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Polar Explorers - Team meeting

  • 26 April 2015
  • lorna.graham

Our first Holiday Club meeting for anyone who would like to join our team or know a little more about what we will be getting up to this summer at Polar Explorers, will be held in Polbeth Harwood cafe at 7:30pm on Monday 27th of April. 

All welcome to come along and see what its all about. A warm friendly welcome awaits.

April 2015 Letter

  • 31 March 2015
  • nanda.groenewald

Easter… A sad story – with a happy ending (Luke 22-24).

It’s not often that we can say that about things that happen in life. Most people think that it’s only in films where tragic situations turn into something good, where sad stories have happy endings. Real life doesn’t work like that.

And to a certain extent I agree – life here on earth very seldom reflect a boy-meets-girl and they lived happily ever after scenario. Life can sometimes be really hard. Sometimes we plan things and dream about things, and then it just doesn’t work out. Sometimes we are really happy, and then suddenly something happens that changes the course of our lives completely – like getting made redundant, or receiving a letter from the NHS saying that your test results didn’t come back clear, or losing somebody you love.

And very recently that happened to all of us when we unexpectedly lost out West Kirk Treasurer, Bill Calder. Bill made his mark in the community and the church, he made a big difference wherever he went, which resulted in a big hole being left within our church community now.

Apart from all the formal things Bill did for the church, the one thing I will always remember about him, is his beautiful singing voice. Sitting behind the communion table while celebrating Holy Communion without Bill sitting next to me will just never be the same again. Because for those two hymns, four times a year, I was actually able to sing in tune, because I could hear Bill singing next to me! And just like that I know that everybody will have their own memories of Bill… And of other people who are not here with us anymore.

It’s hard. Life is not a fairy-tale.

But… Easter happened. It really happened. That was not a film or a fairy-tale. Every gruesome detail of Jesus being mocked, whipped and then eventually dying on the cross, happened. And it happened for us. But the end of Jesus’ life wasn’t the end of the story, it really was the beginning. Because God rose him from the dead, so that all of us can live with God in all eternity.

And to be truthful – what more can we ask for? The years we have here on earth are a mere drop in the bucket in comparison to eternity.

In other words, if you believe in God, your story will always have a happy ending…

May you feel the presence of God in your life, in the easy and in the difficult times, this Easter, and forever.

Kinds regards, Nanda

Christian Aid Sponsored Forth Bridge Cross

  • 31 March 2015
  • liz.dyer

Forth Bridge Sponsored Walk 26th April
The walk is good fun you meet lots of friendly people of all ages and of course the money raised for Christian Aid goes to help people living in some of the poorest countries of the world eg Ethiopia. This year there will be a ceilidh band playing at the start of the walk on the South Queensferry side of the bridge to liven us up for the walk.

Anyone who is physically fit enough can take part in the walk, the full length of the bridge is 2.5km and there are steps to go under the road at either end. This may seem a little daunting but actually there are some keen people who run or at least jog across the bridge. Most people just walk across the bridge talking to friends and waving to people. It is a very friendly event suitable for all ages- even babies can go.

Please consider taking part either by doing the walk yourself or by sponsoring other people: your support makes Christian Aid's life saving work possible.
Sponsor forms and information are available from David Hull, 19 Learmonth Crescent, West Calder. Tel: 01506873023. Email:

March Letter

  • 4 March 2015
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

February was our Stewardship month, where we focused on time. Now we find ourselves in Lent, the time we use to reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ suffering, his death on the cross, and then ultimately his resurrection.

What does Lent mean for you?

To me it’s a time of walking in Jesus’ footsteps, of trying to imagine what He’s been through for me, for all of us…

On the way to Calvary the cross Jesus had to carry was too heavy for him, literally (Luke 23:26-43). The soldiers had to summon someone else to carry it for him. And I think that that was almost the least of his troubles! Because the emotional cross he had to bear – the realization that his own people didn’t understand his message, that they would rather see him die on a cross than change their lives, open their eyes and see the bigger picture –  that must have been much worse than trying to physically carry a heavy wooden cross with a broken body. That must have broken his heart.

Luckily Simon from Cyrene was there to carry Jesus’ cross up the hill for him. Simon was at the right place, at the right time. I am sure that it was all part of God’s plan. He still does it today. He sends people into our lives, on our paths, to be our Simons, helping us to carry our burdens through life. But He also sends us to be Simons for others, to help them carry their burdens.

The fact that we sometimes have to bear crosses, whether this be our own or that of others, shouldn’t ever make us feel hopeless, because although bearing that cross was really hard for Jesus to do, it was also the thing that led to our salvation.

May walking in Jesus’ footsteps this Lent help you to see your own life in perspective, and may God help you to realise that sometimes, even in carrying a cross there is a blessing.


February Letter

  • 1 February 2015
  • nanda.groenewald

As you all know, we went to South Africa for 3 weeks after Christmas.

