Weekly Newsletter - 3rd July 2020
We have recently passed 100 days since lock down started. That may seem incredibly quick or painfully slow – perhaps both, depending on our fluctuating moods. Roundabout us there are all sorts of “unlockings” taking place – and the constant changes, the search for clarification and the occasional conflicting message, all contribute to the feeling of uncertainty, with accompanying fatigue and anxiety. Yet, for some I hope, there are now opportunities to be with loved ones and enjoy certain things, that have not been possible in prior months.
Places of worship have begun to open in varying ways. Some are open for private prayer at specified times. Others will restart public worship from this Sunday. These signs are to be welcomed. At St Columba’s and St Andrew’s, Newcastle we are continuing to review how and when it will be best to reopen our doors. In London, we are considering what would be required to open, either for worship or for the use/hire of our halls. The Coming Out of Lock Down working group will shortly make their recommendations to the Kirk Session, (now scheduling to meet, Thursday 16th July) who will make the decision about what we do and when. Without, second-guessing Kirk Session’s decision, I imagine we may keep our doors closed for some time, while relying on the streaming of Sunday services. There may then be a phased reintroduction of small numbers of returning worshippers, while still maintaining the live stream broadcast. What may appear as a delay is the paramount consideration of the safety of our staff, congregation and visitors. In time, I believe what will stand out as important, will not be how soon did we open, but how safely did we open. Please keep the working group and the Kirk Session in your prayers as we try to make decisions that are faithful, courageous and compassionate.
Last Sunday marked the end of the Sunday School year. Promotions Sunday is traditionally the moment to celebrate our young people and to say thank you to all the adults who have helped care for our children this year. The Roll of Honour for Sunday School is: Fiona Gardner, David Kerr, Catherine McDonald, Charlotte Bradford, Roddy Cameron, Ian McNicol, Susan Pym, Lesley Benning, Rosa Somerville, Gordon Cameron, Caroline Newsome, Will Hamlyn &Alison Scheurer-Dewar.
For Crèche: Jen de Witt, Betsy Wilkie, Liz Maliphant, Ginger Irvine, Lynsey Verrillo, Yolanda Park, Gary Wallis, Suzanne & Derek Williams. Marietta Krikhaar - while not a volunteer, “has been amazing!!” and without Fiona Lang’s Safeguarding role, there simply would be no youth activities. Finally, “Mention in Dispatches” for Lucy Llewellyn in the Church Office, for enormous help co- ordinating and publicising so many of our activities throughout the year. Raising family and sharing faith is not easy in our day and age. For the contribution that our families and adult volunteers make to the life of the congregation – thank you! In the words of Beatrix Potter, quoted in this week’s Families Newsletter: “If I have done anything, even a little, to help small children enjoy honest, simple pleasures, I have done a bit of good.” Collectively you have done a great deal of good and the congregation salutes you! May the summer weeks carry many well- deserved blessings of light, fun and rest.
Angus, St Columba’s, Pont Street, 3rd July 2020
The Church Office is currently staffed from home. Office Hours 9am to 4pm.
Contact details remain;
Tel: 020 7584 2321
Twitter: @LondonKirk Pastoral Emergency Number (out of office hours): 07591926271
Live Streaming of Worship – Sunday 5th July 2020, 11am
The live stream service continues this Sunday at 11am. Music begins from 10.50am. The service can be watched via the church website, https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/livestream at 11am. 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 50 minutes, includes include prayers, a sermon and music. (Note: This will not be public worship that everyone can attend, but an offering of prayer and praise, on behalf of us all.) The words for the hymns will be on the website.
NEW 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.
Poetry & Silent Prayer for Sundays
For some years now a small group of church members have met on the second Sunday of each month, between 10.15-10.30am, in the London Scottish Regimental Chapel.
