For Sunday 12th September 2021, 16th Sunday after Pentecost
Good Afternoon All,
I hope this email finds you well and have enjoyed the last bit of summer we have enjoyed this week.
Us Llewellyn’s have survived the first full week of school and have come out of it pretty unscathed. With schools starting back in full, we have had somewhat of a full house here at St Columba’s too. Knightsbridge School returned with a school assembly in the Lower Hall on Thursday and the church was full of Hill House students (parents are still unable to join to allow for distancing). It was glorious to hear their chatter and music through the building this week.
Along with the schools many of our groups have also started back- Mini Mozart’s music filled the Upper Hall on Tuesday morning, Tarka put the children through their paces on Wednesday and we have enjoyed hearing the ‘hi-ya’s’ of the Martial Arts Federation. Next week we welcome the Langham Sketch Club on Wednesday evenings and the Choir With No Name on Thursday evenings.
Although through the week the building has started to be well used again, we also have a lot going on in Church Life. This week sees the return of Sunday School, we have our first conversation in the library following the congregational survey and next week Sunday lunches restart. All of this is detailed in the enewsletter, written by Angus, attached.
Wishing you all a lovely weekend. Keep me in your thoughts from 11am tomorrow- I am walking 25km crossing most of the bridges in London in aid of MacMillian Cancer Support with my Mum (you can find the route here https://ultrachallenge.com/thames-bridges-trek/).
See you next week.
“This looking all round is the ministry of Jesus…”
Early September feels like a starting point or setting out – a more realistic new year than January 1st’s New Year. This year everyone’s circumstances continue to evolve – some retaining distinct caution, others keen to “get on with it!” There is certainly increased activity at St Columba’s with the return of school pupils and other groups restarting. At the potential outset of new things, in all our encounters, within and beyond the church walls, what might our guiding principles be?
With his permission, I share reflections made this week by retired Church of Scotland minister, Revd David Donald Scott. His daily blog is a highly recommended source of wisdom. (http://daviddonaldscott.com/blogonthelearig/) This week he offered the following thoughts about the story of Jesus and Jairus’ daughter.
"Jesus was pre-occupied. Jairus came to see him about his daughter who was at the point of death. A woman in the crowd touched the hem of his garment. Rather than ignoring it, Jesus took the time and the trouble to find out who had touched him! As St. Mark says, ‘He looked all round to see who had done it."
- How often have we looked all round and seen a person awkwardly standing on their own in a busy social situation and made the effort to be more inclusive?
- How often have we looked all round and seen the beggar on steps of cinema or theatre and raised our gaze high above their inconvenient need?
- How often have we looked all round and seen the loss of weight, the sadness in the eyes, the hurried exit and thought, only momentarily, that there was trouble in the air?
This looking all round is the ministry of Jesus who, despite the pressing crowd and the busy schedule, has time to break off and seek out the anonymous woman who longed for healing and new life, the one whose pain is unacknowledged, whose longing is hidden from view.
It’s a ministry which can be exercised by everyone whether they are busy or not, whether they are a healer or not, whether they are male or female, young or old, here or there. For it’s a ministry of friendship which binds our common humanity together.”
With thanks to David. Have a good week.
Sunday 12th September Welcomes
A particular welcome this week to the families and friends of Rory Moore Theodore Lancaster who come today for baptism. In addition to Rory and Theodore our young people are in church this Sunday for the first Sunday School on the new school year. We are grateful to our church families for the life and vitality that they bring.
Out of Lock Down Working Group Update Attending Morning Worship
At the most recent meeting of the Out of Lock Down Working Group the following were decided:
- Continue to request that worshippers “book ahead” and notify the Church Office, either by telephone, 0207 584 2321 or email,
- The tape on the pew ends has been removed. Alternate pews will be left vacant to maintain social distancing. This Sunday the front rows will be reserved for the two visiting baptismal families.
- Worshippers are still encouraged to wear masks within the building and observe social distancing. We request that masks are maintained during the singing of hymns.
Live Streaming of Worship
Services can be watched via the church website stream. https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/live
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.
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.
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, 12th September 2021
Hymn 510 Jesus calls us here to meet him (Lewis Folk Melody) (verses 1-3)
Hymn 137 All things bright and beautiful
(All things bright and beautiful) (Omit verse 3)
Hymn 636 Baptized in water (Bunessan, Hymn 212)
Hymn 530 One more step along the world I go (Southcote)
New Testament Reading: James 3:1-12
Gospel Reading: Mark 8:27-38
Anthem: O for a closer walk with God (Stanford)
Musical Interlude: Ave verum (Mozart)
Organ Postlude: Prelude, Fugue and Ciaconne (Buxtehude)
Contact details; Tel: 020 7584 2321
Facebook: @stcolumbaschurchpontstreet. Twitter: @LondonKirk Pastoral
Emergency Number (out of office hours): 07591926271
Congregational Survey and Congregational Conversations
Many thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to the recent congregational survey; we have had approximately one hundred responses, which represents a very good return. Next week we will offer a digest of the information and insights offered.
