News Letter

Stockton Road Church News
June 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.
JUNE REFLECTION: 1 SAMUEL 3: 1-10 (11-20)
The desolate state of Israel is highlighted at the beginning of
this chapter: the word of the Lord was rare. By the end, the
word of the Lord is abundant through the prophetic ministry
of Samuel, and Israel is back on course as a people in close
relationship with their God.
What caused this turn to the good? This story is set in the
old temple at Shiloh, where the Lord chose to speak to the
boy Samuel. In the first place, Samuel’s inexperience meant
that he did not realise this. Eli, the old, disgraced priest,
played a key role in helping him to respond to the Lord. The
previous chapter (2:27-36) recounted the words of an
unnamed prophet who pronounced God’s doom on Eli and
his sons for corruption, and Eli’s poor sight (v.2) symbolises
his failure to recognise the responsibilities of his role.
Despite this, he gave Samuel the insight to respond
appropriately to God.
The repeated visits to Eli highlight Samuel’s uncritical
enthusiasm to obey the old priest’s call, and Eli’s dismissal
would have been confusing for him. The boy’s life as a
prophet began with equally enthusiastic acceptance of the
Lord’s call – other prophets showed greater reluctance (see
Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 1:6). When Samuel realised that he
was hearing the word of the Lord, he named himself as ‘your
servant’. Yet he quickly discovered the challenges of his new
role and the ways in which it would change his relationship
with Eli. The Lord’s ear-tingling word focused on the disaster
coming upon Eli, and Samuel was afraid to pass this on
(v.15). As a young boy, dependent on Eli for his place in the
temple, he was vulnerable to Eli’s anger. He did not yet have
the trust in God’s faithfulness that would allow him to take
risks in proclaiming the Lord’s word. Again, it was Eli’s
encouragement that gave him the confidence to speak out,
and Eli found the resources to accept God’s hard words to
him, coming from one he called ‘my son’. Samuel was no
longer the child Hannah had left in the temple; he was on the
way to becoming the prophet and king-maker God intended
him to be.
Our name – our personal identity – is so important to us. It
allows us to hear someone calling us. In the hymn ‘I, the
Lord of sea and sky’, the response ‘Here I am, Lord’ is
followed by a question, ‘Is it I?’. That stage probably comes
for most of us before we say ‘yes’ to God. Understanding our
calling may be a long, drawn-out process, and a decision
comes only after testing. We have to be open to the
prayerful counsel of those in whom we trust. We have to be
open to the possibility that God’s call may not lead where we
expect or desire. It may demand hard things of us. But
sometimes hearing hard things can move us out of our
comfort zone, and that may be exactly what we need.
Let us pray
Lord God, we thank you for speaking to Samuel;
and for speaking to us.
We thank you for the Elis in our lives; how they point us to

God and listen, even when the message is uncomfortable.
Thank you for each one of us here in church; as we are
open to you and each other, we can do great things in your
Lectionary Readings
26 May – 1 June – God: a glimpse behind the curtain
Trinity Sunday: Isaiah 6.1-8; Psalm 29; Romans 8.12-17;
John 3.1-17
2 – 8 June – Being open to God
Proper 4: 1 Samuel 3.1-10, (11-20); Psalm 139.1-6,13-18; 2
Corinthians 4.5-12; Mark 2.23 – 3.6
9 – 15 June – Choices and consequences
Proper 5: 1 Samuel 8:4-11,(12-15),16-20, (11:14-15); Psalm
138; 2 Corinthians 4.13-5.1; Mark 3.20-35
16 – 22 June – Changed and being changed
Proper 6: 1 Samuel 15:34–16:13; Psalm 20; 2 Corinthians
5.6-10(11-13)14-17; Mark 4.26-34
23 – 29 June – Confident in God and ready for anything?
Proper 7: 1 Samuel 17:(1a,4-11, 19-23),32-49; Psalm 9:9
20; 2 Corinthians 6.1-13; Mark 4.35-4
Church Services June
Services at 10.45am in the Sanctuary unless indicated otherwise
June 2  Heritage Event. God of Creation
June 9  Barbara Ledger. Coffee & Croissants in the Lower Hall
June 16  Elisabeth Meikle
June 23  Revd Dr David Whiting – Communion
June 30  Revd Jane Rowell. Joint Pastorate Service at Stockton Road at 10.30am
Weekly Church Activities (all welcome)
Bible Study Group
Food Cycle Lunch
Gardening Group
Church Meeting
Elders Meeting
Tuesdays at 10.30am
Tuesdays at 12.30am
Thursdays at 10.30am
Diary Dates
Thursday 20 June at 10.30am
Tuesday 20 August at 2pm

Barbara is bowling to success
I think that most of us are aware that when she isn’t preparing
services as a Lay Preacher or carrying out her duties as a
Samaritan, Barbara can be found playing lawn bowls. She has
had considerable success in the last couple of years, retaining
Sunderland City titles in the pairs format and in the rinks (four
players) format. 2024 has seen even more success, with the
rinks team of which she is part winning through to the Durham
County Final, to be played in July. The opponents will be
Houghton Dairy Lane, who also play in the Sunderland
League, indicating how high the standard of bowling is in our
The significance is that both teams in the County Final qualify
to play in the National Finals to be held at Royal Leamington
Spa in August. The rinks at Leamington were the venue for
the bowls events in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and an
appearance there is likened by bowlers to an amateur
footballer getting to play at Wembley.
I am sure our church members wish Barbara every success
in the County Final and then the National Finals (and I’m
sure she will make sure you know how she fares!).
Jeff Ledger
Flower Fund
June 2nd Barbara Ledger and her sister Judith. To mark
their parents’ 68th wedding anniversary.

Love, Amelia Wishlist
You may also like to check out their website for more


Click on link to view previous  News letters

June Newsletter 2024 final

May 2024 Newsletter

April Newsletter 2024

March Newsletter 2024

February Newsletter 2024

Newsletter Dec 23 & Jan 24

November 2023 Newsletter

October 2023 Newsletter

July 2023 Newsletter

June 2023 Newsletter

May 2023 Newsletter

April 2023 Newsletter

March 2023 Newsletter

February Newsletter 2023

January 2023 Newsletter

November 2022 Newsletter

October 2022 Newsletter

September 2022 Newsletter

September 2021 Newsletter

July 2021 Newsletter

June 2021 Newsletter

May 2021 Newsletter

April 2021 Newsletter

March 2021 Newsletter

February 2021 Newsletter

December & January Newsletter

November 2020Newsletter

October 2020 Newsletter

September 2020 Newsletter

August 2020 Newsletter

July 2020 Newsletter

June 2020 Newsletter

May 2020 Newsletter

April 2020 Newsletter