News Letter

Stockton Road Church News

February 2024
Mark 12: 30-31
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your mind, and with all your strength, and you shall
love your neighbour as yourself”.
We are a union of Presbyterian and Congregational
churches at the heart of Sunderland city life, growing from
a past rich in mission and hospitality. We embrace this
heritage utilising the Five Marks of Mission to guide and
enable us to take forward current opportunities for mission
and service.
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Mark 9: 2-9. The Transfiguration.
Reflection
(Lectionary Reading for 11th-17th February)
Six days after he’s taught them about his mission, three of
Jesus’ disciples are given a glimpse of his past and future
glory. The word used to describe the complete change that
comes over Jesus is the word from which we get
metamorphosis. The words recall Daniel 7:9, indicating that
Jesus is glorious indeed, since in Daniel the words used are
the ‘Ancient One’ (a name for God) rather than the Son of
Man.
This account of the transfiguration is told entirely from the
disciples’ perspective: what they saw and how they reacted.
They see Jesus and two towering Old Testament figures –
Elijah and Moses – talking together. While these two could
represent the Law and the Prophets, the sweep of Israel’s
story so far, it is more likely that they are seen as the
‘deathless ones’, those who Jewish-inspired hope
associated with the coming of God’s kingdom. This becomes
clear in verses 11-13.
Peter starts rambling because he’s scared stiff and doesn’t
know what to make of it all. One thing’s for sure, this is not a
time for erecting tents! It is possible he thinks that the
suffering has been by-passed and the glory has
unexpectedly arrived for good. It is God who clarifies things.
In the cloud – a common image of his presence – God’s
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voice restates for the disciples what was said only to Jesus
at his baptism (1:10-11). The one they’ve followed for the
past year is so much greater than everyone who’s come
before him – even the Old Testament giants present on the
mountain. He is God’s Son. So, the disciples should listen to
everything he says. God wants them to pay particular
attention to what’s just been said about how Jesus’
messianic mission involves rejection, suffering, death and
resurrection.
You may wish to use these questions to help you think about
or discuss issues arising from this week’s Bible passage.
• What stands out for you in the story of Elisha and
Elijah?
• When have you caught a glimpse of the glory of God?
• How do this week’s transfiguration stories challenge
or encourage you?
A Prayer
God of our setting out and of our arriving,
we rejoice that, wherever we go, you go with us.
When we journey together, you bless us with fellowship.
When we journey alone, you bless us with courage.
When we journey in the footsteps of others, you bless
us with gratitude.
When we journey to new places, you bless us with faith.
And when we make our last journey, you bless us with the
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knowledge that we are safe within your
eternal love – thank you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Lectionary Readings
4 – 10 February – You are not forgotten by God
Epiphany 5: Isaiah 40.21-31; Psalm 147.1-11,20c; 1
Corinthians 9.16-23; Mark 1.29-39
11 – 17 February – The importance of witness and telling
Transfiguration: 2 Kings 2.1-12; Psalm 50.1-6; 2 Corinthians
4.3-6; Mark 9.2-9
18 – 24 February – God’s good news of a covenant
Lent 1: Genesis 9.8-17; Psalm 25.1-10; 1 Peter 3.18-22;
Mark 1.9-15
25 February – 2 March – Trusting God when we don’t
understand
Lent 2: Genesis 17.1-7,15-16; Psalm 22.23-31; Romans
4.13-25; Mark 8.31-38
Bible Study Group
The Bible Study Group meets on Tuesdays at 10.30am in the
Church. It provides a welcoming and informal space to
discuss, learn and reflect on God’s Word.
A 6-week course for Lent will start on Tuesday 20 February
led by our Minister, Revd Jane Rowell, entitled Faith Through
Art. Why not come along and join us.
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Church Services February
Services at 10.45am in the Lower Hall unless indicated otherwise
Feb 4
Feb 11
Feb 18
Feb 25
Elders
Revd Jane Rowell. Coffee and Croissants.
Christine Hutchinson and Barbara Mitchell.
Barbara Ledger.
Revd Jane Rowell. Dedication of Community
Glass Panels.
Scheduled Meeting Dates 2024
Remember to put these in your new calendar!
Tuesday 20 February
Thursday 16 May
Tuesday 20 August
Thursday 7 November
Church Meeting
Tuesday 19 March
Thursday 20 June
Tuesday 17 September
2.30pm
10.30am
2.30pm
10.30am
2.30pm
10.30am
2.30pm
Thursday 28 November 10.30am
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Margaret Dryburgh
Next year will be the 80th anniversary of the death of
Margaret Dryburgh, the missionary sponsored by St
George’s, who is commemorated in the glass memorial in
our Church. It is hoped that this will be marked by the
unveiling of a blue plaque at the Church and, possibly, by
events looking at the work of Margaret and other women
Presbyterian missionaries in the Far East,
The story of Margaret Dryburgh’s work in the women’s
internment camp in Sumatra in the 1940s was outlined in a
recent review on Radio 4 of an exhibition at the National
Archives in Kew, London, about Second World War captives;
this continues to 21 July. The radio review included a
recording of Margaret’s Captives’ Hymn.
Neil Sinclair
Food Cycle
A reminder that Food Cycle is operating at Stockton Road
Church every Tuesday lunchtime.
Just pop in at 12,30pm and you will receive a warm welcome
and a delicious free meal.
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