Given the impact of the pandemic, past and ongoing, pastorally, it feels important to allow church members to reflect and share a little on their experience. So, the next step is an invitation to join one of the Congregational Conversation groups scheduled for September – the first one is this Sunday. The groups will be convened by one of the ministers, accompanied by a member of the Kirk Session. There will be opportunity to attend either in person or via zoom. While the groups may discuss how best the congregation emerges into our new circumstances and our future priorities, the aim is not to be a “strategy meeting”, but to offer some solidarity and deepen the understanding of how others have experienced some difficult and demanding times. Do please consider being part of these conversations on these dates:
Sunday 12th September, 12.30-1.30pm (In person)
Wednesday 15th September 11.30am – 12.30pm (In person)
Friday 17th September 11.30am – 12.30pm (via Zoom)
Tuesday 21 September 6.30 – 7.30pm (via zoom)
Sign up is via the office.
What is collated from the survey and what is shared in the Congregational Conversations will all feed into the Elders’ Away Day (Saturday 25th September) and help us prepare for the Local Church Review that takes place on the weekend of Saturday 6th Sunday 7th November. Hopefully, the combination of these initiatives will help us faithfully and prayerfully, make the next steps along the St Columba’s way. The overall response to the survey has been very positive, although there are criticisms and disappointments also expressed. It will be our collective responsibility to try to respond to those concerns.
Sunday 12th September: Welcome back to Sunday School New Youth Group
This Sunday is the first opportunity for our young people to gather at the start of the new school year. At the 11am service, after the baptisms, Sunday School (4–9-year olds) restarts on a monthly basis. In addition, a new group for 10-13years olds is offered. Both groups will meet on the same dates and times.
Sunday 12th September, 11am
Sunday 10th October, 11am
Sunday14th November (Remembrance Sunday) 10.45am
Sunday 12th December (3.30pm, Christingle making, pizza family tea Carols by Candlelight at 5pm)
We are delighted to welcome the return of Sunday School activities and as September 12th is also a baptismal Sunday, it promises to be an exuberant Sunday.
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
St Columba’s Book Club
The next meeting of the St Columba’s Book Club will be on the 11th October at 7pm. The book for October is Elena Ferrante’s “The Lying Life of Adults”. The wonderful thing about the St Columba’s Book Club is that it is all done via the amazing power of Zoom so you can be comfy on your couch or at your dining room table- no need to provide food or host the book club (they don’t mind if you attend in your PJ’s ☺) and you don’t even have to be based in London! New members always welcome and very much encouraged.
If you would like to leave stamps for Crossreach, please pop them into the Church Office on Sundays.
St Columba’s Coffee Mornings
We are looking forward to welcoming participants back to the St Columba’s virtual coffee mornings from September (note that is will be Afternoon Tea in November). Please pop the below dates in your diary and do let the Church Office know if you would like to attend.
13th October (10.30am) - Revd Bola Adamolekun, Church of England Chaplain at Brixton Prison discusses her role at the Prison in what is Prisons Week. Bola will talk about how COVID has affected support to prisoners, the highs and lows of her role and will give further information on Prisons Week.
17th November (2pm) - Revd Camille Cook, Senior Pastor at Georgetown Presbyterian Church in Washington will discuss Thanksgiving and its role within the Church. Camille will be well known to many at St Columba’s so a nice chance to see her again also!
15th December (10.30am)- Revd Dr John McCulloch, Minister St Andrews, Jerusalem Tiberias will discuss Christmas in the Holy Land.
Glass Door Sleep Out, Friday 1st October
“Give up your bed for the night and help someone find a route out of homelessness.” Glass Door's annual Sleep Out will be taking place on Friday, 1 October 2021. Participants give up their bed for one night to give someone a chance to leave homelessness behind. Find out more and sign up at https://www.glassdoor.org.uk/
This year, Glass Door (which partners with churches to run the UK’s largest open access homeless support network) is encouraging people either to take part remotely or to sign up for one of the limited spaces available at Duke of York Square in Chelsea. Take part as a church team or by yourself. Sleep on your floor or join 200 others at Duke of York Square. Either way, you will be helping someone find a route off the streets.
The charity is expecting more demand on their services as the furlough scheme ends and evictions begin. Glass Door has ambitious plans in place to support people in need this winter, and the funds raised through the Sleep Out will help to ensure they can open their doors to the large number of people expected to need shelter and support.
Registration is FREE but participants are asked to set an ambitious target for their fundraising goal. Every pound you raise can help someone find safe shelter and support to get off the streets for good.
ScotsCare Volunteer for Media Working Group
The charity are looking for new members for ScotsCare's Media Working Group (advert attached to newsletter.) This is a voluntary role. Currently the group meets bi monthly on Zoom, though this might change in the future. The ideal member would have either some press, tv, film experience (with a solid network of contacts) that could help provide additional advice in relation to the communications the charity produces. ScotsCare would be particularly interested in someone with a social media background and/ or a freelance journalist.
Prayer Resources for Sunday 12th September 2021,
Prepared by the Congregational Prayer Group
on this back to church Sunday,
we give you thanks for awakening Your spirit within us:
Grant us grace to welcome the newly baptised
into Your church family,
and to re-affirm our commitment to follow You
on a journey of faith.
Grant us the wisdom to know Christ’s suffering
and confess our own sins.
Help us to explore creatively,
as we look to You in worship.
Teach us to recognise and use our gifts
as we venture out in Your service.
Inspire us to encounter You,
the extraordinary, in the ordinary.
We pray that we are guided by Your spirit
in all that we do.