Monday, November 22, 2010

October 2010

October was a busy month for both of us. Friday 1st saw Susannah at chapel for the preparations to get the chapel ready for Harvest Thanksgiving and the food festival. There was shoping to be done to get the food for the festival, an early start to the market was necessary.
Susannah was again busy with the food festival on the Saturday and then she preached at the morning service. Jonathan preached at the evening communion service.
Friday the 8th saw us both at chapel to put the meat in the slow cooker to prepare the pies for the next day. The peas also had to be soaked.
On Sunday the 10th it was "Connexional Plan" and Jonathan was at Ibstock
whilst Susannah was at nearby New Swannington. Since we are without a car at the moment we were very grateful for Ray taking us and bringing us back.
On Thursday 14th, Susannah was speaking at Dodworth Methodist Church (where we were married) in the evening and travelled by train. whilst on Sunday 17th Jonathan was preaching at our Philadelphia chapel.
On Sunday 24th, Jonathan was preaching at Tapton Hill Congregational Church.
Thursday and Friday saw us preparing for the festival of light by shopping for the food and swedes to make lanterns. Last week we were in a branch of a well known supermarket and they had lorry loads of swedes. This week we went to another branch of the same supermarket; not a swede in sight!
The evening before. Jonathan was sorting sweet wrappers. The congregation had been asked to save wrappers from sweets for the lantern and "stained glass window" making. what a lot of toffees they have eaten! The festival was an encouraging success, and will be adapted for next year.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Jonathan was preaching and celebrating communion at 6-30p.m. on Sunday Sept. 5th at Mayfield.
It may seem strange for church pastors to be concerned about the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, but we live in an area alongside many Muslims. Over the years we have established a tradition of giving as many of our neighbours as possible a cake to help them in their celebration of Eid. This means that Jonathan spent many hours on the 10th and 11th of September baking Swiss rolls, which were given to 8 local families. We are not aware of any special significance of Swiss rolls to Muslims!, but our conversations with Asian families have taught us that this is an aspect of English cookery which they appreciate. The gifts have resulted in many interesting conversations over the years, often a small gift of Pakistani food in return, and frequently a Christmas Card later in the year.
The church meeting on the 15th required some communication (mostly email) with the secretary in order to establish what the agenda would be.
Sunday September 19th was the last Cafe church for the summer which required Saturday being spent in preparing worship materials and baking.
The lack of a car meant that the shopping for the Supper club was a bit more involved that normal, but the problem was solved by several trips using a shopping trolley.
The coffee morning on 25th in aid of Macmillan was a success, and was followed by our friends from Richmond church using our premises for their "awayday"
Susannah celebrated communion on Sunday 26th morning whilst the team from Fulwood church led the worship.
In the evening Jonathan preached at our Philadelphia church and Susannah sang a solo ot the celebration of their anniversary, it was 45 years since the current building was opened.
Susannah attended a meeting and lunch to celebrate the acquisition of the new minibus for Pitsmoor and Shiregreen community transport on Wednesday 29th. This was held at Shiregreen United Reformed Church.
On Thursday 30th, Susannah chaired the circuit meeting at Owlerton church. Jonathan attended the meeting.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gainsville Florida

Readers may be aware that Rev. Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainsville Florida has stated that he will be burning copies of the Koran to mark the anniverary of the terrorosm attack on New York (11th September). I have been unable to find a email address for Rev. Jones, but I have sent the email below to the city authorities with the a request that they forward it to him.

Dear Rev. Jones,

At our church prayer meeting on Tuesday we prayed for you, your church, and the people who will be affected by your proposed actions.

In Matthew's Gospel (ch 5:44), Jesus urges "Love (agape) your enemies." and "Pray for those who persecute you" Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 13) gives us an exposition of what love (agape) is, and in his letter to the Ephesians (4:16) urges the body to build itself up (edify) in love.

You will undoubtedly say that you are free to do that which you propose, and I cannot argue with you, but may I remind you that in his first letter to the Corinthians (10: 23), Paul says that all things are permissible, but that does not necessarily make them beneficial or constructive (edifying).

