For Sunday 3rd October 2021, 19th Sunday after Pentecost
In the opening devotions at the Kirk Session last Friday evening, we heard the following questions in relation to our lives of faith – offered not as a manifesto, but as something to ponder:
“What could we say no to? If we didn’t do something, would that activity cease altogether, and if it did, would that be a problem? Or would it give a breathing space out of which something else might emerge?”
“We cannot do everything and there is a sense of liberation in realising that. This enables us to do something and to do it well.”
This week I was reintroduced to words that might balance or be a foil to the questions at Kirk Session.
“God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission - I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next… I am a link in a chain, a bond of connexion between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments ….
Therefore, I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him … He does nothing in vain … He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me - still He knows what He is about.”
(John Henry Newman, Meditations on Christian Doctrine, 1848)
Church member, elder, Pont Street passer-by – may we all find comfort, strength and wisdom in discerning what God is calling us to be, in our one precious life.
Update from Out of Lock Down Working Group- Sunday Registration Ends!
At the meeting on Tuesday, it was decided there would be no further requirement to preregister to attend service (or book a pew if you like). We recommend that worshipers continue to wear a mask whilst in the building if possible and we encourage masks to be worn for singing. Whether you choose to wear a mask or not please be sensitive to the needs or anxieties of your fellow worshipers.
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, 3rd October 2021
233 Come you thankful people come (St George’s Windsor)
229 We plough the fields and scatter (Wir Pflugen)
238 Lord, bring the day to pass (Love Unknown)
Old Testament Reading: Deuteronomy 8: 1-10
Gospel Reading: John 6: 24-35
Anthem: Thou visitest the earth (Greene)
Anthem: Almighty and everlasting God (Gibbons)
Organ Postlude: Improvisation No.7” by Saint Saens
Short Service of Weekly Holy Communion
This Sunday, 3rd October, we restart the short service of Holy Communion, combined with prayers for those in need, in the London Scottish Chapel. The service follows on from the 11am Morning Service and begins at approximately 12.15pm. Worshippers can receive bread and wine; wine is distributed via small individual “thimble” glasses. The names gathered from the prayer cards, at the back of the sanctuary, are prayed for during the communion service. This is a very welcome return for a small but precious part of St Columba’s life.
October Church Magazine
Contact details; Tel: 020 7584 2321
Pastoral Emergency Number (out of office hours): 07591926271
Harvest Appeal - UR4Meals - The Upper Room
The Upper Room charity provides thousands of meals a year for the homeless and disadvantaged people. The above links provide an insight into the incredible services the charity provides. We are collecting on three Sundays, 19th and 26th September, culminating on Sunday 3rd October which is Harvest Festival Sunday. Suggested items for donations: canned fish, canned meat and canned vegetables, olive oil, sunflower oil, jarred sauces and long-life milk (any). Collection area: Upper Vestibule, where there will be a box for donated items.
If you would prefer to make a financial donation online direct to The Upper Room, UR4Meals, please click on the link.
Thank you UR4 Meals!
Sunday School & New Youth Group
St Columba’s families please note the dates of the next scheduled Sundays when there will be activities for both Sunday School groups (4–9-year-olds & 10-13years olds.)
Sunday 10th October, 11am
Sunday 14th November (Remembrance Sunday) 10.45am
Sunday 12th December (3.30pm, Christingle making, pizza family tea & Carols by Candlelight at 5pm)
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.
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.
Divine Dine (for Younger adults 18-40’s)
Come join us in the upper hall on 4th November at 18:30 where we'll have some dinner and have an informal discussion on the Sermon on the Mount. If you would like to come please let Fraser Stockton know
Our October Happy Hour will be a special ‘walk and talk’ ramble to celebrate meeting again face to face. We’ll meet on Saturday 2 October at 11am at The Richmond Gate entrance to Richmond Park for a c. 2 mile stroll through the park followed by a light lunch at the bar/coffee shop at 144 Richmond Hill. Richmond Gate is about 20 minutes’ walk from Richmond Station. For those who prefer to save their energy for the park, the 371 bus to Kingston goes from Richmond Station passing the Star and Garter home which is adjacent to the park entrance. Everyone who enjoys a walk is welcome, even if you have not been to previous Happy Hour sessions, you are also welcome to join the group for lunch at around 12.30pm if you prefer not to walk. Please leave your name and mobile number with the office by Friday 30 September if you would like to join.
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 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.
If you would like to leave stamps for Crossreach, please pop them into the Church Office on Sundays.
Friends of St Columba’s – Winchester Cathedral Visit
The Royal Foundation of St Katherine’s - An Introduction to
Strengthening Prayer: Four Movements for Spiritual Health
To those who are interested in strengthening their prayer, please see details of a course which will be held on 16th October at The Royal Foundation of St Katherine’s, Limehouse which is a 2 minute walk from Limehouse DLR station. More details can be found online here https://bit.ly/3CvbMsW.
In this quiet day, psychologist Dr Roger Bretherton will gently explore the four core spiritual movements of Strengthening Prayer: how God sees us, how we see God, how we see ourselves and how we see others. Taken together these prayerful exercises can foster wellbeing, enhance spiritual connection, and inspire effective action. Strengthening Prayer blends character strengths psychology, mindfulness practice, contemplative prayer and biblical meditation. No prior experience is required. Whether you are a newcomer to the life of prayer or a seasoned explorer keen to investigate new spiritual paths, this day retreat will have something to offer.
The cost of £35 includes coffee and pastries on arrival, a retreat lunch and afternoon pot of tea and cake.
(Thank you to the Congregational Prayer Group for this information.)
A Prayer for the Future of our Congregations at St Columba’s, Pont Street & St Andrew’s, Newcastle
The following prayer was offered by William (our Associate minister) at the outset of the recent elders’ away day. It is a prayer we can all make for the ongoing and future life of our congregations and communities.
"O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever!" (Psalm 118:1)
as we emerge from this time of pandemic
we bring to you the life of our church.
We ask for your guidance as we look to the future -
help us to rejoice in your presence,
to grow in faith,
and in numbers.
We ask for your guidance in our daily living -
help us to draw closer to you,
to learn more each day of your love,
and to show the truth of what we believe in our lives.
We ask for guidance in our life together -
help us to draw closer to one another
even when we must be apart,
help us to show genuine love and concern in all our dealings, to support each other whenever possible.
We ask for guidance in our witness -
help us to draw closer to the diverse community around our church, to serve wherever we see need,
and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ
whenever the opportunity arises.
We pray for those who especially need your guidance, those facing problems unknown to us,
those for whom advancing years
bring illness and infirmity
and who are prevented from joining us
as they did in former days,
those for whom the last year
has brought particular sadness or difficulty.
May each in their different situations
feel your presence and know your comfort,
may they know they are still remembered and valued and find encouragement in that knowledge.
we thank you for this opportunity to meet together,
to learn from the past
but above all to look to the future.
And we thank you for the assurance
that Christ is among us as we gather in His name.
Speak to us,
through your word, your Spirit,
and the fellowship we share,
so that in all our thinking, talking, planning, and deciding we may discern your will
and give us joy in your service.
Hear our prayer,
in the name of Christ. Amen.
(Inspired by Nick Fawcett "Prayers for all seasons")