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RECTOR’S LETTER

Dear Friends at St Nicholas’,

It has been a tough winter this year! I’m not referring to the weather, but if you look to the notices section of this magazine, you will see that many families in the parish have been touched by bereavement over the last few weeks. The loss of a precious family member leaves a huge aching void in the midst of those who loved them and whose lives were intertwined with theirs. As a church family we are committed to supporting those who are bereaved - perhaps, as you read in this magazine the names of those who have been buried, you might take a few moments to pray for their families? Pray that they will know the comfort that Christ’s death and resurrection mean, that those who look to Him in faith and trust have nothing to fear from death.

We will, once again, spend time focusing on the reasons for that hope in Jesus, as we turn our thoughts to Holy Week and Easter. As well as our own church activities, we will have the opportunity to join with people from other church families across the town in the Holy Week services, that are organised by the ‘Mission Carrick’ fellowship of clergy. These meetings are a great boost to the sense of Christian fellowship between the churches each year, as well as giving us the chance to pause just before Easter to reflect on what God was doing for us, as His Son Jesus faced rejection, suffering and death.

This year we will be meeting in Holy Trinity, Woodburn (Prospect Road). The speaker is Mark Stone who pastors an Elim Pentecostal church in Ballymena.  The meetings take place each evening (Monday - Friday) at 7.30 pm. Further details appear elsewhere in this magazine. Do make it a priority to join in as many of these services as you can.

There will also be a short time of prayer and worship each morning during Holy Week in St Nicholas’ church building. On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 10am, there will be a short time of prayer and Bible readings. On Wednesday at 10am we will share in Holy Communion and on Friday at 10.30am we will have our annual Good Friday Family Service. Each of these short acts of worship give us the chance to reflect on the way that God showed his love for us as he rescued us from sin and death - we are particularly glad to welcome children and young people to the Good Friday service, which will have activities and a talk especially for them.

All young people are also warmly invited to the evening of praise and worship being organised by our Youth Fellowship on Easter Eve (Saturday 31st March). Mark Ferguson and his band will be returning to St Nicholas to lead the singing and there will be a gospel presentation by the “Play it by Ear” drama group. Do encourage any young people in your family to come along - you could even come with them! It should be a great evening together as we anticipate the joy of Easter Day.

During Lent, we often invite parishioners to do something practical to support Christians in other parts of the world. This year the Church Mission Society Ireland have a project called “Building Bridges” which is supporting the work of the Anglican church in the Diocese of Egypt.  There are many challenges for Christians in this part of the world and there have been a number of well publicised attacks on them by radical Islamic groups. If you would like to join in supporting this project, why not put a jar on the table where you sit down to eat and put some money in it each time you enjoy a meal. Then bring the contents of the jar with you to church on Easter Sunday and we will gather it together and send it on to Egypt via CMSI.

May you know the Lord’s leading and blessing this month.

Yours in Jesus,
George


ST NICHOLAS' WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP

There will be no Women's Fellowship meeting in March. Instead we plan to attend the Holy Week service together on Tuesday 27th March at Holy Trinity, Woodburn (Prospect Road). A group of us plan to go for coffee after the service and any ladies who would like to join us will be very welcome.
Valerie Leighton


PRAYERPOINT

Our PrayerPoint schedule follows a fortnightly pattern with a shorter Monday evening at the beginning of the month and a slightly longer time on a Tuesday evening in the middle of the month. PrayerPoint evenings are your opportunity to join in prayer for the life and witness of St Nicholas’ and the church of Jesus Christ around the world.
Come on one of the evenings or come to both;
Come for the whole evening or come for a short time;
Come and pray aloud or in silence;
But come - we’ll be delighted to see you!

St Nicholas’ Church
Monday 5th April
7.00pm - 7.45pm
&
Tuesday 20th March
7.00 pm—8.30 pm



St Nicholas Parish Church

Prayer Diary – March 2018

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
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing that you have made,
and you forgive the sins of all who truly repent.  Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, rightly lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain from you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.                                         Prayers for Various Occasions


------

1st March – Thursday
The clergy of Connor Diocese are having a Quiet Morning at All Saints, Belfast.  Pray for all involved in ministry in our Diocese; for Bishop Alan Abernethy who will address this gathering; and for all those parishes, particularly in Belfast who do not currently have a Rector and who are struggling financially.

2nd March – Friday
Pray for the way forward for government in Northern Ireland.

