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Minister's Update

Sep[tember 2019 Letter

  • 1 September 2019
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

And just like that the summer holidays are over.....i hope you've all had a lovely time and that your batteries are recharged for the year ahead!

we had a very special time in South Africa with family and friends. This year we decided to take my dad and brother to the South Coast of Kwazulu Natal. My brother hadn't been near a beach for 10 years. He said if he could just put his feet in the water, that would be like a dream come true for him. Unfortunately, the downside to the beautiful big sandy beaches in South Africa is that it is impossible to push someone in a wheelchair all the way to the water> So... one day we drove to a beach with easy access, and with one arm around Andre's shoulders and his other arm around my shoulders, we dragged my brother to the shallow water. You should have seen his face when the first wave splashed over his feet! Unforgettable.

Although Emuel was absolutely exhausted after his adventure, those few minutes of standing on the beach in the water were the highlight of his holiday.

Poor Andre had a bruised arm afterwards! When we showed the picture of the two of them to a dear friend of ours, she said: "He ain't heavy, he's my brother..." And you know, that is so true. in Africa, when you get married to someone, your in-laws become your family. Emuel is not only my brother, he's Andre's brother now too. And I think that is exactly what Jesus meant when he said that all who believe in him are brothers and sisters in faith. We are all family.

 And when it comes to family, we need to always be there for each other. So whether it is physical or emotional burdens - if our brothers or sisters are suffering under the load they have to bear, we need to help them carry. Because, who knows, you helping someone else might just turn out not only to be the best day of their lives, but the best day of your life too!

May God bless you all, Nanda

 

 

Summer 2019 Letter

  • 5 June 2019
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

With summer fast approaching, there are so many exciting things to look forward to in our churches! it all started with the Spring Fayre at Polbeth Harwood Church on 25th May - where the whole community came along to our church for a hugely successful afternoon of games, shopping and afternoon tea.

On the 16th June, after a joint worship service at Polbeth Harwood, we will be heading to Aberdour for our annual church picnic. Please come along and join in the fun!

From 5th to 9th August we will be launching into space with our Holiday Club, and this promises to be an "out of this world" experience!

And then, on the 7th September, we will have a Garden Fete & Fringe like no other at the West Kirk of Calder.

Please join me at any or all of these special events, to make this summer a truly memorable experience!

Fingers crossed the sun will remember to join us too!!

Bur even if the sun  doesn't shine - let's make the most of our summer, because every day we have is a gift given by God. A soldier, who lost both his legs on the battlefield, Sgt Johnny Joey Jopnes, in an interview, said the following: "People ask how I stay so positive without my legs... I simply ask how they stay so negative with theirs." Makes you think, doesn't it?

Let's be positive. Let's focus on everything we have, and not only on things we wish we had; and then, with joy in our hearts, live our lives to the full.

May God bless you all this summer, and always.

Love Nanda

May 2019 Letter

  • 7 May 2019
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear congregations

During Easter, I saw this beautiful photo of wild flowers on Facebook, with these words: “When you’re in a dark place, it might feel like you’re buried. Perhaps you’ve been planted.”

And that got me thinking…

 For a flower seed there is always a time of being buried in the dark soil before it’s bursts out of the ground and grows into something so beautiful it makes people look twice and even take out their cameras to capture the beauty in front of their eyes for ever.

During the lead-up to Easter we remembered all the dark and difficult things which happened to Jesus. But now we are celebrating the fact that the darkness of the tomb couldn’t hold him captive; that He broke free from the darkest of all places; and He did this for us. He did this so that not a single one of us would ever have to be stuck in darkness forever.

So this wee letter of mine is about HOPE.                                                                    

If you are finding yourself in a dark place at the moment, if you are struggling to understand why you have to suffer hardship, or if you are simply just not coping with everything you have on your plate – please look around you. Notice all the flowers. And let that be a reminder to you that at one point they were all just tiny wee seeds buried in darkness – and look at them now!

Let’s blossom to the glory of God. Because he planted each one of us for a reason!

God bless,

Nanda

 

 

 

April 2019 Letter

  • 2 April 2019
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations,

I do not know about you, but for me the longer, lighter days and the beautiful, bright daffodils are just what the doctor ordered! it's as if the world, waking up from its winter's sleep, is making me feel more alive than ever. And the fact that all of this is happening in the lead-up to Easter, when we will celebrate New Life, just makes it so much more meaningful.

I've had so much time to think the last couple of months.... time to reflect on the things I am thankful for. I'm thankful to be able to live in this beautiful country and to once again experience the start of Spring and the joy that brings. I'm thankful for my lovely family, who are supporting me so well during my time of convalescence and who fill my life with a different kind of joy. I am thankful for every single one of you! Your love and support fill me with more than joy - it makes me feel truly humble...I miss you. I miss being at church on Sundays. I miss the friendly faces greeting me at the church door. I miss visiting people. I've missed quite a number of funerals and miss having the opportunity  help people when they are most vulnerable. I missed formally saying goodbye to George, which was really hard for me. But at the same time I am so proud to be the minister of two such thriving congregations. I've heard such good reports of Kirk's Cafe, the Beetle Drive, the Scots Night, of Alison and Suzanne's meaningful sermons....

And all this just brought me to the realisation that being the minister of Polbeth Harwood and the West Kirk of Calder is not my job, it's part of who I am. And I cannot wait to get back.

May God bless you all this Easter, and always,

Love 

Nanda

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