Latest Photographs

Minister's Update

May 2016 Letter

  • 1 May 2016
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations,

The end of April delivered a few highs and lows - with Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday celebrations probably the biggest high and the death of the pop star Prince probably the lowest low...... I find it quite ironic that on the very same day that the Queen turned 90, Prince died ( at a mere 57 years of age). There's even some word-play involved here; "Queen" x "Prince"

That's just the way life is I guess: Somebody's big, special day, is always, somewhere, somebody else's hard, sad day. Lots of people all over the world celebrated this very special milestone with the Queen; while, on the same day, lots of people all over the world mourned the loss of their icon, to a much-too-soon death.

Life is full of ups and downs, highs and lows, and most of these are unpredictable. The only thing we can know for sure is that none of us will be here on earth forever; that life is short. In Psalm 130: 15 - 17 we read: "The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone...But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him..."

The fact that life is short shouldn't make us feel depressed, it should make us pro-active. We should make the most of each minute. We need to LIVE every moment we have, so that one day, when our time is up, we won't have any regrets. Here, the Queen is setting a fabulous example.

And you know, although we don't know how many years we'll have here on earth, we know - without even the faintest shadow of a doubt, that for every single one of them, we'll have God by our side.

What more can we ask for?!

May God bless you all,

Nanda

April 2016 Letter

  • 1 April 2016
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

What a privilege to start Easter morning in the Auld Kirkyard at the crack of dawn!

There were dark clouds looming in the sky, but for the few moments we remembeered Jesus' resurrection, the sun shone brightly through the skies, colouring some of the clouds in a light shade of orange; and although it rained on and off all day long - for those few moments not a drop fell out of the sky. It felt as if even nature held its breath to remember what Jesus did for us.....

After a tremendously busy week, and even having to get up an hour earlier because the clocks changed, I felt more alive than ever, not even a little tired. I was thinking about my boys (all 3!) still cosy in bed, and then thought about Mary - grieving the death of her son like only a mother can, and then eralising that he is alive - that all his suffering wasn't for nothing (John 19 & 20).

Jesus conquered death for all of us. Because of what he went through, no amount of suffering we have to go through in our daily lives will ever be for nothing, nor will we have to handle it alone.

So let's live like people who believe this......let's see the sunshine through the rain and feel his love through our pain.

May God bless you all,

Nanda

March 2016 Letter

  • 7 March 2016
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear congregations

We find ourselves in the time of Lent niw - a time where we walk in the footsteps of Jesus, to remember what He went through to save us.

Since we've moved to Scotland, Easter has got a whole new meaning to me. Because South Africa is in the southern hemisphere, Eastertime is the start of autumn. But here, in the northern hemisphere, Easter and the start of spring coincides. So what happens outside, in nature, also happens inside, in your heart. And that just gives a whole new level of meaningfulness to what Jesus did for us!

Already our garden is filled with snowdrops, and I've had my first bunch of daffodils bring some warmth into the house (seeing the sun isn't doing it at the moment!). Despite the fact that the weather is very unpredictable this year, the promise of spring is in the air - no doubt about that!

But this year Easter will be even more symbolic, because British Summer Time literally starts on Easter morning! I know that might mean fewer hours in bed if you are planning to attend the 7am service in the Auld Kirk yard, but that also means that as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the long, dark nights will be something of the past....

What Jesus did for us on the cross means that on a spiritual level we can also put the long, dark nights behind us - He brought us new life, joy and light. So please join us for all our special Lenten and Easter celebrations this year, so we can celebrate the fact that Jesus withered and died to give us the opportunity to blossom.

 May God bless you all,

Nanda 

February Letter 2016

  • 1 February 2016
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations​

I'm writing this letter on Burns' Day.

We had haggis, neeps and tatties for dinner. Henro told us his version of the story of Little Red Riding Hood in Scottish - "aboot the bonnie wee lassie who took her Nan some IrnBru and tablet, because she was feeling peelie-wallie. She didnae ken that the wolf ate her nan for his tea, so her heart was sair - but luckily, Robert de Bruce was near!!" And then Nehan sang the Flower of Scotland loud enough for all the neighbours to hear, complete with his hand on his heart! And that made me realise - our roots might be in South Africa, but our hearts are in Scotland.......

I think it's really important to be proud of your heritage, to know where you come from, who you are and where you belong. And this is true about our faith heritage as well.

I saw an amazing photo on the internet this week: it's of a girl holding on to a huge crown on her head, saying: "On the darkest days when I feel inadequate, unloved and unworthy, I remember whose daughter I am and I straighten my crown!"

We belong to Jesus, the King of the world. God made us, He takes care of us, and nothing that happens to us can ever change that.

So just like we are proud to walk the same soil as so many famous Scots, let's be proud of the fact that we have the privilege to walk in the footsteps of Jesus too.

May you all have a fabulous February!

God bless,

Nanda

 

Pages