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RECTOR’S LETTER

Dear Friends at St Nicholas
For the first time in many years the Annual General Vestry meeting for this parish was held before Easter, instead of our usual custom of meeting about ten days after we have celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. I am very grateful to everyone who came and participated in this important meeting. I’m glad to report that all four of our wardens have kindly agreed to serve for a further year and you will find the details of those who were elected to serve with them on the Select Vestry in this magazine. I am very grateful to them and to the outgoing members of the vestry, Lisa, Geoff, Gordon and Ann, who gave such faithful service over the past year.

One of the major things that takes place at this meeting is that the Select Vestry (through the Honorary Treasurer) presents the financial accounts for the previous year to the parishioners who generously support the work of the parish. At the meeting, I expressed our thanks to Mrs Linda Mulvenny and those who assist her in this important work, and I gladly repeat those thanks on behalf of all of us now.

I also want to mention another parishioner who has been a huge help to us in managing the finances of the parish properly. For some years now, Mr Charles Nicholson has used his skills as an accountant in the role of auditor for the parish accounts. In doing so, he has performed a vital service for us and has done so carefully, efficiently and with a constructive and helpful approach. This has been greatly appreciated, particularly as we have adapted in recent times to the new reporting requirements of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. Charlie has indicated to us that he will be retiring this year and so I want to say a very big ‘thank you’ to him for all that he has given to the church and wish him a long and happy retirement.

Elsewhere in this magazine you will find an article by Cameron explaining about the work that he and Alex are preparing to undertake with Irish Church Missions in Dublin after he completes his curacy here in St Nicholas’ Church in the summer. It is an exciting call to work to build a new community of Christians in Ireland’s capital city, but a challenging one, and it will take a great deal of preparation and support on the part of many people in order to be successful. As this magazine is landing on your mat, Cameron will be using some post-Easter leave to travel to Australia in order to seek support from friends and contacts there for the new work. Please do pray for Cameron as he travels and speaks and if you are able to commit to supporting him and Alex in this new role financially, I know that will be a great encouragement to them.

As we prepare to say farewell to Cameron and Alex, I am also engaged in the process to try to identify a new colleague to come to join with us here in Carrickfergus. Visits and interviews with potential new curates will take place this month, but while there are some good candidates, there are only a very small number of clergy completing training this year. Please do pray that we will find the Lord’s person to come and share in the life and ministry of St Nicholas!

At the Easter Vestry I reminded those present that St Paul uses the image of the body to describe the church with good effect. He speaks of each member as unique and bringing their own particular contribution to the life of the whole. Without each of us active and serving, the body will be incomplete! Thank you to all who are playing their part in the body of St Nicholas - we’ve always got room for more though! If it’s been a while since you’ve joined us at church, why not come along this month? We’d be delighted to welcome you back!

With love in Jesus,
George

SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTES

April was a short month for JAM and Bible Class as we only had one Sunday to teach God’s word due to the break for Easter, but believe me it was action packed. The kids of JAM, and Young People from Bible Class had Fun, Friendship and Fellowship and I would like to thank all the leaders and helpers for all their efforts to make it a memorable morning. No one had any doubts about the True Meaning of Easter.

May is going to see JAM learning all about the Miracles of Jesus from Changing Water into Wine, Calming the Storm and Walking on Water.   So plenty of learning about Jesus and cool activities for our JAM kids.  May is going to be a busy month for all.  Junior Bible Class are going to look at the beautiful Queen Esther and I can’t wait to start this, never mind the young people from Bible Class.  Senior Bible class are continuing on with Paul’s journeys and mission to preach and spread the word of Jesus.

Our teacher training day back on 6th April with Rory Bell from Teaching and Training Ministries went extremely well and was very informative. We all came away with new ideas and hopefully we will be able to put these into practice over the next lot of months.  Crosslinks Camp was mentioned at the training day and again if anyone is interested or just would like further information, please speak to me.

