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Minister's Update

October 2019 Letter

  • 30 September 2019
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

Alison, Suzanne and I recently went to a “minister’s retreat” arranged by West Lothian Presbytery. It was held at The Bield at Blackruthven. There I’ve learned that the word “bield” is an old Scottish word which means “shelter” or “refuge”.

We were reminded of the importance to regularly take some time out of our normal routine, not only to reload our batteries, but also to refocus our lives on God. And that is something that is not only important in the life of a minister, it’s important for all of us to do.

Have a wee look at this passage from Romans 12 (The Message): So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out…Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fuelled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.

Every now and again we need to “retreat” from the world, in order to return to the world with renewed energy. And one of the best places a Christian can do this is on a Sunday at church. To me our church is my “bield”, my safe place, where for one hour a week I get to realign my life with God in order to face the week ahead.

So let’s all look after ourselves in the way God wants us to. We all try to eat the right things and do enough exercise to keep our bodies fit and healthy – let’s do the same for our souls…

May God bless you all,

Nanda

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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