August 2009

Contents

Pastoral Letter Foyer redevelopment Communion table cloth Heritage weekend 2009 Prayer manual
Thanks General announcements Security Harvest 2009 Discussion group
Mission and Outreach Pool Methodist News Action for Children    

 

A pastoral letter from our District Chair

PEOPLE OF INTEGRITY – AND GRACE

In recent weeks the spotlight has been upon the personal integrity of elected politicians, under public scrutiny for their expenses claims. Day after day we have heard fresh accusations, apologies and excuses, amidst a rising tide of criticism. In such a climate all kinds of unlikely people stake out their claim to the high moral ground, but we are also reminded, ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged!’. We might also remember some words about removing the log from our own eye before trying to remove the speck in our neighbour’s eye.

There is clearly a widespread sense of deep disappointment in the elected representatives of all parties who have been shown to have feet of clay. Clearly, the ‘expenses culture’ has encouraged the misuse of public money through personal weakness and greed. But we all have feet of clay. Similarly, we are all challenged to live lives of honesty and integrity, in both our personal and more public lives. Personal integrity is also under the microscope in a number of other ways, through politicians’ decisions to support or undermine their own party leaders – especially, as I write this, members of government in relation to the Prime Minister. On the world stage personal integrity is being publicly tested in the person of President Barak Obama, as the world watches to see whether his pre-election commitments can become hard policy in the real world - both in the United States and on the international stage.

All those in public office, locally, nationally, and internationally, walk a tight rope in integrating their proclaimed values in their personal and public lives. But that is true for all of us. As people of Christian faith we are reminded that a well-tuned conscience is one that is continuously nurtured, examined and honed – through a prayerful relationship with God, and in communion with others – the community of faith. We are also mindful that we are all sinners – all have fallen short of the glory of God – but that we proclaim a gospel of grace and forgiveness available to all – even to politicians!

Liz Smith.
Chair of the District


Foyer Redevelopment

Past events

Open Day & Gift Day

It is very difficult to describe how John Hastings and I felt in the evening of Saturday 27th June when our Senior Steward, Jill Pullan, rang us to let us know the amount raised. She and Louise Bullen, the Church Treasurer had just finished their task of looking at all the donations, pledges etc. and compiling a final figure. I suppose humbled is probably the best adjective to describe it, as the generosity of our Church members and adherents had exceeded all our expectations.

For those who have not heard or seen the figure, the amount raised on the day from donations plus profit on the refreshments amounted to £12,000 which once Gift Aid has been claimed on those donations, where this had been indicated, raises this figure to £14,000.

This now brings our overall total raised for the foyer refurbishment to £28,000. With the various grants that have been promised, we are well on our way to achieving our target figure. The property division of the Methodist Church are due to meet on 28 July to consider our application and subject to their approval we will then be able to go out to tender so that the actual cost of the project can be determined. Our planning adviser has given us a “guestimate” but until various building firms have actually seen the plans and given us their quotes we will not know the actual cost of the work involved.

So many people helped on the day that it is very difficult to pick out individuals and I would not wish to do this in case I miss anybody. But you all know who you are and to every one of you I would say a VERY BIG THANK YOU!

The groups that provided entertainment have all been thanked individually, but I feel they all need a mention here for their part in making it a very successful day. So to the Pre-school, Kenshinkan Martial Arts group, The Chippendale Singers, The Chevin Handbell Ringers, the Riverside Wind Quintet and Bob Baker & Martin Campey for their Organ Recitals, can I once again offer grateful thanks on behalf of the foyer redevelopment committee.

We still have a little way to go, but there are a number of fundraising events in the autumn that should hopefully bring us near to our final target. These are as follows:

September 5th – Afternoon Teas with musical accompaniment by “Sisters in Harmony”.
September 12th – Heritage Victorian Evening with entertainment by The Chippendale Singers and various soloists.
September 26th – Afternoon Table Top Sale
October 31st – The Wesley Singers in Concert
November 7th – Folk Evening Spectacular
November 21st – Cookery Demonstration
November 28th (Provisional) – An Evening with Stuart Maconie
December 12th – Christmas Concert featuring Otley Brass Band

Tickets for the first two of these events are now on sale and more precise details of the other events will be given in the September issue of Focus. For the afternoon teas, please see either Irene Greenwood or myself and for the Victorian Evening, please see Matthew Burland or Christine Pratt.

