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.
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.
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.”
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?
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,
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.
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!
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
We had an absolutely wonderful holiday in South Africa during July and a bit of August. We had quite a busy program visiting and reuniting with friends and family far and wide. We spent time in Johannesburg, in Pretoria, and went on safari in the wild Bushveld near Bella Bella. We flew to George in the Eastern Cape to be with Nanda’s godmother and her family. Then on our return from George we flew directly to Durban where we spent a week with my mother at a beach resort in Umhlanga. The boys loved the swimming pool and although it was winter in South Africa it was still 22C almost every day.
On our return from the resort, I had the opportunity to preach at my old congregation who were celebrating 80 years of witness. It was really wonderful to see my old flock and how the “bairns” that I baptised, have grown - some even taller than me now! We travelled to the Western Transvaal, where my family absolutely spoiled us and finally, on the last week, we celebrated my father in law’s 70th birthday in a game reserve. It was magic and we all had a fabulous week before returning home to Scotland.
I must say it was wonderful to return to our own house. The boys have been discovering and appreciating all their toys again as if they were new! Work has quickly resumed and I am starting to find my way again through the parishes, visiting, counselling and teaching. But it is also the time to think about the year ahead and my hopes for the Parish.
After I read Isaiah chapter 43:1-3a at a recent thanksgiving service, it dawned upon me what God is saying to us living here in Scotland. The passage was actually given to the people of Israel as a prophecy of hope for their future.
At that point in time, the people of Israel were finding themselves in bother. They were exiles in a foreign country because they had chosen not to listen to God. The Lord God was merciful but full of justice, eventually allowing the Babylonians to break down the holy city of Jerusalem and take the Israelites to Babylon, today’s Iraq.
Once in exile, they realised what they had done to God, felt sorry, and confessed their sins. So, in chapter 43, Isaiah tells them to have renewed hope. God had called them by their names - meaning He knew them personally; He would be with them whatever befell them on their journey home to their own country; He listened to their prayers and would come to their rescue.
God also rescues us. God sees that we are all condemned and exiled sinners and without His help will never see His kingdom. So He saved us all through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Everyone who has faith will indeed experience the rescue operation of God in their lives.
And maybe this is what we need to hope for in this new session; for God to rescue us in all those moments we fall into sin; when we feel anxious and alone; when we are ill; and when life just gets too much. We need God to rescue us daily through His Holy Spirit when we lose focus and start worshipping the “other gods” of modern living. As a congregation, we need God’s rescue when we worship an institution, traditions and culture more than we worship Him as the Almighty God.
So my hope is that everyone in this Parish will experience the mighty and loving hand of God in the coming session just like Israel did a long time ago.
All my blessings,
The first Candy Bar for the new session is on Saturday 7th September.
Morning coffee will be served from 10 – 11.30am and lunches from 12 noon – 1pm with a varied home cooked menu. There will be stalls to browse around selling home baking, books, gifts and other items. Donations are always much appreciated for these and can be given to any member of the Fund Raising Group.
We look forward to welcoming our regular friends and to making new ones at this enjoyable, social event which helps to raise funds towards the upkeep of the West Kirk.
SUNDAY CLUB has now resumed and we have been very busy planning our new session.
We will be exploring some fantastic Bible adventures and learning some new songs….which we hope to share with you all on a Sunday morning in the near future.
We aim to make this a fun experience for the children in order to keep them coming along bon a Sunday morning so there will also be a good sprinkling of fun challenges and some crafts thrown in for good measure!
Please help us by encouraging friend’s neighbours and local children to come along and see what we have planned remembering to make new children and their parents feel at ease and welcome in our church.