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September 2014 Letter

  • 3 September 2014
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

What a busy summer it’s been! I think we have been really lucky with the weather – most days it actually felt like summer! My family and I had a lovely time. I always enjoy the summer, because then I get to spend lots of time with my boys (all 3 of them!). This summer Andre’s mum visited us with the purpose of babysitting, so we could work. But we also took her on a wee trip up North and she absolutely loved it! She thinks that Scotland is the most beautiful country in the world.Then of course there was the hugely successful Holiday Club (which I enjoyed just as much as all the kids who attended) and we also had a trip to the south of France – lots of adventures there! Hope you had a good summer too.

My younger son, Nehan, started school after the summer, and Henro is in P3 this year. Where has the time gone?! André is still enjoying very much being minister at Kirknewton & East Calder, and I am absolutely loving being the minister here in our parishes!

Since everything is back to normal now, I would just like to share a few administrative details with you. From 23rd September onwards in school term time, I will have office hours once a week at both churches. This is an opportunity for people to see me locally (due to the fact that manse is in East Calder). I will do this for a trial period up to the Christmas holidays, and then review the situation. So every Tuesday, from 10:30 – 12:00, I will be at Polbeth Harwood, and every Wednesday from 10:30 – 12:00, I will be at the West Kirk. Please pop in for a cuppa and a blether!

I have an open door policy – please feel free to contact me any time about anything. I now have my own telephone number in the manse: 01506 884 802. André and I have decided to take a Monday as our day off – but please don’t hesitate to contact me in a crisis.

I’m looking forward to this new session ahead of us, and I hope all of you are too! Time goes by so quickly, we should really make the most of every single minute. Just like all the farmers are making use of the good weather to get their harvests in, we, as children on God, should do the exact same thing. My boys LOVE looking at the tractors pulling huge trailers full of hay bales – “wow mummy, that’s awesome!” they would say every single  time we see one!   

In Proverbs 20:4 we read: “A sluggard does not plough in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.” That should never be true of us. As labourers in the fields of God, let’s sow the seeds of faith everywhere we go – starting right now – so God’s harvest can be plentiful.

May God bless us all to do just that!


World War 100 Cycle Challenge

  • 29 August 2014
  • liz.dyer

'Dear West Kirk of Calder,
A huge thank you to Stewart who opened up for us on Sunday 29 June for our 24 hour centenary cycling challenge.
You can see photos of the WW1 memorial at West Kirk of    Calder and the other memorials we placed poppies at across Scotland, Wales and England via the link below.        Once again, our deep gratitude to Stewart and the West Calder parishioners (and the lovely Westie!) who greeted us at our final Scottish memorial.                                               The WW100 Challenge Team

Welcome one and all, whether its your first visit or welcome Back!

  • 26 August 2014
  • lorna.graham

Sunday mornings  9.45am in The West Kirk, and we can usually be found in the best seats in the church "down near the front"!  After the children's hymn we all go out to the church hall for some Bible adventures, singing, games, craft and DVD's. We end with juice and a biscuit at about 10.40am Why not come along and join us and see what we get up to.

We start back this Sunday August 31st and we have no holidays planned between now and Christmas, but we have some great plans for this new term ahead and we will keep you posted of some special events involving the kids, not to be missed!

A warm welcome awaits all children from 3 years old to primary 7.

Church can be a fun cool place to hang out for an hour on a Sunday morning, why not come along and see for yourself!

There will be a friendly face at the door on Sunday morning's to welcome all children.

Fit for a King.....what fun!

  • 26 August 2014
  • lorna.graham

What a great time we all had getting fit! Sixty six local children (athletes) met daily in Polbeth Harwood sports stadium. These athletes were trained and coached by forty volunteers who taught them some really funky moves, shared a few crazy jokes and many interesting facts, coached them through some tough athletic challenges and shared the message about “Jesus” a King with a difference!

Many thanks to everyone who donated home baking for our Friday evening event when we shared some of our best bits. The stadium was packed to full capacity!

We hope to keep up this fantastic event in the diary of our linked churches of Polbeth Harwood and the West Kirk of Calder, so put a note in your diary now......... for ……. week commencing August 3rd 2015……..more information to follow!

Many thanks to everyone who helped in any way to make this event possible, and a huge thanks to all the adults who brought along the children, we had a ball!

Fit for a King - Now Full!

  • 11 July 2014
  • lorna.graham

This years holiday club "Fit for a King" is now fully booked.