J D Burland
Foyer Redevelopment Fundraising Chairman.

THAT OPEN/GIFT DAY

To whomsoever it may concern! THANK YOU. We are so well blessed
John Hastings – Foyer Group

SMARTIE TUBES

If any families or Church members still have Smartie Tubes in which they have been collecting coins, could they possibly return these by the end of July. At the moment the amounts raised by each organisation from the tubes stands as follows:
Beavers £23.49 Cubs £42.49 Scouts £27.20
Rainbows £34.96 Brownies £48.89 Guides £36.78
Church Members £31.22
Total profit from these to date is £176.03.
THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE COLLECTED.

Forthcoming events

Afternoon Teas with musical accompaniment by the “Sisters in Harmony” will take place on the 5th September.

Tickets for this will be available from Irene Greenwood. Don’t miss out!! Thanks to Irene Greenwood for organising this event.

Also in September we would like to have another CEILIDH and we are looking for someone to organise this. Please see John Hastings or myself if you would like to take on this role.

We are hoping to have a concert by THE WESLEY SINGERS in October and then on Saturday 7th November there will be a FOLK EVENING in the Wesley Hall. Local band “Glenfolk” led by Malcolm Devereux will be one of the performers this particular evening.

In November a COOKERY DEMONSTRATION is being considered where cookery items suitable for Christmas gifts will be on sale.

Following the success of the Brass Band Concert we are delighted to have been able to rebook the Band for a special Christmas Carol Concert on Saturday 12th December in the Church. It is hoped that we will have the services of some local singing groups as part of the evening as well. This will be confirmed as soon as details are finalised. In the meantime we ask you to please put this date in your diaries as this will be another evening not to be missed.

Also in December we would like to have a presence at the Otley Victorian Fayre – again we need someone to co-ordinate the organisation of this. Please see John or myself if you can help with this task. Volunteers are always welcomed!!

Cynthia and Rosalind are also busy making Hand Crafted Cards for any occasion – all reasonably priced and much better than a shop bought card. If you want a card for someone special or for a special anniversary or birth event, then please speak to Cynthia and give her the details you would like putting on the card.

The production of a cookbook has been mentioned to be entitled “Otley Methodist Cookbook – Ancient and Modern”. This will include a number of traditional Yorkshire recipes from the cookbook which Renee Matthews and Cynthia Hastings put together for our earlier fundraising scheme back in the 1980’s and also some more modern recipes as well. We would also like to include a number of recipes from celebrities in this. Again, we are looking for a volunteer to pull this together and if anyone feels they are willing to do so, again please contact John or myself.

Events mentions for 2010 that we are hoping to be able to book are "A Gardening Evening" with Joe Maidens, a concert by the Flautist, Simeon Wood, production of a booklet of The Chevin Cross Memories and also, to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the New Cross being built, all day breakfasts on the morning when the cross is erected in 2010. There will be a concert in the spring of 2010 by The North Staffordshire Methodist Youth Choir.

The next twelve months will be an exciting time for us all with plenty of variety in the events we are hoping to include. Please support these and if anyone has any additional ideas, please let any of the Community Redevelopment Scheme members know, and this can then be discussed at one of our future meetings.


A New Cloth for the Communion Table.

As we all know, nothing lasts forever, not even the cloth on our Communion Table. This was made in 1973, when the Rev. Jeffrey Sharp was our minister, to celebrate the opening of our Church premises, after a major building scheme which changed and transformed both the internal appearance and the seating capacity of our Church. The scheme made it possible for the Foyer to be enlarged because of the removal of several rows of pews at the back of the Church. In order to keep the symmetry of our beautiful Grade 2 Listed Building, the same number of pews were removed from the back of the Church upstairs and a valuable space was created. This has been used both for storage and arranged as the Church Museum, prior to its transfer to a room off the Wesley Hall. We thank Joyce Calverley for her work as the curator of our Museum.

