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RECTOR’S LETTER

Dear Friends at St Nicholas’,
Holy Week and Easter are upon us! Once again our thoughts turn to the days that are at the heart of our faith. This year it is our turn at St Nicholas’ to host the Holy Week services which are organised jointly with many of the other Christian churches in Carrickfergus. This year the theme of our Holy Week Services is “Journeying with John to Calvary”. Ministers from the town will preach each evening from John’s gospel as we take time to think about the amazing facts about God’s commitment to us and the costly love that he shows to us through Jesus. Do come and join with us each evening at 7.30 pm and bring a friend. Perhaps you belong to St Nicholas’ but are not a regular attender? We’d love to see you back at church this week, do come - a warm welcome awaits you!

On the Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday nights there is time specially set aside for young people of secondary school age in the Church Halls. An informal time of worship with some thoughts from the bible mixed with fun, laughter and a bit of banter - do encourage the young people in your family to come along each night.

Do drop into the Impact Carrick Prayer room during Holy Week too - it’s in the premises opposite O’Neill’s bakery in North Street and is a great space just to take a few moments out of a busy day to stop and take time to be quiet, to think, to pray for our town, our world, for others, and even for the things that are on your mind at the moment.

On Easter Day we begin as usual with a 7 am ‘dawn’ service at the Castle Car Park. This year Pastor Sam Grant from Christchurch Carrickfergus will lead our thoughts as we remember the early morning discovery of the resurrected Jesus. It’s worth the effort to get up at that hour of the morning! We will then enjoy some fellowship together over breakfast, kindly provided this year by the Methodist Church.

On Wednesday 15th April we have our annual Easter General Vestry meeting. At this important meeting we receive reports on the past year in the life of our church and elect those who will serve on the Select Vestry for the coming year. We have important decisions to make about our life together - a few existing members of the Select Vestry are stepping down for various personal reasons this year and we need to pray that God’s people will be found to replace them. All registered vestry members are asked to attend at 7.30 pm in the Church Hall on the 15th.

Finally, some of you will regularly tune into the Radio Ulster broadcast service on a Sunday morning. On Sunday 19 April it will be coming from St Nicholas’ church! Please pray for us as we prepare for this wonderful opportunity to share worship with a much wider audience than normal. If you would like to join us you are asked to be at the church by 9.45 am, but if you can't make it in person then do tune in at 10.15 am and share in worship over the airwaves!

May you know the blessings and joy of the risen Jesus this Easter!

With love in Him,
George



WIDOWS GROUP

The Widows Group are planning our annual trip.  It will take place on the 3rd Wednesday in June and this year we are going to Coleraine. 
Anyone interested in going, please contact Annie Crawford

Beauty By Design Women’s Conference 2015

We so often find ourselves going down a road without even remembering how we got on that road.  Life suddenly looks unfamiliar and situations seem frightening and unknown, how did we end up here?

Twists and turns that life throws at us and then tripping and falling down rabbit holes. Do we choose our direction in life or do we just let life happen and see where we end up?

God never intended us to walk as if we are lost, but walk with intention as the found people that we are. We were once lost but now we are found. He found us.

We want to be purposeful in our life choices, having specific goals and direction, running this race free from the past that continually wants to hold us back.

So the King of Hearts has issued you with an invitation. He would love you to come and Eat, Drink and be Filled with Him. You are His most important guest… so don't be late for this extraordinary date… He's waiting!!  R.S.V.P.
Welcome to the Mad Hatter's Tea Party 24-25 April 2015

JORDAN VISTORY CHURCH
If you would like to go with a group from our church please give your name to
Alison Kane or Catherine in the Church Office


Church Open for Visitors – Summer 2015


Saturday 4th April – Noon – 2.00 pm

Saturday 2nd May
May 30th – September 8th incl.*
Saturdays: 11.00 am – 1.00 pm
Tuesdays: 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm

*Not Open for Visitors Saturday 11th and Tuesday 14th July.
St Nicholas’ Church, Carrickfergus

Prayer Diary – April 2015

The monthly Prayer Dairy included in Parish News is designed to help us pray each day of the month for a different aspect of our parish life, our community, and our nation.  It also includes prayer for situations, communities, and individuals in other parts of the world.  Each Prayer Diary begins with a Prayer of the Month.  Keep it to hand and use as part of your daily devotions.

