December 2015 January 2016
Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland
At St Nicholas’ we are very aware of the fact that we are a church that is part of a world wide family of believers. For the last couple of years you will have been reading in this magazine about the ministry of our Crosslinks mission partners, Raymond and Jackie Givan in Uganda. Raymond and Jackie have now returned to Northern Ireland and their time as our mission partners is coming to an end. On Sunday 13th December we are looking forward to welcoming them to our morning service as they share with us some of the experiences and lessons of their time in Uganda. I hope that you will come and join us as we celebrate our partnership with them.
The season of Advent is with us once again. The word ‘advent’ means ‘to come to’ or ‘to arrive’ and this season of preparation reminds us of the arrival of the Saviour, the baby Jesus, at the manger in Bethlehem. It also speaks to us of the promise of Jesus that he will return again to bring in the kingdom of God in all its fullness, and our need to be ready for that coming. In our life together as a parish we will, of course, be taking time to celebrate the arrival of the Christ-child, and would like to invite you and your family to come and share with us at this important time. Our magazine cover reminds us that the Joy which we all seek in life is to be found in Jesus.
Sunday 20th December is an important day for the parish as we prepare for Christmas. At the 11 am service the children of our Sunday School and Bible Class will be presenting the story of Christmas for us in their annual Nativity play. I hope you will support them with your presence for what is always a most enjoyable occasion. This will be followed at 6.30 pm with the annual Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the Christmas story in word and song - Alison and the choir have been working hard to prepare for this important service and we are looking forward to this very special service.
Details of our services for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are given elsewhere in this magazine – we do hope that you will make sure that Christ is at the heart of your Christmas by coming and sharing with us in church. Our Family Service on Christmas morning gives the whole church family the chance to spend a short time in worship together as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. In an age when the message about Jesus is shared in fewer homes in our town, it’s so important that we help the children understand what all the celebrations are really about.
As we close one year with a celebration of the coming of Jesus into our world, let us begin the new one remembering that the same Jesus calls us all to follow him. May we grow in our love and service for him, both as individuals and as a parish family.
May God bless you richly this Christmas,
POINTS TO PONDERPeace is a free gift and flows from the pure mercy of God. John Calvin
Peace rules the day when Christ rules the mind. Anon
ST NICHOLAS' WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP
What a lovely evening of fellowship together as we enjoyed sewing our Christmas decorations under the directions of Dorrie from Sew it with Words. She spoke of her love of Scripture and how it inspired her to set up her cottage industry using Bible texts
to embellish her beautiful soft furnishings.
This month, we are joining the Girl Guides and the Senior Citizens party on the 1st December at 7 pm, for entertainment and supper.
Please note there will not be any meeting on our normal 2nd Tuesday.
1. In the past did you enjoy going to church to praise God, pray to him and listen to God’s word being preached?
2. Are you, because of ill-health or other circumstances, unable to get to church on a Sunday?
3. Do you have a CD player and would enjoy hearing one of the church services in your own home on CD?
DATE FOR YOUR DIARY
What is the mission of the Church?
Crosslinks Day Conference with Kevin DeYoung
Pastor, author & council member of The Gospel Coalition
Saturday 27th February 2016 / 9.15 am-4 pm
Armagh City Hotel
Cost: £10 (Lunch not included)
Register at www.crosslinks.org/deyoung or through Cameron
Flowers in Church November 2015 (not in last magazine)
Flowers in Church December 20156th Marion McNally—In memory of Billy
20th Mrs Withers & Sandra
A Flower Rota for Sundays throughout 2016 has been posted in the Church Porch. Anyone wishing to provide flowers for a given Sunday please sign their name against the date on the Rota or contact Mary Withers (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.
