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MINISTER’S LETTER

Dear brothers and sisters of Nicholas’,
How good it is to be back in the swing of things.  Oh, I love a rest over summer, but I miss the things that we stop doing over those months and love getting back into them again.

One of my favourite things in church I’ve been part of are the small groups of people reading the Bible, encouraging each other with what they learn, getting to know and care for one another. These little groups also benefit our Sunday meetings with their warm relationships.

Such groups are even more important now that so few people work and live in the same area.  In days gone by neighbourhoods were made of people who shared lives and livelihoods. Things are no longer so, but mid-week meetings help us know one another so that our time over tea or coffee on Sundays can go beyond surface conversation with relative strangers and can have an eye to including newcomers.

Newcomers are an important focus of our annual Harvest service. Along with Christmas and Easter, it remains a time when those who might not usually attend church consider coming, particularly when invited by a neighbour, friend or family member.  Who will you invite?

Some of us might remember Derek Kerr from the time he was a curate at St Nicholas.  I know that Brian and Val do! Please pray for him as he comes to speak to us: that he will speak clearly from the Bible, that he would point us all to Jesus, and that all present would hear God’s word and be changed.

After harvest, there are two other things happening. First will be the restarting of our café church – a less formal gathering in the church halls on a Sunday evening.  If you are gaining an interest in how to read the Bible for yourself, this is a very good meeting to come to. The talk is more interactive than a usual sermon, while still allowing for a person to listen without feeling pressured to participate.

The second thing after harvest is a “Life Explored” course – a course that introduces people to Christian beliefs by examining what things we make important in everyday life and considering what they really give us.  This is a great ‘back to basics’ course as well as a wonderful opportunity for our friends and family to learn what we believe.  Who would you like to invite? Perhaps you could come along with them?

While I’m loving being back together, with George being away on his sabbatical, there is something missing isn’t there? Let’s continue praying for him, as he also prays for us.  Ask God to have him grow in his knowledge and love of the Lord Jesus as he studies the Bible.  Also pray that he will grow in wisdom as he considers what it means to help others (and especially us at St Nicholas’) to be disciples of Jesus.


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.


Diocesan Synod

Once again this year our parish will be hosting the Diocesan Synod on 18th October.  We will again be looking for helpers and various food items.   From the 1st Sunday in October, there will be sheets in the church and if you are able to come along to help, or are able to supply any of the items, please fill in your name and contact number on the sheet and I will be in touch, or speak to me in church or give your details to Catherine in the parish office.  Last year was a great success both spiritually and financially for the parish.

Thanking you in anticipation of your help for this event.

Jean Stewart   Catering Group Co-ordinator



HARVEST FLOWERS

Please bring all flower donations for Harvest Sunday to the church at 7 pm on Friday 6th October. If you can also stay to arrange some flowers, your help would be greatly appreciated.               
The Flower Group


ABBA GIRLS

St Nicholas’ Girls Group will meet on the following dates:

Friday 29th September
Friday 20th October
Friday 17th November
Friday 15th December

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


Parish Walking Group Programme 2017/2018

14/10/17
*Lagan Towpath Walk Enjoy the autumn colours and a coffee stop at the lock keepers Inn on this lovely riverside walk
10.00 am
Belfast Boat Club car park, Stranmillis

18/11/17
Blackhead Path
10.00 am Blackhead car park

20/1/18
*Woodburn Dam
10.00 am—Anglers car park, Woodburn Road (adjacent to Woodburn Presbyterian Church)

17/2/18
*Carrickfergus local walk—via Boneybefore to Eden allotments and coffee stop at Eden Café
10.00 amCar park opposite Fisherman’s Quay

17/3/18
*Newtownabbey Way: Whiteabbey to Mossley Mill
10.00 amWhiteabbey car park, Shore Road (opposite Dillon’s Ave)

21/4/18
*Antrim Castle Gardens and Clotworthy House
10.30 amCar park in Antrim Castle Gardens, Randalstown Road

19/5/18
*C S Lewis Square & Victoria Park
9.40 am—Meet at Carrick Train Station to catch 9.54 train to Sydenham.

16/6/18
*Crawfordsburn Coastal walk
10.30 am Crawfordsburn Country Park car park

Come and enjoy some lovely local scenery, fun and fellowship with our Parish Walking Group. There is a varied programme this season with some particularly scenic walks. Plan ahead and put the dates in your diary. Families can pack a picnic or often enjoy some optional cafe culture after.
*Especially suitable for children and families.