Our Forthcoming Event is 8th June 2019.  Please note in your diaries that our Bible Class, with the help of leaders, is organising a fundraising event on behalf of Cameron and Alex and we would love help with this event from all our beloved parishioners.  PLEASE! PLEASE!  If you are willingly to help, please speak to me or any member of the Team.

JAM and Bible Class will resume on Sunday 5th May 2019.  Please note that the church service will be broadcast and JAM children should go straight to the Church Halls.  It will be an early morning start. The Service starts at 10 am.  The Bible Class young people will be attending this church service, so could the Bible Class and their leaders could please sit together in church.

Thank you to all our parishioners for your continued support and prayers. If anyone would like any more information on JAM or Bible Class, please speak to me or any members of the Team.
Sharon Maxwell JAM Co-ordinator

ST NICHOLAS' WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP

Our May outing will be on Tuesday 21st May to Country Cake Designs, Antrim for a bakery demonstration and supper. If you would like to come along and haven't already signed up, then please speak to one of the committee as soon as possible.           Valerie Leighton

EASTER VESTRY

The General Easter Vestry was held on Wednesday 10th April 2019 with 50 members present. At this meeting the following members were elected to serve on the Select Vestry:-

Rector’s Church Warden – Mr Brian Reid
People’s Church Warden – Mr Alan Miles

Rector’s Glebe Warden – Mr Roy McAlister
People’s Glebe Warden – Mr Ray Gilbert

Select Vestry – Mrs Linda Mulvenny, Mrs Christine Cahoon,
Mrs Julie Irvine, Mrs Sharon Maxwell, Mrs Diane Strain,
Miss Rachel McVeigh, Mrs Tamera Milligan, Mrs Katrina Todd,
Ms Lorraine Majury, Mrs Valerie Kirk, Mr Robert McNeill and
Mr Andrew Hammond.

At the first meeting of the new Select Vestry the following appointments were made:-

Mrs Linda Mulvenny – Honorary Treasurer
Mr Alan Miles – Honorary Secretary

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 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 21st May 7.00 pm—8.00 pm

Due to the May Day holiday there will only be
one PrayerPoint meeting in May

Christian Burial
‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’

28th  March 2019—Sarah (Sally) McDowell

28th  March 2019—Samuel (Sam) Miles

2nd  April 2019—Eleanor Bond

5th  April 2019—Margaret Dougan

9th  April 2019—James Fenton

An update on Cameron and Alex’s Mission Plans
On Easter Sunday afternoon, I (Cameron) am flying to Sydney and will be there until I fly back on May 5th.  Of course, I’ll be seeing my mum and family.  I haven’t seen them since dad died almost two years ago.  It will be good to do that, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone: my brother Brendan, his wife Jenny, their three boys and their girl; my sister Rebecca, her husband Fred, their two sons and daughter.  That will be lovely.  But I probably wouldn’t be heading over now except that Alex and I need financial support for what we’re going to do next.  And if it wasn’t for what we’re planning to do next, Alex would be coming with me to Australia as she would so love to do.

You will already have heard or read that we are heading to Dublin to do something entirely new with the Church of Ireland home-mission Irish Church Missions.  Brian Courtney and Colin Logue are on the board of this organisation whose mission is to strengthen existing churches and to start new ones.  We are going to do the second.  We are going to start a new church where there is currently no church at all.  No church building, no congregation… there’s not even a house for us to live in yet!  We need that by August!

We are selling our own house in Belfast to help finance a place to live, but that won’t be enough.  So I’m going to Sydney to ask my friends, and even people I don’t know yet, to give money to buy a house and fund the ministry.

It is very different to what other curates have gone to do, isn’t it?  And it might even sound foolish to go and do something so risky.  And you’d be right to think that!

Unless Jesus really did die and rise from the dead.

Unless Jesus really is going to come back and judge.

Unless what matters is not how much money or comfortable we are now, but what matters is eternal life that is ours, through accepting Jesus as our ruler, as Lord.

It’s like the pearl of great price… that you’d sell everything to possess, or the treasure in the field (Matthew 13:44-45).

