Latest Photographs

Too cute for words

All News

May 2017

  • 2 May 2017
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

South Africa has been in the news a lot over the past few weeks. Good things happened: different political parties took hands to make their voices heard together; but bad things happened too: protests got out of hand and property got damaged and people got hurt. But it’s not only in South Africa that political turmoil is raging… It seems that almost all over the world violence and hatred is becoming the norm. But that’s not the way it should be.

Nelson Mandela said: “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People learn to hate; and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Wow… And Nelson Mandela is probably the one person who could justify his right to hate. But instead, he chose to love. If only more people realised how strong love is.

All of us who believe in Christ have seen the power of true love in Jesus as he died on the cross, and rose to new life again. He did all of that for us, selflessly, because he loves us.

What is love? In 1 Corinthians 13 we find the answer to this question:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Let’s choose to love.

Always, no matter what.

Even when it’s hard.

Because love is what our world needs.

 

May God bless you all.

With love,

Nanda

Coffee Morning: Thank You

  • 30 March 2017
  • nanda.groenewald

Where do I even begin?!  From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank every one of you so much for your support at my coffee morning for my brother! We raised more than £2000, and this will go a long way in helping to pay for his medical aid.

My brother said: “I don’t know what would have become of me if it wasn’t for the kind and generous people in my sister’s life… Thank you is such a small word – the gratitude I feel is HUGE.”

Thank you also for your continued prayers.

I am eternally grateful. Nanda

April 2017 Letter

  • 30 March 2017
  • nanda.groenewald

 

Dear congregations

I don’t think many a conversation in Scotland happens without mentioning the weather. And with good reason, because in this country the weather surely is something to talk about! André’s mum is visiting us from South Africa at the moment. And within 3 days from her arrival she experienced snow, gale-force winds with heavy rain, and the most beautiful, warm, sunny weather! It was as if even nature said: “Welcome to Scotland – the country where you can experience 4 seasons in 1 day!!”

And just like that, nature announces the arrival of Easter in bright yellow daffodils everywhere. These beautiful flowers appear as if out of nowhere, but they’ve been there all along, under the ground, underneath the snow and ice of winter, growing… And then, when spring arrives, they announce it in all their glory. André’s mum can’t get enough of the daffodils – she says that this bright yellow picture you see around every corner is something that will stay with her forever.

And the same thing is true about Easter. Jesus had to die and be buried – a dark, gloomy picture; but then God made him alive again – the most breath-taking picture this world has ever seen. Something that changed the scenery of our lives forever. Because with Jesus arose not only new life, like in spring-time; but everlasting life – for us all.

Let us praise God for that this Easter!

Blessings,

Nanda

March 2017 Letter

  • 6 March 2017
  • nanda.groenewald

 

Dear Congregations

This month I decided to write you a very personal letter, because on the 11th of March (10:30-12:30 at the West Kirk Hall), I will be holding my 3rd annual coffee morning to raise funds for my brother’s medical expenses. Now you might wonder why I do this… Because I feel it’s something I can do for him. There are so many things I can’t do for him: I can’t go visit him in hospital, I can’t take him to appointments or keep him company while he is on dialysis,  I’m not around to be a shoulder he can cry on… It’s a difficult position to be in – because I believe God called me here to minister in the Church of Scotland. My wee family and I are so happy here, we have a safe and free life (something that isn’t guaranteed in South Africa), and we are so well supported by our congregations. But I miss my dad and brother in South Africa, and I worry about them all the time. So that’s how I came to the conclusion that something I can do from here is to raise money to take one big worry away from my brother – the fear that he won’t be able to pay for his treatment.

For those of you who don’t know his story: Emuel’s had type 1 diabetes since he was 4 years old. This made his health deteriorate very much over the years, and he now has kidney failure too. He gets dialysis 3 times a week, and this can sometimes last for up to 6 hours at a time. He is a little younger than me, and one of the most kind-hearted people I have ever met. He’s not been able to work for many years now, he is in a wheelchair and can hardly see anymore. But he keeps going, always with a smile on his face. And the money we raised for him at the previous coffee mornings was almost enough to pay his medical aid for a whole year. Because there is no NHS in South Africa, if you can’t afford to pay for your treatment, you just can’t get it…

One of my favourite passages in the Bible is Esther 4:14b: “Yet who knows—maybe it was for a time like this that you were made queen!” Esther became the new queen in a time when her people really needed someone to stand up for them and make their lives better… And although that was not the reason she became the queen in the first place, she grabbed that opportunity with both hands and changed so many people’s lives. And that’s my motto in life too: “Who knows – maybe it was for a time like this that I had to come to Scotland, to West Calder and Polbeth…” Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your love, support, and generosity; for making it possible for me to reduce the stress in my brother’s life and at the same time for adding more days to his life.

May God bless you all.

Nanda

West Kirk Annual Stated Meeting

  • 4 March 2017
  • liz.dyer

The Annual Stated meeting (ASM) of West Kirk will be held on Sunday 19th march at 10.30am, following morning worship.

