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RECTOR’S LETTER

Dear Friends at St Nicholas’,
Once again we are about to celebrate the great festival of Easter- in so many ways it is the very heart of what it means to be a Christian. As Christians we believe that when Jesus died and rose again that first Good Friday and Easter morning that He was doing it for you and for me! What we celebrate is a great event in history, but it is so much more than that - for these were events with the power to change our own lives all these years later.

A proper understanding of Easter will allow us to realise the depth of God’s love for us, no matter who we are, and to know that Jesus dealt with all our faults and failings (our ‘sins’) in those three amazing days. The Bible makes it plain to us that He died to pay the price for our sins and rose to demonstrate that He is stronger even than death and make it possible for us to share in His eternal life.

Once again I invite you to join with us and people from other church families across the town through the special services that are organised during Holy Week by the ‘Mission Carrick’ fellowship of clergy. This year’s services are being held in the First Carrickfergus Presbyterian Church (North Street) and in this 500th anniversary of the Reformation we are taking one of the great reformation principles each evening as our theme. We’ll consider why the ideas of Scripture Alone, Faith Alone, the Glory of God Alone, Grace Alone and Christ Alone were so important then and why they continue to be important now. The speakers are a number of the local clergy and meetings take place each evening at 7.30 pm. Further details appear elsewhere in this magazine.

You will be also be welcome to our annual Family Service on Good Friday morning, this year at 10.15 am. This short act of worship focuses our thoughts on all that Jesus did for us on the cross and we are particularly glad to welcome children and young people to this service.

Finally we will mark Easter Day itself with a Dawn Service at 7 am at Carrickfergus Castle Car Park followed by breakfast in the North Street Church Hall, all shared with brothers and sisters from other churches in the town. This will be followed by our own Easter morning services in church at the normal times of 9.30 am and 11 am. At 6.30 pm we look forward to an evening of Easter praise led by the extended choir who have been practicing for this special 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 26th April. All registered vestry members are encouraged to come and take part in this important business meeting. Like so many others we find ourselves facing real financial issues in the current economic climate. Please don’t just leave it to others, but come and play your part in the discussions and the election of the Select Vestry for the coming year.
May I wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter!

Yours in Jesus,
George


Update from Trevor & Andrea

Thank you for praying for the guys from language class, who came to church a couple of weeks back. We had an encouraging afternoon and H from Kurdistan came back to visit with us last weekend because he wanted to cook for our family.  What a joy to share in some traditional Persian food and then to spend the afternoon in a conversation that ranged from his Yazidi background to the cross and resurrection of Jesus.  Please continue to pray for H and so many others like him, displaced and often lonely. 

Andrea has been meeting with A from Bosnia for Bible Study.  Give thanks for this opportunity and please pray for A’s husband who is going through a difficult time emotionally and spiritually. 

We started 1 Thessalonians and The Changed Life with the young people on Friday past.  It was lovely to hear them praying around our kitchen table after the study.  Please pray for fruit that lasts in our girls and in the other young people.  In February a girl travelled 1¾ hrs from Mullsjö to join us for our CY away day.  Praise God her parents have now started a small youth group in their home and we’ve been able to pass on the CY material to them for their first series of studies!  God is at work!  May he keep us, keeping on!
Trevor, Andrea, Emily, Grace & Alice xx


PRAYERPOINT

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!

St Nicholas’ Church
Monday 3rd April
7.00pm - 7.45pm

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


St Nicholas Parish Church

Prayer Diary – April 2017
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
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 – Saturday
In March 2016 a young taxi driver was murdered in North Belfast.  Last month gun violence came to Carrickfergus and another life has been lost.  Pray for an end to such killings, that men’s hearts would turn away from hatred and that we and our children might face a future free from paramilitary influence.  Pray for families left behind and for the perpetrators of violence.  Pray for the PSNI and for organisations like YMCA working within our community.

2ND APRIL – SUNDAY (5th Sunday in Lent)
Pray for our services today, for our Sunday School and Bible Class.  Give thanks for the teaching we receive from George, Cameron and Brian.