I’m sure that when we all invite family and friends to our homes for a meal, we like to get out a freshly, laundered tablecloth, don’t we? This is as it should be as we gather around the Lord’s table together, to both remember and celebrate the sacrifice which Jesus made for all those, who by faith, will come to believe in His name for their salvation.

After a visit to Yvonne’s in order to inquire about the history of our Communion Cloth, I was not surprised at all to hear that it was 36 years old. It has been laundered at least once a month throughout its long life and was more than ready to be replaced. I also learnt that the beautiful hand embroidery on the cloth had been worked by Mrs. Nora Wright who was very disabled and had spent many years of her adult life in a wheelchair. However she was still an absolute joy to visit. Her husband, Alan Wright was also our Scout Master for many, many years and their daughter Margaret was a Brownie leader with Mrs. Donald Good when I was a Brownie. Wow!! I just thought I would drop that in because I’m sure that some of our Focus readers will still have some happy memories of that lovely family, as I have. Mrs Nora Holgate did the tatting around the edges.

We have now replaced our Communion Cloth with one of the same quality as the original, bearing mind that it is circular in shape, at a cost £159.87. Because of the price, we are prayerfully asking for donations from the Church Family, which may be handed to our Treasurer Mrs Louise Bullen. If you are able please Gift Aid your donation.

The Communion Steward’s Wives,
Susan Pullan, Sylvia King & Pauline Dobson.


Heritage Weekend 2009

As mentioned in last months edition of Focus we will be holding another Heritage Weekend this year with a focus on Otley and our Church in the Victorian period. There will be a variety of events and exhibitions held over the weekend (Friday 11th-Sunday 13th September).

Throughout the weekend there will be a main Victorian exhibition in the Wesley Hall, with a smaller exhibition in the Boroughgate Foyer looking at the Wesleys and the birth of Methodism. These will be a mixture of artefacts, photographs, static displays and audio-visual presentations.

On the Friday local schools have been invited to come and look at the exhibitions, and there will also be talks by members of our congregation about the history of our amazing Church building.

Throughout the day on Saturday refreshments will be served with light lunches from 12-2pm. The displays and exhibitions will be on show, and music will be supplied by the likes of ‘The Riverside Wind Quintet’. On Saturday evening there will be a Victorian-style variety evening, featuring ‘The Chippendale Singers’ and several members of our congregation doing variety acts ranging from singing to drama to stand-up comedy. This will take place at 7:30pm in the Wesley Hall.

Sunday will start off with our usual Family Church Parade service in the morning and the congregation are invited to come dressed in Victorian costume – so get your bonnets and waistcoats out! The exhibitions will be open during the afternoon and refreshments will once again be served.

All we need now is volunteers to make the weekend happen. During the day on Saturday and Sunday we need stewards and caterers to provide a warm welcome and a hot cup of tea to those visiting the church. On the Saturday performers are needed for the variety evening – all acts welcome be it juggling, magic tricks, dancing, acrobatics, the wackier the better!

If anyone is willing to help please talk to Matthew Burland or Christine Pratt who will be more than happy to have you on board.


THE METHODIST PRAYER MANUAL, 2009-2010

Along with other members of our congregation I value the Prayer Manual. It contains prayers and Bible readings for each day of the month from many different areas of the world, as well as from each Methodist District in the British Isles.

I shall be ordering the new manuals in August, so please let me know as soon as possible if you would like one. The cost is about £3, but the more copies we purchase the cheaper the price.
Joyce Calverley (464186)


Thanks

Heartfelt Thanks – Gerald & Shirley Wilson wish to express their heartfelt thanks to all who have supported them in prayer during recent months; also in such generous demonstrations of practical love and concern. They have both felt overwhelmed by the kindness and support of so many. They, and we, rejoice in the healing work of God that has taken place, especially for Gerald. May God bless you all.

Civic Service – we were honoured and delighted to host the Civic Service for the new Town Mayor, Councillor Gerard Francis, on the 28th June. Thank you to all those who helped to make the occasion such an uplifting time of worship and witness.

