Wardle Village Church

In Touch

IN TOUCH – 6TH APRIL 2018

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are keeping well and that you have had a lovely Easter.

We will now share with you what our worship leaders have been telling us over the past month or so.

On 18th February, Susan, a lay preacher, took our service.  She reminded us that Jesus said ‘Take up your cross and follow me’.  This was no easy ride.  It was a challenge.  Bearing in mind that we were in Lent, what challenge might Jesus be offering us?  Susan saw three challenges in this statement:

  1. Forget self – At the beginning of the 21st century, it seems self is all important.  The general good is set aside.  We have road rage, litter, the rich become richer and the poor poorer and vandalism, and drugs cause problems.  People give things up for Lent but this is not what Jesus is asking for.  We have to deny ourselves and live for God every day.
  2. Take up your cross every day – This is not something laid on us.  It is something we take up.  We renounce our pleasure for someone else.  We sacrifice time and leisure.  He will tell us what to do.  Are we listening?  It has been likened to signing a blank sheet of paper – God fills it in.
  3. Follow me – Live in obedience to Jesus in thoughts, words and actions.  Can we say, like Paul, that Christ lives within us?  He offers us freedom from strain, stress, fear and sin.  Jesus is our daily saviour, changing us so we live for him.

Jesus said ‘if’.  We are not forced into it.  We have a choice.  Every day we need to make that choice.  It is not easy, but the rewards are great: God loves us, we are forgiven, we are at peace, at one with God.

On 25th February, Rev Rachel directed her attention to what the gospel has to say about the value of life.  Jesus was the Messiah.  He was expected to lead an army and rescue his countrymen from the Romans.  A messiah who would suffer and die was not what the disciples expected.  They were horrified at the idea of Jesus being killed.  How odd that Jesus said you had to lose your life to save it.  We cling onto life and material things – houses, bank balances, status.  Can we give them up and imagine ourselves with nothing, like the homeless?  Are we confused by Jesus’ words?  Do we think Jesus was unhinged?  The world has to go on.  Do we miss the word ‘resurrection’ and only hear the work ‘death’?  As we open ourselves to the possibility of losing our lives, we open ourselves to resurrection, eternity and heaven.  Jesus came back to life and when we die we all have the promise of eternal life.

On 4th March, Rev Ruth stated that we like definitions and answers for everything.  Our knowledge has increased.  We have modern technology.  Christianity may be viewed as deluded, old-fashioned and irrelevant.  We say God came to earth in the form of Jesus, died and was brought back to life.  Some may say that is foolish, but the first people who said the world was round were also thought to be foolish.  Being a Christian is not about knowledge.  It is about knowing Jesus with our minds, souls and hearts.  The facts are that Jesus lived.  His disciples saw him after his death, and Christianity was founded.  Christianity then influenced societies across the world, including ours.  How can something so profound be based on a lie?  The world often objects to Christianity because it says we should love one another and live in peace.  They hear a message of hope, love, transformation and forgiveness, sharing and looking after the world’s resources.  We may not feel wise but we have something special.

The 11th March was Mothering Sunday and Rev Rachel took the service and touched on a range of aspects of the love of a mother, from the mother of Moses, who hid him in the bulrushes to Christ on the cross asking his mother to take John as her son, as if, in the hope and expectation that it would help to assuage her grief.  Not surprisingly, we had quite a few children in church, including the Brownies and they enjoyed handing out gifts of daffodils to the congregation.

We did not have a service on 18th.  It got lost somewhere under several inches of snow.

The 25th March was a very special service as we celebrated Palm Sunday outside, accompanied by a band playing the hymns and two real donkeys that processed up the road and around the church.  The outside service really gave us a feeling of what it would have felt like as Jesus travelled into Jerusalem.

On Easter Day Rev Ruth took our service.  She read us a poem called ‘Race to the Tomb’ which explored the disciples’ feelings as they hurried along, making the experience real to us. The disciples had no doubt that Jesus was dead.  They had no expectations.  In the space of 5 minutes things changed for ever.  Even Mary did not expect Jesus to be alive.  When she realises that he is, she is struck by utter wonder followed by joy.  We know he is part of our lives.  Our faith is based on a relationship with our risen Lord.  As with Mary, he calls our names and our lives are transformed.

Throughout Lent, we held Bible Study groups every week.  We were taking a close look at the creed, well, 2 creeds in fact, The Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed, which are actually much the same.  We soon realised that examining creeds leads to a self-assessment of what we actually believe and it led to some pretty lively discussions.  As you can imagine, all that soul-searching was quite exhausting, but our kindly host never fail to revive us with the most delicious refreshments.

We always have a monthly challenge.  This month it is ‘Consider asking God to ‘roll away’ an obstacle in your life with his resurrection power’.  Never hesitate to bring your problems to God.  None of us are insignificant in his eyes.  Remember, not even a sparrow falls to earth without his knowing about it.

Blessings on all of you. Spring is on the way – enjoy!

Contact Information

Wardle Village Church

Ramsden Road
Wardle
Rochdale
OL12 9PE

Tel: 01706 551686 / 01706 378466

Meeting times

Further Contact Details 

 

Methodist

Rev Ruth Jackson 551686

Anglican 

Rev. Rachel Battershell 378466

 

Wardle Village Church Services 

Sunday Morning at 11.00am

Sunday Club

Every Sunday upstairs 11.00am

 

Facilities

Full access for wheelchair users from the ramp at the car park from Chapel Street.

Loop system for the hard of hearing.

Disabled toilet.

 

Baby and Toddler Club

 Meet every Monday and Wednesday

9.30am - Noon

 

Marriage can be arranged by contacting either Rev. Rachel Battershell (Anglican), or Rev. Ruth Jackson (Methodist).

 

Baptisms can be arranged by contacting either of our ministers. These are usually conducted within our normal Sunday Services.

 

Slimming World

Meet every Thursday upstairs at 5.30pm & 7.30pm. Contact Rebecca 07738052984 for further details.

 

St James Primary School Wardle

stjamesps.schooljotter.com/ 

 

 

 

How to Find us

Set Sat Nav to Rochdale OL12 9PE