CHRISTMAS IN ST NICHOLAS 2015
9.30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Sunday School Nativity Play
6.30 pm Service of Nine Lessons and Carols
24th December 2015
11.00 pm Christmas Eve Holy Communion
25th December 2014
9.00 am Christmas Day Holy Communion
10.30 am Christmas Day Family Service
27th December 2015
9.30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Service of the Word
There will be NO Evening Service 27th December and
NO 10 am Holy Communion Service or Vestry Hour
on Wednesday 30th December
Prayer Diary – December 2015
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
Draw into St Nicholas’ this month,
one person, or one couple or one family,
who would be welcomed by your people,
be blessed or challenged by the Bible teaching,
and who would return, join, serve and worship you through this Church.
And we pray that our priority would remain Your Kingdom
and that you would keep our ministry faithful unto Christ,
for it is in His name we pray. Amen
This evening our Guides are the hosts for the annual Senior Citizens Christmas Party. Pray for the safe travel of the band and that all present will enjoy this time together. The Select Vestry meets this evening. Pray for our Select Vestry members and the members of the various vestry sub-committees.
2nd December – Wednesday
Pray for our Organist Alison Irwin and for the members of the Choir as they practice for our Christmas services.
3rd December – Thursday
Pray for the various Small Groups meeting at various times and venues for Bible Study.
4th December – Friday
Three weeks ago Paris was rocked by terrorist attacks carried out by misguided individuals. Pray for false teachers and those led astray by them. Pray for God’s overruling in hearts and minds. Pray for those mourning, recovering or traumatised by this and other such attacks.
5th December – Saturday
Remember today those who serve our Lord in mission overseas, whether on short or long-term basis. Pray for those working in dangerous environments. Pray for Darren & Karen McCartney in the Canadian Arctic.
6TH DECEMBER – SUNDAY (2nd Sunday of Advent)
Pray for today’s services. Remember our crèche volunteers in your prayers.
7th December – Monday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint – the last for 2015. Pray that more parishioners would see coming together for prayer as a vital part of our church life.
8th December – Tuesday
The Women’s Fellowship meets this evening for their Christmas Party. Pray for members past and present.
9th December – Wednesday
This morning a member of our clergy team will be at Sunnylands Primary School for morning assembly. Give thanks for these opportunities to go into local schools.
10th December – Thursday
Today Downshire School assembly will be addressed by a clergy member. Pray for all involved in education in the Carrickfergus area.
11th December – Friday
Pray for our Busy Bees Parent and Toddler Group.
12th December – Saturday
Pray for the children attending today’s Sunday School Christmas Party.
13TH DECEMBER – SUNDAY (3rd Sunday of Advent)
Pray for our services today and for the infant being baptised this morning. Pray for Cafe Church as it meets for the final time before its Christmas break. Pray for the teachers and children at Sunday School on this their last practice before their Nativity Presentation in church next Sunday.
14th December – Monday
Pray for the sick especially those facing prolonged hospitalisation. Give thanks for the skills of doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians.
15th December – Tuesday
Downshire School staff, pupils, friends and family hold their Christmas Carol service in church this evening. Give thanks that we are able to maintain contact with and open our doors to local schools and pray for all attending.
16th December – Wednesday
Our Widow’s Group finishes today with lunch at the Golf Club. Pray for all members, past and present, giving thanks for their fellowship together.
17th December – Thursday
Give thanks today for those men and women who clean our church and halls.
18th December – Friday
Pray for the leaders of our uniformed organisations.
19th December – Saturday
Pray for ICM and for Mark Smith’s ministry at City Church in Dublin. Pray for Christian Revival throughout the island of Ireland.
20TH DECEMBER – SUNDAY (4th Sunday of Advent)
This morning our Sunday School performs its Nativity presentation in church and this evening we have the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. Pray for both services, for the children performing, for the choir and this evening’s readers. Pray especially for those visiting church today who would not be regular worshippers and for opportunities to make our Lord known.
21st December – Monday
Pray today for those, young and old, who will be alone this Christmas. Remember those feeling the loss of a loved one most acutely at this time. Pray for those who have been bereaved this year. Pray for those who feel they have nothing to live for and those working with the suicidal.
