Wardle Village Church

In Touch

 

IN TOUCH     February 2018

 

 

Welcome everyone to our In Touch web page.  As this is the first update for 2018, we wish you all a happy and prosperous year, or, at least, the ten and a half months remaining of it!  As the weather is cold and apt to be miserable, hopefully you will be encouraged by what our worship leaders have been telling us recently.

 

On 7th January, it was our Covenant Service, in which we re-commit ourselves to God.  Rev Ruth reminded us that the Bible records how we often turn our backs on God, but that God never gives up and always offers us hope and a chance to turn back.  Human love is good, but is it as resilient as that of God?  To all atheists and those who ridicule Christians, God still offers his love.  Jesus said that he is the vine and we are the branches.  Sometimes we forget we need to be watered and we wither if we do not worship, pray, read the word and encounter God in everyday life.  Through Jesus we have sustaining power.  A healthy Christian life is fed by Jesus.  Sometimes faith is hard and we come to say sorry for not always getting it right.  This is an opportunity to say ‘Yes, we do want to be part of the vine, branches that bear fruit, people sustained by faith’.  God’s love and blessing are the other part of the covenant.  He says he will be with us and sustain us, whatever the year brings.

 

On 14th January, Rev Mike took our service.  He saw a lot of significance in the calling of Nathaniel.  Jesus had started collecting his disciples.  He recruited Philip, who went to fetch Nathaniel.  As Nathaniel approaches, Jesus surprises him by saying ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom is no deceit’.  Nathaniel asked Jesus how he could know that.  Jesus replies ‘I saw you under the fig tree’.  This implies that Jesus had second sight and was enough to convince Nathaniel that Jesus was someone special.  Mike informed us that gathering figs is a Jewish metaphore for studying the scriptures.  Jesus was implying that God had seen Nathaniel at his devotions.  Nathaniel was a good role model.  We should not be afraid of wasting time with God.  We can sit quiet in front of him, perhaps reciting a bit of scripture, saying a prayer or counting our blessings.  Perhaps when we finally meet him, he will say ‘I saw you under the fig tree’.

 

On 21st January, Mr David Foss took our service.  He certainly struck a chord with the two children present.  One was happily hopping round the church like a kangaroo.  However, kangaroos were not what was interesting Mr Foss.  Like Rev Mike, he turned to Jesus at the beginning of his ministry.  Jesus said that the Kingdom of God was at hand and that people should repent and believe in the gospel (good news).  His three points were good news, repent and believe.  Previously generations had believed in God but had been afraid of him.  They even made human sacrifices.  Jesus told of the love of God.  He also offered hope and the strength to cope with life’s cares and the promise of immortality.  To repent is to have a change of mind.  People regret the things they have done.  Jesus says ‘change your attitude and give your love and service to me’.  We are also asked to believe the good news and put it into action, to live our lives in faith.

 

On 28th January, Rev Rachel took as her theme the Biblical quote ‘They were astonished at his teaching because he taught as one in authority’.  People recognised an authority in Jesus, not found in the synagogue teachers.  God speaks to us today individually.  Sometimes the voice of man conflicts with the voice of God.  Our own voice (the voice of self) also clamours for attention.  The most important voice is that of God.  We are sheep with a shepherd.  The shepherd calls the sheep and they follow.  They know his voice and they follow him, not the other voices.  There is a chattering of voices out there and the choice of which to follow is ours.  Is God calling you to do something?  When you pray, have a moment of silence and wait for God to talk to you.

 

On 4th February, Rev Ruth said she had recently been on a course and become aware that society puts people into boxes and, in retirement, we are expected to behave in a certain way.  God releases us and uses us at any age.  He still works in us past retirement.  We need to get to know each other and recognise the gifts and talents we have.  We are here because God wants us to be here and he has a purpose for us.  He gives strength to the weary.  He promises to lift us up ‘as on eagles’ wings’.  He cares for us and wants to refresh and renew us.  Jesus became weary and he went off to be alone and pray and was renewed.  If we want to rise on the wings of eagles we need to pray.  We don’t have to use words.  Sometimes we can just sit in God’s presence and listen.  Then you are resting in God.  You are just being.  This is a kind of prayer we have forgotten.  Through this we can be renewed.  God knows our needs.  We don’t need to tell him.

 

On 11th February, Rev Rachel described the tingling feeling she sometimes gets, which she associates with the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus’ disciples had an amazing spiritual experience when Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus on a mountain.  The disciples had been following Jesus for three years.  He was a healer, reformer, teacher and friend.  How could he be this amazingly spiritual man?   Suddenly the disciples were close to haven.  Rev Rachel also felt close to heaven when she visited the church on top of Mount Tabor, which marks the spot where the transfiguration took place.  She felt God talking to her and giving her messages for the people she loved.  Sometimes visions and words come out of the blue.  Is God talking to you, or still trying to get your attention?  What does God want us to do next here in Wardle?  The challenge is to listen.

 

The summaries of six sermons is quite a lot of spiritual food to digest, but we are about to enter Lent, so if you would like even more, do join us for our Lent Study Group starting on Wednesday 21st at 7.00 pm.

 

If you would prefer a slightly lighter diet, we would be happy to welcome you to our Maundy Thursday Supper at 7.00 pm on 29th March.

 

Goodbye and God bless.

 

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 10.00am, 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