A suggested pattern for daily devotions

1. Read a portion of Scripture.
2. Thank God for what you have learned from His Word.
3. Confess your sin.
4. Use the Lord’s Prayer.
5. Use the Prayer of the Month.
6. Pray for others, and for yourself, including the topic of the day.

Prayer for the Month
Lord Jesus Christ,
you humbled yourself in taking the form of a servant
and in obedience died on the cross for our salvation.
Give us the mind to follow you
and to proclaim you as Lord and King,
to the glory of God the Father.  Amen                                               BCP


1st April – Wednesday
Continue to pray for the Holy Week services and efforts to reach out to those who do not know Christ as Lord and Saviour.  Pray also today for the changes in our local government, to all who have served on Carrickfergus Borough Council in the past and to the members of the new super councils taking over today.  Pray for employees concerned about their futures.

2nd April – Thursday
This evening’s service will include Holy Communion.  Give thanks for this opportunity to come together as God’s people and do as Christ commanded on this special evening.  Give thanks for this week’s worship together and for the many people leading worship or working behind the scenes.

3rd April – Friday (Good Friday)
Pray for this morning’s family service and this evening’s Holy Week service.    Pray for George our Rector as he leads worship today in Malone Parish.

4th April – Saturday
As parishioners come to decorate our church in preparation for Easter Day celebrations, give thanks for Mary Withers and her daughter Sandra and the work that goes into the floral displays.  Pray for visitors, that they might learn something of God’s Love for them.  Give thanks also for this week’s Youth Programme and pray for tonight’s Youth Fellowship Stayawake.

5TH APRIL – SUNDAY (The 1st Sunday of Easter: Easter Day)
As once again we celebrate the risen Christ, pray for Christians around the world today who must celebrate in secret.  Pray for Open Doors.  Pray for today’s services, for the Dawn Service at the castle and for those providing breakfast afterwards.  Pray for those attending our early Holy Communion, the All-age service and especially give thanks for our Easter Praise service this evening with our extended choir led by Nadine Davison.

6th April – Monday
Pray for our Ministry team and their families, that they may have the opportunity of rest and relaxation together this week.  Pray for George and Nadine, Emma and Jamie, for Brian and Valerie and for Cameron and Alex.  Give thanks for the work they do bringing God’s Word to us.

7th April – Tuesday
Pray for those who teach in our Sunday School and Bible Classes and for those who lead various Small Groups in Bible Study.

8th April – Wednesday
Remember today Raymond and Jackie Given serving God in Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda.  Pray for Crosslinks. Pray for the people of Vanuatu and all people affected by natural disasters.  Pray for relief agencies providing food, shelter and medicine.  Pray for Tearfund.

9th April – Thursday
Pray for the bereaved that they would find hope and comfort in the death and resurrection of our Lord and know His presence in their time of grief.

10th April – Friday
Pray for the Middle East.  Pray for peace in the region.  Pray for MECO and for the Church’s Ministry to Jewish People.

11th April – Saturday
Pray for the Parish Walking Group travelling to Crawfordsburn today.

12TH APRIL – SUNDAY (2nd Sunday of Easter)
Pray for our services today.  Remember today our former Curate Darren McCartney, now Suffragen Bishop of the Canadian Arctic and his wife Karen.  Pray for Servant Evangelism and for CMS Ireland’s 2015 ‘Little Lights’ Project.

13th April – Monday
Pray for today’s Church of Ireland Standing Committee meeting in Dublin.

14th April – Tuesday
Pray for the ladies of our Women’ Fellowship, that they will enjoy their ‘Treasure Hunt – A walk around Carrick’ this evening.

15th April – Wednesday
This evening the Easter General Vestry takes place.  Pray that parishioners would be ready to allow their name to go forward for election and for wisdom for the electorate.  Give thanks for the outgoing Select Vestry.

16th April – Thursday
Pray for the church in Tabora Diocese and for the Connor Diocesan Council.

17th April – Friday
Pray for our Busy Bees Parent and Toddler Group.

18th April – Saturday
Pray for today’s rehearsal for Radio Ulster’s broadcast of tomorrow’s service.

