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Letter February 2017

  • 31 January 2017
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

February is Stewardship Month at the West Kirk and Polbeth Harwood. I know that the words "stewardship" and "steward" are not words we commonly use today...

So what do these words mean? A steward is a person who manages and administers what has been entrusted to him/her by another.

In this 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 is the careful and responsible management of the things God has entrusted to our care. We believe that God owns all things (see Psalm 24:1), and that every believer has the personal responsibility to manage, supervise, and administer all that God has given him/her to His glory (Romans 14:12).

In  our congregations we have spent time looking at the management of our talents and time over the past two years, so this year the focus will be on money.

Personally, I always feel uncomfortable talking about money. Especially because I have all too often heard that "all the church ever wants is my money!" But anybody who is involved in our churches will know that that is definitely not the case. Church is about much, much more than money....

Unfortunately, just like everything else in this world, the church needs money in order to fulfill all its duties here on earth. And it's all these things we will be taking a look at this month. I actually think that it is a huge honour to be trusted by God with the responsibility of making sure that the church has enough money and that this money is spent wisely. As you know, I am Mum to two young boys. I most definitely wouldn't entrust them with all my money - because I know only too well that for them their books, sweeties, toys and games are way more important than food and clothes!! They are neither old enough nor wise enough to be entrusted with such a huge responsibility just yet....

But in God's eyes we are.... He trusts us with EVERYTHING that belongs to him. So let's do him proud!

May God bless you all,

Nanda

December 2016 Letter

  • 30 November 2016
  • nanda.groenewald
Follow the Star

Dear Congregations

Our theme for this Christmas season is: Following the Star....

As we journey through life, it's quite easy to lose focus. To forget where we are going.... Therefore we need something we can focus on, something to keep us on track...

That very first Christmas the magi just knew that they had to follow that star - and look where it brought them (Matthew 2)! They got to meet the baby Jesus.

At roughly the same time, somewhere else, the angels told the shepherds that they had to get up and get going, that something amazing had happened, and they started their journey straight away (Luke 2) And look where that brought them!They got to meet the baby Jesus too.

They listened to the angels, they followed the star - and that choice changed their lives forever!

God talks to all of us. He tells us where to go. In different ways, he leads us to extraordinary places.

All we need to do is listen.....

This Christmas season, let's not get side tracked by anything. Let's listen where God wants to send us, let's see what he has in store for us.

Let's follow that star....

If we put aside what the world expects us to do and make it our priority to find Jesus, just as the magi and the shepherds did, we'll never look back.

We'll never be the same again... 

May you all have a blessed Christmas and a fantastic 2017.

Nanda

November 2016 Letter

  • 14 November 2016
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear congregations,

I am taking the opportunity to write Nanda's letter from the manse this month.

She gave me a choice: unpack the boxes or do some admin for me! Not hard to guess which I chose!!

But actually, I wanted to write to all of you to express my sincere thanks for all your support, all your cards and gifts to us as a family during our move to Balerno. It was so heart-warming to see so many of you at my induction - from which I am still recovering. It was a memorable induction service which was made special by the fact that so many of you shared in it with me and my family.

We have now moved into the Manse at Balerno and I am sorry that you will have to memorise our new telephone numbers. But do please come and visit us.

The sermon at my induction was indeed moving and challenging. "Who do you say I am?" Jesus asked.

It is a timely question for us too. We need to ponder and rethink this question in everything we do as followers of Jesus. In fact, our answer needs to be reflected in the way we talk, think and act in the world.

It is here where the real challenge lies, a challenge that we need to take on board. We are missionaries sent by God on a mission to reflect to all people that Jesus is the Redeemer.

May we all become and remain witnesses of His grace, love and endless mercy in our new journey together.

All my best wishes,

Andre

October 2016 Letter

  • 30 September 2016
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations,

Life is a journey... And the road has recently taken an unexpected turn for me and my family: By this time you've probably all heard that Andre accepted the call to Balerno Parish Church. He will be inducted into his new charge on Tuesday 25th October.

This might mean that I'll now be travelling to West Kirk and Polbeth Harwood by a different road, but that's the only change this move is implying for me as your minister. Living in Balerno won't affect my work here in Polbeth and West Calder, I'll just have a new address and telephone number!

In Psalm 121, a pilgrim on his journey home from the temple in Jerusalem wrote: "The Lord will not let your foot slip..." This pilgrim knew lots about journeying through life, and a very important lesson he's learned through all his travels is that he is never alone. Whether he treads familiar paths or ventures on new ones - God will always be with him.

God is with all of us on our journeys through life too.

I know he will be with my family and all the adjustments we will now have to make to our lives, and he will be with each one of you too, wherever you find yourself on your journey through life today.

And in the same way he will guide every step we take as congregations as well. We are his church, and therefore, we will always be safe in his hands - heading in the direction God wants us to go.

No matter what: The Lord will not let your foot slip.

Safe travels,

Nanda

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