The FOCUS Team - wish to acknowledge with grateful thanks the kind donations received of £25 given to help with our productions costs. This kindness is very much appreciated. We are also pleased to have word from Mrs Marion Warburton that she finds the Large Print Focus a great help to see and to enjoy.
Please note that our next edition will be for September. All items for inclusion should be handed in to Mrs Joan Monte by Sunday 23rd August ready for the Focus Team Meeting on Thursday 27th August at 1.30pm


General announcements and pleas for help

RAINBOW LEADERS NEEDED

Can you spare an hour or so a week? Do you love playing games, making things and having fun? After 6 years at the helm, Julie Peters is leaving 2nd Caley Rainbows. Rainbows are 5-7 year old girls (pre-Brownies) who meet for an hour a week. As Rainbows has become more popular over the past few years we have opened another Unit. Ideally, we would like new leaders for the Tuesday Rainbows. There is no pressure to go into uniform but obviously it would be great if you wanted to! For more information, please contact Helen Pickersgill on 01943 463754.

1812 AUGUST FAMILY PICNIC
We will meet in Wharfedale Meadows Park on Tuesday 18th around 16.30 to eat picnics at 17.00. Please meet at the east end of the park by the tennis courts bringing outdoor games as well as your picnic. We look forward to seeing you.
JEAN PURSEHOUSE.


SECURITY WORRIES

After recent incidences of unauthorised and potentially dangerous entry to our premises and of doors being left insecure after use, the Services Team wish to remind users of our premises of the need to maintain security as a top priority.

This is best achieved by making full use of the doorbell system so that the inner door to the reception area can be kept locked when the reception room is unattended. Members of meetings or those collecting after meetings, can then ring the appropriate bell, as indicated on the white board, for access.

The system will be re-launched in September at the start of the autumn session. All Leaders are urged to discuss the practicalities with our Caretaker, Mr Ian Baguley, before then. In this way our security system can be made to work properly with minimum interruption to groups activities, should the wrong bell be pressed.

Further details will appear in the next issue of FOCUS.


HARVEST FESTIVAL

Our Harvest Festival will take place this year on the weekend of the 10th & 11th October. The theme for the weekend will be ‘The Parable of the Sower’. There will be a Harvest Supper, all-age activities and entertainment on the Saturday evening, when we will be joined by friends from All Saints’ Parish Church. Our Harvest Festival Service will take place on Sunday 11th October, which will also be a Parade Sunday.
Please note these important dates in your diary.


HARVEST MUSIC

Our Harvest Festival, as already mentioned, is being held on Sunday 11th October. Once again, it has been suggested that the Music Group perform before the start of the service and also lead the singing during the service. Can those who have been in the group in the past (plus any new people who wish to join us), please note that rehearsals will be held on the following dates:
Thursday 24th September; Thursday 1st October and Friday 9th October.


All rehearsals will be at 7pm for approximately half an hour.

Can vocalists please advise Julian Pursehouse, Martin Campey or myself of your availability for rehearsals and the service itself? We are also looking for instrumentalists to join the group. If you play a stringed, brass or wind instrument and wish to join us you will be more than welcome. Please let Martin know as soon as possible, so that he can transpose the music for your instrument


THE OPEN DISCUSSION HOUSE GROUP

This group has been revived and meets on the third Sunday of each month from September. Everyone will be welcome who seeks to relate Christian faith to social and personal problems in a confidential, friendly and non-judgemental atmosphere.

The next meeting will be on Sunday 20th September at 7.30pm, at the home of Gwyn & Leslie Petit, Sourby Old Farm, Timble. If new members would like directions, please phone Gwyn on 880628 and if anyone wants a lift, please phone Howard Chaplin on 463830.

