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RECTOR’S LETTER
Dear Friends in St. Nicholas’
In the life of our parish family, we share with people at important times in their lives, both at times of joy and of sorrow. This month I am delighted to say that one of our parishioners is celebrating a very significant birthday. Mrs Hilda Patton will be 100 years old when she has her birthday on 20th May. Hilda continues to be a regular worshipper at the evening service at St Nicholas’ along with her daughter Hilary. We offer our sincere congratulations to her on this significant milestone and wish her God’s richest blessings for the future.

Our small groups are continuing their exploration of Luke’s gospel during May and June. It would be really great to welcome you along to one of them. Those who take part are not experts but people who simply want to learn more about what the Bible has to teach us about the Lord and his purpose for us in the world that He delighted to create. Please speak to one of the clergy if you’d like to think about joining one of the groups.

The month of May also sees the annual meeting of the Church of Ireland General Synod, which takes place this year from 4th—6th May in Limerick. Please remember the bishops, clergy and lay representatives who will meet together to make important decisions about the future direction of our church. Along with all the other matters that the synod members will consider, this year there is a private member’s motion which asks the bishops to consider how the church should respond to people who enter into same-sex relationships and want some form of recognition from the church. Pray that those who have been entrusted with the responsibility of representing the parishes and dioceses of our church will make their decisions prayerfully, in keeping with Bible teaching and in a way that honours the Lord Jesus.

By the time you are reading this magazine we will have held our own annual parish meeting. The Easter General Vestry meeting took place on 26th April and a new Select Vestry will have been elected along with Parochial Nominators and representatives to the Diocesan Synod. Details of these elections will be included in next month’s magazine, but please do pray for all those who serve the parish in these important roles.
At the General Vestry meeting I shared with those present that the Bishop of Connor has granted me a period of sabbatical leave this autumn. I will by then have been ordained for 25 years and will have been your rector for 8 years. Sabbatical leave for clergy is a period away from the normal responsibilities of parish life to make space to read, study, think and pray. It is designed to be a time of refreshing and equipping. I am very grateful to the bishop and to the select vestry for their support in allowing me to avail of this opportunity. I am also most grateful to Cameron and Brian for their willingness to shoulder the extra responsibilities whilst I am away from St Nicholas’!

My sabbatical will fall into two parts and during the first part (in September and the first week of October) I plan to walk the ancient pilgrimage route of the Camino de Santiago. Over the course of a little over a month I hope to walk five hundred miles across Northern Spain, carrying some simple belongings in a rucksack, staying in very basic dormitory accommodation and taking time each day to pray for about twenty five families in the parish. That would mean that in that month or so I would have the chance to pray for every family connected to St Nicholas by name. I’d love it if you would let me know if there is something specific that you would like me to pray for you and your family. If you would like to send me a prayer request, just drop a note (or send an email) to the parish office by the end of July and we will compile a prayer diary for the walk during August.

During the later part of my leave I will be studying with a particular focus on the theme of nurturing discipleship. I hope that this will give me some insight on ways to encourage each one of us to grow as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. I will be happy to chat to any of you about these aims over the next few months. Please do pray for me that this period of leave would be a blessing both to me personally and to the parish.

With love in the Lord Jesus,
George

Church Open for Visitors – Summer 2017

Saturday 27th May
Tuesday 3rd June – Tuesday 5th September incl*
*Not Open for Visitors Tuesday 11th July.

Saturday:  11.00 am – 1.00 pm
Tuesday:  2.00 pm – 3.30 pm

European Heritage Open Days
Saturday 9th September:  11.00 am – 3.00 pm
Sunday 10th September:  2.00 pm – 4.00 pm


Can you help?
We need parishioners to be in church during openings.
Would you like to help?

If you have helped in the past, please let Ann know
if you are still available.
If you would like to help, or if you are interested in
becoming a tour guide, please speak to Ann McVeigh or give your contact details to a Church Warden or
to Catherine in the Church Office.




On 21st March we held an open meeting when we were pleased to welcome ladies, and quite a few gentlemen, from our own parish and from other churches in Carrickfergus.  Our special guest speaker was Maud Kells OBE, who served for many years as a missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Maud painted a very vivid picture of her faithful and dedicated Christian service as a midwife working among the people in that country over many years. Maud is a formidable and courageous woman of great faith, who has faced great challenges and real danger on many occasions. Her strong faith and determination to bring God’s love to the people of DCR in such a practical way was inspiring to everyone in the audience. As a result of a retiring collection on the evening and a donation from Women’s Fellowship funds we were pleased to present Maud with a cheque for £300 towards the continued mission work in DCR.

