Newsletter- 30th May 2021, Trinity Sunday
This Sunday is Trinity Sunday, a day to dwell on the trinitarian /threefold nature of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It expresses the Christian understanding/verdict, “once all the evidence is in.” Yet, however deeply, or not, we think about God, we can never fully describe, explain or “capture” God; no human language has the breadth or fluency to achieve that. There is always more to learn and much that we may never understand.
As the newly appointed, and first female, Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Prof Catherine Heymans admitted this week, in her field of expertise - dark energy and dark matter, which accounts for more than 95% of the universe - as yet, scientists do not really understand how these vast areas of matter are to be explained. At the same time, she conveys an infectious enthusiasm for her subject and one of her first targets is to install telescopes at all of Scotland's remote outdoor learning centres, which are visited by school pupils of all backgrounds. Inspired by Professor Heymans, (my nephew’s partner), may our search/quest for God show the same hunger, humility and delight. So, we might offer this prayer for Trinity Sunday.
Holy, holy, holy is God, our sovereign Lord,
who was, and is, and is to come!
Before your unfathomable mystery, O God,
all eloquence of form and language is facile.
We cannot encompass you,
for you encompass us.
So, we fall silent,
and let the child deep within us
be content in the knowledge
that we are known, wanted, and loved
by One infinitely greater than we shall ever be. Amen.
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.
Guest Preacher, Revd Forbes Walker
We are delighted that Revd Forbes Walker leads worship at St Columba’s, Pont Street on Sunday for a second week. The minister is on leave this Sunday. Graduating from Glasgow University with degrees in Biochemistry and Divinity, Forbes undertook postgraduate study at Princeton University and worked in a PCUSA church in New Jersey for a year. After ordination he was parish minister of Avendale and Drumclog (Strathaven) for 12 years before moving south to be a full time school chaplain and teacher (chemistry, RS philosophy) in 3 co-ed schools in Berkshire, Kent and London. He is a member of Crown Court and the Presbytery of England. He is currently serving as Interim Moderator of Corby, St Andrew's.
Hymns, Music & Readings, 30th May 2021
Hymn 111 Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God almighty! (Nicaea)
Hymn 115 Love is the touch of intangible joy (Amor Dei)
Hymn 112 God whose Almighty word (Moscow)
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 6: 1-8
New Testament Reading: Romans 8: 12-17
Gospel Reading: John 3: 1-17
Anthem: Hymn to the Trinity (Tchaikovsky)
Organ Postlude: “St Anne” Fugue in E Flat Major (J. S. Bach)
Contact details; Tel: 020 7584 2321
Facebook: @stcolumbaschurchpontstreet. Twitter: @LondonKirk Pastoral Emergency Number (out of office hours): 07591926271
(Please note that the Church Office will be closed from 12pm on Friday the 28th May to Friday 4th June inclusive, while Lucy Llewellyn is on leave)
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 Coffee Mornings
Tuesday, 8th June 2021- 10.30am - Revd Pauline Steenbergen will join us to talk about Maranatha Yoga. You may want to view their video of the Lord’s Prayer here The Lord’s Prayer 2021 - YouTube. Pauline is a Church of Scotland Minister who has helped to set up Marantha yoga which is a mix of traditional hatha yoga and Christian spirituality.
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.
St Columba’s Book Club
The next meeting of the St Columba’s Book Club will be the 7th June (via Zoom) at 7pm. This month’s book will be Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell.
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.