The need is great and urgent because it comes down to this - without trusting Jesus - people are going to hell!  That’s the firm teaching of the Church of Ireland and of faithful Anglican Christians around the world because it’s what God tells us in the Bible.

That leads to very big questions: How can they trust in Jesus if they don’t know of Him?  How can they know of him unless someone goes and tells them?  Even though there are church buildings all over Dublin and Ireland, there are very few people teaching what the Bible says about Jesus, as the only way to be reconciled to God through his death in our place.

In the coming months, I’ll be coming back and asking people in this country for help too, and some very kind people are doing some fundraisers which will be a lot of fun.

But you don’t have to wait until then! 

In the church and in last month’s magazine there was a leaflet with a form to allow you to donate towards this work.  If we can get 400 people to give £5 a week, it will cover the entire cost of my mission work every year! 

If you think this work is important, also that I’m a person who should be doing this work and Alex with me, perhaps you’ll join with my Aussie friends and give too.

You can get support forms from Cameron or from the church office, or do it on the internet (https://www.irishchurchmissions.ie/ and click on “give”.)                Cameron

ST NICHOLAS' WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP

Our May outing will be on Tuesday 21st May to Country Cake Designs, Antrim for a bakery demonstration and supper. If you would like to come along and haven't already signed up, then please speak to one of the committee as soon as possible.           Valerie Leighton

POINTS TO PONDER

It is the duty of nations as well as of men to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon.
Abraham Lincoln

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. 
John A Holmer

Without Christ I was like a fish out of water. With Christ I am in the ocean of love.
Sadhu Sundar Singh

LAUGHLINES

Do you know your hymns?
Dentist's Hymn        Crown Him with Many Crowns
Weatherman's Hymn        There Shall Be Showers of Blessings
Contractor's Hymn        The Church’s One Foundation
Tailor's Hymn            Holy, Holy, Holy
Golfer's Hymn            There's a Green Hill Far Away

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

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

St Nicholas Parish Church

Prayer Diary – May 2019
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 prayers 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

Merciful Lord, you alone can order our unruly wills and affections, teach us to love what you command, and to desire what you promise, that, among the changes and chances of this world, our hearts may surely be fixed where true joys are to be found, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen        Prayers for various occasions
------
1st May – Wednesday
With Council elections taking place tomorrow and no sign of the return of an Assembly, plus the ongoing Brexit difficulties, pray today for our elected representatives and especially for Theresa May and EU leaders.  Remember too those in business as they try to plan for theirs’ and their employees’ futures amid all this uncertainty.

2nd May – Thursday
The St Coleman’s Board of Nomination meets today.  Pray for God’s guidance and a meeting of minds in the selection of a new Incumbent.  Pray for all those parishes in our Diocese where there is a vacancy.

3rd May – Friday
Pray for our Busy Bees Parent and Toddler Group.

4th May – Saturday
Pray for Darren and Karen McCartney and their son Liam.

5TH MAY – SUNDAY (The 3rd Sunday of Easter)
Our morning worship today is to be broadcast on Radio Ulster.  Pray for this morning’s service and for all listeners, giving thanks for this opportunity to reach out to those who do not hear the gospel preached.

6th May – Monday
Families of all ages travel to Tollymore today for the annual Fun Day.  Pray for safe travel and for friendships made and strengthened in this time together.

7th May – Tuesday
This evening our new Select Vestry meets for the first time.  Pray for our Select Vestry, especially new members.

8th May – Wednesday
Pray for the sick, for their carers and for health professionals.  Remember Bishop Alan and all receiving cancer treatment at this time.

9th May – Thursday
This evening our Senior Moments group is hosting a Supper Dance to raise funds for Cameron and Alex.  Pray for generous giving at this event and for Cameron and Alex and their next step in God’s service in Dublin.

10th May – Friday
Pray for Trevor and Andrea Watson, also their daughters Emily, Grace and Alice.  Pray that their continuing mission would bear much fruit.

11th May – Saturday
Pray for the work of the Leprosy Mission.