22nd December – Tuesday
Pray for the homeless, especially those who sleep rough. Pray for those charities like the Salvation Army and the many volunteers who seek to bring some comfort to homeless people, showing God’s love in practical ways.
23rd December – Wednesday
As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, pray for Christians worshipping in secret and living in fear. Pray for the persecuted church and Open Doors.
24th December – Thursday
Pray for tonight’s Holy Communion service. Pray for the safety of those travelling to spend Christmas with loved ones. Pray for those working in the essential services and on duty over the Christmas period.
25th December – Friday
We come together today to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Pray for this morning’s Holy Communion and Family Services. Pray that Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour would be at the heart of our Christmas and pray for family, friends and neighbours who do not yet know Him.
26th December – Saturday
Pray for the staff and residents of the various Residential and Nursing Care Homes throughout Mid and East Antrim. Give thanks for opportunities for Worship in Care Homes and remember parishioners living in them.
27TH DECEMBER – SUNDAY (1st Sunday of Christmas)
Pray for this morning’s services, once again giving thanks for the teaching we receive in St Nicholas’. Pray for our ministry team; George, Cameron and Brian, that they will be able to enjoy some family time away from parish duties.
28th December – Monday
Pray for our government at Westminster and at Stormont.
29th December – Tuesday
Pray for the church in the Diocese of Tabora. Pray for Emmanuel and his work in youth ministry.
30th December – Wednesday
Pray for this morning’s Holy Communion service and for the various services taking place in other churches tomorrow, giving thanks for all God’s goodness to us in 2015.
31st December – Thursday
Remembering that Christ himself was a refugee in Egypt, pray today for those who have been forced to flee all that is familiar. Pray for Syria, Iraq and their neighbours and for all governments seeking a way forward in the Middle East.
Prayer Diary – January 2016
Prayer of the Month
whose Son revealed in signs and miracles
the wonder of your saving presence:
Renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your mighty power;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen BCP
1st January – Friday
As we begin a new year, pray for this small part of God’s world. Pray for a turning away from sin and a revival in Christian Worship in our land.
2nd January – Saturday
Pray for those bereaved over the Christmas and New Year period.
3RD JANUARY – SUNDAY (2nd Sunday of Christmas)
Pray for today’s services and for all those considering Confirmation in 2016. Give thanks for our ministry team; George, Cameron and Brian as they open God’s Word to us.
4th January – Monday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint meeting and for our various Small Groups, asking that parishioners would see these as important in our walk with God.
5th January – Tuesday
Pray for the situation in Syria and Iraq. Pray for their neighbours endeavouring to help the many refugees fleeing from the fighting.
6th January – Wednesday
When our Afternoon Sunday School ended we hoped to establish an alternative form of outreach. Pray for the planning for a new outreach to children and young families.
7th January – Thursday
Pray for Trevor and Andrea Watson, our Crosslinks Link Missionaries.
8th January – Friday
Pray for staff and pupils at Carrickfergus Model Primary School where a member of our Clergy is guest for this morning’s assembly.
9th January – Saturday
Weather permitting; our Walking Group will meet this morning for the Larne Coastal Walk to Carnfunnock. Pray for this fellowship.
10TH JANUARY – SUNDAY (1st Sunday after Epiphany)
With Sunday School and Bible Class resuming today after the Christmas break, pray for Lynn Rodgers our Sunday School superintendent, for teachers and helpers and for the children and young people attending. Pray for parents, that they would see Christian teaching as a priority for their child. Pray for today’s church services and for this evening’s Cafe Church. Pray for our Youth Fellowship now meeting every Sunday.
11th January – Monday
This evening sees the latest Men’s Night Out, with a visit to the BBC. Pray for this outing, giving thanks for these opportunities for the men of our parish to make and strengthen friendships.