19TH APRIL – SUNDAY (3rd Sunday of Easter)
Morning worship begins at 10.15 am and will be broadcast live on Radio Ulster.  Pray for all who will hear God’s Word in church or at home, that He would be glorified and made know.  Pray for those unable to attend church because of age or infirmity and for this evening’s Holy Communion with Prayers for healing.

20th April – Monday
Pray for the sick, for those awaiting hospital appointments for diagnosis or treatment, for those living with chronic conditions, for those in mental and physical pain, and for carers.

21st April – Tuesday
A member of our Ministry team will be at Downshire School for assembly today.  Give thanks for this and for the opportunity to visit various primary schools in Carrickfergus.

22nd April – Wednesday
Pray for the members of our Widow’s Group.

23rd April – Thursday
Pray for Catherine and her team assembling Parish News this morning.

24th April – Friday
Pray for our Brownies and their leaders enjoying a ‘Stayawake’ tonight.

25th April – Saturday
As the process of visiting parishes continues, pray for Cameron and his fellow Deacon Interns.

26TH APRIL – SUNDAY (4th Sunday of Easter)
Pray for our services today, especially for this evening’s Cafe Church.

27th April – Monday
Senior Moments meets today.  Give thanks for the committee and those instrumental in the group’s inception, and for its ongoing success.

28th April – Tuesday
Pray for and with this evening’s ‘Encounter’ Prayer meeting in church.

29th April – Wednesday
Pray for a turning to Christ and Christian Revival in our land.

30th April – Thursday
Pray for Alan, our Bishop, for wisdom in leadership of the Diocese of Connor.

In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.  Philippians 4 v 6

SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTES

There will be no Sunday School on Easter Sunday, 5th April.  Children and parents are encouraged to attend the family-style service in Church to celebrate together Jesus’ resurrection.

Please note a change to the starting time on Sunday 19th April, when due to a change in the Church Service times, Morning Sunday School and Bible Class will start at 10 am.  Please bring children directly to the Halls and not to Church first.

NEWS FROM EMMANUEL IN TABORA

Emmanuel’s first Newsletter of 2015 is the usual blend of enthusiastic joy and thankfulness for answered prayer.  In one of the adult prayer groups he runs, 7 women have become volunteers to serve with the Children’s Mission.  In another Prayer Group, they have begun contributing a little money towards the Mission activity in their area.  This is remarkable, as generally there is no spare money after a family has been fed and clothed.  It indicates these people’s appreciation of the valuable work of the Mission.

Emmanuel also shared his plans to start a Day Care Centre.  To do such a project in Tabora you don't just rent a building, you build it.  So he is starting to save money for the work, brick making comes first, then foundations and slowly the building will be built.

The purpose of the Centre will be to provide facilities for Bible Study, a prayer centre, somewhere to learn music, for counselling, a youth centre and for learning English.  He does ask that, if anyone wants to help financially, it would be very welcome.  Prayer for the project is also invited.  There must be lessons there for us in how we use our gifts and facilities in His service.

Please continue to pray for this work.  It is clearly having a profound effect on families, young and old, in the Tabora area.
Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent



Next meeting Tuesday 28th April 2015
7.30 pm in the Church

Jesus said: “My house will be called a house of prayer.” Matthew 21:13




ST NICHOLAS' WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP

Jim and Iris Stewart, from Amara Aid, were our speakers in March, keeping us up to date with the current projects sponsored by their son Paul's charity in East Africa. They have been able to fund programmes in education, where nine young adults have received bursaries to go to university and a horticultural project in Arusha Modern Secondary School, where the vegetables grown are used by the School canteen; in health: continuing their work in St. Philip's Clinic in Tabora and setting up a premature baby project; providing widows of Aids victims with chickens to provide them with an income to support their families. A very inspirational evening and if you wish to support this charity, you can visit their shop in the Murrayfield shopping centre in Larne.

This month, we have to get on our Walking Shoes and our Thinking Caps! We are having a Treasure Hunt around Carrickfergus and supper back at the Church Hall.  Prizes for the best three! Come along and join in the fun.