12TH MAY – SUNDAY (The 4th Sunday of Easter)
Pray for our worship today; for the children and leaders of JAM and for the teachers and young people at our Bible Class.  Pray for our Youth Fellowship.

13th May – Monday
This being Christian Aid Week, pray for the volunteers who will collect door to door and that the monies raised would be used to show God’s Love.

14th May – Tuesday
Pray for families and individuals who are recently bereaved.

15th May – Wednesday
Pray for ICM; for Mark Smith at City Church in Dublin and for the ongoing planning for Cameron and Alex’s move to set up their new mission in Dublin.

16th May – Thursday
The 18th General Synod begins today at the Millennium Building in Londonderry.  Pray for all attending, for Archbishop of Armagh, The Most Reverend Richard Clarke and all those with leadership roles in our church.  Pray for our own Synod representatives.  Pray that God’s Will is at the heart of debate.

17th May – Friday
Pray for this evening’s meeting of Abba Girls.


18th May – Saturday
The Walking Group are at Crawfordsburn today.  Pray for them today.

19TH MAY – SUNDAY (The 5th Sunday of Easter)
Pray for today’s services, especially this evening’s Holy Communion with Prayers for Healing.  Give thanks that we hear the truth of the Gospel opened to us week by week.  Pray for George, Cameron and Brian.

20th May – Monday
Pray for our Small Groups meeting each week at various times and locations.

21st May – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint.  As Women’s Fellowship ends another session with their outing to Country Cake Designs, pray for all members.

22nd May – Wednesday
This morning a member of our clergy team will be at Assembly in Oakfield School.  Pray for this visit and all at this morning’s Holy Communion service.

23rd May – Thursday
Give thanks for Catherine Milligan and all her work in the Church Office.  Pray for the team assembling Parish News and for magazine distributors.

24th May – Friday
Pray for Emmanuel and for Children’s ministry in Tabora.  Pray for a successful outcome to negotiations with CEF.  Pray for Bishop Elias.

25th May – Saturday
This morning our church is hosting the annual North Irish Horse service.  Pray for ears and hearts open to God’s Word.

26TH MAY – SUNDAY (The 6th Sunday of Easter/Rogation Sunday)
Pray for this morning’s family service, giving thanks for our Music Group.  Pray also for Cafe Church.

27th May – Monday
Give thanks for the teams and individuals who clean our church and halls or who carry out other minor housekeeping duties.

28th May – Tuesday
This is the day when parishes find out if they have secured a new Curate from those candidates being ordained in the autumn.  Pray that a suitable candidate will be coming to St Nicholas’.  Pray also for our Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers as they host parents and friends.

29th May – Wednesday
Pray for Open Doors and for persecuted Christians especially in Afghanistan.  Give thanks that we are free to speak about our faith and to worship, something many Christians in our world can only dream about.

30th May – Thursday
Pray for this morning’s visit to Acorn Integrated School for Assembly.

31st May – Friday
Give thanks for those who have influenced your walk with God.  Pray that we would surround ourselves and our families with people, who do more than speak the Gospel message, who also live it out in their daily lives.

Children's Outreach Mission

One of the challenges in any form of Christian Ministry is keeping the message fresh and interesting and yet challenging and always relevant to contemporary culture.  The big risk in trying to keep the Christian message fresh and interesting is that it gets dressed up a bit  with little changes here and there to add a bit of spice.  This is a trap that is particularly prevalent in children's ministry where characters are sometimes added to make a narrative more appealing or perhaps more fun.  This is particularly noticeable in some of the Nativity Plays doing the rounds.  One play that I read several years ago included pigs along with other animals in the stable in Bethlehem!  Another trend with the telling of Bible stories to children is to add a fairy tale slant to the details with the culmination of ‘they lived happily ever after’. 

With a plethora of denominations in many African countries, including Tanzania, one of the dangerous gospels (with a small g) that has a significant following is the ‘prosperity gospel’.  Put simply, it portrays the myth that if people ‘do’ certain things, including giving money into the ‘church’, they will reap many material blessings.

We know from our Bibles and the Christian teaching we receive in St Nicholas’ that there is nothing we can ‘do’ to earn spiritual blessings.

