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Alison Quilter: our Ordained Local Minister

Minister's Update

March 2018 Letter

  • 2 March 2018
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

This past winter is the coldest winter we have had in years. The last time it snowed so much was in 2010, when my wee boy Nehan was just 1 year old. I’ll never forget how he fell over in the snow and almost disappeared completely! After which he hated the snow with a passion… Until he was old enough to start enjoy sledging – which instantly turned snow into something to look forward to!


I was so excited when the first snowdrops appeared, because these lovely wee flowers hold the promise that spring is just around the corner! But as I am sitting here typing this letter – it’s snowing again!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And that made me worry about the snowdrops. Will this late cold snap make them die? Break them completely?                                                                                                                             So I read up about snowdrops, and discovered that although in very cold spells of wintry weather, the snowdrops collapse to the ground, and might even look dead, they are nothing of the kind! When the temperatures rise, they will resurrect themselves unharmed. In layman’s terms, this is because snowdrops have built-in anti-freeze!

Isn’t that just a lovely metaphor for what happened to Jesus at Easter time?

He died, but at the right time, God resurrected him!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 And because of what God did for us through Jesus –exactly the same thing is true for all of us too:                                                                                                                                                 We sometimes have to go through hard times. Times so bad – that we might even think we are broken - that the damage is irreversible. But our faith is like the snowdrops’ “anti-freeze”. It can change our winters into spring. Sometimes even when we least expect it…

So don’t be discouraged if you get snowed under by worries or problems or sadness. The sun WILL come out again, because Jesus is alive!

May the love of God shine brightly on your faces this Easter.

Many blessings,



February 2018 Letter

  • 31 January 2018
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

I cannot believe that we are now in the second month of the year 2018 already! TIME flies! TIME is a valued commodity, and this month, during our Stewardship campaign, we will focus on TIME.

I know that the word “stewardship” and “steward” are not words that we commonly use today. Therefore, I want to review the definition of stewardship: A steward is a person who manages and administrates what has been entrusted to him/her by another. In our case, a steward is a person who manages what has been entrusted to him/her by God. God has entrusted us with talents, TIME, and money. Therefore, stewardship of time is the careful and responsible management of the time God has entrusted to our care.

So let’s take the TIME this month to reflect on how we use our TIME; what we do with the TIME God so graciously gives us. And this is really important, because TIME is the one thing we can never get back – once a minute has ticked past, that minute is gone forever. So we should be really careful how we use our TIME…

My youngest son, Nehan, has been obsessed with time ever since he was about 3 years old. He always wants to know exactly how long something will take, exactly how many minutes he has to wait until something starts, exactly how long it will take before we reach our destination. And don’t think you can fool him – if you say that we’ll be there in 10 minutes just to keep him quiet, when really it will still take 30 minutes to reach your destination, he’ll be very upset, and complain about it for the next 20 minutes!! But the positive side of this is - if I tell him that he has 5 more minutes to play before we leave, he uses all 5 those minutes to play. He literally doesn’t waste a second, and he is never late for anything. To be truthful, he keeps our whole family (and his teacher!) on time. And I think we can all take a leaf out of his book – if you have 5 minutes to spare – USE it, don’t just sit and wait till it’s over.

Let’s use every minute we have to live our lives fully to the glory of God. This month, and forever.

May God bless you all,


December 2017 Letter

  • 1 December 2017
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear congregations,

Believe it or not - Christmas is just around the corner! If we can manage to look past all the bright festive lights and tinsel, we see the long, cold, dark nights....

All those years ago in Bethlehem, all they could see was the dark.It was dark, not only in the night sky, but also in people's lives. Nobody had hope for the future anymore. But then, on what seemed to be just another ordinary night, everything changed. There was a star so bright it made the darkness disappear; even the angels started singing! That was the night on which Jesus was born. The night that changed everything....

This will be our theme all throughout Advent and the Christmas season: The night that changed everything.....

Please join me at the church to prepare yourself for, and to celebrate, the night that changed everything - to once again help us look past the festive lights and tinsel - to NOT see the  darkness - but the hope that Christ brought to the world.

May you all have a blessed Christmas and a very special 2018!


November 2017 Letter

  • 1 November 2017
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear congregations

This time of yeaR is filled with R’s:

Remembrance, Red leaves
falling to the ground…

 It’s a time to Remember:

  • to remember the history of our church;
  • to remember those who gave their lives for their country during wars and time of unrest;
  • to remember, as we look at the changing seasons, that God is in control of our lives.

In the church; in the world; autumn, winter, spring, and summer – God is always in control. In the times when we can see it, and in the times we can’t; in the times when we feel His presence, and in the times we don’t…

We had such a lovely family holiday in Majorca during the October break. They boys played on the beach for hours, they swam in the sea and they made lots of new friends. And it reminded me so much of family holidays when I was a wee girl.

Nothing was the same – I grew up in a different country; the first time I set foot on an aeroplane was when I was 20 years old; my parents had a caravan so we never stayed in a hotel; yet it all felt so very similar. Laughing with my family, getting sand between my toes, eating ice cream almost every day… Many happy memories that I shared with the boys, and also new memories made for them to share with their own families one day.

But the anniversary of my mum’s death also falls in the October break. That’s also something I will never forget. But as the years move on, its different things I remember, and share with my boys – what an amazing person their granny was; how she would have loved their good sense of humour. I remember how sad I was at her funeral and how hard it was to get used to not having her around, but these things pale in comparison now to all the amazing things I remember doing with her and learning from her.

And that’s why it’s important to remember – so we can see how God helps us to keep going in the hard times, and how there are never only hard times, but plenty of good times too.

Seasons change, life changes, but the one thing that always stays the same is the love of God. It’s this love that gets us through the hard times, and this love that makes us enjoy the good times.

So let’s REMEMBER that this month.

May God bless you all.