30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #99 13th March 2022
From the Minister Wait for the Lord?
‘Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.’ (Psalm 27:3) At the moment, it’s hard, if not impossible, to read these words and not think about the Ukraine. I wonder how Ukrainian people, trapped in the cities, fleeing to neighbouring nations, or already living abroad and looking on, might respond to these words. Also, I wonder how Russian people, with their, sometimes well-founded fear of being encircled by hostile nations, might read the same words. Some Russians and some Ukrainians can make decisions and take actions that make a difference, I suppose. Most of us, however, of whatever heritage or loyalty, have few opportunities to make a difference. Sadly, that includes most of the civilian population of the Ukraine. Here in the UK, for most of us it’s a case of pray, and give, either in direct support of those in need, or politically, as our government makes the best decisions it can with its limited influence. ‘Hear, O Lord, when we cry aloud, be gracious to us, and answer us’ (after Psalm 27:7).
God bless _____, guard her peoples guide her leaders, and give peace for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
(A prayer by Trevor Huddleston)
And a sung version of the prayer that is found in Psalm 27:7, here sung by the Taizé Community Choir
WORSHIP SERVICES AT ST COLUMBA’S
Sunday 13th March at 10.30 a.m.
Service led by John Drew, reflecting upon ‘Don’t be afraid, be patient, stand firm and keep going ‘cos the Lord is doing his work.’
Sunday 20th March at 10.30 a.m.
Service led by Roberta Ritson, ministry student on placement at St Columba’s
Bible readings for this week (Second Sunday in Lent)
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18 An invitation from God to count the stars in the sky
Psalm 27 ‘God is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear?’
Philippians 3:17-4:1 Keep things in a heavenly perspective
Luke 13:31-35 Jesus’s lament over Jerusalem
‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!’ (Luke 13:34) We lament the situation of the cities in the Ukraine today. Jesus lamented over Jerusalem in his time, but with a difference. We lament over what is being done to Ukrainian cities, Jesus laments over what has been done by the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They have rejected and even killed God’s representatives and messengers. In this, Jerusalem’s citizens are not unique, but are representative of humankind. They stand for us in our rejection of God, and God’s love and justice in our own lives. The good news is that Jesus stands for God, and is on a journey to set things right, for the city and for everyone and everything else: ‘the time comes when you say, Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’ (13:35)
North Tyneside Council have organised a tree planting day at Alexander Scott Park, off Coach Lane. Overseen by the Wildlife Trust, three hundred and fifty trees will be planted between 10.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. on Saturday 26th March. Just come along if you wish to help out.
Election of Elders
We are coming to the time of electing the next Elders to serve St Columba’s URC. If you would like to share this work or know of someone who might, please have a word with Alison before the end of March.
You can find the helpful URC booklet, “They’ve asked me to become an elder” here.
Lent events at St Columba’s
Three Pictures for Lent
7.15 p.m. Thursday 24 and 31 March, and 7 April – on Zoom.
Gentle conversation and prayer, around pictures of the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus ‘cleansing the temple’, and the Last Supper.
2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m., Friday 18 and 25 March, and 1 and 8 April – at St Columba’s
Creating a shared artwork, where your gender, age, previous experience (or lack of artistic talent!) is no bar to taking part. Each session will end with a short act of worship, followed by a cuppa and a hot cross bun.
Prayer Walk on the Beach
Saturday 9 April at 2.00 p.m.
A guided stroll with pauses for listening and for praying, both with and without words.
Lent events at other North Shields Churches – open to all
Public Readings of St John’s Gospel – St Joseph’s and St Cuthbert’s
12 noon, Saturdays 5, 12, 19 and 26 March at St Joseph’s and 2, 9 and 16 April at Cuthbert’s Copies of the text, along with notes explaining the significance of the Gospel, will be available.
Caring for Creation: Lenten Bible Study – St John’s and St Peter’s
6 pm to 7.30 pm, Wednesdays 9, 16, 23 and 30 March, and 6 April
Session 1: The Environment – St Peter’s, Balkwell
Session 2: Global Warming and Climate Change – St John’s, Percy Main
Session 3: The Age of Humans – Anthropocene Era – St Peter’s
Session 4: Coming Out of Denial and Facing Crisis – St John’s
Session 5: Faith, Hope and Love – St Peter’s
Memories of Good Friday marches in North Shields sought
Remembering the Past is collecting people’s memories of work and life around Northumberland Square and Howard Street as part of the Heritage Action Zone project. Having heard about the Good Friday Procession of Witness being centred around the Square, they’re keen to gather the recollections of those who took part years ago. If you’d like to contribute to the project, please contact Kath Smith via any of these channels: Remembering the Past, Room R11b, The Linskill Centre, Linskill Terrace, North Shields, NE30 2AY 0191 2584623 [email protected].uk
Keeping in Touch
You can contact your designated Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.