Newsletter- 13th June 2021, 3rd Sunday after Pentecost
Wednesday 9th June was St Columba’s Day, which we marked in church last Sunday. So, last week’s newsletter carried a poem by Kenneth Steven who finds Iona, the tiny island much associated with Columba, so inspiring.
This week he sent details of a beautiful collection of his poems which launches in August this year but is already available. About the new publication Kenneth writes:
‘Iona’ comprises some 75 of my best-known poems from 30 years of writing. And at its heart, almost inevitably, are poems inspired by the Celtic Christian story and by my own long relationship with the island. But before and after the Iona poems, almost like doorways, are the poems set in Highland Perthshire that remember the years of growing up. This book’s much larger than my usual collections and costs a bit more: each copy is £14 with postage. Please send an email if you’d like to request a book either for you or as a gift for someone else: the one thing I can offer that Amazon can’t are personal dedications!
The prayer resources offered by the Congregational Prayer Group this week (see end of e-newsletter) finish with a prayer found in North Wales. So, let me leave you with two voices of prayer from the Celtic fringe – Prayer, a poem by Kenneth Steven from his new collection and a prayer, found in St Melangell’s church in North Wales.
If you do not believe in God
go on a blue spring day across these fields -
listen to the orchids, race the sea, scent the wind.
Come back and tell me it was all an accident
a collision of blind chance
in the empty hugeness of space.
“Lord, thank you for your presence here.
For the opportunity to pray;
for the promise of peace,
for the beauty of the world,
for the kindness of people,
and for the Cross of Christ
and the power of the Spirit.
Help us to show our gratitude in deeds as well as words.”
(St Melangell’s church, North Wales)
Have a good end to the week and see you on Sunday,
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, 13th June 2021
Hymn 56 How good it is to thank you, Lord (St Fulbert)
Hymn 229 We plough the fields and scatter (Wir Pflugen)
Hymn 198 Let us build a house where love can dwell (Two Oaks)
Old Testament Reading: Ezekiel 17:22-24
New Testament Reading: II Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17
Gospel Reading: Mark 4:26-34
Anthem: Adoramus te, Christe (Orlando de Lassus)
Organ Postlude: Scherzo (Martin Setchell)
Contact details; Tel: 020 7584 2321
Facebook: @stcolumbaschurchpontstreet. Twitter: @LondonKirk
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.
Details on the many ways you can support St Columba’s can be found here https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/giving/supporting-st-columbas
Service of Introduction for Revd William McLaren, 6pm Thursday 8th July 2021.
The Presbytery of England will hold the Service of Introduction at St Columba’s, Pont Street for our new Associate Minister on Thursday 8th July 2021. The service will be open for attendance in person and also available via the live stream. William’s first Sunday at St Columba’s will be on Sunday 11th July. Please keep him in your prayers as he prepares to leave Dundee and begin his new ministry in London.
St Columba’s Coffee Mornings
The last of the coffee mornings before the summer break will be on Wednesday, 14th July 2021- 10.30am- Revd William McLaren. William joins us as Associate Minister from Stobswell Church in Dundee. This is a chance to get to know William a little better and for William to introduce himself "virtually" to us all.
General Assembly 2021: Special Supplement
Life and Work has released a FREE four-page summary of the main decisions, debates and speeches from last week's General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
It is available HERE to view on our website or full link General Assembly 2021: Special Supplement - Life and Work. Please feel free to share. You can read the magazine's full coverage of the General Assembly in the July issue of Life and Work, available from the 18 June. If you do not receive a copy of Life and Work each month, you can purchase a single print or digital copy via our website lifeandwork.org/subscribe. We trust you find this information to be useful.
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
Family Sunday, 27th June & Congregational Picnic
The Sunday School team are planning for Sunday 27th June 2021. Children will take part in Sunday School Activities and have a get together in the Upper Hall during the Morning Service. If you would like to book a place, please contact the Church Office. Following morning service, for those wanting to join the congregational picnic in Hyde Park, please bring your own picnic and meet outside the church entrance to depart at 12:15 or meet at the park - enter through Edinburgh Gate, cross the road and bridleway and turn left. We will be picnicking on the grass just beyond the manège. Please find attached a map of the picnic location. It is also hoped that a congregational picnic will follow morning service. Keep the date in mind and look out for more information as a plan comes together.
St Columba’s Quiz
Due to the COVID 19 restrictions we were not able to get together for the annual St Columba’s Quiz. So, this year we have taken the quiz online. The quiz is available on the website here https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/community-life/quiz-2021 - for the answers please email the Church Office.
St Columba’s member
Last week we intimated the sad news that St Columba’s member, Gwen Lee had passed away. For those who would like to watch Gwen’s funeral you can view it here until the end of the month. Tribute to Gwendolyn Lee (muchloved.com)
Women Making History Exhibition at London Scottish House
Women Making History is an extraordinary exhibition that brings together artworks inspired by banners of the suffrage movement and highlights the continuing struggle to achieve gender equality. In June 2018, tens of thousands of women marched through the streets of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London to mark 100 years since the first UK women were allowed to vote.