12th January – Tuesday
The guest speaker for this evening’s Women’s Fellowship meeting entitled ‘Eat Well. Feel Well’ is Rachel Green. Pray for Rachel and all attending.
13th January – Wednesday
Pray for Alison Irwin and the members of the choir as they meet for practice in church this evening.
14th January – Thursday
Pray for the sick and those who care for them. Pray for those with long term conditions and the terminally ill. Remember nurses and carers working in the community, supporting carers and those being cared for at home.
15th January – Friday
Pray for Busy Bees and for all those who have contributed to its success.
16th January – Saturday
Pray for the people of Syria and Iraq. Remember those, especially children, traumatised by war. Pray for organisations and individuals providing food, shelter and medicine for the displaced.
17TH JANUARY – SUNDAY (2nd Sunday after Epiphany/4th Sunday before Lent)
This evening’s Holy Communion service includes a time for prayers for healing. Pray for this and for all our worship today. Give thanks for Stella Neill who records the names of those asking for prayer and for the team of Intercessors praying daily for the sick.
18th January – Monday
Pray for Christian Marriage and for couples planning to marry in St Nicholas’ this year. Pray for Marriage Preparation Classes.
19th January – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint. Give thanks for this opportunity to come together for a time of focussed prayer with fellow Christians.
20th January – Wednesday
Pray for the church in Tabora and for its Bible College. Pray for those beginning a course of Bible Study this month.
21st January – Thursday
Pray for our Bishop Alan Abernethy and for all who serve within the Diocese of Connor. Pray for today’s Connor Diocesan Council meeting.
22nd January – Friday
Pray for our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.
23rd January – Saturday
This evening the Catering Team are hosting a Burns Night Supper. Give thanks for our Catering Team and the service they offer. Pray for this evening’s event.
24TH JANUARY – SUNDAY (3rd Sunday after Epiphany/3rd Sunday before Lent)
Pray for this morning’s Family Service, giving thanks for our Music Group leading praise and for the men and women providing refreshments afterwards. Pray for this evening’s Cafe Church.
25th January – Monday
Pray for our Senior Moments Group meeting this afternoon.
26th January – Tuesday
Pray for our Girl Guides, Brownies and Rainbows.
27th January – Wednesday
Pray for Mission Carrick and for Carrickfergus Ministers’ Fellowship meeting this morning. Pray for all who preach God’s Word in our town and beyond.
28th January – Thursday
Parish News will be assembled this morning ready for distribution. Pray for Catherine and her team of volunteers. Pray for magazine distributors.
29th January – Friday
Pray for TEARFUND.
30th January – Saturday
Mid and East Antrim Council has conferred on the North Irish Horse the freedom of the Borough and a church service will be held in St Nicholas’ this afternoon. Pray for all those attending this service.
31ST JANUARY – SUNDAY (4th Sunday after Epiphany/2nd Sunday before Lent)
Pray for our church services, giving thanks for those parishioners willing to assist Select Vestry members by greeting worshippers at Morning Prayer.
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
Crèche Rota DECEMBER 2015
13th Karen Bell & Janice Nelson
20th Lorraine Gibson & Carol Moneypenny
27th Deirdre Beck, Sharon McMaster & Rachel McVeigh
Crèche Rota january 2016
10th Christine Stewart & Valerie Leighton
17th Ann Hodge & Janice Nelson
24th John Kane, Alison Kane, Sophie Foreman
31st Faye Hamilton & Carol Moneypenny
The Crèche is now meeting in the Choir Vestry. Children can be left there from 10.50 am each Sunday. It would be appreciated if those who kindly staff the Crèche would be there in good time. If you can't be present on a Sunday listed, please arrange for another of the volunteers to cover for you. Thank you for your co-operation.