PLUG into the POWER of PRAYER

2015 | A year to pray, read and believe God’s word.  Let’s live out in mission

APRIL CONOR PRAYER ROADTRIPS
(Various Rural deanery locations across the Diocese)

SOUND DESK ROTA APRIL 2015

                    Morning                        Evening
5th             Julie Irvine                    John Kane
12th           Rachel McVeigh              Steven Todd
18th           Johnnie McAlister            Paul Letters
25th           Deriece Maguire                No Service


Extract of Prayer Letter from Raymond and Jackie Givan 

Full Prayer Letter can be found at  www.crosslinks.org/mission-partners/raymond-and-jackie-givan
‘A lot has happened since we last wrote to you in October! Jackie has been busy looking after the short-termers at the Guest House and purchasing adequate supplies from Kampala. Raymond continues to work in OPD during the daytime where there are a variety of challenges most days. We held two more Saturday coaching for Christ events, one at a school called Kagango and one just before Christmas at Kiwoko with about 100 boys at both events where the Gospel was shared and the participants were coached in a number of football exercises. World cup tournaments were held and prizes distributed to the winners!’

‘December was busy with a trip to Karamoja where we shared our faith with about 150 young people over three days at Shalom Reconciliation Ministry ... A number made professions of faith in Christ. Discipleship programmes have been arranged by Michael, the fulltime worker at Shalom. We are now hoping to provide 100 bibles, mostly in English as requested. The Bible has just been released in the Karamojong language which will be of great benefit to the older generations. We are praying that these young people will reach out to their tribe now with the Bible in their mother tongue which will speak with more authority.’
‘Many churches in Uganda have no resident pastor/minister. Such churches are largely run by lay people with minimal education and limited biblical knowledge. We visited one such church recently where there is a great need for Sunday School teachers and someone who can lead the flock. These churches are unattractive to young people when they reach about 10 years of age and they are often lost to other denominations or to the Islamic faith. Uganda and indeed East Africa is increasingly in great danger as the attractions are great to a faith which promises low-cost education for poor families and reduced health care costs.’

Praise
For the many opportunities to share our faith with both Ugandans and those from overseas.
For the provision of bibles.
That a number of young people have put their faith in Christ as Saviour through the football coaching programme and the outreach to Kotido, Karamoja.
That our daughter Naomi is expecting her first child in August.
For blessing the work amongst the student nurses, lab and overseas students.

Pray
For the provision of bibles for both Karamoja and c4C.
For the daily witness of the hospital in an area that has become increasing influenced by Islam.
That the Church of Uganda and other evangelical churches would see the need for solid biblical teaching and grounding in their members, adherents and children.
For better management at Kiwoko Farm where six Friesian milking cows have died since December of possible tick-borne disease. Pray that God may call a missionary with an interest in farming.
That Gideon, Dr Rory and Denise Wilson's four-year old son might get a teacher for the incoming year.
We plan to return to N.I. in August, pray for God's guidance regarding further service.
Raymond has had a flare-up of sciatica, which is causing increased pain in his left leg.


Flowers in Church April 2015

5th       Easter Flowers
12th     Sally Campbell—In memory of my mother, father & brother
19th     Nan McKee & Eric McMullan
19th     Jennifer Anderson—In memory of my beloved mother
26th     Vacant


If you would like to donate flowers for the Sanctuary please fill your name in against the appropriate space on the new Flower List in the main porch or contact Mary Withers

Christian Burial

‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’

16th March 2015
Margaret Hunter, formerly of 1 Patterson Drive, Carrickfergus


Crèche Rota April 2015

                        
5th    Lorraine Gibson, Ciara Lester, Rachel McVeigh
12th     Deirdre Beck, Erin Davison, Graeme Miles
19th      Kathleen Arthur, Ruth Nelson, Sophie Foreman
26th     Christine Stewart, Valerie Leighton, Rachel Mc Veigh

The Crèche is in the Choir Vestry.  Children can be left there from 10.50 am each Sunday.   It would be appreciated if those who kindly staff the Crèche would be there in good time.  If you can't be present on a Sunday listed, please arrange for another of the volunteers to cover for you. Thank you for your co-operation.


Senior moments

Calling all over 50s (or nearly there!)

Members of St Nicholas’ Parish Church and others living in the area of Carrickfergus who describe themselves as 50 and over are cordially invited to join us in the Church Halls, Lancastrian Street on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm

What’s happening in April?
13th April        Nomadic Tour.  We will be leaving the Church Halls at 1.30 pm
27rd April        Belfast Hill Partnership - Jim Bradley


EVANGELICALS NOW

This is a Christian Newspaper, produced monthly, covering all aspects of Christian life and witness.  There are sections reporting news from around the UK, World News, features and book reviews.  Included are up-to-date reports on the plight of persecuted Christians round the world.  Often there are helpful and challenging expositions on Bible passages.

