Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland
Dear Friends at St Nicholas’,
As I write this letter to you, our parish family has recently known another sudden bereavement. Once again we have felt the pain that death brings when it takes someone we have known and cared about. In that experience, we recognise that we are no different to anyone who has been bereaved, as we deal with the reality of loss.
However, we have also just celebrated the great Christian festival of Easter and been reminded that in Jesus Christ we have a wonderful Saviour who transforms the life (and death) of those who love Him. The message of Easter is that Jesus has risen from the dead, has broken the power of sin and death and gives new life to all who trust Him. In that fact we find our hope, knowing that the life that Jesus brings will not be ended by death and is shared by all Christians. It’s not something that any of us deserve, not something that we can earn, but a gift which God gives us because of Jesus.
If you would like to know more about that, then why not consider joining us at Christianity Explained? The next one begins this month and will take place on Monday evenings beginning on 18th April. They are a great opportunity to come with whatever questions you may have about the Christian faith and do a bit of thinking as we look at what Mark has to say about Jesus in his gospel.
Our Small Groups will also be continuing to look together at what Mark has to teach us about Jesus as they begin a new series of 7 sessions looking at the second half of the gospel. There is always a welcome at any of these groups for new members. They meet at different times and in various locations, so hopefully we should be able to find one that suits you - just contact one of the clergy or the church office if you would like to know more.
A number of adults and young people from this parish and from Holy Trinity are considering being confirmed by Bishop Alan when he comes to visit next month. Please pray with us for them as they meet this month to prepare for this important step of publicly professing their faith in Christ.
Your prayers are also asked for Lynn Rogers and our friends in the Diocese of Tabora in Tanzania. St Nicholas’ Church has had a partnership with Tabora for a number of years now, praying for one another regularly and being privileged to partner in the ministry of the gospel. This has involved regular financial support of the diocese, now led by Bishop Elias Chakupewa and the children’s outreach mission led by Emmanuel Rubuye, as well as special projects like raising money for bicycles for pastors and other Christian workers. We have also been glad to welcome Emmanuel and Bishop Elias to St Nicholas’ when they have been visiting the UK.
At the end of this month Lynn is going to spend a short time visiting Tabora in order to see at first hand some of the work that the parish has been supporting and to share in Christian fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Tanzania. If you would like to support this visit in a practical way, then why not consider supporting the coffee morning and cake sale in the Church Hall on Saturday 16th April? The funds raised, along with any other gifts of money received, will be used to provide some of the practical resources which are described elsewhere in the magazine. Please do pray for Lynn’s safety as he travels and pray that the visit would have a positive effect on our partnership.
Closer to home, St Nicholas’ church building has stood at the heart of Carrickfergus for over 800 years and in that time it has changed and been altered, in small or large ways constantly, as the building has been adapted to meet the current needs of each generation. After careful consideration, the Select Vestry has taken the decision to remove the large screen which we use from time to time in our services and replace it with a number of smaller screens. It is hoped that this will be less intrusive than the large screen and also make it easier for everyone to see what is happening in the building. No doubt it will take us a little time to get used to the new arrangements, but we trust that this change will be a tool to assist us in our worship in the years that lie ahead. If you have any questions or concerns, please do speak to me or any member of the vestry.
Finally, may I also remind you that the Annual Easter meeting of the General Vestry of the parish takes place on Wednesday 6th April in the church hall? We will be glad to welcome all adult members of the congregation to this meeting and those who are registered vestry members will be able to participate in the election of the new Select Vestry for the forthcoming year.
With love in Jesus,
8th May 1951 - 9th March 2016
Roy McVeigh was a regular worshipper, an excellent tour guide and a willing volunteer with a range of practical tasks around the church building. He died suddenly in the church last month, having just completed another ‘little job’, willingly undertaken as part of his Christian service. He will be greatly missed by the whole church family and we extend our sincere sympathy to his wife Ann and all Roy’s family and friends.
Our PrayerPoint schedule follows a fortnightly pattern with a shorter Monday evening at the beginning of the month and a slightly longer time on a Tuesday evening in the middle of the month. PrayerPoint evenings are your opportunity to join in prayer for the life and witness of St Nicholas’ and the church of Jesus Christ around the world.
Come on one of the evenings or come to both;
Come for the whole evening or come for a short time;
Come and pray aloud or in silence;
But come - we’ll be delighted to see you!