3rd April – Monday
Bishop Alan Abernethy is at St Patrick’s Church in Jordanstown this evening for his Lenten Talk, ‘Stewards of Creation’.  Pray for him and those attending.

4th April – Tuesday
Pray for those gathering this evening for a clean-up of the church grounds.

5th April – Wednesday
The choir have their final practice before Easter this evening.  Pray for Alison our organist and for Nadine her understudy, for the choir and extended choir members.  Pray too for the members of our Music Group.

6th April – Thursday
Pray for this evening’s service in Holy Trinity, this week looking at ‘Service’.  Give thanks for opportunities to worship together with our neighbours.

7th April – Friday
Conflict and lack of rainfall has once again brought about famine in Africa.  Pray for South Sudan, Somalia and those parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria also affected.  Pray for Yemen.  Pray for Tearfund, CMSI and the other aid agencies on the ground and striving to bring relief.  Pray for Open Doors.

8th April – Saturday
As they approach Easter, pray for Trevor and Andrea Watson in Sweden, for the opportunities this season may bring to spread the Gospel message.

9TH APRIL – SUNDAY (6th Sunday in Lent: Palm Sunday)
For this morning’s service we are joined by members of our uniformed organisations.  Pray for the leaders and members of our uniformed organisations and for our worship today.

10th April – Monday
Holy Week services begin this evening in 1st Presbyterian Church with this evening’s topic ‘Scripture Alone’.  Pray for this evening’s service.

11th April – Tuesday
Women’s Fellowship members will attend this evening service in North Street looking at ‘Faith Alone’.  Pray for this service and for Impact Carrick.

12th April – Wednesday
Continue to pray for Holy Week services, with ‘God’s Glory Alone’ the theme for this evening.  Pray for all who have or will preach or lead praise this week.

13th April – Thursday (Maundy Thursday)
This evening’s service focuses on ‘Grace Alone’.  Pray for our coming together as brothers and sisters in Christ for these services and give thanks for those who have provided refreshments following worship this week.

14th April – Friday (Good Friday)
Holy Week services come to an end with the focus on ‘Christ Alone’.  Give thanks for this week’s teaching and celebration that it is 500 years since the beginning of the Reformation.  Give thanks that we are free to hear and read God’s Word, the Bible.

15th April – Saturday
This morning the church will be decorated in preparation for Easter.  Pray for Mary Withers, her daughter Sandra and those who will join them to arrange flowers.  Also today the church will be opened for visitors for the first time this year.  Pray that all who enter may be challenged to look beyond a building and feel our Lord’s presence in this place.  Pray for our Youth Fellowship as they enjoy their Sleepover/StayAwake this evening.

16TH APRIL – SUNDAY (The 1st Sunday of Easter: Easter Day)
Rejoicing once again in the Risen Christ, pray for this morning’s Dawn service at the castle and the fellowship over breakfast in North Street Presbyterian church.  Pray for our morning service with its time of family worship followed by Holy Communion.  Pray for this evening’s Easter Praise service.

17th April – Monday
As the Marching season begins, pray for peaceful parades.

18th April – Tuesday
Pray for SIM/MECO’s ongoing mission in the Middle East.

19th April – Wednesday
The Diocese of Tabora has suffered from lack of rainfall this year.  Pray for the provision of food, water and medicines for those in need in the Diocese.

20th April – Thursday
Pray for Crosslinks.

21st April – Friday
Pray for the sick, remembering those suffering from Depression or other mental illness.

22nd April – Saturday
Pray for the Church’s Ministry among Jewish People.

23RD APRIL – SUNDAY (2nd Sunday of Easter)
Pray for today’s church services including this morning’s Service of the Word.

24th April – Monday
Pray for Senior Moments.

25th April – Tuesday
Pray for those who have been bereaved.

26th April – Wednesday
The annual Easter Vestry takes place this evening.  Pray for this evening’s meeting, giving thanks for those who have served on previous Select Vestries and for those allowing their names to go forward for election tonight.

27th April – Thursday
As Parish News is assembled this morning, give thanks for Catherine and her team of helpers as well as for magazine distributors.  Pray too for those parishioners who clean our church and church halls.

