District News – 7 April 2020

This Week’s News

Sharing Good News

We are looking for good news stories, big or small, showing how people are supporting each other and spreading God’s love. We’ve already started to share some on our social media channels and website.

We are also looking for eye catching photos to share too, this could be showing a positive message or something which made you smile. We want to share as many stories and photos as we can and we need your help to that.

Please email your stories and photos to comms@sheffieldmethodist.org

Sad News

As the death toll continues to rise, we are starting to learn of those closer to our own lives who have been affected. This week we learnt with sadness of the death of Kathleen Brown, wife or Revd Michael Brown, a supernumerary in the Sheffield Circuit. We hold him and his family in our prayers.

Church Action on Poverty

During the current crisis, street sales of Big Issue North have been suspended. A hardship fund is being set up to help support vendors who will lose a substantial part of their income and livelihoods as a result.

Please consider buying Big Issue North online  – you will be helping our vendors during this difficult time.

Thank you very much for your help.

Options to buy

Thankfully, you can help. We have set up a hardship fund for our vendors. This allows us to swiftly help homeless vendors into accommodation, as well as paying for vendors’ rent, bills and shopping in the event that they are unable to work or access a foodbank. It also allows us to support them in the event that rent and bills are not frozen by the government.

To donate, please text HARDSHIP to 70970 to give £5, or visit easydonate.org/HARDSHIP to give as much or as little as you can afford.

We will continue to print the magazine for as long as we can but if you are unable to get a copy, you can buy a digital copy of each issue for just £2 at issuu.com/bigissuenorth. £1 from each sale will go directly to our hardship fund.

Alternatively, if you prefer print media, you can take out a subscription for three, six or 12 months, with each issue sent directly to your home or business, with no postage or packaging fees. To take out a subscription, go to shop.bigissuenorth.com/category/subscriptions.

As you may have read, we also recently launched a quarterly subscription magazine, The New Issue. Subscriptions cost £40 per year, and all profits go towards supporting our vendors. To find out more, take out a subscription, or buy one or two issues to get a taste of what’s on offer, please visit newissue.co.uk

Action for Children Emergency Coronavirus Appeal

Action for Children has launched an Emergency Coronavirus Appeal to help provide essentials to the most vulnerable families they support across the UK and those potentially affected in the future.

Coronavirus has thrown all our lives, our communities and the UK into an unprecedented crisis. Families who were already struggling are now unable to buy food and basic essentials such as nappies, cleaning products, and money for gas and electricity. They need us now more than ever.

The charity is working hard to make sure they can still support children and their families at this difficult time.  They are creating more digital solutions to support where face-to-face options are limited.

Please donate to this Emergency Coronavirus Appeal and keep the charity in your prayers.

Here is also a video promoting the Emergency Appeal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4iQ2B-4MfU

Methodist Homes (MHA)

The CEO, Sam Monaghan, has written a letter to the churches in which he shares how the coronavirus is affecting their homes and schemes, and gives ways in which we can help.

You can read the full letter here: Letter to the  Methodist Church


While we may not be able to meet in person – there are a number of events happening in the wonderful world of the internet!

Most will be making use of Zoom video conferencing. If you haven’t used Zoom before, visit zoom.us.  The easiest way to do it is to download the app (which is free), set up an account, then choose join, fill in the meeting ID and password and you should be good to go. If you want help with this, contact Katrin in the District Office.

All meetings can also be joined by calling up on a phone – if you don’t want to appear on video. When you dial in, you will be asked for the Meeting ID, followed by the # key. You may also be asked for a password.

The UK numbers are:

  •         0203 481 5237
  •         0203 481 5240
  •         0208 080 6591
  •         0208 080 6592
  •         0330 088 5830
  •         0131 460 1196

Holy Week

We are in Holy Week, for many the busiest time of the year, with daily services all leading to Good Friday, the pause on Saturday before the joy of Easter Sunday. This year it all feels very different. There will be no “Walk of Witness” on Good Friday, no handing out of Easter eggs, no sharing together with our church family. Instead we are exploring alternative ways to stay connected, using the Internet to share videos of services, or personal reflections. Facebook, Zoom, YouTube (and others) have become part of our daily lives in a way that for many, they may not have been. Follow links on your circuit web pages, or let Google “be your friend” to find out what is available.

We also are grateful for those making phone calls  to help those not connected to still feel part of our connexion!

Office Workers Network

Wednesday 8 April – 2pm

There will be a Zoom video meeting for all office workers who are free at that time to join. If you don’t have access to a video link, you can dial-in from a land line. This is a chance for us to chat about how we are managing with working from home, the tips and hints that keep us going.