PRAYERPOINTSt Nicholas’ Church
Monday 4th April (1st Monday)
7.00pm - 7.45pm
Tuesday 19th April (3rd Tuesday)
7.00pm - 8.30pm
ST NICHOLAS' WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIPIn a change to our original programme, at this month's meeting we will be in conversation with Cameron and Alex and will look forward to hearing just why they have left the sunny climes of Australia to make their home here in Carrickfergus. Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday, 12th April at 7.30 pm. Christine Cahoon
SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTESFollowing a month when Sunday School and Bible Class met only once due to commitments around Easter and Mothers Day, for the next 3 months we will return to our normal routine. Classes will meet as usual 3rd, 10th, 17th April with 24th being our monthly Family Service.
Parents may like to know that on 3rd April, for part of the morning, we will be writing letters and prayers to and for the boys and girls of Tabora. These will be distributed amongst the several children’s groups, clubs and Sunday Schools that I will be visiting in early May.
It is also hoped to take photographs of our children in their classes with their teachers. This will also form a real and personal link for the children in both countries and cultures.
Our hope is that, through the familiarisation, our children will come to understand just how Big is our God and that He is the same God who is worshipped in Tanzania, China, India, the Arctic and even Australia! We are all brothers and sisters under Him who created us all and whose Son died for us all. Together let’s worship the God of the universe, even though we may be several thousands of miles apart. Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent
Crèche Rota April 20163rd Deirdre Beck, Sharon McMaster, Rachel McVeigh
10th Christine Stewart & Ciara Lester
17th Janice Nelson & Valerie Leighton
24th Ann Hodge, Alison Kane, Rachel McVeigh
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.
St Nicholas’ Church, Carrickfergus
Prayer Diary – April 2016The monthly Prayer Diary 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. Also included is 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 MonthAlmighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our needs before we ask, and our ignorance in asking; have compassion on our weakness, and give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and in our blindness we cannot ask; for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen BCP
1st April – Friday
Pray for the work of the Impact Carrick Outreach in our local community.
2nd April – Saturday
Give thanks for all those who volunteer in our Parish doing the small tasks that make such a difference to everyone. Pray that more people will volunteer to help with the cleaning of the church and church halls.
3rd APRIL – SUNDAY (The 2nd Sunday of Easter)
Pray for this morning’s Holy Communion Service, remembering Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection on the 3rd day. Give thanks that we have a risen Lord.
4th April – Monday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint and remember those who have recently been bereaved. Pray that they will feel your love for them and rely on you at this time.
5th April – Tuesday
Pray for the Senior Guides, Guides, Brownies and Rainbows. Give thanks for these organisations that bring young people into the church.
6TH 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.
7th April – Thursday
Pray for Trevor and Andrea Watson as they prepare for their mission in Sweden. Give thanks for the work that Crosslinks do.
8th April – Friday
Pray for ‘Busy Bees’. Give thanks for the work Alison and her team do each Friday morning.
9th April – Saturday
Pray for the Parish Walking Group as they head out to the Cavehill Country Park to enjoy exercise and fellowship.
10th APRIL – SUNDAY (The 3rd Sunday of Easter)
Pray for the children and teachers of our Sunday School and Bible Class and pray for today’s services in the Church and Cafe Church in the Church Halls.
11th April – Monday
Pray for Colin Logue as he gives his talk at Senior Moments today.
12th April – Tuesday
Pray for Women’s Fellowship tonight, “In Conversation with Cameron and Alex”. Pray for the ladies of our Women’s Fellowship.
13TH APRIL – Wednesday
Give thanks for the invitations our ministry team receive to visit local schools. Pray for this morning’s assembly in Sunnylands Primary and for visits later this month to Oakfield Primary and Carrickfergus Model School.
14th April – Thursday
Pray for the ladies who attend the new Craft Group. Pray for God’s blessing on the new friendships forming through this group.
15th April – Friday
Pray for our Scout Group and its leaders. Pray that the boys and girls will enjoy the Scouts Stay Awake tonight.
16th April – Saturday
Pray for the Coffee morning and Cake sale for Tabora. Pray also for Lynn Rodgers as he prepares to travel to Tabora, that he would have a safe journey and a fruitful visit with Emmanuel and Bishop Elias.