28th April – Friday
Pray for our Busy Bees parent and toddler group.

29th April – Saturday
Pray for the Walking Group as they enjoy their Loughmourne walk today.

30TH APRIL – SUNDAY (3rd Sunday of Easter)
Pray for our services today.  Pray for Cafe Church and for opportunities to study God’s Word in informal gatherings and Small Groups.



Fireside Quiz Winner

Mrs Joan Hill

Thank you to everyone for your support and to Colin and Heather Parkes for designing the quiz sheet which raised £65.



SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTES

Would parents please note that Sunday School and Bible Class will not meet on Palm Sunday 9th April and Easter Sunday 16th April.  Our monthly Family Service will be on Sunday 23rd April.  Sunday school and Bible Class will therefore only meet on April 2nd and April 30th.

After the Easter break the teachers and I look forward to engaging with all your children again as we explore the Bible together.  Each Sunday is carefully planned with an allotted time set for prayer, bible study, memory verse, classes and songs with games and juice and biscuits included on the first Sunday in the month.

Do keep bringing your children each Sunday.  It’s a great encouragement to see the same smiling faces week by week and our numbers have remained pretty constant through the year.  It’s an even better encouragement when we see a new face.

Please remember the work of our Sunday School in your prayers.  The biblical grounding your children receive will enable them to engage with the secular world they are growing into with integrity and respect and Christian values.


Children's Outreach Mission
As happens from time to time, Emmanuel’s monthly newsletter hasn’t arrived in time for this month’s magazine and therefore I have no new news from Tabora.

What I do know is that on Sunday 26th March, Elizabeth, Emmanuel’s wife, will have been for an assessment of the injuries she received in the motorbike accident back in December.  Then she needed a pin or pins inserted to aid the bone repairs in her hand, arm and shoulder.  The assessment will determine whether sufficient healing has taken place for the pins to be removed.  It turned out that the hospital in Tabora wasn’t able to carry out this treatment so she had to go some 60 miles to another hospital that could.  She will have had to travel to this hospital again on 26th March for her assessment.

What we don’t appreciate here is that this journey will be by bus and overnight accommodation will be necessary.  This comes at a cost.  What to us would be just incidental costs, to most folk there, would have a significant impact on a meagre disposable income.  Remember this is their second hospital visit and pray for a favourable outcome.            Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent



GENERAL Easter vestry


Wednesday 26th April 2017  7.30 pm in the Church Halls

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



FREE TO BE


An event for Christian women

Thursday 18th May 2017
7.30 pm—10.00 pm
Glenmachan Church of God, Glenmachan Road, BT4 2NN

If anyone is interested in going to this event contact Janice Nelson on 028 9336 0415.

For further details go to: careforthefamily.org.uk/freetobe

“it is for freedom that Christ set us free”


TEA ROTA APRIL 2017

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.

2nd
Gillian Dalton Kaye Cheshire Patricia Wilson

9th
Alex Jones Christine Cahoon Nadine Davison

16th
Sally Campbell Tina Campbell Carol Anderson

23rd
Marion Money Janet Davis Diane Strain

30th
Deirdre Beck Valerie Leighton Linda Mulvenny



Crèche Rota April 2017

2nd       Lorraine Gibson & Valerie Leighton
9th       Deirdre Beck & Rachel McVeigh
16th     Ann Hodge & Kathleen Arthur
23rd     John Kane, Christine Stewart, Sophie Foreman
30th     Faye Hamilton & Janice Nelson

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 March 2017 (not in last magazine)

19th March        Doris Close & Lorraine Gibson—In memory
of our mother Dorothea Williams

Flowers in Church April 2017
2nd    Gordon & Amanda Pottsworth—In memory of my aunt &
granny Margaret Glendinning
9th    In memory of our beloved mother Barbara Binding
16th    Easter Flowers
16th    David McAtamney—In memory of my wife Denise
23rd    Vacant
30th    Vacant

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 at 9336 2869.  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.