I urge you to prayerfully consider whether your actions are worthy of our Lord's call to love; whether they are beneficial; whether they will edify. If any of these questions cannot be answered with an unqualified "yes", then I urge you to reconsider your course and make any protest which you feel necessary in a more loving, constructive and less confrontational manner.

Yours in the service of the Lord,
Jonathan Youdan
Pastor Mayfield Wesleyan Reform Church
Sheffield, England

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

August 2010

The month started with Susannah preaching at the Philadelphia church in the morning. Later that week we were visiting members of the congregation.
Susannah attended the needlework day on the 14th and bought the flowers for church the following day when it was our son's turn to provide them. The materials for the café church were printed and laminated. The seeds to plant had to be bought.

Susannah was camping at church with our dog for the camp weekend, Jonathan was working and at home looking after the animals. He was also preparing and printing the orders of service for the animal service the next day. This went well.
The shopping had to be done for the supper club, one supermarket never has everything we need for a menu!
Afterwards we had to put the pulpit back into the church ready for the wedding on Sunday.
On Saturday 28th we had the rehearsal for the wedding which was to take place the following day. Susannah was the flower arranger for the Sunday, so she did a pedestal display ready the both the morning service and the wedding.
On Sunday, Susannah was preaching at Hillsborough Trinity Methodist Church in the morning, and then making the journey back to Mayfield to take part in the wedding. Unfortunately, the car expired on Fulwood Road in a cloud of smoke and steam! Fortunately, a passing motorist stopped and asked if she could be any help, Susannah arrived at the chapel just in time for the service.

Afterwards, the car was successfully started and coaxed home, but the cloud of smoke indicated that all was not well!! It has since been decided that it was beyond economic repair.

Friday, August 6, 2010

July 2010

July was another busy month. (Is there another sort?) In addition to the activities in the church blog, it was the time to design, print, fold and distribute about 450 "What's On" leaflets for the Summer 2010 period. Towards the end of the month the next edition of the newsletter was also due and had to be printed. This month it was decided to produce a copy of the Wesleyan Reform Union's "Excited About Mission" which is distributed monthly. Members were asked to read and pray about the contents. People who want their own copy can have it sent by email straight from the Union, or ask for a paper copy.

On July 11th Jonathan was preaching at Hampden view church in the morning. This was an "All age worship" on the theme of the calling of the first disciples.

Later that week, the chapel had to be prepared for the coming visit of the Coal Aston United Churches Choir. This involved moving the pulpit and communion table into the vestry and turning several of the pews round in order to accommodate the choir. Arrangements had also to be made to produce and serve about 80 drinks. The evening went well.

Susannah attended an event at "The Rock" Christian centre on Carlisle Street where she read the scripture reading.

Also during the month, a number of visits were made to members of the congregation.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Visit to Coal Aston.

The last Saturday in June saw us visiting the Wesleyan Reform Church at Coal Aston. They were taking part in a Flower Festival which was organised in Dronfield and District with many churches participating. The displays were presented to a high standard and were a credit to all at the chapel who had worked extremely hard.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

June 2010

The week before "Quiet Waters" (the ladies' day) saw us buying material to make the displays, printing programmes, arranging furniture at chapel to enable the event to take place, worrying about what would happen if noone came and generally getting ready. Plants had to found which suited the displays, and the effect of a sheet of water had to be created in the chapel, without getting it wet!

On Sunday June 6th Jonathan was preaching at Grimesthorpe Wesleyan Reform Church in the morning and at Mayfield in the evening.

May 8th saw Susannah reading and leading prayers in the city centre outside Boots.

Thursday May 10th was the circuit meeting at Grimesthorpe where each church had been challenged to talk about "the state of the work of God" in their place. Susannah chaired the meeting in her role of circuit president. It was very interesting to hear about the ways in which different churches proclaim the Word in their areas.

