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RECTOR’S LETTER

Dear Friends at St Nicholas’,

“Christ is risen!”

Those words have been on the lips of the followers of Jesus since that Sunday morning over two thousand years ago, when the women who had gone to Jesus’ grave heard them from the angels. As they struggled to comprehend the enormity of the significance of what they were hearing, they spoke the words in amazement to the disciples. Over the next few days, more and more of the followers of Jesus saw evidence with their own eyes that these words were right and true! The reality sank in and the words “Christ is risen!” became a message of hope and life as people realised that Jesus had conquered death and made it possible for ordinary men and women to know their sins forgiven.

Over many years since, those same words have been used as an expression of faith in the risen Saviour and as a joyful celebration of Easter hope. We will begin all our Easter services at St Nicholas’ Church once again this year with those words of proclamation “Christ is risen!” and the joyful reply will come back “He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!”. I hope that you and those dear to you will be celebrating the joy and hope that faith in the risen Jesus brings to our lives. We’d love to share that celebration with you - why not join us at one of our special Easter services?

We will begin Easter Day by joining with Christians from many different congregations for a short act of worship in the Mission Carrick Dawn Service at 7 am at Carrickfergus Castle Car Park. Following this, we will share breakfast together in St Nicholas’ Church Hall.

This will be followed by our Easter morning services in church at the normal times of 9.30 am and 11 am, when we will share together in Holy Communion. (At 11 am the service will be a shortened form of Communion with an all-age talk suitable for children, so that the whole church family can join in celebrating Easter together). At 6.30 pm we look forward to an evening of Easter Praise, led by the choir who have been rehearsing some special music for this service over the last number of weeks. Do come and join in what promises to be a wonderful day of celebration and praise!

The annual meeting of the General Vestry of the parish takes place at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 11th April. All registered vestry members are encouraged to come and take part in this important meeting. As well as receiving the financial reports and holding the election of the Select Vestry for the coming year, I hope to share some of the thoughts about Christian discipleship, (and what they might mean for our parish) that I had the opportunity to focus on during my sabbatical leave at the end of last year. I hope that you will take the time to join us and to share in the discussion as we aim to grow in obedience to Jesus.

May I wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter!

Yours in Jesus,
George


ST NICHOLAS' WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP

For our meeting on 10th April, we are planning to hold a Movie Night in the Minor Hall starting at 7.30 pm. All ladies are welcome to join us to enjoy watching a good film together, with refreshments provided. Look forward to seeing you there.
Valerie Leighton

LATEST FROM TREVOR & ANDREA
Give thanks for an encouraging start to our new series in Ecclesiastes on Sunday past.  We considered the ‘bookends’ of 1:1-11 and 12:8-14 and likened them to a pair of glasses through which to view the whole book.  Through one lens we want to feel the weight of the futility and pointlessness of life without God; and yet through the other lens we want to focus on God and how we rightly fear and worship him, bringing purpose right at the centre of every area of our lives.  D from Eritrea came to church with us for the first time.  Please continue to pray for him. 

Emily has recovered from glandular fever but we ask prayers that she would know God’s protection, strength and wisdom on her trip to France as part of the school’s exchange programme.  Grace and Alice have been facing some openly anti-Christian teaching in school recently.  Please pray for us as parents as we seek to continue equipping them for these battles, as God enables us. 

Easter is always a tremendous opportunity for getting to know Jesus better and also making him known to others.  On Easter Sunday we will have an international afternoon at church with an ‘outward’ focused Easter service and then a ‘bring and share’ meal.  The following Saturday we are planning an Easter children’s club here in Kallebäck.  Please pray for all of these Easter outreach opportunities.  I’m sure you’re also involved in similar activities over Easter.  Please do let us know, so that we can be praying for you too.  We’re in this together!
Trevor, Andrea, Emily, Grace & Alice xx


Beauty By Design Women’s Conference

11th – 12th May 2018 at Jordan Victory Church Carrickfergus
At Beauty by Design Women’s Conference 2018 we want to ask ourselves “What are we spending our thoughts and time on?” Now is the time to embark on your journey that will unveil the truth of what God says about you beginning in the confidence of your destiny. “We were born for such a time as this” Isaiah 62:3 You will be a crown of beauty in the Lord’s hands.

We are delighted to have Lara Martin with us this year. Lara is a singer/songwriter and is best known for her songs, ‘God is here,’ ‘The Voice of Hope’ and ‘Divine Exchange’ and she has a unique way of combining her teaching with her gift in music.  (Further details available at https://www.facebook.com/teamjvc)

We would like to organise a group of women from St Nicholas to attend this year’s Beauty By Design conference. Tickets cost: Full conference £20, Friday night only £8, Saturday only £13

If you are interested please contact Alison Kane or the Church office by Friday 27th April 2018.

