For Sunday 29th August 2021, 14th Sunday after Pentecost
Well the last bank holiday before Christmas is upon us. Where on earth has the summer disappeared to (have we had a summer?)?
This afternoon I head down on the train to Pembrokeshire for my final visit before Christmas. The plan is to spend the weekend on the beach – Baz, Betsy and Sophie love swimming in the sea and I enjoy watching them from the warmth of the sand (it needs to be above 25 degrees to get me to even think about sea swimming!).
One treat this weekend is heading to the lamb farm up the road from my parents in laws house- we stock up and bring it home to London- roast lamb on Sunday very much on the agenda.
Attached as always is the newsletter- this week written by Angus. There is plenty going on as always so please take the time to have a good read.
Enjoy the weekend ahead and speak to you all next week
Congregational Survey 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. In September we will offer a digest of the information and insights offered. One response to the question: What elements in our life together, in worship or other activities, would you like to see, either introduced or prioritised?
“Initially, thanksgiving for God's guidance and blessings as we have sailed these unchartered waters. There needs to be space and time for those of us who have had Covid-19 or who have lost family, friends, colleagues and neighbours to the virus. Their healing will need our understanding and patience. It is important that they are not 'left behind' in the eagerness to begin to live normally again.”
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 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 also 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. But in the meantime, perhaps we can take encouragement from one other response:
“The congregation has come together. I feel more connected now than pre pandemic.”
Have a happy bank Holiday weekend,
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. 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, 29th August 2021
Hymn 106 Bring to the Lord a glad new song (Jerusalem)
Hymn 489 Come down, O love divine (Down Ampney)
Hymn 706 For the healing of the nations (Triumph)
New Testament Reading: James 1: 17 - 27
Gospel Reading: Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Anthem: Almighty and everlasting God (Gibbons)
Musical Interlude: Hide not thou thy face (Farrant)
Organ Postlude: Voluntary for Double Organ in d (Purcell)
Worship on Sunday 5th September
Rev Nigel Robb leads worship at St Columba’s on Sunday 5th September (11am.) Angus William are on leave.
Contact details; Tel: 020 7584 2321
Facebook: @stcolumbaschurchpontstreet. Twitter: @LondonKirk
Pastoral Emergency Number (out of office hours): 07591926271
Please note the church office will be closed from 12pm on Friday 27th August to Wednesday 1st September.
Ordination of Rev Dr Allan Wright
A significant and happy occasion took place on Saturday 21st August at St Andrew’s, Newcastle when Rev Dr Allan Wright was ordained by the Presbytery of England and commissioned to a pioneer ministry to the veterinary community in the North East of England. https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/news-and%20events/news/2021/articles/pioneer-minister-called-to-serve-the-veterinary%20community The home congregation of St Andrew’s gifted Allan a beautiful travelling communion set and put on a magnificent church tea afterwards. We wish Allan, wife Sharon and children, Timothy and Hannah every best wish for the ministry and family life that lies ahead.
Return of Sunday School New Youth Group
The current plan for Sunday School (4-9 year olds) is to restart on a monthly basis. In addition, we hope to start a new group for 10-13years olds. 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)
More details will be given nearer the 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
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.
A Church of Scotland Army Chaplain has been in touch with the Church Office. His son, a recently graduated Quantity Surveyor (aged 24) is looking for lodgings from September to December in London (he has been let down last minute). Does anyone have a spare room and are looking for a lodger or a flat to rent? POC; Tom Kellock, 07580 130677.
Happy Hour’s next session (themed discussion f/b general socialising) will take place on Wednesday 8 September in the Upper Hall at St Columba’s at 6.30pm. We’ll be joined by our Associate Minister William McLaren. Light refreshments available. Further details to follow but please save the date. All welcome, especially newcomers.
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.
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.
8th September (10.30am) - TBC
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.
Amongst our prayers for Afghanistan we have received a specific request to pray for Rev Ian Kemp and Rev Richard Miekle who are both serving Army Chaplains and currently deployed with their units in Kabul.