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April 2018 Letter

  • 9 April 2018
  • nanda.groenewald

This month our letter is written by our Ordained Local Minister, Alison Quilter

 

It is said that inspiration comes from the strangest of events and is to be found in the most unusual of places. How true these words are! 

Whilst standing outside the George Hotel recently, my friend and I found ourselves rooted to the spot as our eyes caught sight of the signage on the outside of the “Hard Rock Café”. 

Like the first Easter disciples who appeared at the empty tomb, we were dumbfounded at the sight. The words emblazoned on the front of the café were what we refer to as our call to discipleship – “love all, serve all”. Through those words we were reminded once again that God meets us in the unlikeliest of places. 

Yet why should we be surprised, it happened to the group of women who arrived at the tomb; it happened to the disciples on the Road to Emmaus; it happened to Saul and Thomas and countless others throughout the ages. 

All whom God has revealed himself to were charged to take forward the message of discipleship and to transform the world through the power of the Risen Christ. It is a call to “love all, serve all”.

As we reflect upon the story of the resurrection, and the disciples whose ‘eyes were opened’ to the reality of God’s presence among them, may we be transformed by the message of Easter and respond to God’s call to “love and serve all”.  May you know the resurrection gifts of hope, peace and love and I pray that the gift of hope is never extinguished in your heart.

I finish with ‘Thank You’! Thank you for making me feel so welcome.

Shalom.

Alison

 

 

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,

Nanda

 

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,

Nanda

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!

Nanda

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