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 Paul’s & St Columba’s
You may have seen the piece on the BBC London news about threats that St Paul’s Cathedral might have to close. Sheila Nicoll who is a Lay Canon, so member of the Chapter, or ruling body of St Paul’s notes that rumours of its demise are somewhat exaggerated, although its finances are extremely badly affected by the pandemic – some 90% of St Paul’s income is from tourists, the vast majority of that from foreign tourists. It doesn’t get any money from Government or the Church of England and neither does it have endowments or land or property which help to fund some other cathedrals (it did once, but that is another story which Sheila can tell you if you are interested). The Chapter has cut back (the BBC was correct in saying that they had to make 25% of the staff redundant) and cut right into reserves and there has been help from the Heritage Lottery Fund but they are really dependent, over the next couple of years, on visitor numbers picking up. So now is a fantastic time to visit – it is quiet, the guides are doing individual “mini-tours” and are really, really pleased to welcome you in. And you can turn your day ticket into an annual pass so you can keep going back! From 29 May to 5 June Kids Go Free and there is a special online price for teachers and teaching assistants. While you can just walk in, they do suggest booking online. They would love to
see you, and all your friends!
Borderline Seeking a Trustee
Meditation, Mind & Body
There are currently two opportunities on offer from Church of Scotland ministers, for those seeking a combination of physical, spiritual and mental health. One from Revd Christopher Rowe, minister of Colston Milton Parish Church, Glasgow and one from Revd Pauline Steenbergen, a member of the Presbytery of England, living in Cumbria.
Tai Chi with Revd Christopher Rowe
St Columba's friend, Reverend Christopher Rowe runs a weekly, 40-minute Capacitar Tai Chi Class by Zoom, usually at 10am on a Wednesday. (If you want to find out more follow this link http://capacitaruk.org/ ).
He has very kindly extended an invitation to anyone from St Columba's or St Andrew’s, Newcastle who is curious about Tai Chi, or wants to try something different, to join his class and have a go. Traditionally, Tai Chi would not have a commentary, it is just about the movement of the body but Christopher adds his own commentary which makes the experience more like a moving meditation. The sessions are gentle and do not involve violent exercise and if necessary can be done sitting down, although the transference of weight helps posture, balance and flexibility. The benefit of Tai Chi is not purely physical though and many find it helpful in boosting mood and mental health. There are claims that it is helpful for those with Parkinson's disease, osteoarthritis etc. - but the main thing is that for many practitioners it simply makes you feel better. For the Zoom Code please contact the Church Office.
Why not try it out and see for yourself? Christopher would love to see you and, if you are struggling with Facebook or the Zoom technology, contact Lucy in the office who is happy to help.
Maranatha Yoga with Revd Pauline Steenbergen
Maranatha Yoga www.maranathayoga.org.uk is for those who want to explore what it means to connect body, mind and spirit through a combination of yoga postures, mantra and meditation. Blended with Christian Spirituality, Maranatha Yoga is accessible to all, no matter what their beliefs or background. It allows space to explore what it means to connect with all parts of our human experience: our bodies, our emotions, our thoughts and our spiritual selves. A typical Maranatha Yoga
class begins with words of welcome to help people relax, set aside their daily worries and focus on the aims of the session. This is followed by a warm-up sequence which celebrates the wonder of our creation. Traditional yoga postures are then practised whilst reflecting
on key scriptural texts or prayers, thereby familiarising us with the words and creating within us a deeper understanding of their meaning. The session finishes with a time in silent meditation and a closing prayer.
Pauline Steenbergen has been a Church of Scotland minister for 24 years in parishes, team ministries and as a Locum. She was formerly Hospice Chaplain for 5 years in Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice. She is a Spiritual Director in the Diocese of Carlisle since 2013. Pauline is a Non Stipendiary Pioneer minster with Cumbria Fresh Expressions in the Diocese of Carlisle and is Maranatha Yoga Team Leader. Pauline is scheduled to speak at our Zoom Coffee morning in June. [See www.limegreenyogi.co.uk for Pauline’s classes on Zoom during the week or also Maranatha Yoga Gatherings on 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month 3.30 – 4.30pm. Free or for donations. Health Questionnaires need to be filled in and submitted before Zoom codes are given out for insurance reasons.]
“Take up your bed and walk!”
Finally, many thanks to Michael for orchestrating the return of the pew cushions in time for Sunday worship. A return of one pre-pandemic favourite.