After the meeting, tea / coffee and cake will be served in the hall.

The attached file contains the draft minutes of last year's meeting should you wish to read through them before the meeting - simply click on the attachment to open the file.

File Attachments: 

Letter February 2017

  • 31 January 2017
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

February is Stewardship Month at the West Kirk and Polbeth Harwood. I know that the words "stewardship" and "steward" are not words we commonly use today...

So what do these words mean? A steward is a person who manages and administers what has been entrusted to him/her by another.

In this case, a steward is a person who manages what has been entrusted to him/her by God. God has entrusted us with talents, time and money. Therefore, stewardship is the careful and responsible management of the things God has entrusted to our care. We believe that God owns all things (see Psalm 24:1), and that every believer has the personal responsibility to manage, supervise, and administer all that God has given him/her to His glory (Romans 14:12).

In  our congregations we have spent time looking at the management of our talents and time over the past two years, so this year the focus will be on money.

Personally, I always feel uncomfortable talking about money. Especially because I have all too often heard that "all the church ever wants is my money!" But anybody who is involved in our churches will know that that is definitely not the case. Church is about much, much more than money....

Unfortunately, just like everything else in this world, the church needs money in order to fulfill all its duties here on earth. And it's all these things we will be taking a look at this month. I actually think that it is a huge honour to be trusted by God with the responsibility of making sure that the church has enough money and that this money is spent wisely. As you know, I am Mum to two young boys. I most definitely wouldn't entrust them with all my money - because I know only too well that for them their books, sweeties, toys and games are way more important than food and clothes!! They are neither old enough nor wise enough to be entrusted with such a huge responsibility just yet....

But in God's eyes we are.... He trusts us with EVERYTHING that belongs to him. So let's do him proud!

May God bless you all,

Nanda

Stewardship

  • 24 January 2017
  • liz.dyer

This coming month, February, our congregations will be focusing on the theme of Stewardship. Over the last few months, our Link magazine has had a series of articles on the subject and on Sunday 5th February members and friends are invited along to a meal and exhibition after morning worship in each congregation.

With the earlier service, West Kirk will be holding a breakfast whilst at Polbeth Harwood a light lunch will be on offer.

In both cases, there will be an exhibition showing where the money comes from in our congregations and also where it all goes to as we meet our obligations as a Christian community as well as our congregational running costs. More importantly, it gives members and friends an opportunity over an informal chat to find out more about the work and responsibilities of the church.

So many of you already give generously and this is very much appreciated. The Board and Session of both congregations wish to thank you for your support.

It is 5 years since the Church last asked us all to consider our financial commitment and we would ask that you consider reviewing your donations once again.The articles in the Link have highlighted various means for regular giving. eg Weekly Freewill Offering envelopes; how to Gift Aid your donations if you are a taxpayer; how to donate direct from your bank using a Standing Order. For West Kirk members and friends, relevant forms for completion for Gift Aid donations and for setting up a Standing Order are available for download from the attached files.

We look forward to seeing you on 5th February. However, if you are unable to attend worship, you are still welcome to come along for the meal.

Thanks from Lang'ata Womens Prison, Kenya

  • 23 January 2017
  • liz.dyer

Lang'ata Prison in Nairobi is the main prison in Kenya for women. It holds round 650 people at any one time including those children under 4 yrs of the inmates. Of the 650, around 60 of these prisoners are serving life sentences and have no release dates. The prison also houses women on remand waiting to go to court, but the slow processing of the justice system means the people can be on remand for years.

In December 2016, Rev Sheena Orr assisted Rev Dr Nanda Groenewald conduct communion in our churches and the retiring collection that day went towards providing a Christmas meal for the many women inmates of Lang'ata prison where Sheena had served as a chaplain.  Earlier, in November, Sheena had also spoken at our Guild Guest Night and the offerings collected had also been forwarded to the chaplains at Lang'ata for the Christmas meal.

The attached file is a 'thank you' from these women

 

File Attachments: 

Holiday Club 2017 Awesome!

  • 15 January 2017
  • lorna.graham

This summer we plan on having an "Awesome" time at the Holiday Club! So for all our helpers and volunteers please remember to keep these dates free when you are planning your holiday's this year!

The club will run from Monday August 7th until Friday 11th 2017, and we will include the Sunday's either side of these dates.

Should you know of anyone wishing to help or take part this year can you please let them know as soon as possible so that we can get in touch and ensure we have the correct paperwork in place before it begins.

More information to follow.

Welcome Back to Sunday & JAM Club

  • 6 January 2017
  • lorna.graham

Happy New Year to one and all, and a warm welcome awaits all children this Sunday when Sunday Club resumes at 9:45am  and JAM Club resumes at 11:15am.

All children age 3yrs to 12 years are very welcome to join us. We meet in the church first then head out for fun and Bible stories etc.

Pages