Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland
RECTOR’S LETTERDear friends in St Nicholas’,
On the second Sunday of this month, several of the Mission Carrick churches are once again sharing in a ‘pulpit swap’. Many of you will have enjoyed this opportunity for shared teaching and fellowship last year when we welcomed the Reverend Philip McAllister of the Church of the Nazarene to St Nicholas’ Church. This year we have been paired with Carrickfergus Baptist Church and so we look forward to welcoming Pastor Peter Lawther to preach at our 11 am service on Sunday 12th February. Please plan to join us for this important occasion as we celebrate the bonds of fellowship between the Christian churches in the town and enjoy the opportunity to be taught God’s word by Peter.
This month is also the annual time when the parish’s General Vestry Register is open for revision. If you are 18 years old or over and are a subscriber to church funds you are eligible to be included on this list, but you do need to register your name. This register is the ‘voters list’ for the annual parish meeting, which takes place after Easter. I would encourage every adult member of the parish to register and plan to attend that meeting. It’s your opportunity to influence the life of our parish and to play your part. This year is one of the ‘triennial’ years when important elections take place at the Easter Vestry. Please speak to one of the churchwardens if you would like a copy of the very brief registration form.
Looking ahead a couple of things are on the horizon for March.
March 1st this year is Ash Wednesday and begins the season of Lent. We are planning to share with our neighbours from Holy Trinity in a weekly midweek service during Lent, using this season to think about the ways in which we can nurture good habits that will shape us as Christian men and women. Plan to join us on 1st March and watch out for further details in next month’s magazine.
The Select Vestry have accepted an offer from an American choir, who are touring in Ireland next month, to perform a concert in St Nicholas’. Juniata College Concert Choir is comprised of 48 auditioned singers whose university is located in the Allegheny mountains of central Pennsylvania, USA. As the institution's premier off-campus choral ensemble, the Concert Choir tours internationally in the spring semester with repertoire focusing on historical sacred music spanning five centuries and several cultures. During their last tour to Northern Ireland and the Republic in 2012, performance venues included St. Columb's Cathedral in Londonderry, Galway Cathedral, Kylemore Abbey, and others. The concert will take place in the church on Tuesday 7th March at 7.30 pm. The concert is free and there will be an opportunity to contribute to a retiring collection which will be divided between mission projects and the parish building fund. Do come and invite your friends to join you.
As always, do remember that our purpose in St Nicholas’ is to encourage men and women, boys and girls to meet with Jesus and to discover the joy of knowing, that in Him, our sins are forgiven and God’s eternal life can be found. As well as our Sunday Services, where this message is proclaimed, there are a number of Small Groups, where you can join with others to think together about what the Bible teaches and have your questions about faith answered. At the moment we are looking together at the early chapters of Luke’s gospel. Do please contact us if you would like to join one of these groups or if we can assist you in any way.
With love in Jesus,
ST NICHOLAS' WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP
At our January meeting we were joined by Karen Webb from the Church Army. Karen told us about the project, which she leads, to bring the Christian message to the large number of children who live in the Shankill Road area. Based in new premises in the heart of the Shankill, Karen and her co-worker Stephen organise a wide range of activities and events to reach out to children and their parents and in doing so to bring them the message of faith and hope. One of the tools that Karen uses very successfully to engage the children is puppetry and we were delighted that she brought one of her puppets along with her to entertain us with a song. Karen asked us all to remember the work of the Church Army in our prayers and in particular the Shankhill Road project.
At our next meeting on 14th February, our guest speaker will be from the Somme Heritage Centre in Newtownards. This should be a very interesting presentation and we hope to see a good number of ladies from the parish on the night. Valerie Leighton
CHILDRENS OUTREACH MISSION, TABORAEmmanuel’s end of year Newsletter arrived after the Christmas magazine was printed. In it, he gives thanks for and praises the volunteers who help out in the various Good News Clubs. He particularly expresses his gratitude for the Prayer Groups’ consistent devotion to prayer, acknowledging that, without those prayers, the practical outworkings of the Mission would not have happened.
Following meetings at Kaliua (the Church St Nicholas’ built some 16 years ago) and at Urambo, appeals have been made for more Sunday School teachers. (At Kaliua there is one teacher for 100 children). Progress is being made and some people are coming forward.
There are also plans to reach out to the other congregations outside Tabora and Emmanuel has spoken to several congregations where Sunday School has a very low priority. Emmanuel asks for more prayer from us on these matters and it must be our delightful responsibility to do just that.