Christian Burial

‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’

8th September 2017
John Anthony Leo, 59a Station Road, Greenisland

9th September 2017
June Allen, 22 Chichester Square, Carrickfergus


Saint Nicholas Women’s Fellowship

Our autumn programme will commence on Tuesday 10th October at 7.30 pm in the Minor Hall. Our guest speaker will be Roberta from the “Two Goats Soap” in Ballymena, who will give a demonstration of how her company manufactures soap from goats’ milk. There will also be a range of lovely soap products for sale on the night and a light supper will be provided. As this is our first meeting of the new programme, we are looking forward to welcoming as many ladies from the parish as possible. We have also invited ladies from a number of neighbouring churches to join us – so it should be an interesting and enjoyable evening.
Valerie Leighton


PrayerPoint

Our PrayerPoint schedule this autumn will follow a fortnightly pattern with a shorter Monday evening at the beginning of the month and a slightly longer time on a Tuesday night 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 2nd October
7.00 pm - 7.45 pm
&
Tuesday 17th October
7.00 pm - 8.30 pm


Flowers in Church September 2017 (not in last magazine)

17th    Dianne Innes—For my grandparents

Flowers in Church October 2017

1st    Sharon Maxwell—Ian’s Anniversary
8th    Harvest Flowers
15th    Lisa Thompson—In memory of my mum Marion Watling
22nd    Hilary Wilshin
29th    The Hanna Family—In memory of Liz

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 speak 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.

St Nicholas’ Parish Church

Prayer Diary – October 2017

The monthly Prayer Dairy 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 of the Month
O God, without you we are not able to please you:
Mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.              BCP

1ST OCTOBER – SUNDAY (16th Sunday after Trinity)
As we continue to look at 1 Corinthians and the Minor Prophets, pray that we would be a people ‘called by Grace’.  Pray for our Sunday Schools and Bible Class and for members of our congregation who are prepared to reach out to people offering encouragement and support to those with no Christian faith.

2nd October – Monday
Pray for PrayerPoint; for our Small Groups and for one-to-one Bible reading.

3rd October – Tuesday
The Select Vestry meets this evening.  Pray for our Select Vestry members and for decisions made this evening, that they would be pleasing to God.

4th October – Wednesday
Pray for this evening’s final extended choir practice before our Harvest services.  Give thanks for Alison, our organist, for Nadine, her understudy, for members of our choir and music group whose gifts enhance our praise.

5th October – Thursday
In late August, exceptional monsoon rains brought flooding to Mumbai and last month Hurricane Irma devastated parts of the Caribbean and Florida, while an earthquake in Mexico also made headlines.  In Europe and in the UK exceptional rainfall has impacted on people’s lives.  Pray today for those affected by so called natural disasters and for ongoing relief efforts by governments, armed forces, aid agencies and local communities.

6th October – Friday
Pray for our new flower group and for the decorating of the church for harvest.  Pray for generosity in supplying flowers and produce.

7th October – Saturday
The Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar have become the latest group to flee internal conflict.  Pray for refugees remembering those still displaced by conflicts in other places, including Syria and Iraq.

8TH OCTOBER – SUNDAY (17th Sunday after Trinity)
Rev. Canon Derek Kerr is our guest preacher at this morning’s Harvest service.  Pray for this and this evening’s Harvest Praise.  Give thanks for God’s provision in your life and for those who provide refreshments each Sunday.

9th October – Monday
As harvest gifts are distributed, give thanks for those distributing gifts and pray for those receiving them.  Remember today those living alone and feeling increasingly isolated as the nights grow longer.

10th October – Tuesday
Pray for our Women’s Fellowship which resumes meetings this evening.

11th October – Wednesday
Pray for this morning’s Holy Communion service, giving thanks for the fellowship built up in this small congregation.

12th October – Thursday
As a member of our Ministry team conducts a service in Tamlaght Nursing home, remember today those, who because of age or infirmity, can no longer live independently.  Pray too for carers caring for a loved one at home.

13th October – Friday
Pray for Cameron and Brian, giving thanks for their faithful preaching of the Gospel.  Pray for strength to sustain their extra workload while George is away and pray for George as he returns home.

14th October – Saturday
Pray for Trevor and Andrea Watson and their work in Gothenburg, Sweden.