One day, while we were on safari, we saw a huge anthill. My 2 boys didn’t know what it was and asked the ranger, who was kind enough to stop and explain: Anthills are where the ants live, and they build it all by themselves, using only ground and small pieces of material they can carry themselves, mixed with their saliva. And although ants are really small, this anthill was huge – as high as the vehicle we were driving in. Not even mentioning all the wee rooms and passages build under the ground we couldn’t see! So the ranger allowed the boys to get out of the vehicle quickly and touch the anthill. Then he told them to kick it. Not even a speck of dust fell off!! The anthill was as strong as a rock. Something that was built by tiny wee ants was too strong for a human (quite a bit bigger!) to break. It was almost unbelievable!

This just made me realize once again how amazing God is. He made the ants, and gave them the ability to build houses like that. In Psalm 95 we read: “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord… For the Lord is the great God… In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him… Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” God, who made the tiny ants, also made the huge big elephants, and He also made us. And just like He takes care of nature, He takes care of us too. He holds us in the hollow of his hand.

If God can make a tiny ant build a house that can’t even be kicked over by my 2 future football stars (!!), just imagine what He can do through you… May 2015 be a year full of amazing things for you.

God bless,

2015 Holiday Club - SU Launch Pad

  • 31 January 2015
  • lorna.graham

SU are running a Launch Pad training day at Davidson Mains Church Edinburgh on March 14th from 9:45am - 4:45pm to inspire and share some practical ideas with us to ensure we have an action packed fun holiday club this August.

Would you like to attend? if so then please contact Lorna at the West Kirk for more information or to book your place.

February: Stewardship Month

  • 25 January 2015
  • liz.dyer

Time for others........Time for God..........Time for Church

Both the New Year and the season of Lent are traditionally times when people reflect and take stock of the pattern of their lives.
It seemed obvious then for our churches to select February as the month when we will be concentrating on this year’s chosen stewardship topic—time.

All services throughout the month will have TIME as their theme.

Included in this will be Dedication services on 15th February and Founder's Day family services on 22nd February where the 18th West Lothian Scout Group will be joining the West Kirk congregation at 9.45am and the 2nd West Lothian Guides, Brownies and Rainbows will be attending worship with the congregation of Polbeth Harwood Church.

On Saturday 14th February, there will be an 'OPEN DAY' held in the West Kirk from 10am until 12.30pm in the church itself.

There will be displays and information from all the groups using the church premises - community based as well as church based - as well as a slide show and organ recital AND in the hall, under the supervision of PVG disclosed adults, a creche with Soft Play, a Bouncy Castle and a Treasure Hunt so the kids can have fun and expend some energy while you 'browse and blether' over a relaxing cup of tea or coffee.

Why not come along and see what's going on in and around church these days. You'll be most welcome!

To conclude the month of Stewardship, on Sunday 1st March those attending morning worship at each congregation will have the opportunity to join in a lunch of soup, bread and cheese after the celebration of Communion.


Vine Trust: Kirk of Calder Project

  • 25 January 2015
  • liz.dyer

~~To mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, the congregation of Kirk of Calder, which worships in a pre-Reformation building, has a vision of linking up with a project in the developing world, where age-old European  differences are not recognised. Kirk of Calder are doing this in a spirit of ecumenism, as a shared experience with  friends in the local Roman Catholic congregations, together with other local churches and community groups, thus marking the event as a celebration of the ways in which churches in the 21st century are working together in Christian unity to help some of the poorest people in the world.

In partnership with the Vine Trust, the vision is to link up with the people of Tanzania, in a project to build a safe home where, by the autumn of 2017, 40 vulnerable children will be cared for and educated - a fitting way to mark the anniversary, bringing our local people together to work for the future well being of our friends in Tanzania.

£85,000  needs to be raised and so far £10,300 has been accrued through the generosity of various churches and schools in West Lothian as well as individuals.

During Stewardship month of February in the congregations of West Kirk and Polbeth Harwood, there will be  the opportunity for members and friends of both congregations  to show our support for this project by donating through retiring collections at all services during the month and at the Communion meals on March 1st.

Polbeth Harwood Craft & Trade Night

  • 20 January 2015
  • liz.dyer

An evening of talented people selling their crafts - local traders - followed by a selection of snacks and a glass of wine with every ticket purchased!

Come along and support our fundraiser! We are holding our very first Trade Craft night on Saturday 31st January from 6pm until 9.30pm.

We have a variety of talented traders selling goods such as jewellery, Partylite, Handbags, Purses, Scentsy, Beauty Within, McDonald Footcare, Handmade cards and invitations, Blooming paper crafts, cupcakes and much,much more.

Why not take your tea and have a mini reading from Little Whispers.

Every ticket purchased for £5 entitles you to a glass of wine, selection of foods, tea, coffee or soft drinks.

Tickets can be purchased from Polbeth Harwood Church; at Beauty Within (West Calder); Corries Corner (Polbeth); or contact Astrid Mc|Kirdy on 07825247051 after 5pm

Anyone wishing to come along on the night will be most welcome.