If anyone would like a copy each month at £1.00 per copy, please speak to Lynn Rodgers



Services in April 2015

5th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
        11.00 am    Easter Day Family Service with Holy Communion
            Mark 16 v 1-8       
        6.30 pm    Easter Praise Service with Augmented Choir
            Ezekiel 37 v 1-14   
            Luke 24 v 1-12       
            No Cafe Church tonight

12th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
          11.00 am    Morning Prayer—Eyewitness Accounts
            Acts 4 v 32-35       
            John 20 v 19-31       
         6.30 pm    Evening Prayer—Emmaus Enlightenment
            Luke 24 v 13-34       
            No Cafe Church tonight

19th     Services times change due to Radio Ulster Broadcast at 10.15 am.  Everyone is asked to be seated 20 minutes before the broadcast is due to commence.  There will also be a rehearsal on Saturday evening 7-9 pm

    10.15 am    Morning Prayer—Temple Teaching
            Acts 3 v 12-19   
            Luke 24 v 34b-48   
    6.30 pm    Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing & Cafe Church
            Decision Time: Hearing of the hereafter!
            Luke 16 v 19-31       

26th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
          11.00 am    Family Service—Joseph and Pharaoh’s dream
            Genesis 41 v 1-40   
          6.30 pm    Cafe Church
            Decision Time: Saviour or Charlatan?
            John 7 v 25-44

OTHER EVENTS IN APRIL

4th    noon—2 pm    Church open for visitors
11th    10.30 am        Parish Walking Group Outing
14th    7.30 pm        Women’s Fellowship
15th    7.30 pm        Easter General Vestry, Main Hall of Church Halls
15th    7.15 pm        Widows Group in the Minor Hall
26th    3.00 pm        Scouts St George’s Day Service in the Church
28th    7.30 pm        Encounter Monthly Prayer Group in church




ST NICHOLAS’ PARISH CHURCH CARRICKFERGUS

Flower Festivals Cards

We have produced blank greetings cards from photos of flowers used in the Flower Festival.  Each pack contains 8 cards in a variety of designs and is on sale at £2.50 in aid of the church building fund.
Packs can be obtained from
Christine Cahoon, Gillian Dalton or Jean Stewart.


VESTRY HOUR

Parishioners wishing to see clergy during the vestry hour on
Wednesday evenings are asked to ring the office on
028 9336 0061 to book an appointment. 
This is to avoid clergy waiting in the church hall unnecessarily.
Thank you for your co-operation in this matter


Engage Youth Fellowship

Engage Youth Fellowship meets in the halls on the
1st & 3rd Sundays of each month 8.15 - 9.30 pm.

All young people of secondary school age are welcome. Join us for fun, fellowship, bible teaching and, at times, food


If any parishioner known to you is sick or in hospital,
please contact the church office or the clergy
so that they may be visited.  Thank you


The Easter General Vestry Report Booklet
containing the financial accounts for 2014 will shortly
be distributed to registered vestry persons. 
If any other parishioner would like a copy of this
booklet, please ask one of the church wardens.


ANNUAL FAMILY DAY OUT

MAY DAY—Monday 4th May

Calling all families and friends!
Join us for our Annual Family Day Out
at Tollymore Forest Park

Walk/Games/Food/Fun/Fellowship

Meet at the Church Halls at 10.00 am
For further information
contact Janice  or Sharon

Parish Walking Group


Saturday 11th April

Crawfordsburn
Coastal Walk
(Especially suitable for children & families)

Meet at 10.30 am at Crawfordsburn Country Park car park

For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin & Joan Gray



TEA ROTA APRIL 2015

Please organise within your group as to who will bring milk and biscuits.  If you cannot be present on the Sunday listed, please arrange for another volunteer to cover for you or phone Christine Cahoon.   Many thanks for your support.

5th April
Marion Money
Janet Davis
Diane Strain

12th Apri
l

Valerie Kirk
Joan Gray
Robin Gray
19th April

Alison Clarke
Maureen Jackson
Carol Campbell

26th April
Gillian Dalton
Tamera Milligan
Andrea Drysdale



 
St Nicholas Sketch