Saturday June 12th was the induction of Carole Parkinson as the "Women of Action" national president. This was also at Grimesthorpe as Carole attends there. Susannah represented Mayfield at this event.

Susannah was away at Wesleyan Reform Union Conference from 17th to 20th June. This was held jointly with the Countess of Huntingdon's connexion at High Lea conference centre.

Whilst Susannah was away, Jonathan had to bake for the café church service on the Sunday and buy the ingredients for the breakfast on the Monday.

Jonathan led the monthly Café Church on a theme of "Water" to coincide with the collection and dedication of the collection bottles for the "Samaritan's Well" project. Over £167 was collected in this way.

Sunday saw Susannah back late from conference, with the knowledge that she would have to be up at half past two to collect a passenger and prepare for the Summer solstice service at sunrise on Monday.

Susannah Visited the Ladies Rally at Hampden View Church on Wednesday afternoon and preached at the ladies' service on the Sunday evening.

Thursday afternoon was the monthly supper club which had to be shopped and prepared for as usual.

Sunday morning saw Susannah leaving Jonathan at Philadelphia Church and picking up Julia Hodson who was preaching at Mayfield.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Another busy month. Susannah started out by preaching at Tapton Hill Congregational Church at 2-45p.m. on May 2nd.
The church meeting on May 12th required planning, as there were minutes of the previous meeting to duplicate and ideas to pass to the secretary in order to help him prepare the agenda. Also we had to make sure that we had done everything which we had agreed to do at the last meeting.
For the rest of the week, Jonathan was collecting pictures of different stones and rocks ready for the Café church on May 16th. In addition there were hymns on this theme and pictures to colour in to be found and duplicated. On Sunday, the chapel had to be rearranged for the Café Church, and then put back afterwards.
Later, Susannah had to contact the preacher for the next Sunday to arrange transport and discover whether she had any special requests. Two days later we were attending a meeting in Dodworth in order to progress the arrangements for the Union youth weekend in September. A bit of a walk down memory lane for us as we were married in Dodworth Methodist Church. The local chip shop was a satisfying end to the day.
On 23rd May, Susannah was at Denby Dale Wesleyan Reform church to lead the singing for the Pentecost sing. At the same time, Jonathan was preaching at Grimesthorpe Wesleyan Reform Church where he used the parable of the talents as the starting point for the study of the story of Pentecost.
The 27th was our monthly Supper Club, and a great deal of effort was required to do all the shopping as we received the keys to our new shop on that day, so, in addition to everything else, we were in the throes of moving the entire stock of our shop from where it was stored to the new premises. Supper was once again served in the chapel and Jennifer Senior from our Philadelphia Church talked about Yorkshire and its dialect.
In amongst everything else, there were posters for the flower festival, summer solstice service and Ladies quiet day to be produced and distributed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The rest of April

April was quite a busy month. After preaching at Grimesthorpe (see last post) Susannah started collecting the bits and pieces we needed for the "Café Church" on the 18th. This included trying to find a jigsaw on the theme of a journey, which was to be the theme. Many charity shops later two suitable jigsaws were found, of differing degrees of difficulty.
Thursday afternoon saw us visiting Church House in Sheffield where we had an appointment to look at the trust deeds for the church. We wanted to be sure who the trustees who hold our property were before the next church meeting. Colin, the general secretary, had been to the bank vault and had retrieved the documents for us.
Saturday was the "Craftastic" needlework day at chapel and Susannah was there progressing her rug and talking to ladies doing a variety of needlework. due to the building and decorating work, this was held in the chapel. A future day to look at Hardanger is planned for 7th May. details are available on our website. The rest of Saturday afternoon , Susannah was shopping for the refreshments for café church. The evening was spent baking, whilst Jonathan prepared and printed the service materials.
Sunday 18th April was our monthly "Café church" again this was in the chapel rather than the back room due to the work being done. The theme was "Journeys" which was explored by a variety of activities including; jigsaws, colouring, wordsearches, poetry writing, crosswords and quiet. Refreshments accompanied these activities. Jonathan brought the service to a close after about an hour and a quarter. It was actually quite dificult to stop people at this point. The chapel then had to be rearranged to a more conventional arrangement for the next event.