St Nicholas’ Church, Carrickfergus
SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTES
Our Christmas Party will be on Saturday 5th December in the Church Halls, beginning at 10 am through to 12 noon. Fun and games will be on the agenda with party eats thrown in also (not literally hopefully!). All children are warmly invited. Santa will be making his customary visit, subject of course to the very best behaviour from all our youngsters!
Could parents please also note that presents for children from disadvantaged families can be left in the Hall on Saturday or Sunday 12th and 13th December. The Church of Ireland Board of Responsibility in association with Social Services will distribute these presents to families in need around the province. Would you please consider gifts for teenagers as well as younger children. Thank you so much for your response in previous years which has been so very much appreciated.
On Sunday 13th December would parents please bring children directly to the Halls for 11 am and not to church first so that we can practice for the Nativity Play the following Sunday.
Our Nativity Play will be on Sunday 20th December during the 11 am Service in the Church and is entitled “Alpha-Biblical Christmas”. Please note time and place. Would you please bring children to the choir vestry in the church between 10 and 10.15 am for preparation, remembering that the early service will be in progress in the Church at that time.
We wish all our children and their families a wonderful and joyful Christmas. Sunday School and Bible Class resume 10th January 2016.
Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent
NEWS FROM TABORANews from Emmanuel in Tanzania has been more upbeat of late. Several more congregations have invited Emmanuel to run classes and seminars. At one, 600 children came along and two full Sunday services were held for them. At another location, some distance from Tabora, Emmanuel was invited to speak to a rally of different denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, which ran for five days.
It has been a feature of the Childrens Outreach Mission from the beginning that the ‘outreach’ should be to all children, regardless of denomination. This approach has not always gone down well with Emmanuel’s Bishop, who felt that his efforts should be confined to within the Anglican Diocese.
Elkana, the young man who attended Bible College for a three month course, has now completed his studies and has returned to an active roll with the Mission again.
Elijah has also asked to go to Bible College and his course begins in January. We are very grateful for the financial contribution from a lady in our congregation who, upon reading in a previous magazine of his desire to study, immediately gave me his full fee.
Please continue to pray for Emmanuel, his wife Elizabeth and their two daughters, the volunteers and Sunday School teachers, parental support for the children plus financial support for the Mission. Emmanuel is always so thankful for all the support the Mission receives from St Nicholas’.
SOUND DESK ROTA DECEMBER 2015
6th Julie Irvine Dereice Maguire
13th Rachel McVeigh Jonathan Nelson
20th Steven Todd Paul Letters
27th Gillian Dalton No evening service
SOUND DESK ROTA JANUARY 2016
3rd Gordon Dalton Lynn Rodgers
10th Glenn Nelson Steven Todd
17th Johnnie McAlister Paul Letters
24th Dereice Maguire Cafe Church
31st Julie Irvine Jonathan Nelson
‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’
26th October 2015
Mary Victoria (Maureen Harrison), 24 Glenburn Manor, Carrickfergus
26th October 2015
Roy Binnie, 16 Cedar Park, Carrickfergus
30th October 2015
Mary Elizabeth (Rita) Paton, 6 Bentinck Street, Belfast
12th November 2015
Thomas Bankhead, 4 Rathmoyle Park West, Carrickfergus
“Suffer the little children to come unto me”
25th October 2015
Matthew John Alexander McMaster, 15 Sandringham Court, Carrickfergus
TEA ROTA DECEMBER 2015 & JANUARY 2016
Sally Campbell Tina Campbell Carol Anderson
Deirdre Beck Valerie Leighton Linda Mulvenny
Gillian Dalton Tamera Milligan Andrea Drysdale
Alison Clarke Maureen Jackson Carol Campbell
