For Sunday 7th November 2021, 24th Sunday after Pentecost
Celebrating what God has done in the past – anticipating what God will do in the future
This weekend we welcome the three-person Local Church Review Panel from the Presbytery of England, as they undertake the first part of their review of our linked charge. (Part II at St Andrew’s, Newcastle follows on the weekend of 20th & 21st November.) The last review was undertaken in 2014 – so an enormous amount has happened in the meantime.
The Local Church Review system aims to encourage congregations – it should not be viewed as a dreaded church Ofsted! Prior to the visit we have prepared a document for the Panel’s consideration which aims to describe a little of the years since the previous review, sketch the current life of the congregation and express some of our thoughts, concerns, hopes and aspirations for the future. The Panel will use this as a basis for their respective meetings with the ministers, the Kirk Session and the congregation. They recognise the written word conveys only part of a picture and visits and dialogue add so much more.
One of the aims of a Local Church Review is to help a congregation work towards a congregational plan for the next five years. In some ways this is particularly difficult given the continuing uncertainty arising from the pandemic. In other ways the pandemic offers opportunities to really consider what and how we choose our priorities and deploy our energies. The busyness both of St Columba’s life and daily living mean that it takes a very conscious effort to look beyond immediate activities and concerns. In the Queen’s recent
message to world leaders attending COP26 in Glasgow, she made a distinction between government and statesmanship.
“It has sometimes been observed that what leaders do for their people today is government and politics. But what they do for the people of tomorrow – that is statesmanship.”
As we seek to be faithful in our own time and place it is good to be reminded, perhaps challenged, by this longer perspective. We are not just to look after today’s community, but to try to do things that will be meaningful and encouraging for those who come after us, and whom we may never personally know.
This mix of looking back and forward at a time of review, is nicely encapsulated in a prayer of Eugene Peterson: “I renew the memories of your work, O God, and know that whatever ills or trouble I fall into, there is a way out in Jesus Christ. I celebrate what you did in the past, and I anticipate what you will do in the future. Amen.”
So, happy reviewing, happy anticipating and may this weekend be a time of honest, free, and fruitful conversation. Please keep both the Panel and all parts of our church family in your prayers.
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.
Reminder: If you do not wish to appear on the live-stream please choose a seat in the rear half of the sanctuary.
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 the organ music from 10.50am.
Hymns, Music & Readings, 7th November 2021
Hymn 201 Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness
(Moredun) Hymn 633 Child of blessing, child of promise
Hymn 198 Let us build a house where love can dwell (Two Oaks) Omit verse 3
ymn 468 Son of God, eternal Saviour (Blaenwern)
Anthem: My soul there is a country, Parry
Organ Postlude: Fugue sur le thème du Carillon des Heures de la Cathédrale de Soissons, Duruflé
Short Service of Weekly Holy Communion
Following Morning Service there is a short service of Holy Communion, combined with prayers for those in need, at 12.15pm in the London Scottish Chapel. 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.
Local Church Review: St Columba’s, Pont Street
Three members of the Presbytery of England will be visiting St Columba’s over the weekend of 6th/7th November 2021 to conduct our Local Church Review. They are the Revd Dr Cameron Langlands (Head of Spiritual and Pastoral Care, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust), with Dr Hilary Boyle (former Session Clerk, St Andrew's in the Grange, Guernsey and current Moderator of the Presbytery of England) and Colin Somerville (elder and Treasurer, Crown Court Church, and a trustee of Scotscare). Timings:
Saturday 6th Nov 21: 09.30am – 10.45am LCR Panel meet with Ministers via Zoom
11.00am – 12.30pm LCR Panel meet with Kirk Session of St Columba’s, Pont Street via Zoom.
Sunday 7th Nov 21: 11.00am Rev Cameron Langlands (Convenor of the LCR Panel) preaches at morning service. Congregational Lunch
1.15 –2.15pm LCR Panel meet with Congregation in-person.
The Panel particularly value the opportunity to hear from the wider congregation, so do please attend if you can; the more voices represented, the better.