Emmanuel also reports that he has been appointed to supervise Bible studies at two secondary schools at which he has been taking classes for a couple of years. This involves setting a syllabus for Bible Classes and advising on all spiritual matters for each school.
These two appointments are an acknowledgement of the positive effects his classes have had on the pupils and it’s something I can verify from first hand experience. Without exception, the youngsters I met and spoke to in these classes were well behaved, respectful, attentive and keen to learn. Emmanuel wasn’t asked to take these classes, he offered himself and was readily accepted.
The support that St Nicholas’ Select Vestry makes in paying Emmanuel’s salary is having a wide ranging impact on children in schools and children in the community. Bishop Elias makes it very clear that if we didn’t pay Emmanuel’s salary, he would be doing something entirely different, as the Diocese cant afford to pay him.
Due to the continued support of a number of children and their families together with others in the Parish, I was able to send £475 to Emmanuel for the Children's Mission just before Christmas. This support is so appreciated and so necessary. It is such a privilege to be involved with this outreach so far away on another continent. Thank you so much to all who pray for this work and support it financially.
Having read and been encouraged by Emmanuel’s Newsletter, imagine my shock when, just before Christmas, I received a text to say that Elizabeth had been hurt in a motorbike accident.
Subsequent texts and emails from Emmanuel revealed she had a broken shoulder, requiring a 2½ hour operation. She is now recovering at home. Details about the accident are non-existent. We praise God that there is a hospital in Tabora where such an emergency can be treated. Please remember Elizabeth in your prayers and Emmanuel also, as he takes time off work to care for her and tend to their two daughters.
Calendars are still available at £7.50. Thank you to all who have supported this work by buying a calendar. Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent
SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTESAs we ended the year on 11th December in Sunday School, it was with much sadness that we said goodbye to Annabella Cole, who with her family was leaving Carrickfergus to live in Australia. We would ask that Granny Kathleen and the remaining family here keep us informed as to how Annabella is settling in.
The new format for each Sunday continues and the children seem to be enjoying their time with us. If there is any feedback from the children to parents, positive or otherwise, do please let us know. The February schedule remains as per usual.
Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent
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 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 6th February
7.00pm - 7.45pm
Tuesday 21st February
7.00pm - 8.30pm
Flowers in Church January 2017 (not in last magazine)1st Vacant
8th Ethel Brown—In memory of my father W J McElhone
22nd Mr & Mrs Withers—our anniversary
29th Gillian & Gordon Dalton
29th Sally Campbell—In memory of my husband Sam
Flowers in Church February 20175th Sharon Maxwell—for Ian
26th Ann McVeigh
If you would like to donate flowers for the Sanctuary please fill your name in against the appropriate space on the new 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.
St Nicholas’ Church, Carrickfergus
Prayer Diary – February 2017The 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 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
O God, you know us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by the reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright: Grant to us such strength and protection as may support us in all dangers and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCP
1st February – Wednesday
Give thanks for the invitations our clergy receive to go into local schools. Pray for this morning’s visit to Sunnylands Primary School.
2nd February – Thursday
With Assembly elections taking place next month, pray for our Province. Pray for men and women of integrity to represent us, as we move
forward to Brexit and beyond. Pray for our government at Westminster.
3rd February – Friday
Pray for our Busy Bees Parent and Toddler Group.
4th February – Saturday
Pray for Trevor and Andrea Watson in Gothenburg as they continue their studies. Give thanks for opportunities to speak about the Gospel and hearts ready for Christ. Pray for Crosslinks.
5TH FEBRUARY – SUNDAY (4th Sunday before Lent)
Pray for our church services, for George, Cameron and Brian. Pray for our CD Ministry and those hearing our services at home. Pray for our Sunday School; for Lynn Rodgers; for leaders; for the children and their families.
6th February – Monday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint in the church vestry and for Christianity Explained in the Minor Hall.
7th February – Tuesday
As the Select Vestry meets, pray for the discussions and decision making. And, as the Register of General Vestry is opened for revision, pray that more parishioners will join the register and participate in Select Vestry elections.
8th February – Wednesday
Pray for this morning’s clergy visit to Carrickfergus Model.
9th February – Thursday
Pray for the sick and those who care for them. Pray for those working in hospitals and GP surgeries. Give thanks for the skills of health professionals.
10th February – Friday
Pray for Bishop Elias Chakupewa and all who serve in the Diocese of Tabora. Pray for Emmanuel and his continuing work in children’s and youth ministry.