17th APRIL – SUNDAY (The 4th Sunday of Easter)
Pray for today’s services , for Alison Irwin our organist and the members of the choir who turn up faithfully each week to lead us in praise to You.
18th April – Monday
Pray for the teenagers and adults who are preparing for Confirmation next month.
19th April – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint. Give thanks for this opportunity to join in prayer for the life and witness of St Nicholas’ and the church of Jesus Christ around the world.
20TH APRIL – Wednesday
Pray for the Holy Communion service this morning. Give thanks for the work that George, Brian and Cameron do in our parish, preaching your gospel and visiting those who are ill or housebound.
21st April – Thursday
Catherine and the team assemble Parish News this morning. Pray for these volunteers who diligently turn up each month to assemble Parish News and also for the distributors who deliver magazines to over 600 homes each month.
22nd April – Friday
Pray for Safeguarding Trust working to keep children safe within the Church of Ireland. Pray for our Parish’s Safeguarding Trust Panel.
23rd April – Saturday
Pray for peace in war torn countries. Pray for refugees as they flee these countries that they will find sanctuary.
24th APRIL – SUNDAY (The 5th Sunday of Easter)
Pray for today’s services, especially this morning’s Family Service. Give thanks for family life and pray for those who have trouble in their family relationships. Pray for our teenagers in SNYF.
25th April – Monday
Pray for Senior Moments as they meet today for their “Drop In” afternoon of fun and fellowship.
26th April – Tuesday
Pray for those who are preparing to make the journey to Tabora Diocese. Give thanks for the work Emmanuel and his helpers do in the Children’s Outreach Mission.
27TH APRIL – Wednesday
Pray for persecuted Christians. Give thanks that we live in a country where we can go to church without fear of death.
28th April – Thursday
Pray for the sick whether at home or in hospital. Pray for the housebound and for those who distribute CDs each week to enable housebound people to share in our worship.
29th April – Friday
Give thanks for Mary Withers and her daughter Sandra who faithfully decorate our church with flowers each week.
30th April – Saturday
Pray for Sharon and Janice and all those who help with the organisation of our annual trip to Tollymore on May Day. Pray for good weather and travelling mercies.
TABORA VISITThere aren’t many weeks to go before the departure on April 27th and arrival in Tabora around midday Friday 29th April.
Emmanuel has mentioned a number of things that he needs and, while the 23kg baggage limit rules out chairs for the children and clothes for dozens of children whose everyday clothes are in tatters, a laptop and print cartridges can be bought and taken.
Elsewhere in this magazine you will read of an opportunity to come together in a simple but practical way to raise funds that will go directly to the children and to the mission work.
Clothes can be bought in the market, stationery needs are available locally, as are the plastic patio chairs that feature in all the photos of groups in Churches and clubs. We can provide the wherewithal to make the purchase of these practical things a reality.
What we can’t purchase or our money buy is God’s blessing on this work. In any exercise associated with fund raising or outreach of any kind we must surround the whole effort in prayer.
The danger is that we ask God to bless our plans. It’s His plans that we need to be understanding and working towards. Only then will God’s blessing be experienced.
Please, as you pray for the Childrens Mission and the trip to Tabora, seek His will so that His purpose will be our Mission.
To God be the glory. Lynn Rodgers
Flowers in Church April 20163rd Nan McKee & family
10th Sally Campbell—In memory of my father, mother, sister & brother
10th Gordon Potsworth—In memory of my aunt Margaret Glendinning
17th Mr & Mrs Withers
17th In memory of our beloved mother Barbara Binding
If you would like to donate flowers for the Sanctuary please fill your name in against the appropriate space on the Flower List in the main porch or contact Mary Withers. As these details go into Parish News we would ask, if possible, that you add your name against the chosen date to the list in the church at least 6 weeks in advance or speak to Mrs Withers at least 6 weeks in advance.
TEA ROTA APRIL 2016Please 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.