Primarily, this monthly gathering has been the opportunity to pray for the life and ministry of St Columba’s. Each year, during Advent and Lent, the meetings expand and change somewhat. Prayer is encouraged by a short piece of scripture, a poem and then a time of silent prayer. During lockdown, those who would normally gather in the London Scottish Chapel have been encouraged to maintain a pattern of praying at their usual Sunday time. Praying with others, especially when keeping silence, is definitely easier when done with companions! The group would now like to make the resources they receive each week available to a wider audience, via the newsletter and the website. The prayers and poem for Silent Prayer are at the end of the newsletter, and will also appear on the Live Stream page of the website. This week the prayers are provided by congregational prayer group member, Daphne Moore. We hope this will encourage people to find time and space for some precious quiet prayer and offer prayers for the ongoing life of our congregations and nations.
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.
“We Are Church”
Every organisation and household is affected by the current economic and social disruption. While we are unable to meet for worship and cannot allow groups to hire and meet in our facilities, we have to maintain the building and meet ongoing, significant financial commitments for the wider Church of Scotland. Please consider your offerings to the ongoing work of St Columba’s.
If you would like to give a one-time gift to St Columba’s you can do this easily through our online giving platform Online Giving. The currency automatically defaults to USD but you can use the drop-down arrow to select GBP. *Please note that there is no need to pay the administration cost that Just Giving ask for. It does not benefit the church in any way. (Using the drop-down menu choose 0%).
If you would like to give a weekly, monthly or quarterly gift, the most efficient way of doing this is setting up a standing order to the church. The Church Office can send you a Congregational Offerings standing order form to fill in, which you can return to the church (we will post to your bank). Alternatively, if it is easier to set the standing order up directly with your bank, please use the following details:
Account - St Columba’s Church of Scotland No. 2 A/C
Sort code – 16 00 42
Account number – 00264741
Offerings to St Andrew’s, Newcastle can be made via:
Account - Church of Scotland
Sort code - 40-34-18
Account number - 11310747
We are very pleased to announce that Revd Morag Crossen, who came to St Columba’s in the summer of 2019 as a probationary Minster passed her final interview this week and can now apply for charges. We wish Morag all the best in her career and keep her in our prayers whilst she searched for her next step.
St Columba’s Book Club
The third online St Columba’s book club went very successfully, so much so that the next virtual meeting will be Monday the 13th July at 7pm. The next book will be “Why I am no longer talking to white people about race” by Reno Eddo-Lodge. If you would like to join the book discussion please contact the office.
St Columba's Tennis Club
St Columba’s Tennis Club is now open again for play. Courts have to be booked at present as hanging around the clubhouse is not yet allowed. For people who haven’t been playing for a while it might be wise to get a bit of help beforehand. David the coach is available at reasonable rates. Telephone 07548 659883. Coaching for children is available. http://www.stcolumbastennis.co.uk
POETRY & SILENT PRAYER ST COLUMBA’S, PONT STREET 5th JULY 2020
BEFORE PRAYER Take time to find a comfortable place to sit. A candle or a vase of flowers, or an object can be a helpful object for focus. Be aware of your body and breath. Silence - a meeting place where I am looking for God’s love and He is looking for mine.
I weave a silence on to my lips
I weave a silence into my mind
I weave a silence within my heart
I close my ears to distractions
I close my eyes to attractions
I close my heart to temptations
Calm me as You stilled the storm
Still me, keep me from harm
Let all the tumult within me cease
Enfold me, Beloved, in your peace. (THE EDGE OF GLORY by David Adam)
SCRIPTURE: PSALM 145: 13b-18
The Lord is faithful in all his words,
and gracious in all his deeds.[c]
The Lord upholds all who are falling,
and raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you, and you
give them their food in due season.
You open your hand,
satisfying the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is just in all his ways,
and kind in all his doings.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
POEM, Lead Kindly Light, John Henry Newman
Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home—
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene—one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor pray'd that Thou
Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path, but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.
TIME OF SILENCE
CLOSING PRAYER Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ has taught us that what we do for the least of your children we do also for him. Give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all, who gave up his life and died for us, but lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Word of Life, heal, forgive, comfort, bless.
Be still, be glad, and be at peace.