11th February – Saturday
Pray for the Church of Ireland and those charged with teaching or leadership in our church. Pray for Archbishop Richard Clarke and all Bishops, that they would put God’s Will, as presented to us in His Word the Bible, before self or the demands of an increasingly secular island.
12TH FEBRUARY – SUNDAY (3rd Sunday before Lent)
Mission Carrickfergus Pulpit Exchange takes place today and this morning we welcome Peter Lawther from Carrickfergus Baptist Church. Pray for today’s church services, giving thanks for these opportunities for fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray for our Youth Fellowship.
13th February - Monday
The Christianity Explained study comes to an end this evening. Pray for all who have taken part, that they would have a ‘hunger’ to continue studying God’s Word and that we would be ready to encourage them.
14th February – Tuesday
The topic of this evening’s Women’s Fellowship is ‘Memories from the Somme’. Pray for our Women’s Fellowship.
15th February – Wednesday
Pray for our Organist Alison Irwin, her understudy Nadine Davison and the members of our Choir. Pray for the planning for Easter Praise with the extended choir.
16th February – Thursday
Remember residents and staff in our care homes, especially those in Tamlaght House, where a member of our clergy will lead worship today.
17th February – Friday
Pray for our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.
18th February – Saturday
Pray for those who have been bereaved, that they would know God’s Love.
19TH FEBRUARY – SUNDAY (2nd Sunday before Lent)
Pray for our services today, especially this evening’s Holy Communion with prayers for healing. Pray too for Café Church.
20th February – Monday
With many of our Small Groups due to finish their current Bible study, give thanks for Stuart Horner, Christine Cahoon, John Kane and Harry Kirk who lead the various groups.
21st February – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint. Pray for the many people in our world displaced because of natural or man-made disasters. Pray for those who have fled the many areas of conflict and war. Pray for those living in fear.
22nd February – Wednesday
Pray for the Mission Carrickfergus Clergy Fellowship meeting this morning and for today’s visit to Oakfield Primary School’s Assembly.
23rd February – Thursday
Catherine Milligan and her team will, this morning, assemble Parish News. Give thanks for Catherine and the team and for magazine distributors.
24th February – Friday
Give thanks for those men and women of our parish who clean our church and church halls. Remember all who give of their time and skills to carry out minor housekeeping, maintenance and gardening tasks.
25th February – Saturday
Pray for speaker Vaughan Roberts and those attending today Men’s Convention ‘Guarding the Heart’ in Belfast. Pray for our Walking Group.
26TH FEBRUARY – SUNDAY (The Sunday before Lent)
Our Rainbows, Brownies and Guides will be in church this morning for our Family Service as we continue our series on the Lord’s Prayer. Pray for our worship today. Give thanks for our Music Group, for those who have recently joined and remembering also former members.
27th February – Monday
Pray for today’s Senior Moments meeting in our church halls.
28th February – Tuesday
Pray for CMS Ireland. Pray for ‘Growing in God’, their 2017 project, helping the Urban Development Programme at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, Kenya.
In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God. Philippians 4 v 6
Crèche Rota February 20175th Deirdre Beck & Sharon McMaster
12th Kathleen Arthur, Valerie Leighton, Sophie Foreman
19th Christine Stewart & Ciara Lester
26th Janice Nelson & Rachel McVeigh
The Crèche is in the Choir Vestry. Children can be left there from 10.50 am each Sunday. It would be appreciated if those who kindly staff the Crèche would be there in good time. If you can't be present on a Sunday listed, please arrange for another of the volunteers to cover for you. Thank you for your co-operation.
POINTS TO PONDERGod knows us altogether and cares for us in spite of that knowledge. J Charles Stern
Love of God is the root, love of our neighbour the fruit of the Tree of Life. Neither can exist without the other, but the one is cause and the other effect. Archbishop William Temple
Temptations are everywhere, and so is the grace of God. Anon
Be kind. Remember that everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Harry Thompson
LAUGHLINESNot all free!
The nursery school teacher was teaching her class about living in a democracy. She said: "One of the things we should be happy about is that, in this country, we are all free." One little boy stood up in
protest. “No,” he said indignantly. "I'm not free. I'm four."
The little boy came home from his first day at Sunday School and informed his mother that his Sunday School teacher was Jesus' grandmother. Astonished, the mother demanded: ‘What on earth makes you think that?’ “Easy, said the little boy. ‘She never stops talking about Jesus."