Zoom meeting ID:  237 068 579

Youth and Children’s Workers

Wednesday 8 April – 2pm

Jonathan Buckley has set up a Zoom meeting for any Youth & Children’s workers who want to share their own experiences. Knowing the group, it will probably involve some kind of game as well! 😂

Zoom Meeting ID: 268 949 812
Password: 474972

Lay Workers Networking

Tuesday 28 April from 1oam

The Lay Workers Community of Practice scheduled for 28th April is going ahead – by Zoom!

We will be joined by Rob Cooper who will do a presentation about the joys and challenges of being employed by the Methodist church and a Q&A. He is also available for more detailed questions at rob.cooper@2bpeople.com.

We will meet at 10am for coffee; followed by a short act of worship at 10.30am. Rob will present 10.45am-12pm We will then have a lunch break, but you will have to bring your own 😂

Zoom has the facility to create breakout rooms, so we will split up into smaller groups to chat over lunch, then we will meet by ministry/job area, again in smaller groups, before coming back together, finishing at 2pm.

Working from home is a huge challenge, especially for those with young children. Please, please bring them with you. One of the joys of the lockdown has been meeting everyone’s children albeit virtually! If you are concerned they may disturb others, you can always choose the mute option.

You can leave and rejoin the meeting at any time between 10am and 2pm – that applies to those without small children as well!

The link to register is: https://layworkers.eventbrite.co.uk. Further information will then be emailed to you, including how to join the meeting.

Line Management Support

Wednesday 29 April from 10am

This meeting will be from 10 – 12 pm, with opportunities for 1:1 conversations with Rob Cooper in the afternoon. As with the lay workers, you will be free to leave and re-join at any time, and young children (and pets) are also welcome :).

More information on the flyer here: Line Management Support

The link to register is here: https://linemanagesupport.eventbrite.co.uk

Thy Kingdom Come

Once Easter Monday has passed, our thoughts can turn to Thy Kingdom Come, which will of course look rather different this year.

Thelma Commey’s beautiful prayer journal was available to order.  Please note that CPO has been forced to close for the time being, but your church members can still order copies in smaller quantities via Methodist Publishing:   https://www.methodistpublishing.org.uk/features/thy-kingdom-come-2020

A PDF version can be downloaded here: TKC_PrayerJournal2020_Methodist

You will also notice by following the link above that the Family Adventure Prayer Map is free to order from Methodist Publishing this year. This is a great resource for use with homeschooled kids and grandkids. The map takes you all through 11 days of fun prayer activities between Ascension and Pentecost. Children can learn Bible stories in an accessible way, talk to God, draw, write and solve puzzles using this colourful A2 folded map, which is suitable for 5 to 11-year-olds. This year’s map also has augmented reality features which people can access by downloading the app on their smartphone. A digital copy of the map can also be downloaded here:


Online Resources

There is so much information “out there”. Here are some links to sites and resources that we think might be helpful.

Holy Week for children and young people

To support faith at home during Holy Week, the Children, Youth and Family team has curated and created a whole suite of resources here

For young people we offer a week long journey in the form of a reflective journal to complete. Why not make Holy Week in a Box using simple objects tucked into a small box, along with scripture, to tell the story of Holy Week?

Holy Week for adults

Including resources from from the Iona Community and the Methodist Modern Art collection, this series of services for each day during Holy Week allows us to focus on the seven last words that Jesus speaks from the cross, according to the four Gospels.

A new approach to the Lectionary has been devised for this year. Each day we set out the four Lectionary readings, a short summary of the main themes that run across the readings, a selection of hymns suitable for the day and reflections on the themes.

Maundy Thursday

Join in with worship from Wesley’s Chapel – services at 10am, 12.45pm, and 7pm or at Swanbank Methodist Church.

Use the Lectionary resources to reflect on the readings of the day or use one of the service sheets to reflect on times in our lives when we have felt abandoned.

Creative ideas for younger people for today include turning the top of your Holy Week box into a table to decorate as a Passover meal and using your feet to make some art.

Good Friday

Join a reflective vigil at Wesley’s Chapel from 10am, Methodist Central Hall, Westminster or from Swanbank Methodist Church.

Our Lectionary resources for the day include some beautiful hymns to sing. A short service includes powerful art from the Methodist Modern Art Collection to reflect upon.

Holy Saturday

Join the Easter vigil at Wesley’s Chapel from 8.30pm

Move from darkness into light with these resources for Holy Saturday.

Take a look at the resources and links that our Children and Youth team have provided as we get near to Easter.

Easter Sunday

Service sheets to use at home can be downloaded here.

Join in worship at:

Wesley’s Chapel at 9.45am, 11am, or 7pm, or

Swanbank Methodist Church

How about a Methodist Easter Day love feast or have a go at some messy Easter activities for children for this special day?