For Sunday 18th July 2021, 8th Sunday after Pentecost
Good Afternoon All,
I hope this newsletter finds you well and enjoying the lovely warm weather that we are having. The weekend looks to be a hot one (our paddling pool will be out I am sure)!
This week we continue to settle William into his new role here at St Columba’s it is lovely to have the Associate Ministers office occupied once again. We also play host to “A cricketing year to savour” this evening- there is still time to book a place in the pews for the talk or please do join us virtually online here https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/live-stream.
This week Angus talks about the coming changes following the government’s announcement this week. All is in the attached newsletter.
As ever please do get in touch if you would like a place in the pews on Sunday.
Take care and speak soon
Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their couches.
Psalm 149:1, 5
While there has been plenty of live stream hymn singing reported from the home front, for what seems a long time there has been the genuine loss of congregational singing on Sunday morning in church. Its absence has left a real sadness; but perhaps also a renewed appreciation of the gift of singing and offering our praise, together. Happily, we are close to a restoration.
On Tuesday, our Out of Lock Down Working Group met to decide next steps, in light of the relaxation in pandemic Government Guidance scheduled to take effect on Monday 19th July. The Working Group noted that while the mandatory requirements have been lifted, the Government still “expects and recommends” the wearing of face coverings in crowded public places, as well as advising caution in all other aspects. There is clearly concern about a significant resurgence of infections in August. While we can announce some good news, the overall tenor of the meeting was “an abundance of caution.” So, things for noting:
Sunday 18th July (this Sunday): No change to existing arrangements.
From Sunday 25th July: The congregation will be permitted to sing! Hurrah!
While that is a lovely step forward, it is also an area of risk. So, for balance the Working Group has decided to leave in place the current, mitigating practices.
- We will maintain the booking system and collecting contact details in advance, because it assists smooth entry to church on Sunday mornings.
- We will maintain the one-way system in the building and existing spacing in the pews.
- We advise, (though not mandate), the wearing of face coverings round the building. Similarly, we advise (but not mandate) wearing of masks in the pews.
- We are delighted to offer hospitality in the Upper Hall, continuing to seat people at tables of four and served by the coffee teams.
- We encourage people to have regard to those who prefer to continue to socially distance.
- The live streamed and dial-in service continues.
I hope you can support these arrangements. They represent the balance between trying to make Sunday worship as enriching as possible, encourage people to return to St Columba’s when they feel ready and to assure those who do come that we are doing everything as safely as we possibly can. Our arrangements are under constant review and while they may not suit every individual taste, I hope we can all honour them as a means of showing care for each other.
We look forward to William leading worship at St Columba’s on Sunday and I look forward to being with our friends at St Andrew’s, Newcastle.
Attending Morning Worship
Live Streaming of Worship
Services 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. (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, 11th July 2021
Hymn 15 The Lord’s my Shepherd” (Psalm 23)
Hymn: 485 Dear Lord and Father of mankind
Hymn 577 Christ be beside me
Old Testament Reading: Jeremiah 23: 1 - 16
Gospel Reading: St. Mark 6: 30 – 34, 53 – 56
Anthem: Verleih uns Frieden ‘Grant us peace’ (Mendelssohn)
Musical Interlude: Lord for thy tender mercy’s sake (Farrant)
Organ Postlude: Introduction and Cornet Voluntary I (Burney)
Our coffee teams are now serving coffee and tea again in the Upper Hall*, after the Morning Service. They serve people seated at tables of four. Milk and sugar will be placed on every table, and as a trial, cups and saucers will be in place on the tables with coffee already in the cups and to fill the cups with hot water at the tables. Please ask for tea if required. Both doors to the Upper Hall will be open to avoid any congestion and also to have windows open at both ends of the hall. Anyone taking coffee should go straight into the Upper Hall, masked until they sit down, wait to be served, and not to move around.
St Columba’s member
The funeral service for St Columba’s member, Mrs Bonnie Patterson will take place at North East Surrey Crematorium at 10.40am on Tuesday 20th July 2021. Please keep Bonnie’s family in your prayers at this time. Kirk Session Meeting, St Andrew’s, Newcastle The Kirk Session of St Andrew’s, Newcastle will meet after service on Sunday 18th July 2021.
Kirk Session Meeting, St Andrew’s, Newcastle
The Kirk Session of St Andrew’s, Newcastle will meet after service on Sunday 18th July 2021.
Please note the Church Office will be closed from 2pm on Friday 25th June to Tuesday 29th June at 9am.
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.
Congregational Survey & Pastoral Conversations
Please keep an eye out for the Congregational Survey that will go out next week. With the pandemic, as a congregation we have had to face new circumstances. Some very positive things have emerged; some things have been particularly hard. Experiences have varied greatly. Pastorally, it feels important to allow church members to reflect and share a little on their recent experience. So, our Kirk Session has agreed that now is an appropriate moment for conversation, asking your help to discern what is important for our life ahead – how we might faithfully, helpfully, and hopefully, make the next steps along the St Columba’s way. To that end, the survey which can be completed either online or by return of post is the first step. It will be followed in September by the invitation to attend conversation groups for a fuller chance to hear and share experience. This will all feed into the Elders’ Away Day (Saturday 25th September) and also help us prepare for the Local Church Review that takes place on the weekend of Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th November. Assisting us with the survey and the conversation groups in September would be much appreciated.
St Columba’s Book Club
The next meeting of the St Columba’s Book Club will be the 23rd August (via Zoom) at 7pm. The month’s book will be “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett. If you would like to join please contact the office for more information.
If you would like to leave stamps for Crossreach, please pop them into the Church Office on Sundays.