Our Spring outing on Tuesday 9th May will be a tour of Ballyrobert Gardens followed by supper. If you would like to come along and have not already signed up please speak to any member of the Women’s Fellowship committee.                    Valerie Leighton

SOUND DESK ROTA MAY 2017
                   Morning                        Evening
7th         Gillian Dalton                   Steven Todd
14th        Johnnie McAlister            Julie Irvine
21st        Rachel McVeigh              Glenn Nelson
28th        Graeme Miles                Cafe Church

Crèche Rota May 2017
7th       John Kane & Carol Moneypenney
14th     Faye Hamilton & Sharon McMaster
21st     Karen Bell, Ciara Lester & Sophie Foreman
28th     Lorraine Gibson & Valerie Leighton

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.


Parish Walking Group OUTING
Saturday 13th May
Day trip to Rathlin Island

Meet at 9.40 am at Ballycastle Ferry Port as ferry departs Ballycastle at 10.00 am & returns from Rathlin at 3.30 pm.

Cost: Adult return: £12.00; Child return (5-15): £6.00
Senior Citizens with N.I. Smart Pass: FREE

Advanced booking is necessary to secure seats

Bring with you a packed lunch / drinks + suitable clothing for walking.  An opportunity to experience the splendour & ruggedness of island life.
For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin or Joan Gray


LAUGHLINES
Seize the day—Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, yet the youngest you’ll ever be, so enjoy this day while it lasts.

Morning prayer—Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who wake up in the morning and say, ‘Good morning, Lord,’ and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, ‘Good Lord, it' s morning.’
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 16th May 7.00 pm—8.30 pm

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

FREE TO BE
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.

“it is for freedom that Christ set us free”

St Nicholas Parish Church
Prayer Diary – May 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—Prayer for a cross shaped life
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

1st May – Monday
Today a number of our parishioners of all ages will travel to Tollymore for the annual Family Fun Day.  Give thanks for this opportunity to forge friendships.

2nd May – Tuesday
Our new Select Vestry is due to meet this evening for the first time.  Pray for Select Vestry members past and present.  Pray for wisdom for our new Select Vestry and that all decision making would have the Glory of God at its heart.

3rd May – Wednesday
For many of our young people the following weeks represent exam time and for some, the end of schooldays.  Pray for young people sitting exams that they might find the correct balance between relaxation and study.  Pray too for their parents as they too feel the stress of exam time.

4th May – Thursday
The General Synod of the Church of Ireland begins today and continues until Saturday.  Pray for all clergy and laity who have travelled to Limerick.  Pray for Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland the Most Rev Richard Clarke, and for all Bishops and clergy, that all charged with leadership in our church would have our Lord and his Word as the central focus of their lives.

5th May – Friday
At the time of writing there has been no successful outcome to the talks that followed the Assembly elections in March.  Pray for the future governance of Northern Ireland, for June’s General Election and for Brexit negotiators.

6th May – Saturday
Pray for Trevor and Andrea Watson our Link Missionaries in Gothenburg.

7TH MAY – SUNDAY (4th Sunday of Easter)
Pray for our services today.  Pray for our Sunday school and Bible Class.

8th May – Monday
Our friends in Carrickfergus Methodist are hosting a Mission this week.  Pray for the success of this ‘Real Lives’ Mission, for preacher Roger Carswell and his guests.  Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint.

9th May - Tuesday
Our Women’s Fellowship round off this year’s programme with a visit to Ballyrobert Gardens this evening.  Pray for this evening’s outing and give thanks for Committee members.

10th May – Wednesday
An invitation has been extended to local clergy to meet with Roger Carswell this morning.  Pray for this meeting and for all who serve in Christian Ministry.  Pray for this morning’s clergy visit to Oakfield school for assembly.

11th May – Thursday
Training in the Ministry of Healing continues this evening.  Pray for Divine Healing Ministries and for all those undergoing training for Healing Ministry.

12th May – Friday
Pray for our Busy Bees Parent and Toddler group.

13th May – Saturday
Pray for our Walking Group and today’s planned visit to Rathlin Island.  Pray for today’s service in St Nicholas’ for the North Irish Horse.

14TH MAY – SUNDAY (5th Sunday of Easter)
Pray for our services today, giving thanks for members of our choir and those who read lessons; for those providing refreshments and crèche volunteers.

15th May – Monday
Pray for those who lead Small Groups and enthusiasm for Bible Study.

16th May – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint.  Pray for our parish prayer life, giving thanks for intercessors and those who lead our prayer in church.  Pray for the compiling of this Prayer Diary, asking that it would help more in daily prayer.

17th May – Wednesday
Once again give thanks for invitations for our clergy to go into local schools.  Pray for this morning’s visit to Sunnylands Primary School.

18th May – Thursday
Pray for the planning and arrangements for next month’s Mission Carrick Pentecost Mission.

