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Locum Minister's Letter: November

  • 20 October 2013
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear congregation

I often get asked why I decided to become a minister. Well, ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a minister. My mum saved an essay of mine, written in P4, in which I had to say what I wanted to be one day. I wrote: “Even though to be a minister in the church is very much a man’s job just now, that is exactly what I want to do – even though I am a girl.”

Looking back, I now understand that that desire of mine, which have never changed, was God calling me into ministry. I was destined to become a minister – and I love my job.

For other people it’s not always that easy or straight-forward. Take a look at Jeremiah, for instance. In Jeremiah 1:4-10 we read how God called him. In verse 5 God says: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” But Jeremiah was immediately full of excuses: “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child” (verse 6).

For the time Jeremiah lived in, these were actually two very valid excuses, because if you couldn’t speak properly, nobody was going to listen to you. And all a prophet did was speak, telling the people what God expected them to do. And by referring to himself as a child is an indication that he was not old enough to be able to speak in public yet. It was only at the age of 30 that a man could speak with authority.  So to be a prophet would be a really big challenge for Jeremiah. He was expected to tell the people that they had to obey God and change their lives according to God’s will. At his tender age – no one would take him seriously.

But none of this changed God’s mind. He created Jeremiah to be his prophet, and He would put the words in his mouth himself. He would give him the strength and courage he needed. God reassured Jeremiah that He would not have sent him on this journey without giving him the strength to do what was expected of him.

And that is still true for each one of us today. God calls all of us – for different things, in different ways; but he calls us, because He wants to use us. And whether we feel up to this calling or not, we don’t have much of a choice. We have to do what God wants us to do, because that is what He made us for. But He promises that He will never leave us alone, that He will give us the strength to do what is expected of us.

So let’s not be hesitant, because there are two words a child of God can never use together, and that is “No, God”. Let’s live in such a way that our lives are a big YES in honour of God.

It is my prayer that my work in these two parishes will be nothing other than such a YES, because I regard myself as fortunate to have been called as the locum minister to Polbeth Harwood linked with the West Kirk of Calder.

May God bless you all.

Best wishes,
Nanda Groenewald
Locum minister: Polbeth Harwood linked with the West Kirk of Calder

Sunday Club Mid Term

  • 14 October 2013
  • lorna.graham

Sunday Club are on holiday this Sunday October 20th. We look forward to welcoming all children back on the 27th after their holiday.

Faith Mission Bookshop

  • 14 October 2013
  • lorna.graham

The West Kirk church hall will be the venue for a Christian bookshop being held on Saturday November 9th from 10am - 12noon. There will be a selection of books, bibles and gifts.  Why not pop in and see if there is anything you fancy? Tea, coffee and a selection of home baking will be also be available. Donations received for the tea and coffee will go towards our 2014 Holiday Club. Any remaining items will be on display in the church hall after the Sunday service in  the West Kirk on Sunday Nov 10th

Christmas Choir

  • 13 October 2013
  • lorna.graham

West Kirk of Calder Christmas Choir. Would you like to join our Christmas Choir? Rehearsals start on Wednesday 30th of October all welcome to come along and join us! Rehearsals are in the church every Wednesday at 7pm you don't have to be able to read music, and it also raises money for local charity!  Come and join in the fun as we sing well known tunes with a Christmas message.

Celebrating Harvest Thanksgiving

  • 2 October 2013
  • liz.dyer

Both congregations will be celebrating Harvest Thanksgiving on Sunday 13th October and later in the afternoon at 3pm there will be one of the regular 'Beyond the Kirk Walls' services at Dickson Court., also on the Harvest theme.

Young people will be contributing to the morning worship and - this year  there's an extra special celebration at both churches when young children are being baptised.

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Minister's Letter: October

  • 2 October 2013
  • andre.groenewald

Dearly beloved congregation,

September has been quite a busy month, with all the groups and organisations starting again after the summer holidays. It is also really exciting to welcome our new locum, Rev Dr Jonanda Groenewald. She has taken on her new role  with enthusiasm and commitment, which I appreciate. I am sure she is going to make a huge pastoral difference in the joint Parishes.

Weather-wise, September has not been too bad at all, though I am sure others will say it could have been better!

If there is one thing about Scotland that I really like, it is how everyone always discusses the weather. I like it because it gives me a wonderful opportunity to tell people about God who controls the weather.

I think in Biblical times it also provided biblical writers with opportunities to tell the people of Israel and their foreign neighbours about God’s Almighty power over all things including the weather.