Christian Burial

‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’

14th  February 2018
Margaret Rosemary Florence Bankhead,
4 Rathmoyle Park West, Carrickfergus

2nd  March 2018
Benjamin Martin Finch, 12 Hillview Avenue, Carrickfergus

9th  March 2018
Rosemary Braidwood Robinson, 5 Bluefield Close, Carrickfergus

9th  March 2018
Eileen Mogey, 93 Sunnylands Avenue, Carrickfergus


PRAYERPOINT

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!

St Nicholas’ Church
Tuesday 17th April 7.00 pm—8.30 pm

Due to the Easter holiday period there will only be
one PrayerPoint meeting in April


Thanks

The members of 4th Carrickfergus Girl Guides Senior Section would like to thank everyone who supported their recent Coffee Morning.  £460 was raised on the day allowing them to make a generous donation to 1in3 Cancer Support.


Crèche Rota April 2018

1st       Karen Bell, Ciara Lester, Caitlin McKinley
8th       Lorraine Gibson & Valerie Leighton
15th     Deirdre Beck, Rachel McVeigh, Sophie Foreman
22nd     Ann Hodge & Kathleen Arthur
29th     John Kane & Christine Stewart

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 Parish Church

Prayer Diary – April 2018
The 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.  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
Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us both a sacrifice for sin and also an example of godly life.  Give us grace that we may always thankfully receive the benefits of his sacrifice, and also daily endeavour to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayers for Various Occasions


1ST APRIL – SUNDAY (1st Sunday of Easter/Easter Day)
As we rejoice with Christians around the world, pray for this morning’s Dawn Service and for our Catering Team providing breakfast for worshippers.  Pray for our own services, especially this evening’s Easter Praise. At the start of a new marching season, pray for peace, and mutual respect in our land.

2nd April – Monday
Pray for the South American Missionary Society.

3rd April – Tuesday
Many have left these shores to mission in challenging environments, both in terms of climate but also in communities where they face hostility from members of other religions.  Pray today for those currently serving God in the Middle East.  Remember also the McCartney family in the Canadian Arctic.

4th April – Wednesday
Pray for CMS Ireland.  Following our Easter services, pray for Alison and the choir members as they enjoy a break from practice.  Give thanks for their contribution to our worship and for Alison’s skill and dedication.

5th April – Thursday
Pray for Crosslinks and for this summer’s Crosslinks Camps and Missions.  Pray for Trevor and Andrea Watson, their daughters Emily, Grace and Alice, and continuing successes in their work in Sweden.

6th April – Friday
Pray for ICM and for CityChurch in Dublin.  Give thanks for CityChurch’s success and pray for God’s guidance, wisdom and provision as they search for a new venue.  Pray for Mark Smith and his family.

7th April – Saturday
Afghanistan is second on Open Doors’ World Watch List with Christians there facing violence, hospitalisation and even death.  Pray for peace; for strength and courage for coverts; and for religious freedom.  Pray for Open Doors.

8TH APRIL – SUNDAY (2nd Sunday of Easter)
Pray for George at Glencairn Parish this morning for their Holy Communion service.  Pray for our services.  With Confirmation classes due to begin this month, pray for young people going forward for Confirmation and for adults who are considering this next step on their Christian journey.

9th April – Monday
Pray for our Small Groups resuming their study of Galatians this week.

10th April – Tuesday
Our Women’s Fellowship has a ‘Movie Night’ planned for this evening.  Pray for the members of our Women’s Fellowship.

11th April - Wednesday
Our General Easter Vestry takes place this evening.  Pray for this evening’s meeting, giving thanks for our outgoing Select Vestry and for those who will allow their names to go forward for election.  Pray for wisdom in our choices.

12th April – Thursday
Pray for the sick and for those who care for them whether at home, in care homes or in hospital.  Give thanks for the skills of health professionals.

13th April – Friday
Pray for our Busy Bees Parent and Toddler Group.

14th April – Saturday
Pray for Emmanuel and his work spreading the Gospel to children and young people.  Pray for Bishop Elias Chakupewa and Tabora Diocese.

15TH APRIL – SUNDAY (3rd Sunday of Easter)
Give thanks for George, Cameron and Brian and their opening of God’s Word to us.  Pray for today’s services, for our Sunday School and Bible Class.

16th April – Monday
Remember today the many families who are recently bereaved.

17th April – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint and the compilation of this Prayer Diary.

