Advent 2018 - Week 3

Generous BeadsREGIONAL Minister the Revd Mary Taylor writes:- 
"Continuing with the YBA's Advent focus on how God’s generosity calls us all to be generous people, this week we turn the spotlight on Jane Weaver, a member of Milnsbridge Baptist Church, Huddersfield, whose hobby turned into a business which glorifies God."


ABOUT 16 years ago I was asked to become a Trustee of SIFT (Seed International Fund Trust), a small Christian charity working in Nicaragua, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
A visit to that country a couple of years later brought home to me exactly what living in poverty meant in a country with little in the way of social aid.

SIFT workerWe met people living in shacks made of scraps scavenged from the local rubbish tip; people who woke up in the morning not knowing whether they were going to eat that day; and heard of children put out to prostitution on the streets by their families as a way of earning some income. But we also met Christians of faith, great faith, and it was (and still is) through those people that we work to reach out, help relieve sickness and poverty, provide education, and bring good ways to earn a living in the future.

Like many small charities SIFT lives hand to mouth when it comes to funding the work. I feel sure that this is, in part, God’s plan, to teach us to keep trusting Him. So on our return to the UK my husband, Colin, and I started to look for ways to raise awareness of SIFT and also thus help raise funds.

PatientsWe started to look for opportunities to talk about SIFT (we still do this if anyone wants us to visit their church or group) and to sell crafts we’d brought back from Nicaragua: wooden items and simple jewellery. These things sold well, but we quickly ran out and the opportunities to get more crafts were few.

It was then that I began to wonder whether I could make anything similar to sell. Wood turning was definitely out of my league, but I’d enjoyed sewing and embroidery in my younger days and stringing beads didn’t sound too different, so I began to look into jewellery making as a hobby. I did a couple of short courses and was hooked!
Over many years I have developed my techniques and also my own little business, Beadseedz, where I sell jewellery online and at small craft fairs. The profits usually go to SIFT (and occasionally other charities) and I keep back the cost of materials to help fund more jewellery making.

BeadsJewellery-making is not a spiritual gift in any way, and I don’t feel like a generous person; I am simply doing something I love with the spin-off of helping a charity to which I am very committed. But we do have a prodigiously generous God and the very fact that He can turn an, in some ways, selfish hobby into something to help further His work is just one tiny example of His goodness.

Read more about the work of SIFT at:

You can see some more of Jane's creations on this short video.

View Jane's online shop at:

A PRAYER FOR ADVENT WEEK 3 by Revd Mary Taylor

Generous Creator God,
3 candlesWe praise you who made everything seen and unseen; and declared it all good. We praise you alongside all your creation, knowing that in its amazing variety, it reflects your majesty and love.
We know you are the one who planted in us our own creativity. Thank you for the gifts and skills which help us to make and craft and design. Thank you for beauty and depth expressed through light and shadow of art, dexterity of hand and subtlety of seeing. In this time of waiting and preparing for Christmas we pray that we will value the gift of something lovingly made or of someone’s time given, more than we add up money spent or goods acquired. Thank you that you are delighted when our own enjoyment comes together with your will and way for our lives.
Thank you for all who offer their own time and gifts to benefit those in great need. Encourage each one of us to offer our talents into your hands to become resources for good in our world. There are so many ways and so many patterns by which you call us to live our lives and use our gifts to your glory and we pray that we may all be seeds planted for fruitfulness to bring your grace and light to those around us.
Jesus as we long for your coming, help us to see even our smallest actions as beads of love and seeds of your beautiful Grace. 

Mary adds: "We are also looking for Generous Heroes in our churches! Who do you know who turns the everyday into a gift in the name of Jesus? How about nominating your Generous Hero from church and community? Send us a photo and story (with their permission) and we will share it with the YBA family. Contact Joolz on "

Advent Week 1: Angela Wright, of Conisbrough Baptist Church, Click here to watch 
Angela is Community Wellbeing and Development Tutor Manager at Northern College, Stainborough, Barnsley.
Advent Week 2: YBA Treasurer Dean Thorpe reflects on using his gift  - his knowledge and financial expertise - to glorify God. Click here to watch 

Webpage icon The Angels of Barlick
Webpage icon Advent 2018 - Week 4
Webpage icon Advent 2018 - Week Two
Webpage icon Christmas around the churches
Webpage icon Advent 2018 - Week One
Webpage icon Advent 2018
Webpage icon YBA Assembly 2018 (Archived)
Webpage icon Easter 2018
Webpage icon A story for Lent 2018
Webpage icon Lent 2018 - Week 5
Webpage icon Lent 2018 - Week 4
Webpage icon Lent 2018 - Week 3
Webpage icon Lent 2018 - Week 2
Webpage icon Lent 2018 - Week One
Webpage icon Lent 2018
Webpage icon Justice in the spotlight
Webpage icon Cober Hill Retreat
Webpage icon Generosity in times of great challenge
Webpage icon Reflections on the Sam Sharpe Lecture
Webpage icon Your reflections on the Assembly
Webpage icon The YBA Assembly - Part Three
Webpage icon The YBA Assembly - Part Two