Volunteers needed for the Night Shelter
St Columba’s operates a Night Shelter on behalf of a Homeless charity called Glass Door and in co-operation with six other churches in the locality to offer supper and a
Contact details; Tel: 020 7584 2321
Facebook: @stcolumbaschurchpontstreet. Twitter: @LondonKirk Pastoral Emergency Number (out of office hours): 07591926271
Sunday School (4-9) & New Youth Group (10-12)
Future dates: Sunday 14th November (Remembrance Sunday) 10.45am Sunday 12th December (3.30pm, Christingle making, pizza family tea & Carols by Candlelight at 5pm)
Sunday Lunch Dates
A reminder that due to the reduced number of available lunch teams (9 down to 5), lunches will only be served on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, and on the 5th Sunday where there are 5 Sundays in any month.
The dates for lunch until the end of 2021 are as follows –
7th November / 21st November / 5th December / 19th December in the Lower Hall unless circumstances change.
Coffee will continue to be served every Sunday as usual in the Upper Hall. These Hospitality Services are much valued in supporting Fellowship.
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
Lent Appeal 2022 (small away/overseas charity)
Life and Work - COP26 Special Supplement
Life and Work have produced a FREE four-page COP26 Special Supplement available now at https://www.lifeandwork.org/resources/cop26-special-supplement. The purpose of this publication is to enable congregations to engage before, during and after COP26 and also signpost resources.
Also, the November issue of the magazine published today has a focus on COP26 and Remembrance. Anyone that is not a subscriber and interested in this particular issue can purchase a single print or digital copy at
Christian Aid – Get Involved – Climate Change – Saturday 6th November – COP26
If you are interested in getting involved and to make your voice heard regarding climate change, Christian Aid has details on their website, click on links above. Details about the organised London march, location, timing, cafes and toilets on the way. The march ends at Trafalgar Square with a rally from 3pm to 4pm. Why not go along! (Please take Covid safety precautions, wear a mask if you can, do a lateral flow test in the morning before leaving home). Genesis 1: 'God created the heavens and the earth...and God saw that it was good.' It’s time for more action on climate change to protect the planet and its people.
Annual Parliamentary Service, Wednesday 21st November 10.30am St Margaret’s Church, Westminster
As part of the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland’s “London Week”, the Moderator will preach at the annual Parliamentary Service. In past years members of St Columba’s have attended the service in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Houses of Parliament. Due to Covid restrictions, the usual venue is unfortunately unavailable; hence the service at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster. The Moderator would be delighted to welcome representatives of St Columba’s at the service.
October/November Church Magazine
The current Church Magazine is available both in hard copy and via the website https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/news/. (Scroll down Latest News box to find.)
St Columba’s Coffee Mornings – Future Dates
November’s meeting is actually “afternoon tea” on the 17th November (2pm) with 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!
Looking ahead please put the 15th December (10.30am) in your diary. Revd Dr John McCulloch, Minister St Andrews, Jerusalem & Tiberias will discuss Christmas in the Holy Land.
St Columba’s Book Club
The next online meeting of the St Columba’s Book Club is the 29th November at 7pm. The book this month will be 419 by Will Ferguson.
The joy of the St Columba’s book club is that is all on Zoom so you can join from anywhere in the world in the comfort of your own home.
Sounds of St Columba’s
The ‘Sounds of St Columba’s’ concert series will restart on Sunday 16th January 2022 at 1:15pm. Recitals will continue
If you would like to leave stamps for Crossreach, please pop them into the Church Office on Sundays.
Christian Aid Pray for climate justice action at COP26
We pray for our leaders who gather together at COP26.
Bless them with compassion, wisdom, and hope,
that they may work together to take action against the climate crisis. Fill their hearts with your love for all of creation.
Open their minds to the calls of the people most affected by the climate crisis. Clear their hearts of sinful ways which endanger your creation. Bless their minds with actions
so they may be sowers of creation, not destruction.
Lead them to be champions for climate justice,
both at COP26 and beyond.