18th April – Wednesday
Pray for this morning’s visit to Sunnylands Primary for Assembly.

19th April – Thursday
Give thanks for those who clean our church and church halls.

20th April – Friday
Pray for this evening’s Abba Girls meeting.

21st April – Saturday
The GAFCON Ireland launch event is happening today in the Waterfront Hall.  Pray for today’s launch and that GAFCON would be a movement for the promotion of the Gospel in the Church of Ireland.  Pray for our Walking Group at Antrim Castle Gardens this morning.

22ND APRIL – SUNDAY (4th Sunday of Easter)
Pray for our services this morning, giving thanks for the contribution of our Music Group.  Pray for Café  Church and Youth Fellowship.

23rd April – Monday
Pray for today’s meeting of Senior Moments.

24th April – Tuesday
For the next few days Cameron will be attending CME training.  Pray for Cameron and for his wife Alex.

25th April - Wednesday
Pray for this morning’s meeting of Carrickfergus Ministers’ Fellowship.

26th April – Thursday
Catherine and her team meet this morning to assemble Parish News.  Give thanks for Catherine and her work as Parish Administrator, for the magazine team and for distributors.  Also today the Board of Nomination for Carnmoney Parish meets.  Pray for their deliberations and remember those parishes that are struggling financially and cannot afford to fill their vacancy.

27th April – Friday
Pray for this evening’s CIEF meeting in Lisburn Cathedral and for guest speaker Amy Orr-Ewing.

28th April – Saturday
Pray for TEARFUND.

29TH APRIL – SUNDAY (5th Sunday of Easter)
Our main service this morning will include Holy Baptism.  Pray for our services and give thanks for parents bringing children for Baptism.

30th April – Monday
Pray for those contemplating suicide; for the families of those who have taken their own life; and for suicide charities.


SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTES

As Easter falls on 1st April, there will be no Sunday School or Bible Class.  It is hoped that children will attend this Easter Day service at 11 am with their parents where, as families, we can all praise our Lord together for the Cross, the empty tomb and the forgiveness of sins that has been achieved for us all, through Jesus’ death and resurrection.  It is only when we appreciate the seriousness of our sin that we can appreciate the magnitude of the sacrifice that occurred on the Cross.

Further, then we can appreciate just how much our Heavenly Father loves us.  Recently, as part of our Bible Class, we’ve been looking at the Book of James.  In chapter 2 verse 7 James is telling his readers that by judging others, they are sinning just as if they had committed adultery or murder.  How can murder be on the same level as looking down on someone?  By thinking this way we are putting human values on different sins but in God’s eyes all sin is the same, there is no hierarchy of sin.  Any sin, all sin, separates us from God’s love because we are disobeying God’s law.

Have you ever tried jumping over a stream?  Picture the scene, you stand back, take a running jump and clear the water, almost, only to get one foot wet as you land.  Your friend takes their turn but lands well short getting both feet wet.  In your eyes you’ve done so much better that your friend by getting less wet.  That is not how God sees it.  You have both got wet, you both have landed short of God’s perfection.  You have both sinned, whether by judging someone who doesn’t measure up to your values, or whether you murdered them, it is all SIN.

Sunday School and Bible Class will resume on Sunday 8th April.
        Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent


Children's Outreach Mission

Both Bishop Elias and Emmanuel have emailed with some further information.

Bishop Ellias tells us that the replacement Coordinator is Mrs Debora Maige.  Her appointment is temporary until the diocesan Council meets in June when it will appoint the next full time Coordinator. 
Bishop Elias has also included an invitation to meet the new Coordinator in September.

George and I agree that we would like to see how the new person performs, for perhaps 6 months, before committing to a visit, but it is something that would be considered in due course.

Emmanuel’s email is a lengthy affair and his first for many weeks.  He details the spiritual struggles he has experienced since his ‘sacking’.  He refers to now fully understanding Psalm 23 and in particular how he has been in the darkest valley.  He has asked God to give him peace and he knows that God has done just that.  He missed church for 6 weeks but is now back to church again, having learned what it means to be totally forgiving.  “The battle is over, a new beginning has come, a new relationship with Jesus has been established.”

Having considered changing denomination, a significant outworking of his new ‘peace’ is that he is staying with the Anglican Church.  His parents are Anglican and he has been Anglican all his life.  I believe this is a most important aspect of his new relationship with Jesus and with his fellow brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church and particularly in the Cathedral.  Emmanuel mentions briefly that his work in schools is going well and that his teaching focus will be on Matthew 6 v 9-13, the Lord’s Prayer.