3rd April Lorraine Gibson Doris Close Kathleen Arthur
10th April Deirdre Beck Valerie Leighton Linda Mulvenny
17th April Sally Campbell Tina Campbell Carol Anderson
24th April Gillian Dalton Tamera Dalton Andrea Drysdale
Christian Burial‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’
29th February 2016
Carole Margaret Fleming, 8 Model Avenue, Carrickfergus
3rd March 2016
Sylvia Ann Hanna, 14 Woodburn Avenue, Carrickfergus
15th March 2016
Robert (Roy) Dummigan McVeigh, 21 Thorndene Park, Carrickfergus
Christian Marriage‘What God has joined together, let not man separate’
11th March 2016
Paul Ernest Hughes, 140 Victoria Rise Carrickfergus and
Rebecca Margaret Hutton, 2 Old Turn, Carrickfergus
The Servant King
A new series of studies starts week beginning 10th April 2016.
Groups meet on Monday evenings, Thursday mornings or Thursday evenings
New members very welcome!
You don't need to be a Bible expert, you just need to want to know more.
DATE FOR YOUR DIARY
CONFIRMATION SERVICEThe next Confirmation Service will be held on
Sunday 15th May 2016
at 6.30 pm in the Church
SOUND DESK ROTA APRIL 2016Morning Evening
3rd Glenn Nelson Jonathan Nelson
10th Gillian Dalton Lynn Rodgers
17th Gordon Dalton Paul Letters
24th Johnnie McAlister Cafe Church
Calling all CraftersA group has been formed for all those
who are interested in one craft or another.
Crocheting/knitting/card making/canvas art etc.
Tea & Coffee will be provided.
On 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month
10 am – 12 noon in the Minor Hall
For further details contact Janice Nelson.
Senior momentsCalling 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 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm
What’s happening in April
11th April ‘A Journey’ Colin Logue
25th April Drop In
Services in April 20163rd 9 30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Holy Communion—That you may believe...
Acts 5 v 27-32 Valerie Kirk
John 20 v 19-31 The Preacher
6.30 pm Evening Prayer & Cafe Church
The Road to the Cross: After the facts
Luke 24 v 13-35 Billy Rice
10th 9 30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Morning Prayer
Back to porridge?-breakfast with Jesus
Acts 9 v 1-19a Jean Stewart
John 21 v 1-14 Christine Stewart
6.30 pm Evening Prayer & Cafe Church—Kingdom in danger
1 Kings 1 v 1-27 Don Howe
17th 9 30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Morning Prayer: Restored—Love me—feed them
Acts 9 v 36-43 Joan Gray
John 21 v 15-19 Robin Gray
6.30 pm Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing & Cafe Church
A Successor anointed
1 Kings 1 v 28-53 Daphne Murphy
Luke 11 v 27-32 The Preacher
24th 9 30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Family Service—Celebrating the Queen
Joshua 1 v 1-9
Ephesians 6 v 10-20
6.30 pm Cafe Church—Counsel for a new king
1 Kings 2 v 1-12
OTHER EVENTS IN APRIL6th 7.30 pm General Easter Vestry
9th 10.00 am Parish Walking Group Outing
12th 7.30 pm Women’s Fellowship
16th 10.00 am Coffee Morning and Cake Sale
VESTRY HOURParishioners 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
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.
Coffee Morning and Cake Sale
St Nicholas’ Church Hall
Saturday 16th April
10 am - 12.30 pm
All proceeds to provide resources for the church
in Tabora, Tanzania
Offers of assistance, cakes and your support on the day will be gratefully received
ANNUAL FAMILY DAY OUTMAY DAY—Monday 2nd May
Calling all families and friends!
Join us for our Annual Family Day Out
at Tollymore Forest Park
Meet at the Church Halls at 10.00 am
For further information
contact Janice or Sharon
What people said about our last Christianity Explained course.
“I really enjoyed the course and [it] has given me a lot to think about!”
“I really enjoyed reading Mark!”
“I’ve enjoyed the historical background and supporting evidence.
Christianity ExplainedSix weeks beginning 18th April 2016
St Nicholas' Church Halls
We read the earliest biography of Jesus that exists but:
You won’t be asked to pray aloud,
You won’t be asked to read aloud,
You won’t be put on the spot to answer any question.
Contact Cameron or the Church Office
or just turn up for the first night.
Parish Walking GroupSaturday 9th April
Cavehill Country Park Walk
Meet at 10 am
Belfast Castle car park
For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin or Joan Gray
GENERAL Easter vestryWednesday 6th April 2016
7.30 pm in the Church Halls
All those on the Register of General Vestry Persons
are invited to attend