Methodist Church News 2010
Sunday services at 10.30 a.m.
Sunday school at 10 00 a.m. For details please contact Mrs. Beryl House, tel. 813516
Ladies' Meeting on Wednesdays at 2.30 p.m.
"Oasis" a midweek informal meeting for meditation, discussion and fellowship (creche available if needed) on the second Wednesday of the month at 10.30 a.m.
All are welcome at any of these activities.
The schoolroom is widely used by the community, and if anybody wishes to book it for an event such as a children's party, contact Jane Millward tel. 813015.
Winter 2010 News
In recent weeks I have spent a little time researching my family tree, an increasingly popular pursuit these days, and so far I’ve managed to trace my family back as far as the late 1700s. There are no skeletons in the cupboard as far as I can tell, but there have been a number of fascinating discoveries along the way. I’ve found out that there have been four or five Phillip Pooles and that I come from a family made up almost entirely of pottery workers and coal miners. The real surprise has been to discover that both sides of my family have lived in the same very small part of Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent for the last 200 years, as far back as I’ve so far been able to trace. I’ve now begun to wonder what the world was like for some of these people, people who never saw a mobile phone or a motor car, some of whom lived even before the invention of the postage stamp, never mind computers or email. Time never stops rolling forward, so it may be that one day in the future someone researching their family’s past will discover our names and wonder what we were like and what life was like for us - a truly sobering thought.
In the month of November we remember with pride and thanks people of the past who risked their lives in war to protect our freedom and preserve our way of life. We may also call to mind people who worked for social reform in days gone by and whose contribution has helped improve our quality of life beyond recognition. As Christians we remember too those who have gone before us in the story of the church, the heroes of the faith as well as the more ordinary people who helped to found and build the places where we worship today and whose witness to Christ therefore goes on. It seems important that from time to time their contribution is remembered. So as we look forward to Christmas and next year and all that the future holds let us also remember to look back and to thank God for all that has come down to us from previous generations. We owe him, and them, so much.
During the dark December days we share all the excitement of Christmas preparations. We will be joining in the celebration of Advent Bright at the Parish Church. We will also think of others less fortunate than ourselves by collecting tinned and packeted goods for the YMCA store cupboard, used to help people who find themselves unexpectedly homeless or without adequate food supplies, and we always try to make up a few festive boxes specially for young folk who may not be able to live at home at Christmas. This annual contribution to local charity will be supplemented by our collection for Christian Aid, for the work among needy people further afield. Any extra contributions will be most welcome via our members.
Our Carol Service will be held on Sunday12th. December at 10.30 a.m.
Details of other Christmas celebrations will be posted in our notice board, among them the joint Carol Service with the Parish Church on 19th. December.
The traditional concert by the Rolleston Choral Society which has been the start of the festive season in the village for many years has this year been scheduled for Wednesday 22nd. December at 7.30 p.m. There will be carols for choir and audience, as well as readings of all kinds by choir members, and seasonal refreshments will follow, included in the cost of the ticket, £5, available from church and choir members. You are assured of a warm welcome.
Autumn 2010 News
During the first week of the school holidays, Rev. Phil Poole led a Holiday Club at the Junior School for children between the ages of 5 and 11, assisted by helpers from both churches in the village. It was called “Starship Discovery,”, with a background of space exploration that the children enjoyed by making rockets, oxygen packs to wear when they went exploring and other craft activities. They made up raps, sang songs and played games, on the school field since the weather was fine, and part of the story of the disciple Peter was also told during the week. There was also drama to be enjoyed, with an imaginary family lost in space and befriended by a kind alien. On the Thursday evening parents and friends were invited along to see what was on offer each day and to enjoy chips and fruit. It was difficult to see who was enjoying themselves the most, the children or the helpers, though some of the latter still looked a little weary at the Sunday morning service in the Methodist church led by Phil! It is hoped to hold a similar event next year.
Looking ahead we will hold our Harvest Festival on September 26th to be conducted by Rev Phil Poole. All are welcome. Harvest gifts will be distributed on the following day.
Summer 2010 News
I recently visited an agricultural college with my family for a lambing day. The college, at Reaseheath in Cheshire, manages a flock of more than five hundred sheep, and more than a thousand lambs were expected. We joined scores of people who had gone along to witness the miracle of new life and, of course, to be charmed by all the cute newborn lambs.
Some of the work on the college farm was being done by students, but it was clear that one person there was very much in charge. He was the shepherd, and at the same time as caring for the sheep, he was looking after the students, showing them what needed to be done and passing on his experience and skills. I remembered that in the Bible, Christ is called the Good Shepherd, and watching this man at work helped me realise the power of that image. At one point some worried looking students brought the shepherd news of a newborn lamb in trouble elsewhere on the farm, and he literally ran from the building to help. Amongst all these hundreds of lambs the life of one might not have seemed all that important but the shepherd dropped everything to go to its aid. I was reminded of the story Jesus told of a shepherd who left his flock behind to go and look for the one sheep which was lost - a parable of how God cares for us and comes to our help whenever we need him.
Later on I was standing near the shepherd again as he looked over a barn full of sheep and lambs with a small group of students. He was able to tell, just by looking, which of the lambs had problems or needed urgently to be fed. It was clear that to him this was not just a flock – each sheep and lamb merited individual care and attention. Once again I thought of the Bible and of the place where Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” To Christ we are more than just a mass of people, for each of us is known and loved, and the Easter Story shows us just how devoted to the care of his sheep our Good Shepherd is. In the words of Jesus, “The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” It was for love of us that Christ gave his life on the cross.
Let us trust ourselves and those we love into the care of Christ the Good Shepherd, and as we do so may we find our hearts warmed, our worries calmed and our burdens lifted.
Wishing you joy and peace,
Rev. Phil Pool, Rolleston Methodist Church
Children’s Holiday Club
Another Holiday Club for children between the ages of five and eleven will be run by members of both churches in Rolleston at the Alderbrook site of the John of Rolleston Primary school from July 26th. to July 30th, between 10 a.m. and 12 noon. It is called "Starship Discovery", and will include singing, games, drama, craft, jokes, Bible stories and a great deal of fun. There will also be an evening session on the Thursday at which parents will be most welcome. To book a place contact Karen Pott, tel.530502. Anybody who could help at any of the sessions should contact Rev. Phil Poole Tel 563096.
Spring 2010 News
There will be a United Service between the two village churches on Good Friday at 11 a.m. In the Methodist Church. All are welcome to share this time, on this special day in the Christian year.
By now you will probably have seen, and walked over, the new tarmac surface which brings users round the chapel when they approach the back door for activities. We hope you find it better than the ancient pathway!
The Snowdrop Tea at the beginning of February kept us very busy supplying tea and cakes to the many people who came from the village and from other Methodist churches in the Burton circuit. There was a very happy atmosphere with lots of chat and laughter, and both cake stall and groceries were well patronised. Thank you to all of you who helped to raise over £400, much needed to maintain the building.
Plans are afoot for another Holiday Club for children in the summer school holidays, in conjunction with the Parish Church. The aim is to give the children a good time with craft, singing, drama and jokes while also introducing them to some Bible stories. New helpers are always welcome, and new children between the ages of five and eleven. Watch for publicity.
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© Richard Bush
Last updated: 29 December 2010