15TH OCTOBER – SUNDAY (18th Sunday after Trinity)
Pray for Cameron preaching at Holy Trinity’s Harvest service this morning.  Pray for our services, including this evening’s Holy Communion with Prayers for Healing and for Cafe Church.  Pray for our Youth Fellowship.

16th October – Monday
In what will be a busy week for them, pray for our Catering team.  Pray too for those who clean our church and halls.  Pray for Linda and the Count Team.

17th October – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint and the preparation of this prayer diary.

18th October – Wednesday
Once again we host the Connor Diocesan Synod.  Pray for Alan, our Bishop, and all those attending.  Pray for our Catering team and all who will assist them today.  Pray for this morning’s visit to Sunnylands School Assembly.

19th October – Thursday
Pray for the sick, especially those being treated in hospital at this time.

20th October – Friday
Pray for our Busy Bees Parent and Toddler Group.

21st October – Saturday
Pray for our Parish Walking Group and for our Bowlers.

22ND OCTOBER – SUNDAY (19th Sunday after Trinity)
Pray for this morning’s family service and for guest preacher David Luckman from Crosslinks.  Pray for this evening’s Cafe Church.

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

24th October – Tuesday
Remember today those who have been bereaved in recent weeks.

25th October – Wednesday
Give thanks for all who minister in the Carrickfergus area and pray for this morning’s Clergy Fellowship meeting.

26th October – Thursday
This morning Catherine and her team meet to assemble Parish News.  Give thanks for her work in the church office, for the volunteer team and for magazine distributors.

27th October – Friday
Pray for Christian marriage and for couples married in St Nicholas’ this year.

28th October – Saturday
Pray for the church in Tabora Diocese and for good working relationships so that more might come to faith and Christ glorified.

29TH OCTOBER – SUNDAY (5th Sunday before Advent)
Today being a 5th Sunday, pray for this morning’s Service of the Word and for this evening’s Compline.

30th October – Monday
Pray for persecuted Christians, especially those in Libya, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.  Pray for Open Doors.

31st October – Tuesday
Pray for the homeless and those threatened with homelessness.  Remember those who sleep rough and charities who offer practical support to homeless people.


SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTES

Parents are asked to note that there will be no Bible Class or Sunday School on Sunday 8th October as everyone is encouraged to attend our Harvest service in church at 11 am.

Harvest services are a wonderful opportunity for us to give thanks collectively for God’s provision for us.  We are absolutely spoilt for choice in the Western World and it would do us no harm if we self-imposed a one meal a day for a week regime, or ate rice only for a week, to help us realise what tens of thousands of people exist on.

We should, of course, be giving thanks daily for those things we take for granted like water in our taps and electricity that powers our lives.  We are expert complainers when these services are interrupted, but let us remember and pray for those whose basic services have been destroyed in the Caribbean islands or in Bangladesh.

Let’s give thanks for and submit to the greatest power that never fails, or is ever disrupted, and cannot be accessed by switch or tap.  God’s word has power to change lives.  Read it daily and experience His power that will light your life for the rest of your life. 

Our monthly Family Service is on 22nd October when our preacher will be David Luckman, Ireland Team Leader for Crosslinks, one of the Mission Agencies we in St Nicholas’ support.  David will be telling us about the work of Crosslinks and will, no doubt, mention the annual children’s and young people’s camps.  This would be a wonderful opportunity for any parents considering allowing their youngster to go to a camp next Summer to speak to David and be encouraged by his enthusiasm for them.  Those youngsters, who have been previously, could in turn encourage David by telling him how much they enjoyed and benefitted from their ‘camping’ experience.


Children’s Outreach Mission

Emmanuel’s latest newsletter includes a number of photos of two children’s Good News Clubs that joined up for two meetings in June and July.  These are Good News Clubs that I visited in May 2016 and the photos show dozens of smiling happy faces, paying attention to what is being taught and joining in enthusiastic worship.

Emmanuel specifically asks for prayer for four children.  Two from a Muslim background and two from a non-Christian background.  They have asked to be baptized and Emmanuel feels they are ready.  However, their parents have yet to agree and we are asked to pray for this whole situation.

Many parents express their thanks that their children are totally changed, from being disobedient and hard to manage to being pleasant, agreeable and obedient.  They now enter into the worship and praise and activities of the Good News Clubs with enthusiasm.