19th May – Friday
Pray for those who have been recently bereaved and those who are finding it difficult to come to terms with a loss regardless of the passage of time.

20th May – Saturday
Pray for the sick.  Pray for those undergoing treatment for life changing or life limiting conditions.  Pray for those fearful of a diagnosis.

21ST MAY – SUNDAY (6th Sunday of Easter: Rogation Sunday)
Pray for George, our Rector, for Cameron and for Brian.  Give thanks for their preparations for the sermons they preach.  Pray for today’s services, especially this evening’s Holy Communion with Prayers for Healing.

22nd May – Monday
Pray for Senior Moments.

23rd May – Tuesday
Pray for Christian marriage and for couples marrying in church this year.

24th May – Wednesday
Continue to pray for areas of conflict in the Middle East and Northern Africa.  Pray for those attempting to escape conflict and/or famine.

25th May – Thursday
Pray for Catherine and the team that will assemble Parish News and give thanks for distributors.  Pray for this morning’s Craft Group meeting.

26th May – Friday
Pray for our Rainbows and Brownies, and for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.

27th May – Saturday
Give thanks for those parishioners who clean our church and church halls.

28TH MAY – SUNDAY (7th Sunday of Easter: Sunday after Ascension Day)
Pray for this morning’s family service and for the Music Group leading our praise.  Pray for Cafe Church and for our Youth Fellowship.

29th May – Monday
Pray for the church family in Tabora Diocese.

30th May – Tuesday
Pray for our Girl Guides as they are joined by family and friends this evening.

31st May – Wednesday
Remember those who have left Northern Ireland to preach Christ Crucified in other lands.  Pray for the McCartney family in the Canadian Arctic.

SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTES
It’s hard to believe but we only have 7 Sunday School Sundays between the end of April and Prizegiving at the end of June.

At our teachers’ planning meeting in early April we agreed to cover Jesus’ Ascension entitled ‘Going Home’ on 30th April then move to the ‘Early Church’ for the 3 Sundays in May and finishing with ‘Paul’ on the 3 Sundays in June.

I must record my grateful thanks to all the teachers for their cooperation and helpful participation in these planning meetings and for their combined effort in making each Sunday School morning work.
Crosslinks Camps
This year’s camps take place in different locations, both of which have been venues in past years.

Senior Camp is for youngsters from year 8 to 17 years old. It takes place at Castlewellan Castle, Co Down between 20th July and 5th August 2017.  The subject matter is entitled ‘Origins’, where our story began.  Cost is £160 each.

Junior Camp is for youngsters from P4 to P7.  It takes place at Fivemiletown College, Co Tyrone between 13th and 19th August 2017.  The topic for the week is called ‘Blast off’, an adventure with Abraham.  Cost is £130 each.

For those who don’t know about these camps, Crosslinks have been organising camps for young people since the 1920’s.  It goes without saying they have plenty of experience in running interesting, stimulating, challenging and above all fun activities, coupled with time spent each day exploring the Bible led by experienced and dedicated leaders.

If any parents are considering sending their child to a camp but are unsure of what they might encounter, the best advertisement is to speak to several of our young people who have made return visits.
The term ‘camp’ is a misnomer that has stuck from the years when camping in tents was popular.  Today’s accommodation has all the homely conveniences and meals are not cooked over a camp fire.  Both Castlewellan Castle and Fivemiletown College have been used by Crosslinks in the past and children and young people love both venues.

In past years our Select vestry has recognised the value of Crosslinks Camps by agreeing to support half of the cost for each youngster.  I have every confidence they will continue that support this year.  If any parents want further information please speak to me.

Children’s Outreach Mission
As a result of the hospital visit at the end of March, Elizabeth has not had the pins removed from her arm.  While healing is apparently going well she is to return to the hospital at the end of June for this operation.  She is more or less free of pain but cannot hold even a cup of tea.  Physiotherapy is important from now on, together with much prayer that she regains the use of her arm and hand.

With Emmanuel’s usual efficiency, in his April Newsletter, he has detailed exact numbers of children attending each Good News Club, each Primary and Secondary School class that he takes and two Sunday Schools that he supervises for 3 weeks in March.  Without baffling you with numerous figures the Tabora cathedral Sunday School had 108, 126 and 106 children on the 3 weeks in question.  Ten Primary Schools are named with numbers varying between 30, 60, 90 to 120 in each class and in one class 196 children were recorded.   Total numbers of children reached in schools, Sunday Schools and Good News Clubs were 1184, 1408 and 1168 for each of the 3 weeks.

These figures are important for us to see so we can understand the scope of the work of the Children’s Outreach Mission.  This is the work and outreach that St Nicholas’ Vestry, people and children support.