He finishes by stating that his prayer is, that St Nicholas’ Church will stick together with the Children’s Outreach Mission and his family, through our prayers.

Please remember to pray for Elizabeth and their youngest daughter Generous who are both suffering from malaria
Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent


Flowers in Church April 2018

1st    Jennifer Anderson —In memory of Barbara Binding
1st    Gordon & Amanda Potsworth—In memory of my aunt and
granny Margaret Glendinning
1st    Easter Flowers
8th    Peter Broad—In memory of Molly Broad
11th    David McAtamney, & daughters Phyllis, Margaret & Deborah
—In memory of Denise
15th    Lisa Thompson—On the anniversary of dad’s death
22nd    Anonymous—Anniversary
29th    Erica McKeen—In memory of Mum, Dad & Nanny
If you would like to donate flowers for the Church please fill your name in against the appropriate space on the Flower List in the main porchspeak to either Catherine in the Church Office (028 9336 0061) or Gillian Dalton. As these details go into Parish News, we would ask, if possible, that you book your chosen Sunday at least 6 weeks in advance.


Christian Baptism

“Suffer the little children to come unto me”

18th March 2018
Jack Christopher Patton
43 Albert Road, Carrickfergus


SOUND DESK ROTA APRIL 2018

                    Morning                   Evening
1st           Rachel McVeigh         Glenn Nelson
8th           Gillian Dalton            Steven Todd
15th         Johnnie McAlister       Julie Irvine
22nd        Graeme Miles            Cafe Church
29th         Steven Todd             Glenn Nelson

Services in APRIL 2018

1st    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Easter Day (Family Communion)
            Acts 10 v 34-43            Linda Mulvenny
            John 20 v 1-18            The Preacher
    6.30 pm    Easter Praise with extended choir (No Café Church)
            Ezekiel 37 v 1-14            Alex Jones
            Luke 24 v 13-35            Colin Logue

8th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer & Baptism—Lessons from history
            Exodus 32 v 1-10            Ann McVeigh
            1 Corinthians 10 v 1-13        Colin Parkes
    6.30 pm    Service of the Word—Telling of life and light
            1 John 1 v 1—2 v 2            Lynn Rodgers

15th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer—The Lord’s Supper
            Exodus 12 v 1-11            Karen Bell
            1 Corinthians 10 v 14-22        Valerie Leighton
    6.30 pm    Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing
            & Café Church: Paul’s last words—Be Faithful
            2 Timothy 1 v 1-7            John Richardson
            John 12 v 20-33            The Preacher

22nd    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer—Being Wise with Freedom
            Deuteronomy 16 v 21-17 v 7    Frank Hill
            1 Corinthians 10 v 23-11 v 1        Joan Hill
    6.30 pm    Café Church—Paul’s last words—Grace in a prison cell
            2 Timothy 1 v 8-18

29th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Family Service & Baptism
            Jesus’ kingdom—a mighty picnic!
            John 6 v 1-15
    6.30 pm    Compline– Paul’s last words– Stay strong to the end
            2 Timothy 2 v 1-10            Don Howe

Please note that the Family Service in April is on 29th April (rather than the normal 22nd!) 22nd April will be Morning Prayer at 11 am.


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


Calling all Crafters

A 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 on 028 9336 0415.
Everyone welcome


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


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 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm

What’s happening in April
9th April    Drop In
23rd April    Alberta Miskimmon—Armchair Aerobics
25th April    Luncheon Club


Parish Walking Group


Saturday 21st April 2018

Antrim castle gardens and
clotworthy house
Especially suitable for children and families.

Meet at 10.30 am at the car park in Antrim Castle Gardens

For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin or Joan Gray


GENERAL Easter vestry


Wednesday 11th April 2018
7.30 pm in the Church Halls

All those on the Register of General Vestry Persons
are invited to attend


ABBA GIRLS

Friday 20th April 7.30pm – 9.00pm
Meeting Room Upstairs in the Church Hall

All girls from P7 to secondary school age are very welcome.
Craft, food, games and more.


ANNUAL FAMILY DAY OUT

MAY DAY—Monday 7th May

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

Walk/Games/Fun/Fellowship
Due to the vast amount of leftover food last year we would ask everyone to bring their own picnic this year

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


TEA ROTA APRIL 2018

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 (9336 0203).   Many thanks for your support.

1st Alison Clarke Maureen Jackson Carol Campbell

8th Joanne Rodgers Christine Cahoon Nadine Davison

15th Sally Campbell Tina Campbell Carol Anderson

22nd Diane Innes Janice Nelson Karen Miles

29th Valerie Kirk Robin Gray Joan Gray




 
St Nicholas Sketch