Wednesday April 21st was the Ladies' meeting and Susannah had to collect the speaker, Kevin Jones, who spoke about his work with "Familia", a children's orphanage and school in India. Later, Susannah had to do the shopping for the supper club because this month, the third Wednesday and the fourth Thursday are in the same month!
Thursday, Susannah represented us at the funeral of a member of another chapel who we have known for many years. Meantime Jonathan was cooking at chapel for the supper club, this involved trying to make Melba toast for 30, whilst minimising the amount burned!. "Dinner will be served at the sound of the smoke alarm"
On Saturday April 24th Susannah was at the "Women of Action" (W.A.) annual general meeting at our Coal Aston Church, This was preceded by prayer and salad lunch, the meeting being held in the afternoon. In the evening we attended a "Pie and Pea" supper at Tapton Hill Congregational Church, a church where we both preach fairly frequently. On Sunday, Susannah preached for the first time at our Oughtibridge chapel and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the warm welcome she received. In the evening Jonathan was preaching at our Philadephia chapel.

On Tuesday Susannah met with others to discuss the upcoming Flower festival and decide on a suitable theme. They chose the Ten Commandments.
The rest of the month was spent designing, printing and distributing about 450 leaflets with details of our programme for the next few months, fortunately the weather was largely favourable. If you would like a copy of the leaflet, or anything else, please email us.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday April 11th

In the morning Jonathan was planned to preach at Hucknall Wesleyan Reform Church. Our short journey down the motorway was frustrated by a 20m.p.h. restriction on account of "Oncoming Vehicle". There was no sign of any such vehicle, but the journey was lengthened considerably. However, we had allowed plenty of time and Jonathan preached using the walk to Emmaus (Luke 24; 13-35) as his text, his idea was the importance of recognising Jesus in our everyday lives. The pictures show the inside and outside of the chapel.

Later in the day, Susannah was planned to preach at Grimesthorpe Wesleyan Reform Church, much closer to home. She too used the story of the walk to Emmaus, but used the images of walking with Jesus and the idea of a journey. Again, the pictures show the inside and outside of the chapel.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter week.

We started our Easter celebrations by searching on the internet for details of a Passover meal which we could use with the bible fellowship on Tuesday. This was very complicated as there are apparently many different traditions among Jewish groups.
Having sorted out what we intended doing, there were prayers and blessings to find, recipes to sort out and then a combined order of service/menu to produce.
Most of the ingredients were straightforward, but Susannah made some last minute additions as a result of converations with other customers in Tesco who were also buying their ingredients for the Seder meal, and were interested in what we were doing.
The event went well, and people appreciated how Jesus had used the meal and done what he often did which was to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary.
8-00a.m. on Good Friday saw us at our St. Mary's Wesleyan Reform Church in the City centre for the morning service. Derek Linkens preached and celebrated communion.
Our evening service at Mayfield saw some confusion as we had variously announced the time of the service as 7-30p.m. and 7-00p.m. even different pages of the newsletter did not agree! We waited until 7-30 to be sure that everyone was present.
Saturday morning was another fairly start (for a holiday) as it was our turn to run the church coffee morning. A steady stream of people turned out and we collected £40-55 for the Alzheimer's society.
Sunday was an even earlier start as Jonathan was celebrating at the morning communion service (8-00a.m. start) He was under strict instruction not to delay breakfast by preaching a sermon.
Our final act for Easter was for Susannah to lead the 6-30p.m. service, unusually this was not communion due to their having been communion in the morning so she led an informal "Service in the round".

In the beginning

We have decided to try to keep a blog of the things we do, and the places we visit in the course of our duties as pastors of Mayfield Wesleyan Reform Church. The activities of the church and the future plans are already covered by the church blog and the church website, but we do other things in other places which we thought that people might be interested in.
We're starting with Easter 2010.