Sixty local children will enjoy a fun packed week in Polbeth Harwood church week commencing August 4th, which will include messy challenges, some fabulous songs and fun dance moves! a wide variety of games, explore some wonderful bible adventures, with a good mix of crafts follow the fun daily drama and meet lots of new friends.

We look forward to sharing this with all who have now booked their place.



Holiday Club - last few places remaining!

  • 7 July 2014
  • lorna.graham

We now have less than ten spaces remaining for children wishing to register for this summer's holiday club which runs from Monday August 4th - Friday 8th in Polbeth Harwood Church. You can download the registration form from our website and post boxes are located in Scotmid in Polbeth and West Calder.

Please do not delay, get you form filled today to secure your place!  

Summer 2014 Letter

  • 27 June 2014
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

At my induction service, worship was led by the Rev Angus Kerr from Whitburn South. The theme for his sermon was: “Are we there yet?” (2 Samuel 7:1-11 & Ephesians 2:13-22).

I don’t think he could have come up with a more appropriate theme for our situation! Because the linked charge of Polbeth Harwood and the West Kirk of Calder has been vacant for 3 long years. The Nominating Committee most probably felt like parents trying to get everything ready for a long and exciting journey, but then one thing after the other happened, causing delays. It wasn’t an easy job getting the car neat and tidy and packed with everything that might be needed on this trip, it took planning, head scratching, soul searching, organising, repacking, calming down of impatient passengers on the one hand and trying to prevent others from getting bored and wandering off on the other.

But, of course, as always, God had a plan. And now, at last, the job is done – the car (or bus!!) is packed, and we are ready to embark on a new journey together. Just in time for summer!

But this isn’t just any journey – it’s a journey of faith…

I, for one,  am very excited about this journey we are now undertaking. Thank you very much for inviting me along, for giving me the opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat. I can’t wait to show you some amazing sights and tell you some interesting stories about others who have travelled here before us. But just like on any other journey – we’ll need each other to make it worth our while. There is such a huge variety of talent here – we have people who can entertain us along the way, so nobody gets bored. We have people who will provide snacks and flasks of tea and coffee, without which no trip is fun; we have people who will be able to fix the bus when it brakes down, to adjust the brakes when we are going too fast and to keep their eyes on the petrol gage to make sure we never run close to empty. We’ll have people who’ll be able to assist injured passengers, dry off tears and give hugs, advice, or just a quiet nod if needed, and if ever we get stuck, if we all get out and push together, we’ll be off again in a  jiffy.

So – are we there yet? Well no, we’ve just departed. I don’t know about you, but I’m not in a hurry, I want to enjoy every single minute of the trip. And if there is one thing I’m not worried about, it’s getting lost – because we have God as our sat.nav, and He never makes mistakes.

So please enjoy the ride, because I’ve got it on good authority that our destination is quite some place!

Hope you have a blessed summer.


Summer Services 2014

  • 27 June 2014
  • liz.dyer

A reminder that, following last year's successful united services, services from July 6th to August 24th inclusive will be held at 10.00am only.

July services will be conducted at West Kirk whilst those in August will be held in Polbeth Harwood Church. As last year, Polbeth Harwood will look and feel a little different these first two Sundays in August as the Holiday Club opens its doors on 4th August.

Both churches, too, always have their doors open to any in the community who would like to come along and join in worship.

Congratulations Lorna!

  • 15 June 2014
  • liz.dyer

A fair number of members and families turned up this afternoon in Whitburn to see Lorna take part in the Queen's Baton Relay as it made its way at quite a gentle pace through West Lothian, giving everyone a chance to see the Baton and enjoy the festive atmosphere of the event. Well done, Lorna!

Lorna's running with the Queen's Baton!

  • 11 June 2014
  • liz.dyer

The Queen's Baton arrives in Scotland on 14th June before ending its journey  of over 190,000Km around the Commonwealth for the opening of the Games in Glasgow on 23rd July.

The Baton Relay will be travelling through West Lothian on Sunday 15th June. Taking part will be Lorna Graham, Sunday Club superintendent. She will be carrying the baton along West Main Street, Whitburn from Union Road to Manse Road, starting at about 2.44pm.

This is a great honour and privilege for Lorna to have been chosen as one of the 100 baton bearers in West Lothian and it would be wonderful to give her cheers and support along her route from familiar faces. It promises to be a memorable occasion all round.