Diane Innis Janice Nelson Karen Miles
Valerie Kirk Robin Gray Joan Gray
Patricia Wilson Anne Laverty Annie Crawford
Marion Money Janet Davis Diane Strain
Nadine Davison Alex Jones Liz Hanna
SERVICES IN DECEMBER 20156th 9.30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Holy Communion—Elijah: After Mount Carmel
1 Kings 18 v 41-19 v 9 Joanne Rodgers
Luke 12 v 54-59 The Preacher
6.30 pm Evening Prayer & Cafe Church
The Remnant of Israel
Romans 11 v1-10 Kathleen Arthur
13th 9.30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Crosslinks: Raymond & Jackie Givan
6.30 pm Evening Prayer & Cafe Church—Ingrafted Branches
Romans 11 v 11-24 Hilary Bishop
20th 9.30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Sunday School Nativity
6.30 pm Nine Lesson and Carols
24th 11.00 pm Christmas Eve Holy Communion
Hebrew 1 v 1-4 Gordon Dalton
John 1 v 1-14 Gillian Dalton
25th 9.00 am Christmas Day Holy Communion
10.30 am Christmas Day Family Service
Luke 2 v 8-20
27th 9.30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Service of the Word—Simeon & Anna
Colossians 3 v 12-17 Harry Kirk
Luke 2 v 21-40 Valerie Kirk
6.30 pm NO EVENING SERVICES
Other Events in December & January1st December 7.00 pm Senior Citizen’s Christmas Party
5thDecember 10.00 am Sunday School Party
9th January 10.00 am Parish Walking Group Outing
10th January 11.00 am Sunday School Resumes
11th January 6.15 pm Men’s Outing
Leprosy still exists around the world with many people still suffering. If you would like to make a donation to this worthwhile cause or you would like a collecting box for your home, please contact Tina Campbell at 9336 5945
SERVICES IN JANUARY 20163rd 9.30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Holy Communion—Escape from Herod
1 John 4 v 7-16 Jean Stewart
Matthew 2 v 13-23 The Preacher
6.30 pm Evening Prayer—All Israel will be saved
Romans 11 v 25-36 Janet Preston
10th 9.30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Morning Prayer—Elijah: The Lord passes by
1 Kings 19 v 9b-21 Joan Gray
2 Timothy 4 v 1-8 Robin Gray
6.30 pm Evening Prayer & Cafe Church—Living Sacrifices
Romans 12 v 1-8 Janice Nelson
17th 9.30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Morning Prayer—Elijah: Naboth’s vineyard
1 Kings 21 v 1-29 Christine Stewart
Matthew 12 v 30-37 Joan Armstrong
6.30 pm Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing & Cafe Church
Romans 12 v 9-21 Jackie Kane
Matthew 5 v 43-48 The Preacher
24th 9.30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Family Service—Moses: Plagues and a special dinner
Exodus 12 v 1-11
6.30 pm Cafe Church—Submission to the Authorities
Romans 13 v 1-7
31st 9.30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Service of the Word—Elijah: a chariot to heaven
2 Kings 2 v 1-14 Valerie Barr
Matthew 17 v 1-13 June Carmichael
6.30 pm Compline —Love, for the day is near
Romans 13 v 8-14 Christine Cahoon
It is with great regret that the Widows’ Group will be closing after our Christmas Meeting due to dwindling numbers.
Hopefully this will be a temporary measure and it will
resume some time in the future.
Monday 11th January to BBC Broadcasting House
Meet at the Church Halls at 6.15 pm
Tour restricted to 20 people so make sure you add your name to the sign-up sheet in the church asap!
Parish Walking Group
Saturday 9th January
Larne Coastal Walk
(Especially suitable for children & families)
Meet at 10 am at Larne Leisure Centre car park
For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin & Joan Gray
May we take this opportunity to wish all our parishioners a happy and richly blessed Christmas and New Year.
May God fix our eyes on Jesus, the most costly gift God could give. May it be our joy to receive Him, God’s indescribable gift.
We look forward to seeing many parishioners in Church to join in the special services we will be having over this special Christmas season.
As well as that, we remember in our prayers those who suffered bereavement during the past year. We trust that on this their first Christmas without their loved one they may be especially conscious of God’s love.
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