SOUND DESK ROTA APRIL 2017

                    Morning            Evening
2nd        Rachel McVeigh        Glenn Nelson
9th         Gillian Dalton         Steven Todd
16th        Johnnie McAlister        Julie Irvine
23rd         Graeme Miles        Cafe Church
30th        Rachel McVeigh        Glenn Nelson



Christian Burial

‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’

20th February 2017
George Blain, Abbeylands Care Home, Whiteabbey

14th March 2017
Alan Wallace McKeown, 83f Salia Avenue, Carrickfergus

18th March 2017
John Hilditch, 15 Sunnylands Avenue, Carrickfergus


GARDENING GROUP

We are going to have a Spring tidy-up in the flower beds at the church and Market Place on Tuesday 4th April at 7 pm.  Anyone free to come along to help would be warmly welcomed.  Please bring any suitable gardening tools with you.                    Christine Cahoon


DIVINE HEALING MINISTRIES

Divine Healing Ministries (DHM) are offering training for those who would like to be involved in the Ministry of Healing.  This will take place in St Anne's Cathedral Hall on five consecutive Thursdays; 20th and 27th April, 4th, 11th and 18th May at 8 pm.

You are welcome to come to these Training Evenings if you wish to work with DHM, if you wish to use these skills in your own church, or if you just want to learn more about the Ministry of Healing.

There is no charge for this training but on the final evening there will be an opportunity to make a voluntary donation to DHM.

Please pray and consider if you are meant to go to these training evenings.  If you need further information either contact the DHM office 028 9031 1532 or speak to Don Howe.


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
10th April        Consumer Council—Ronan Convey
24th April        Drop In
26th April        Luncheon Club


ANNUAL FAMILY DAY OUT

MAY DAY—Monday 1st 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 29th April

Loughmourne Walk
A walk in stunning countryside with lake views.
Especially suitable for children and families.

Meet at 10 am at
48 Loughmourne Road (Christine Cahoon’s home)

For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin or Joan Gray


Services in April 2017

2nd    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Holy Communion—Jacob: “not-so-happy” families!
            Genesis 29 v 31—30 v 24    Valerie Barr
            Luke 12 v 49-53            The Preacher
    6.30 pm    Evening Prayer & Cafe Church
            Journeys with Paul: Trials—1 Felix
            Acts 24 v 1-27            Kathleen Arthur

9th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Palm Sunday
            Psalm 118 v 19-29   
            Matthew 21 v 1-11
    6.30 pm    Evening Prayer & Cafe Church
            Journeys with Paul: Trials—2 Festus & Agrippa
            Acts 25 v 1-27            Ray Gilbert

16th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Easter Day (Family Communion)
            Matthew 28 v 1-10            June Carmichael
    6.30 pm    Easter Praise with extended choir (No Café Church)
            Psalm 114                Alex Jones
            John 20 v 11-18            Lynn Rodgers

23rd    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Service of the Word—Resurrection Witnesses
            John 20 v 19-31            Marion Letters
    6.30 pm    Evening Prayer (No Café Church)
            Journeys with Paul: Testifying to the King
            Acts 26 v 1-32            Linda Mulvenny

30th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer—Jacob: competing again
            Genesis 30 v 25-43            Gillian Dalton
            Matthew 20 v 20-28            Gordon Dalton
    6.30 pm    Compline—Journeys with Paul: leaving for Rome
            Acts 27 v 1-26            Janice Nelson


OTHER EVENTS IN APRIL

14th    10.15 am        Good Friday Family Service
26th    7.30 pm        General Easter Vestry
29th    10.00 am        Parish Walking Group Outing

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
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


Mission Carrick Holy Week Services
‘The Reformation “Solas”’

Monday 10th April - Friday 14th April 2017

Monday - ‘Scripture Alone’
George Davison, St Nicholas’ Church

Tuesday - ‘Faith Alone’
David Clements, Carrickfergus Methodist

Wednesday - ‘The Glory of God Alone’
Philip McAllister, Church of the Nazarene

Thursday - ‘Grace Alone’
Cecil Grant, 1st Carrickfergus Presbyterian

Friday - ‘Christ Alone’
Paul Savage, Carrickfergus Baptist

Each evening at 7.30pm
in North Street Presbyterian Church



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