Emmanuel encourages us to see it for ourselves and come to Tabora to see what Jesus is doing to the next generation.  This invitation coincides with an email from Rory Bell, the organiser of the training seminar next Spring for Sunday School teachers and anyone else involved with children.  He asks will I be going to Tabora next April/May (exact dates not yet confirmed) and, as I have written here previously, I very much intend to be there, God willing. 

I have also said it is my hope to have several others accompany me.  This is my invitation to you.  Come and experience these things for yourselves.  These monthly notes can only give the lightest flavour of what St Nicholas’ prayers and financial support are achieving for God’s kingdom in Tanzania.  I can guarantee it will change your life!  If you are interested, speak to me.
Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent



Crèche Rota October 2017

1st    John Kane & Christine Stewart
8th     Faye Hamilton & Janice Nelson
15th     Karen Bell, Alison Kane & Sophie Foreman
22nd    Lorraine Gibson & Carol Moneypenny
29th     Deirdre Beck & Sharon McMaster

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.


SOUND DESK ROTA OCTOBER 2017

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

TEA ROTA OCTOBER 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 (9336 5687 or 07801 389860). Many thanks for your support.

1st Deirdre Beck Valerie Leighton Linda Mulvenny

8th Lorraine Gibson Doris Close Kathleen Arthur

15th Marion Money Janet Davis Diane Strain

22nd Diane Innes Janice Nelson Karen Miles

29th Joanne Rodgers Christine Cahoon Nadine Davison


Reap a good harvest

If you’ve been out and about in the countryside in recent months, you’ll have noticed that there was a bumper crop of blackberries and other fruit this year. That was no accident.  It was because, from Spring onwards, there has been just the right amount of heat and cold, rain and sun, to make the plants bring forth their best.

It’s the same when we are making Jesus known. Only God knows if the people we meet are ready to respond to the Gospel. We might be simply planting a seed, and that person still has years to go, or it may be that the person is finally ready to become a follower of Jesus.

This autumn, as we prepare for Christmas, let’s be intentional – praying for friends and family members who don’t yet know Jesus.  Let’s ask God for opportunities to sensitively share the Good News of Jesus. And let’s be ready to serve and speak in Jesus name.


POINTS TO PONDER

We may ignore, but we cannot evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him.                 CS Lewis

The Gospel is good news. But Jesus never said it was easy news.     Charles Colson


Services in October 2017

1st    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Holy Communion—A letter to Corinth:
            The folly & wisdom of God
            1 Corinthians 1 v 18-31    Linda Mulvenny
            Mark 10 v 34-45        The Preacher
    6.30 pm    Evening Prayer
            Obadiah: The deceiving heart
            Obadiah 1-21        Daphne Murphy

8th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Harvest Thanksgiving—Morning Prayer
    6.30 pm    Harvest Praise—Service of the Word

15th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer—A letter to Corinth:
            Nothing but the cross
            Isaiah 55 v 1-13        Marion Letters
            1 Corinthians 2 v 1-5    Gordon Dalton 
6.30 pm    Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing
            & Café Church
            Jonah 3 v 1-10        John Richardson
            Matthew 12 v 38-42        The Preacher

22nd    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Family Service—A worldwide family—Crosslinks
    6.30 pm    Café Church
            Nahum: A God who is judge
            Nahum 1 v 1-8            

29th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Service of the Word
            The Wisdom of the Spirit
            1 Corinthians 2 v 6-16    Ann McVeigh
    6.30 pm    Compline—Habakkuk: Waiting on God   
            Habakkuk 1 v 1-11         Lynn Rodgers



LIFE EXPLORED WHAT’S THE BEST GIFT GOD COULD GIVE YOU


Beginning Wednesday 25th October 2017
at 7.30pm in the church halls


LAUGHLINES

Accident
As my five-year-old son and I were heading to McDonald's one day, we passed a car accident. Usually when we see something terrible like that, we say a prayer for whoever might be hurt, so I pointed and said to my son, "We should pray." From the back seat I heard his earnest voice: "Dear God, please don't let those cars block the entrance to McDonald's."

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 October
9th October          Drop In
23rd October        To be confirmed
25th October        Luncheon Club


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


Calling all Crafters


2nd & 4th Thursdays of the month
10 am – 12 noon in the Minor Hall
For further details contact Janice Nelson
Everyone welcome


 
St Nicholas Sketch