It is when you read Job chapter 37:1-18 that you realise that humans have no control over God’s creation. 

The book of Job is part of the wisdom literature in our Bibles. In many ways it is a protest against “progress theology” - a belief that when you do good and obey God you will prosper, as is found mostly in the book of Proverbs. The book of Ecclesiastes is also written along the same lines as Job, saying that bad things happen to all people, those who obey God and those who don’t. So all you need to do is to trust God and accept His will.

Then Job replied to the LORD: “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job 42:1-6

You will not find a more God-fearing man than Job in the whole Bible. He did everything according to the book when it came to his faith and trust in God. Even after he lost everything, his family and all material goods, he still held on to God. Even when his friends speculated over God, Job simply remained quiet. Job knew that his faith was being tested and he relied fully on God, not on the wisdom of his friends.

“Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who is perfect in knowledge?
Job 37:14-16

At the end of the book, God answers Job “out of a storm” confirming that He is in control. Job replies saying that he acknowledges the Almighty power of God over all things. He has come to the conclusion that God knows better and that He can be trusted.

Maybe we also must trust God and use every opportunity we get to speak about God and proclaim to the world, as we do on “Back to Church Sunday”, that He is in control. And when we struggle through life and cannot understand why bad things happen to us, then we must hold the hand of God even tighter, just as Job did. Maybe then, we too must wait for God and just listen as He speaks to us in all sorts of ways, through people and events.

So whatever the weather man says, God is in control. Whatever the weather, God can be trusted at, and in, all times. He knows what we need and He will provide in His own time.

May we all be thankful for everything we receive from God! May we show it as we celebrate Harvest Thanksgiving on the 13th of October 2013.

All my best wishes,
André

October Candy Bar

  • 2 October 2013
  • liz.dyer

It was good to see friends old and new meeting again at the last Candy Bar after the summer break. we hope that you will come again on 5th october when it is the turn of the Kirk Session to host the event.

Morning coffee will be served from 10am and home cooked lunches from noon till 1pm. There are the usual stalls selling home baking, soft goods, books etc.

Donations are alweays appreciated for these.

Thanks for your help and we look forward to seeing you there.

"Chuppets" - Evening

  • 24 September 2013
  • lorna.graham

A Fun free...social evening with special guest artists "The Chuppets" not to be missed!

At Polbeth Harwood Church on Friday October 11th

Doors open at 6.30pm, and the show starts at 7pm. We will have face painting available for the kids, come early and beat the rush!

During the interval we will have tea, coffee, juice and home baking a great time to socialize!  For the kids, keeping with our "Noah theme" as well as face paints, there will be a variety of arts and crafts, masks to make, and we will even have an ark!

After the interval some more "Chuppets" fun! rounding up the evening by 9pm.

We do hope you come along and join us!

 

 

Lindisfarne Trip

  • 18 September 2013
  • jim.allan
Mark the Evangelist

Juanita Allan is hoping to organise a 2 night trip into Northumbria to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, and to Bamburgh and Alnwick. The trip will be tailormade for us by an Edinburgh travel company, Timberbush Tours. For them to be able to quote a price, the names of interested people are needed now.

The trip will probably be leaving on Friday 11th April and returning on Sunday 13th April 2014

It is hoped that the cost will be around £150 each, but this is purely an estimate.

If you are interested please give your name to:

Juanita Allan at the West Kirk of Calder

Jill Murray at the West Kirk of Calder

Lilias Fairley at Polbeth Harwood Church

Alternatively you can e-mail lindisfarne@west-kirk-polbeth-harwood.co.uk

There is no formal closing date, but the sooner you register your interest the easier it will be to organise.

The original monastery on Lindisfarne was founded by St Aidan in 635AD and the tidal island is famous for the Lindisfarne Gospels written at the start of the 8th Century "to the honour of God and of St Cuthbert".

Bamburgh Castle was purchased and renovated by Lord Armstrong (of Cragside fame) and is still the Armstrong family home.

Alnwick Castle, featured in the Harry Potter films, is famed for its beautiful gardens.

Parkhead Primary School Holds Macmillan T Party

  • 11 September 2013
  • liz.dyer

An invitation has been received from our local primary school, Parkhead, inviting members and friends to join them at their Macmillan T Party on Friday 27th September at the school between 9am and 12 noon.

There are also Macmillan posters in both church vestibules on which to guess the number of beans in the coffee jar for a suggested donation of £2.

As these are raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Care it would be great to give support to the school effort.

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