The group has these intentions:
Mission: To explore our personal response to anything that challenges our faith.
Aim: To provide an intimate meeting place for free and frank discussion in confidence.
Method: Small groups (if numbers exceed 12, the group will split) will meet monthly at homes, the host providing the topic – and the tea and biscuits


Mission and Outreach

Circuit Missions Walk we were blessed this year with beautiful sunny weather, 32 walkers from 6 churches in the circuit took part sharing wonderful walking and fellowship. Venturing out of circuit this year we set off from Cullingworth and covered varying countryside. We skirted moorland, followed a beck through a wood, passing an impressive waterfall and open views across farmland to Hewenden viaduct. We were well looked after at Harecroft Methodist church who provided a welcome lunch stop, tea & toilets. The two walks split after lunch the short walk returning to Cullingworth over the viaduct. The longer walk continued to Dog Park reservoir before returning via the viaduct.

Thanks to the Otley team of walkers and all who sponsored, £224 was raised much of which was gift aided.
On Friday 14th August the Coffee Morning will be for Sahara Children’s Home, Patan, Nepal. FRED KING.

MISSION WITHOUT BORDERS

First of all I would like to thank everyone who supported the Strawberry Tea. We were blessed with a beautiful day and the final amount raised was £340. I would also like to thank everyone who gave me knitting and quilts. Lin and Harry came from the Mission in London and their car was full to the top with all the beautiful garments that you had made.

I am including a letter of thanks from one of the homes that received the gifts from last year, you can see they are very much appreciated. I am also including a letter of thanks from a family with 10 children whom I visited last year. They were a very talented musical family but had no money for instruments. The money we raised at the November Coffee Morning was sent to the Romanian Office and they bought instruments for the family which were put to good use.

Thank you all for your continual support. Pauline Dobson.

Dear Sponsors, The Special School “Sf.Mina” from Craiova county thanks you very much for the knitted articles that we received from you. We would like to tell you that they came in really handy, especially the blankets that we’ve used for the children’s bedrooms and they enjoyed them a lot. The pullovers, the pants, the mittens and the knitted caps were very much appreciated especially by the kindergarteners. Through this letter, we wish to send you the children’s joy and we would also like to invite you visit us here in Craiova.
Respectfully yours, Razvan Robert. 1st April 2009.

Our dear sponsor Mrs Pauline Dobson, thank you for the beautiful musical instruments you have sent to us.
Our family could never have afford buying them, because they are very expensive taking into account our family’s low cash income. Each of us is very grateful for having them! Besides singing with the Church orchestra, we all attend Art Junior High School, a school where we learn how to play instruments. By offering us these musical instruments, you indirectly but strongly determined us to achieve success in music. These instruments represent a real and a challenge that you have indirectly made to us. We believe that God put in your heart the desire to send us the money to purchase them. We are very thankful to you and we are confident that God will reward your generosity! Love, family Rotaru.

Paul and Sarah Wright in Nepal
Lights in the darkness

Each Thursday, along with two American friends, I meet with a group of Nepali women who are drawn from a variety of different churches. In leading the group we are helped by Sita who is a mature and well read Christian. Sita and her husband Bhim lead a church and do prison ministry. She’s a busy lady and doesn’t want to lead our group but we find her a fantastic resource when there are tricky issues and complex cultural situations. She also helps women to understand us when our Nepali language skills let us down! Each week the group of around 30 women meet to study the Bible and to pray for each other. Many in the group are illiterate or barely literate. I’d like to share a little of some of their lives with you so that you can pray for them.

Maya is a rubbish collector who walks the streets of Kathmandu each day gathering discarded plastic bags and bottles. For each kilo she collects she earns 5 rupees (less than 5p). She is poor and low caste – in society here, the lowest of the low. Originally from India she speaks Nepali poorly and is very difficult for me to understand. I have been very pleased with the way the group has welcomed her in and treat her as an equal. She has been baptised and since that time 6 members of her family have become Christians, some of whom are also baptised. Four more members of the family have started coming to church too. Sita teaches at a fellowship group that Maya hosts in her home each week.
Before becoming a Christian Maya used to beg from foreigners. It is a lifestyle she finds hard to turn away from which is a challenge for the three of us who lead the group. However, when we look at her life and all that has changed since she came to faith we find more energy to keep on encouraging her to look to God to provide for her needs.

Please join in praising God for this family and pray for the light they shine in the poor community they live amongst.

