E-Newsletter – 17th January 2021
This week the Kirk Session (trustees of the congregation) were asked to give their views about how we proceed at present. Commendably, there was a very full response, and the heavy consensus was that for reasons of safety and “common good” we should remain closed for in-person attendance at Sunday worship. For the moment, we will rely on the live-stream/Dial-In to maintain our worship; achieved with the minimum number of people in church. Our beautiful music, which has been such a sustaining source, reverts to being recorded and edited at home. We do not know how long this will last, but we will review again at the Kirk Session meeting on 29th January. Realistically, we may require to re endorse this policy on that date and commit to frequent review. Please be assured, our aim is to reopen as soon as we can, while maintaining the safety of our staff, volunteers and congregation.
One consistent theme from the recent consultation with elders did emerge. If we are required to stay closed, it is even more important than usual, to stay connected with members of the congregation. I am aware that so many people are quietly offering support to others in various ways. Please do not underestimate the value of seemingly small things. The message is definitely: Thank you so much, and please carry on!
Finally, an apology. On Sundays prior to Christmas, when we had worshippers in attendance, I may have given a wrong impression, by saying well done, to those who had made it to church on those Sundays. That was definitely not meant as a criticism of others who chose to worship at home. We are utterly reliant on people making sensible choices, dictated by a wise assessment of their own circumstances. I hope that is clear. In the meantime, while there is only the live-stream/Dial-In option, I hope everybody will feel like they are a welcome participant, rather than a distant spectator.
Wishing you patience, perseverance, peace and a little laughter, in times that demand these things from all of us. See you on Sunday,
Live Streaming of Worship – Sunday 17th January 2021, 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/live-stream 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 60 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.
We believe it is really important to continue to live-stream the Morning Service under its current format. i.e. for the benefit of those joining worship from afar or those as yet unable to make the journey to Pont Street. 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.
Hymns, Music & Readings this week are:
Hymn 268 O God of Bethel! By whose hand (Salzburg)
Hymn 502 Take my life, Lord, let it be (Nottingham)
Hymn 533 Will you come and follow me? (Kelvingrove)
Old Testament Readings: I Samuel 3:1-20
Gospel Reading: John 1:43-51
Anthem: Tribus miraculis (Marenzio)
Organ Postlude: Postlude in G, on a theme by Gibbons, C. V. Stanford
Associate Minister at St Columba’s, Pont Street
The Church of Scotland Ministries Council is currently
advertising on our behalf for the role of Associate Minister at
St Columba’s. The post has been vacant since Revd Andrea Price left us in November 2018. The deadline for applications is 28 February 2021. We hope to interview in March, with a view to someone joining the Ministry Team in the summer. Please keep this matter in your prayers and if you think you know someone who might be interested please bring it to their attention.
Job Description (churchofscotland.org.uk)
Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm. The Church Office is currently being manned from home.
Tel: 020 7584 2321
Pastoral Emergency Number (out of office hours): 07591926271
If you wish to come into the sanctuary for prayer during the week, please contact the Office to arrange a suitable time.
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 Book Club – 22nd February 2021, 7.00pm
The February meeting of the St Columba’s Book Club will take place on the 22nd February at 7pm (via Zoom). This month’s book will be “Honour” by Elif Shafak. New members are very much encouraged, please get in touch with the Church Office for more detail.
Zoom Coffee Morning
The St Columba’s Zoom Coffee Mornings are returning for lockdown 3.0. We have a fantastic line up of speakers and hope that many of you will join us. Please contact the church office to be included in the zoom invitation.
20th January, 10.30am St Columba’s Elder, Kate McNish talks “Plant’s, Potions and Honeybees”.
27th January, 10.30am Gaelic Singer and Performer, Michael Hill will join us to talk about Robert Burns poetry and songs. Michael will
also perform some pieces for us.
3rd February, 10.30am Revd Eleanor McMahon joins us. Subject TBC 10th February, 10.30 Revd Jane Taylor will talk us through icons & how they are painted
17th February, 10.30am Our very own Revd Angus MacLeod will lead us into Lent with a talk about Ash Wednesday.
COVID-19 vaccination scam alert
Some people are receiving fraudulent calls and text messages offering the COVID 19 vaccination. In some cases, people are asked to press a number on their keypad or to send a text message to confirm they wish to receive the vaccine. Doing so is likely to result in a charge being applied to their phone bill. In other cases, callers are offering the vaccine for a fee or asking for bank details. Like other scams, the same rules apply;
- Don’t click on links or attachments in unexpected texts, emails or instant messages.
- Challenge every request for your personal details.
- It doesn’t matter what they say or what they know about you, don’t respond to unexpected phone calls, hang up, take five then verify their claims via a trusted method. (such as the usual website or official phone number)
The vaccine is only available from the NHS and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn. At present, appointments are only being offered to members of the public over 80 years old.
The NHS will:
- NEVER ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text asking you to confirm you want the vaccine.
- NEVER ask for payment for the vaccine or for your bank details.
Where the victim is vulnerable, report it to the MPS online or by calling 101. Link to an example of the scam text message on behalf