In reporting these figures together with supporting photographs, Emmanuel is quick to praise all those who help in this work, the prayer groups (who meet weekly), Sunday School teachers, Good News Club hosts and helpers (many more are held at people’s homes), parish pastors, school head masters and Emmanuel’s family.  He also rightly gives glory to God for it is what the Lord has done that is being witnessed in these figures.  The Vestry, people and children of St Nicholas’ also come in for praise and thanks for their (our) prayerful contributions.

I would also like to record my thanks to those people who bought calendars before and after Christmas.  £155 was raised and will be included in the next money transfer.
        Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent

Flowers in Church April 2017 (not in last magazine)
9th     Sally Campbell—In memory of my daddy, mummy, sister & brother
23rd    Erica McKeen—In memory of Nan, Mum & Dad

Flowers in Church May 2017
7th       Ann McVeigh—Birthday memories of Roy
14th     Lesley Clawson—In memory of my mum Jacqueline
21st     Vacant
28th     Maureen McVea


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

Christian Burial
I am the Resurrection and the Life’

23rd March 2017
Archibald James (Jim) Maxwell,
30 Castleburn Avenue, Carrickfergus

28th March 2017
Thomas McAllister
14 Sunnylands Drive, Carrickfergus

29th March 2017
Carlos Da Silva,
7 Wyndway Court, Carrickfergus

29th March 2017
Martha Watson (Meta) Smyth
Formerly 24 Rosebrook Avenue, Carrickfergus

12th April 2017
Agnes Ervine
28 Macneice Fold, Carrickfergus

19th April 2017
Robert Darren Simms
69 Drumanny Avenue, Rathcoole

21st April 2017
Robert (Bobbie) Mills Weir
11 Marlborough Close, Carrickfergus

Beauty by Design 2017 Women's Conference
Jordan Victory Church Carrickfergus
19th May - 20th May 2017

Ticket price:  £20 for full admission
£8 for Friday night admission & £13 for Saturday admission

It is hoped a group of women from St Nicholas’ will go along.
If you are interested in tickets please contact Alison Kane.
Everyone welcome!


HELP NEEDED
Person wanted to help with light housekeeping duties for an adult male in the Carrickfergus area.  4-8 hours per week. Wages will be discussed at interview.
For further details phone Christine.

Services in May 2017
7th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Holy Communion—Jacob: heading home!
            Genesis 31 v 1-21        Ann McVeigh
            Luke 15 v 11-20a        The Preacher
    6.30 pm    Evening Prayer & Cafe Church
            Journeys with Paul: Shipwrecked!
            Acts 27 v 27-28 v 10        Colin Logue

14th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer & Baptism
            Jacob: A ‘wrestless’ night
            Genesis 32 v 1-32        Karen Bell
            Colossians 1 v 24-29        Harry Kirk
    6.30 pm    Evening Prayer & Cafe Church
            Journeys with Paul: Journey’s end—Rome
            Acts 28 v 11-31        John Richardson

21st    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer—Jacob: Facing Esau
            Genesis 33 v 1-20        Frank Hill
            Luke 15 v 20-25        Joan Hill
    6.30 pm    Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing
            & Café Church—Rogation Sunday
            Deuteronomy 8 v 1-9        Don Howe
            Luke 11 v 9-13        The Preacher

28th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Family Service—The Lord’s Prayer—”forgive us our sins, as we forgive . . . “
            Matthew 18 v 21-35   
    6.30 pm    Café Church—”He ascended into heaven”
            Acts 1 v 1-11           

OTHER EVENTS IN MAY
1st    10.00 am        Annual Family Day Out to Tollymore
2nd     7.30 pm        Select Vestry
9th                        Women’s Fellowship Outing
13th    9.40 am        Parish Walking Group Outing
16th     7.00 pm        PrayerPoint

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

Date for you Diary
Trevor Watson is coming to share his experience of gospel work in Gothenburg. Trevor is our Crosslinks mission partner.

He is coming to St. Elizabeth's Church, Dundonald on Friday 30th June 2017.
7.00 pm Refreshments
7.30 pm Talk on Seeking Europe's Lost.

TEA ROTA MAY 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 Gillian Dalton.  Many thanks for your support.

7th  Valerie Kirk Robin Gray Joan Gray
14th Lorraine Gibson Doris Close Kathleen Arthur
21st Maureen Jackson Alison Clarke Carol Campbell
28th Diane Innes Janice Nelson Karen Miles
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
8th May          Frank Hill
22nd May        Drop In
24th May        Luncheon Club

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.

10 am – 12 noon in the Minor Hall
2nd & 4th Thursday of the month

For further details contact Janice Nelson.
Everyone welcome





 
St Nicholas Sketch