Emmanuel is acutely aware of this false teaching in the Tabora area and how dangerous it is for children to be brainwashed with these falsehoods.  Emmanuel spends a lot of time preparing lessons for his Schools Ministry as well as the Good News clubs, along with his Bible studies for the Sunday School teachers and helpers.  I know his Bible teaching is Bible based and culturally relevant with nothing added and nothing taken away.

Do check out what Deuteronomy 4 v 2, Ecclesiastes 12 v 12 and particularly Revelation 22 v 18 & 19 have to say on altering God’s word.                        Lynn Rodgers


Crèche Rota May 2019
5th    Kathleen Arthur & Sharon McMaster
12th     Christine Stewart & Ciara Lester
19th     Janice Nelson & Valerie Leighton
26th     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.

Flowers in Church May 2019

5th    Vacant
12th     The Finlay Family
19th    Vacant
26th    Vacant

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 porch.  The money can be given 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.

SOUND DESK ROTA MAY 2019

                     Morning                     Evening
5th           Gordon Dalton               Julie Irvine
12th         Johnnie McAlister            Steven Todd
19th         Rachel McVeigh             Glenn Nelson
26th        Graeme Miles                 Cafe Church

TEA ROTA MAY 2019

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. 
Many thanks for your support.

5th Sally Campbell Tina Campbell Carol Anderson

12th Valerie Kirk Robin Gray Joan Gray

19th Tamera Milligan Heather Parkes Colin Parkes

26th Deirdre Beck Valerie Leighton Linda Mulvenny

Senior Moments Supper Dance

St Nicholas’ Church Hall

7.00 pm-10.00 pm  Thursday 9th May 2019
Music by Sammy Miskelly

All proceeds to support Cameron and Alex
as they seek to spread God’s word.
Suggested donation: £5

There will be a silent auction at this event and any donations of unwanted birthday or Christmas presents would be very much appreciated.  They can be given to one of the Senior Moments Committee members or left with Catherine in the office. 
Thank you.

Services in MAY 2019

5th    10.00 am    Morning Prayer—”Feed my Lambs”
            Acts 9 v 1-6           
            John 21 v 1-19           
    6.30 pm    Holy Communion—Trust in the tough times
            Isaiah 38 v 9-20            Jackie Kane
            John 11 v 17-44            The Preacher

12th    9.30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Service of the Word — “My sheep listen to my voice”
            Acts 9 v 36-43                Rachel Emmerson
            John 10 v 22-30            Joanne Rodgers
    6.30 pm    Evening Prayer & Café Church
            This is what it was all about!
            Luke 24 v 36-49            Hilary Bishop

19th    9.30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer & Baptism—”Love each other”
            Acts 11 v 1-18                Frank Hill
            John 13 v 31-35            Joan Hill
    6.30 pm    Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing
            & Café Church—The Lord over everything!
            Daniel 6 v 6-23            Lynn Rodgers
            Mark 15 v 46 –16 v 8            The Preacher

26th    9.30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Family Service — A man born blind
    6.30 pm    Café Church—Go and make disciples!
            Matthew 28 v 16-20

ABBA GIRLS


17th May @ 7.30 pm
Meeting Room Upstairs in the Church Hall
June Outing – date to be confirmed

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

Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers
Parents’ Evening

Tuesday 28th May 7 pm in the Halls
All welcome

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 May
9th May         Supper Dance Fundraiser for Cameron and Alex
13th May        Archives on History of Local Areas
27th May        John Richardson—Banking on Trains
29th May        Luncheon Club


ANNUAL FAMILY DAY OUT

MAY DAY—Monday 6th May


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

Walk/Games/Fun/Fellowship
Don’t forget to bring your picnic this year

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

Parish Walking Group


Saturday 18th May 2019

CRAWFORDSBURN COASTAL WALK
Especially suitable for children and families.

Meet at 10.00 am at Crawfordsburn Country Park car park

For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin or Joan Gray

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
Everyone welcome
 
St Nicholas Sketch