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Christmas Letter

  • 25 November 2013
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear congregation

I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas again… The leaves are falling from the trees, and the Christmas lights are being switched on.

One thing nobody can disagree about, is that Christmas is BIG in this country. I went to Princess Street recently, and although the atmosphere was magical, I could hardly move because of all the people there – huge crowds, everybody wanting their piece of “Edinburgh’s Christmas”. But the real meaning of Christmas is hidden very well behind all the beautifully decorated trees, twinkling lights, festive music, and expensive gifts.

Because you don’t see or hear anything about the wee boy Christmas is all about - about his message of love. In Luke 2:1-7 we read that when Jesus was born, Mary wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

 

Seeing all those people flocking to Edinburgh, made me think of what it must have been like in Bethlehem when Jesus was born. Thousands of people gathered together, without the slightest idea that the Saviour of the world was just born, there among them. Everybody was too busy with what they came to do, to realise what an historic event was taking place, right under their noses!

Are we any different? All those many years ago there was no place for Jesus in the inn. Is there place for him among us now? Although we live more than 2000 years after those people who were all gathered in Bethlehem, have we changed at all? Or are we so busy with our own business – especially at this busy time of year – that we don’t even recognise the presence of Christ among us?

 

There is nothing wrong with having a special time at Christmas, as long as Christ isn’t pushed to the side. Because without Christ, we wouldn’t have had Christmas in the first place!

 

My wish for you this Christmas is that every twinkling light will remind you of the hope there is in Christ, every festive tune remind you of the joy there is in Christ, and every gift you buy or open remind you of the love there is in Christ...

 

May you all have a very blessed Christmas.

 

Nanda

 

Bereavement Service: 1st December 2013

  • 9 November 2013
  • liz.dyer

This year, the special bereavement service for both congregations and communities of West Calder and Polbeth will be held on Sunday !st December at 3pm  in Polbeth Harwood Church. The service will be jointly conducted by the Rev Drs Jonanda and Andre Groenewald, our Locum Minister and Interim Moderator.                                                                                                                                                          Invitation is made to all those  relatives and friends who have lost loved ones and would like an opportunity .to remember their lives.                 Family and friends wishing to attend should  reply to the Admin Secretary on 871672  and are requested to bring a photograph of their loved one with them to the service.                                                                                                                                                                                  An afternoon tea of cakes and scones will be served in the church cafe after the close of the service.

British Summer Time Ends....Reminder

  • 24 October 2013
  • lorna.graham

With nights drawing in and an autumnal feel to the weather, it is that time of year when British Summer Time officially ends, resulting in clocks going back an hour.

So just a wee reminder our clocks will go back an hour at 2am on Sunday, October 27, 2013, when the country reverts to Greenwich Mean Time.yes

 

Sunday Club - Welcome Back & Reminder

  • 24 October 2013
  • lorna.graham

As the school holiday week draws to a close, we would like to remind all the boys and girls Sunday Club is back on this Sunday and we have a great adventure to share with you all this week surprise so we hope you can join us!

Remember early to bed on Saturday as the clocks go back this weekend!!

Whist Drive

  • 24 October 2013
  • lorna.graham
Whist Drive

Come along and join us at our annual whist drive, which takes place in the West Kirk hall on Monday October 28th at 7:30pm.

A fun social evening of cards washed down some very tasty home baking!

No need to book in advance, just pay at the door..... only £3.

All ages will be made most welcome. smiley

Vine Trust Christmas Market 2013

  • 21 October 2013
  • liz.dyer

The Vine Trust is holding a Christmas Market at their barge headquarters at Prince of Wales Dock, Leith from Thursday 14th November to Saturday 16th.  There will be a variety of stalls and fair trade goods including gifts made in Tanzania.

If you haven't visited the barge before, it's well worth a visit to see the extensive work of the Trust.

 

See the attached file for details.

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.

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