Sanu has recently joined the group. On her first visit she shared with the group that her husband is in jail awaiting trial. He was arrested nearly nine months ago after a kidnapping attempt in which as a driver he was caught up. She believes he is innocent but the case has still not come to trial.

Her husband is a Christian and has been baptised in jail through the ministry of Sita and Bhim. Sanu gave birth to a baby boy last Friday (May 16th). Her in-laws are not helping her at all so she plans to return to her own village for the next few months hoping she’ll find more support there.

Please pray for a trial and for justice to be done. Sanu has no income at present and with a newborn baby would find it very hard to take a job. Pray for this mother who needs the father of her baby to be home again.

Anjana became a Christian while her husband was working in the Middle East. It is very common here for men to go to work abroad for two or three year periods leaving their family here. The money they send home is a major input into Nepal’s economy. Soon before her husband was due to return home Anjana asked us to pray, she was fearful as to how he would respond to her faith. He was very angry and prevented her from coming to the fellowship group and attending church. Incredibly, two months later, he is now a Christian. I don’t know what she said or did but I can only praise God that he saw the light in her and wanted it for himself.

Renu also had a difficult time when her husband would not accept the decision she had made. She became pregnant for a third time shortly after her husband found a job having been unemployed for 6 years. Money was still tight and he wanted her to abort the baby. She asked advice from a Christian friend and prayerfully she decided that she would not do it. Not long before the baby was born her husband came to her and said he understood her pain and they prepared for the birth together. She loves her little girl and has no regrets about the decision she made.

She is, however, finding it hard at church at the moment as some women are making comments about why someone as poor as Renu has so many children. She has stopped going to the church Bible Study and has started coming regularly on Thursdays. Some weeks she struggles to afford the bus fare to get to the group and walks carrying the 18 month old with her. She is glad to have found a place where she feels no criticism. In the group this week she shared how her faith has grown through these difficult times.

Please pray for us as we try to encourage and support her
Sarah Wright

In late May there was a bomb at a catholic church in Kathmandu which killed 3 worshippers and injured many more. An extreme Hindu group who want the return of a Hindu kingdom claimed to have been planted the bomb.
One of the women from the Thursday fellowship was in the service with her three children (10, 8 and 18 months) as the bomb exploded. None of them were injured but the two older children are still coming to terms with what they saw. They are more emotional than usual and nervous about loud noises.

Please pray for them and the many others who are coming to terms with the horror of that day

A copy of Paul & Sarah’s latest News Letter is on the notice board.


News from Pool Methodist Church

We at Pool continue to work in the community of Pool and share with our friends at St Wilfrids Parish Church. This year just for two days at the end of July we will be holding another summer activity time for the children of the village in Pool school. This will be on Thursday and Friday 23rd & 24th July from 9.45am to 12noon, but this year as a bonus, we are continuing with those who want to come with a family service at our church at 10am – a change of time to accommodate our friends from St Wilfrids - who normally meet at 9.30am. This Service/Activity morning will be on Sunday 26th July, and will follow up the activities of the two days at school.

As Pool School hope to be using OPEN THE BOOK, a series of Bible stories for young people in the new school year 2009-2010, then we are basing our activity days, and the Sunday service on the lives of great people in the Bible, such as David and Goliath, and Daniel in the Lions den. Certainly these days will be full of activity and the service will be very different to our normal ones.

A warm welcome awaits anyone – young or old!!


Action for Children

As I write these notes Action for Children are celebrating 140 years of their work in this country. Since the first children’s home was opened in London by Rev Thomas Bowman Stephenson on July 9th 1869, several Churches around the area are celebrating Action for Children Sunday on July 12th and this prayer will be used in many, I am sure.

We thank you for Action for Children’s commitment over 140 years to vulnerable children, young people and families, and their renewed commitment to go to those who need them most. Enabling Spirit, Refresh our vision and renew our commitment so that the life of your Church and the work of Acton for Children may be a practical expression of your ongoing and unfailing commitment in love, for as long as it takes.AMEN.

Thank you for all your help, support and prayers. ROGER BAREHAM.