and the Omicron variant is still making people ill, they ‘urge the continued use of face coverings in churches, including during singing’, as well as maintaining good hand hygiene, physical distance, and good ventilation. Our Elders’ Meeting will continue to seek to make our worship and other activities as accessible as possible, balancing that with concern for the good health and safety of those in the building.
Bible readings for this week (from the Revised Common Lectionary)
Jeremiah 17:5-10 Parched shrubs and well-watered plants
Psalm 1 Delight in the law of God, not the advice of the wicked
1 Corinthians 15:12-20 If Christ has not been raised then …
Luke 6:17-26 A down-to-earth version of the beatitudes
The Beatitudes appear in the reading from Luke’s Gospel. They also appear in Matthew’s Gospel as the opening of the Sermon on the Mount (5:1-11). Luke tells us, Jesus ‘came down with them and stood on a level place’ (6:17), so maybe on the side of a hill. Luke’s version is shorter, emphasising the material, everyday aspect of Jesus’s teaching. It’s not ‘blessed are the poor in spirit’ (Mt. 5:3) but simply, ‘blessed are you who are poor.’ (6:20) Maybe Jesus preached similar ‘sermons’ more than once. That’s far from unknown, then or since. Perhaps Luke wanted to make sure we don’t respond to the distressing realities of poverty, hunger, weeping, and exclusion by ‘spiritualising’ them, as a way to let ourselves off doing something practical in response. Your spiritual life matters, but not if it excludes everyday material life.
‘A Place Called Skull’ – Learning from Luke – Thursday February 17th at 7.15 p.m.
Trevor Jamison leads our fifth conversation in this series. At the cross, there are words of love and anger, but what sort of words would we use today? Everyone welcome. No previous knowledge or involvement is required in order to take part.
To join this and subsequent meetings, Click Here
To join by phone: 0131 460 1196 Meeting ID: 878 1032 5730
Sign Up for Leading Prayer Workshop Saturday February 19th 2022, 10.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m.
Trevor Jamison will lead a workshop at the church on leading prayers in worship. This is a chance for those who’ve never done this before to ‘give it a go’ (without future obligation). Sign up to take part via the list in the church hall or by contacting Trevor Jamison.
Invitation to Support Compassion UK
Compassion is a Christian charity, fighting poverty through a child sponsorship scheme. We sponsor three children, two live in Rwanda and one in Ethiopia. Our young boy Gilbert who lives in Ethiopia is now eight years old. Our sponsorship is due this March when each person/family pays £15 for the year. If you would like more information or would like to take part in this work, please contact Shirley.
Sunday Coffee rota – No servers = no drinks!
We have restarted post-service tea and coffee on Sunday mornings, but we have not (yet) recruited enough volunteers to prepare and serve the drinks. Three or four people are required each week. Volunteers, please put your name on the list on notice board in the church hall asap, otherwise we will experience a serious and sustained drinks drought.