Christian Baptism“Suffer the little children to come unto me”
18th December 2016
Maisie Kathleen Gray, 28 Downshire Road Carrickfergus
Christian Burial‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’
22nd November 2016
Mary Elizabeth (Liz) Hanna, 16 Ederny Walk, Carrickfergus
7th December 2016
Thomas Edward (Freddie) Haggan, 30 Davys Street, Carrickfergus
8th December 2016
David Alexander Jenkins, 19 Burleigh Drive, Carrickfergus
Charlotte (Lottie) Armstrong, Hillside Rise, Whitehead
17th January 2017
Thomas Martin Clawson, Flat 4, 1 Irish Gate, Carrickfergus
SOUND DESK ROTA FEBRUARY 2017Morning Evening
5th Rachel McVeigh Steven Todd
12th Graeme Miles Dereice Maguire
19th Julie Irvine Lynn Rodgers
26th Johnnie McAlister Cafe Church
Senior momentsCalling 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 the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm
What’s happening in February?
13th February - Drop In
15th February - Luncheon Club in Ownies
27th February - ‘Use it or lose it’ with Erica McKeen
How will you express love this Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day reminds us of the importance of expressing our love to those close to us. But how can we go beyond simply flowers and a card? Jesus says: ‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another’ (John 13:34). How can we express love in our everyday relationships like Jesus?
We need to listen to others, just as Jesus did. He asked questions of people and waited for them to process their answer. How well do we listen to others? When with somebody, do we find ourselves already thinking of what we want to say before they’ve finished speaking. Listening takes time; you can’t rush it!
Jesus reached out to touch the untouchables in his world, including lepers, the sick and children. One survey has suggested that we all need at least 8-10 meaningful touches a day to maintain emotional health! A warm handshake, touch on the arm or hug can be of real value. Of course, it should be appropriate touch – helpful for the
other person not just for ourselves.
Jesus’ conversation was always full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
Do we speak words of grace, by offering comfort, giving encouragement or expressing care and concern? However, we
should also be ready to speak words of truth, in asking for
forgiveness, seeking reconciliation or addressing conflict.
Where is the challenge for us in expressing love this Valentine’s Day?
CALLING ALL SINGERS!Once again we are offering the opportunity for
anyone, who enjoys singing, to attend choir practices
for 5 weeks in preparation for the Easter Sunday
Services when the choir takes a larger role than usual.
Anyone interested in joining us, either on a
temporary or permanent basis, please come along to the church on
Wednesday 8th March at 8 pm.
Hope to see you there. Alison
Services in February 20175th 9 30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Holy Communion—Jacob: a brother’s blessing
Genesis 27 v 1-29 Valerie Leighton
Matthew 7 v 7-12 The Preacher
6.30 pm Evening Prayer & Cafe Church
Journeys with Paul: Macedonia & Greece
Acts 20 v 1-12 Daphne Murphy
12th 9 30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Mission Carrick Pulpit Swap
Jacob fleeing the wrath of Esau
Genesis 27 v 30-45 Valerie Kirk
Hebrews 12 v 14-17 Harry Kirk
6.30 pm Evening Prayer & Cafe Church
Journeys with Paul: Farewell to the Ephesian elders
Acts 20 v 13-38 Don Howe
19th 9 30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Morning Prayer—Jacob: a dream and a promise
Genesis 28 v 10-22 Robin Gray
Luke 1 v 26-33 Joan Gray
6.30 pm Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing & Cafe Church
Journeys with Paul: progress towards Jerusalem
Acts 21 v 1-14 Hilary Bishop
Matthew 19 v 16-30 The Preacher
26th 9 30 am Holy Communion1
11.00 am Family Service: The Lord’s Prayer—thy kingdom come...
Matthew 6 v 5-15
6.30 pm Cafe Church—Journeys with Paul: Jerusalem at last!
Acts 21 v 15-26
OTHER EVENTS IN FEBRUARY7th 7.30 pm Select Vestry
14th 7.30 pm Women’s Fellowship
25th 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.
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
Parish Walking Group
Saturday 25th February
Oakfield Glen & Bashfordsland
Meet at Carrick Castle car park
at 10.00 am
For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin or Joan Gray
TEA ROTA FEBRUARY 2017Please 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. Many thanks for your support.
Helpers for Brownies NeededHelpers needed for our Brownie Pack on a Friday
afternoon from 4.00 pm—5.30 pm in the Church Halls.
If you are free at this time and would like to help with the Brownies, please speak to Mrs Tamera Milligan