This mass-participation artwork, PROCESSIONS, was commissioned by 14-18 NOW and produced by Artichoke. Now you can see these pieces up close for one exhibition only, hanging in the Drill Hall of London Scottish House, Westminster. Tickets are free but you require to register:
And flying the ScotsCare flag
In recent weeks we have advertised Borderline’s, (the charity that assists homeless and insecurely housed Scots in London) search for a trustee. This week we salute the work of ScotsCare. In the week that Scotland make their reappearance at a major international tournament after too many years away, you can see ScotsCare were spreading their message at Scotland’s last warm up game. Good luck ScotsCare…. Come on Scotland!
St Columba’s bail out
A huge thank you to those who responded to the burst water pipe at the front of church last Sunday. Thanks to the combined efforts of Paul & Michael Dempsey, Hugh Pym and Liz Fox (and eventually Thames Water) the floods did not overwhelm us, though they made quite a mess of one of the boiler rooms. You went well beyond the call of duty. We salute you.
Reflection and Prayers for Sunday, June 13th, 2021,
Third Sunday after Pentecost.
Prepared by the Congregational Prayer Group.
Psalm 51:10-11. Create in me a pure heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence,
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
The Holy Spirit: Jesus’ wondrous gift to his disciples - and for us to receive.
The promise of the Holy Spirit: John 14:15-17
The task of the Holy Spirit: John 16:7
The fruit of the Holy Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23a The armour of God
put on by the Holy Spirit: Ephesians 6:13-19a
Almighty and everlasting God,
Creator and Sustainer of the World, may we treasure and value your creation. Our
screens bring us amazing pictures from the ocean depths with its exotic creatures,
and the light from millions of years ago shining through the universe. May we stand in awe of your majesty in creation and worship you. We pray for the success of the COP-26 meeting in Glasgow and courage and persistence in fulfilling its recommendations.
Lord Jesus Christ,
Saviour of the World and Word of Life, may we value your truth. In a world
dominated by social media, may we see and work for its potential for good and
against its spreading of hate and division. May internet connections open your
Church to a worldwide welcome without walls.
Sanctifier of the people of God, we live in a world of extraordinary power and wealth.
Help us to hold in mind the early Christians who remained committed to living out
their faith despite the power and wealth of the Roman Empire in which they lived and
where the Emperor had to be worshipped as God. They held fast to the amazing
truth of Jesus, the Christ, risen from the dead and still with them by your presence.
Give us grace to do as they did.
Reflection: On small beginnings
The Bible Society is now a global charity, providing reduced-price Bibles, translated into local languages, in over 200 countries. But it all began in 1800 with a 15-year old Welsh girl named Mary Jones who trekked 26 long miles through the rugged terrain of north Wales to buy a Welsh Bible. Mary was so determined to have a Bible of her own, in her own language, that she had saved up for six long years before her walk to Bala. Arriving in Bala, the Minister was so impressed by Mary that he sold her three Bibles for the price of one. Then another Welsh pastor, Revd Joseph Hughes, inspired by Mary’s story and the need for reduced-price Bibles for Welsh speakers, asked other church leaders: “If for Wales, why not for the kingdom? And if for the kingdom, why not for the world?“
This vision was picked up by William Wilberforce and, to implement it, in March 1804 at the London Tavern in Bishopsgate, he and his colleagues formed the British and Foreign Bible Society. In 1800 how could a 15 year old Mary have imagined where her determination to own a Bible in her own language would lead over 200 years later?
Thanksgiving: Gracious Father, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit and we give thanks for all those who have the courage to trust in your leading. May your Holy Spirit grant our Church leaders vision for the changes needed to bring your Kingdom ways into our national life.
Pray: For your blessing on all those who serve our congregation:
- For our Minister and the arrival of our new Associate Minister;
- For Charlotte and all members of the Kirk Session; grant them wisdom in the decisions they make as we move out of lockdown;
- For Lucy, Michael and all the office team who maintain the building, organise coffee mornings and YouTube services;
- Lucy’s children, who remind us of the joy of jumping in puddles.
- For Ben and his team and the music they offer each Sunday,
- And for all the many willing volunteers.
We pray that the fruit of the Holy Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, kindness and self-control - may ripen in all our lives, so that more and more we may please you, and that we may bring comfort to the sick and lonely; faith to those living in fear and anxiety; joy to children throughout the holiday season.
May we continue in prayer for all those who live in areas of war and famine.
From a prayer sheet in St. Melangell’s Church in North Wales:
“Lord, thank you for your presence here. For the opportunity to pray; for the promise of peace, for the beauty of the world, for the kindness of people, and for the Cross of Christ and the power of the Spirit. Help us to show our gratitude in deeds as well as words.”
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be.