E-Newsletter – 15th November 2020
When I was an Army chaplain one of the regiments I served with had its own Kirk Session. One of its young elders was an absolutely fanatical Glasgow Rangers supporter. In a year when Rangers came second best to city rivals, Celtic, I introduced the hymn, At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, by saying that verse three was especially for one of our elders. Verse three begins – “Humbled for a season….”
I’m not sure I was forgiven until the following season!
I thought of humbled for a season given sporting events this week. Finally, after a twenty three year gap, Scotland will appear at a major international football tournament. Not even a goal for Serbia in the ninetieth minute of the game could deny Scotland’s eventual victory in a penalty shootout. Ten major international competitions have come and gone, with no Scotland. Next summer that will change. Stand by for the Tartan Army heading for Wembley in June – Government Guidelines permitting. In Psalm 90, set for worship this weekend, the Psalmist reflects on time, comparing our own brevity with the vast sweep of God’s eternity.
“For a thousand years in your (God’s) sight
are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.”
A wise person remarked to me this week: “We rarely have the big picture. We can’t always see what God is doing, or where God is acting.” Sometimes we just have to wait; sometimes we just have to keep hope alive. But then sometimes, there are moments of great rejoicing! Let us enjoy and celebrate them when they come.
See you on Sunday
Live Streaming of Worship
The live stream service continues this Sunday at 11.00am. Music begins from 10.50am. The service can be watched via the church website, https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/live-stream. To access the live stream from the homepage (front page) click the Menu button in the top right-hand side of the page and scroll down and click on “Live Stream”. This will bring up the live stream to the church. The act of worship of approximately 60 minutes, includes include prayers, a sermon and music. The words for the hymns will be on the website.
For those without internet, the Dial-In facility continues. Many people comment that they do have a sense of worshipping together, even if invisible to each other. While current regulation forbids singing in the pews, the live stream strongly recommends singing in the sitting room!
Dial into Sunday Service
If you are aware of church members or friends who do not have access to internet please inform them that they can now phone in to join the Sunday service. No visuals clearly, but at least they can hear the service.
Those interested should follow:
Step 1: At 10.40am call phone number 0203 051 2874.
Step 2: You will be prompted to enter a meeting ID. Please type (using your telephone keypad) 266 883 5072#
Step 3: You will then be asked for a participant number - simply press the #.
Step 4: Enjoy the service! You will hear Ben's organ music from 10.50am.
Office Hours 9am to 4pm.
Tel: 020 7584 2321
Pastoral Emergency Number (out of office hours): 07591926271 Maintaining Community and Supporting Each Other
Everybody can play a part in maintaining contact with others via telephone, e-mail or letter, especially those who are particularly vulnerable. Our Elders are encouraged to make contact with those in their districts, and church members are welcome to contact the church office to request a contact from their elder or the Minister.
Details on the many ways you can support St Columba’s can be found here https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/giving/supporting-st-columbas
Offerings to St Andrew’s, Newcastle can be made via:
Account - Church of Scotland
Sort code - 40-34-18
Account number – 11310747
St Columba’s Adherent
We are sorry to announce the death of St Columba’s adherent Liz Fergusson. Liz and her husband Colin have worshipped at St Columba’s for a number of years and were well known to many. Liz worked with the Night Shelter and was a trustee and chairwomen of West London Action for Children for many years. Our thoughts and prayers are with Liz’s husband Colin and their families at this difficult time.
Annual Bereavement Service Sunday 22nd November
Each year we are very aware that the approach to Christmas can be a particularly poignant time in which we remember those who have died. Each year, therefore, we hold our Annual Bereavement Service. We write to those who have experienced the death of a loved one, and whose service was conducted by one of the St Columba’s ministers, in the last seven years, and invite family members and friends to attend this annual service. (This year we also include the names of St Andrew’s, Newcastle members.) To mitigate the uncertainties of changing Covid19 regulations and reduce the risk of travel, the service will not be attended in person, but made available via our website from 3pm on Sunday 22nd November, at www.stcolumbas.org.uk The service is designed to be quiet and reflective and will last about forty five minutes.
During the service we remember by name those whose funeral or memorial services we have conducted in the past year (1st October 2019 – 30 September 2020). As a congregation we pray for the family and friends of all whose funerals we call to mind. Relatives and friends who have attended in previous years have found the service to be helpful.
Particularly this year, with all its difficulties, though we will not be physically together, I hope that people can draw strength and comfort from knowing that loved ones are being remembered and prayed for.
St Columba’s Book Club 23 November 7.00pm
The November meeting of the St Columba’s Book Club will take place on the 23rd at 7pm (via Zoom). This month’s book will be “Someone in the Distance” by Dorothy Whipple. New members are very much encouraged, please get in touch with the Church Office for more detail.
Zoom Coffee Mornings
Lockdown 2.0 is in full swing here in London and throughout England. To try and break the week up for those who are at home, working from home or need a little something different in the week (and some friendly faces on the screen) I have organised some Zoom coffee mornings.
Join us for the first, on the 20th November at 10.30am with my Dad, Andy Machell. Andy had a long career in the RAF and is now a full time reservist. His current focus is training across the services in Mental Health First Aid. Andy will be talking about how to look after your mental health in lockdown and the things you can do to manage anxiety.
Looking ahead we will be joined on the 2nd December at 10.30am by The Rt Revd Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. In what would have been the moderatorial week in London, Revd Fair will join us to talk about his “odd” year as Moderator and how COVID had changed things for the Church.
Due to the current restrictions, unfortunately we will not be able to do our usual Sox & Boxers collection.
As an alternative way of contributing to the Christmas Appeal, you may like to consider making a financial donation to either Glass Door or to Borderline. Thank you, Mission Committee.
Cheques payable to 'Glass Door Homeless Charity' and post to:
Attn. Ian Foster - Fundraising Managing
Glass Door Homeless Charity
155a Kings Road
London SW3 5TX
Cheques payable to 'New Borderline' and post to:
Attn. Andrew Ellison - Fundraising Manager
22 City Road
London EC1Y 2AJ
Lent Appeal 2021
London Prisons Mission Volunteers
In October we marked Prisons Week. London Prisons Mission offer these words: “There is an urgent need for additional volunteers to undertake regular work within prisons, or in support of London Prisons Mission’s (LPM) activities in this field. Introductory visits are arranged to explore and discuss the wide range of needs and opportunities available to match the skills, experience and available time of suitable volunteers. Relevant training and regular support is provided and new volunteers never function alone. The role of regular volunteers is challenging, interesting and working in the prison system, if often frustrating, is invariably very rewarding. We expect each volunteer’s home church to engage informally with the LPM, receive regular reports from volunteers and from time to time inform the congregation about developments and some of the issues involved.”
Anyone interested in exploring this, please contact the Minister, via the Church Office.
The Denis Duncan Lecture 2020
Where Healing and Reconciliation Meet
Speaker: Ruth Harvey (Leader, Iona Community)
7pm, Monday 16 November 2020
Communities across the globe are under immense strain. The economic, social and environmental rifts opened up by Covid-19 expose the gulf in our society between the rich and the poor, those with access to power and choice, and those without. What offerings of healing and reconciliation do faith communities have to make today?
Drawing on her experience as a mediator and her lifetime commitment to the Rule of Life of the Iona Community, Ruth will explore the places where healing and reconciliation meet, bringing hope in a divided world.
In collaboration with the Guild of Health & St Raphael, this event will also mark the launch of the Healthy Healing Hub project in Scotland, which aims to resource and support churches to carry out the command of the Lord to make disciples and to heal. Tickets via Eventbrite