3rd March – Saturday
The CMS Project for 2018, ‘Crossing Bridges’ focuses on building peace and friendship in Egypt.  Pray for the staff at CMS Ireland; and this year’s project.

4TH MARCH – SUNDAY (3rd Sunday in Lent)
This afternoon the Rev Paul Dundas is installed as the new Archdeacon of Dalriada in Lisburn Cathedral.  Pray for Paul in his new role.  Pray for our services and for our Sunday School and Bible Class.

5th March – Monday
Pray for PrayerPoint.  Pray for George chairing the Select Vestry at St John’s, Malone; and for the first Lenten Talk by Bishop Alan this evening in Bushmills.

6th March – Tuesday
Our Select Vestry meets this evening.  Pray for our outgoing Select Vestry.

7th March – Wednesday
Pray for this morning’s Holy Communion service and for Cameron who will be at Northlands Court for a less formal service and talk.

8th March – Thursday
Pray for this morning’s visit to Victoria Primary for Assembly.

9th March – Friday
Pray for our Busy Bees Parent and Toddler Group.

10th March – Saturday
Pray for the Church in Tabora Diocese.  Pray for Emmanuel, that he would find partners and backers so that he and Elizabeth can continue their work.

11TH MARCH – SUNDAY (4th Sunday in Lent/Mothering Sunday)
Today give thanks for loving mothers and those who have taken on that role.  Pray for families where that relationship is fractured and those mourning the loss of a mother.  Give thanks for the work of Mothers’ Union worldwide. Pray for Cameron preaching at Glencairn parish this morning.

12th March – Monday
Pray for our Senior Moments Group.

13th March – Tuesday
Pray for the sick, especially those awaiting surgery.

14th March – Wednesday
Pray for our Crosslinks Link Missionaries, the Watson family in Gothenburg.

15th March – Thursday
Give thanks for those who clean our church and halls.

16th March – Friday
Pray for our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.  Pray for our Brownies and Rainbows; and the Senior Guides ‘Bake Over’.

17th March – Saturday
This morning our Senior Guides are having a Bake Sale, with proceeds going to Friends of the Cancer Centre, in memory of Morag Stewart our former Guides leader who died last September.  Pray for this sale and for the Walking Group on this morning’s walk along the Newtownabbey Way.

18TH MARCH – SUNDAY (5th Sunday in Lent)
Pray for today’s Morning Prayer including Holy Baptism, for this evening’s Holy Communion with Prayers for Healing and for Cafe Church.

19th March – Monday
Pray for the many families in our parish who were recently bereaved.

20th March – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint.

21st March – Wednesday
On what will be their final practice before Easter, pray for the Extended Choir and Alison our Organist.  Pray for this morning’s visit to Sunnylands Primary.

22nd March – Thursday
Once again Catherine and her team will meet this morning to assemble Parish News.  Give thanks for all that Catherine does in our church office and for all who assist her behind the scenes.  Pray too for our Catering Team.

23rd March – Friday
Pray for this evening’s Abba Girls meeting.

24th March – Saturday
On the eve of Palm Sunday, pray for Persecuted Christians.  As North Korea once again tops Open Doors’ World Watch List, pray for the people of that nation and especially for its leader Kim Jong-Un.

25TH MARCH – SUNDAY (6th Sunday in Lent/Palm Sunday)
Pray for today’s Family Service and for the members of our Music Group.

26th March – Monday
This year’s Holy Week services are in Holy Trinity.  Pray for this evening’s service and for this week’s guest speaker Mark Stone from Ballymena Elim Church.  Pray too for this morning’s short prayer time in St Nicholas’.

27th March – Tuesday
Pray for this morning’s time of prayer and for our Women’s Fellowship attending this evening’s service in Holy Trinity.

28th March – Wednesday
Give thanks for those leading services and praise at Holy Trinity this week.

29th March – Thursday
Give thanks for Mission Carrick and the coming together of congregations this week.  Pray for our prayer time this morning.

30th March – Friday (Good Friday)
Pray for this morning’s Family Service in church.  Pray too for the final Holy Week service this evening in Holy Trinity.  Give thanks for Mark Stone and the message he has brought to those attending this week; for Alan and the parishioners of Holy Trinity who hosted this week, especially those who have provided refreshments each evening.

31st March – Saturday
This evening our church is hosting a Youth Praise service.  Pray for all the young people attending; for Mark Ferguson’s band and the ‘Play it by Ear’ drama group who are leading the worship.  This will be followed by a sleepover for our Youth Fellowship members.  Pray for our Youth Fellowship.


SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTES

There are a couple of events to note this month, Mothers’ Day and Palm Sunday. 

Mothers’ Day falls on Sunday 11th March.  All children with their parents are encouraged to attend the Mothers’ Day service in Church at 11 am and consequently there will be no Sunday School or Bible Class.  This is a wonderful opportunity to thank God together for our Mums and for all they do for us.  This does not mean to say that we don’t give thanks for these very special ladies on the other 364 days of the year.

Palm Sunday is on 25th March.  Again there will be no Sunday School or Bible Class. Parents are encouraged to attend the 11 am Family Service when we will look again at the events surrounding Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
        Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent


Children's Outreach Mission

They say no news is good news.  I’m not sure that is entirely correct.  The monthly newsletters have stopped but we must be fair.  The new Coordinator needs time to grasp the reins.  We need to pray for him (no name yet) to seek our Lord’s leading as he encourages Pastors to embrace children’s ministry in their Churches.

Emmanuel will be continuing with the various Good News Clubs.  This is possible because he formed these clubs outside the ‘umbrella’ of the Anglican Church.  They are community based clubs with children and volunteers from every denomination and none, including Muslims, meeting in homes, backyards and under a mango tree.

Elizabeth sent an email recently expressing how conscious they all are of going through a hard and testing time.  She thanks us for our prayerful support in the past and says “Don’t stop praying for us, we are in God’s hands.”

Crèche Rota March 2018

2nd       Janice Nelson, Rachel McVeigh, Sophie Foreman
9th       Ann Hodge & Alison Kane
16th     John Kane, Carol Moneypenny, Caitlyn McKinley
23rd     John Kane, Christine Stewart, Sophie Foreman
30th     Faye Hamilton & 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.

TEA ROTA MARCH 2018

Please organise within your group as to who will bring milk and biscuits.  If you cannot be present on the Sunday listed, please arrange for another volunteer to cover for you or phone Christine Cahoon.   Many thanks for your support.

4th
Kaye Cheshire Doris Close Kathleen Arthur

11th
Marion Money Janet Davis Diane Strain

18th Laura Horner Heather Parkes Colin Parkes

25th
Gillian Dalton Tamera Milligan Patricia Wilson


Flowers in Church February 2018 (not in last magazine)
18th    Lynda Kingston—In memory of my husband Noel


Flowers in Church March 2018

4th      Lisa Thompson —On the anniversary of mum’s death
11th    Christine Cahoon—In memory of my parents
18th    Jennifer Da Silva—In memory of my husband Carlos
25th    The Cole Family

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 porchspeak 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.


SOUND DESK ROTA MARCH 2018

                   Morning                     Evening
4th          Gillian Dalton              Glenn Nelson
11th         Rachel McVeigh          Julie Irvine
18th        Johnnie McAlister         Steven Todd
25th        Graeme Miles              Cafe Church

LAUGHLINES

It was Palm Sunday, but because of a sore throat, young James stayed home from church with his grannie. When the family returned home, they were carrying several palm fronds. Johnny asked them what they were for. "People held them over Jesus' head as He walked by," his father told him.
"Wouldn't you know it," James fumed, "the one Sunday I don't go, and He shows up."

Calling all Crafters

A group has been formed for all those
who are interested in one craft or another.
Crocheting/knitting/card making/canvas art etc. 
Tea & Coffee will be provided.

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

For further details contact Janice Nelson on.
Everyone welcome



WOODBURN REGENERATION GROUP

This group hopes to achieve the regeneration of the rural facilities in the Woodburn Forest areas.  Through dialogue with NI Water access gates to the forest have been installed which ensure access to the forest areas for not only able bodied persons but all who wish to enjoy this outdoor facility.  The group’s long term view would be to see an Interpretation Centre on site, with full facilities for the benefit of all who come to visit.

The Group through their affiliated members, the Commons Ramblers, are involved with litter pick-ups in this area approximately every third week. The Ramblers meet each Sunday at 2 pm winter time for an easy walk suitable for all abilities and  finish their ramble with a cup of tea and a wee bun.  They would be delighted to extend an invitation to anyone from within the parish and the wider area to come and join with them in bringing members of the public together in a safe and shared space.


Christian Burial

‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’

29th January 2018
William Andrew Holden, 20 Bashford Drive, Carrickfergus

31st January 2018
William Acheson Craig, 40 Sunnylands Avenue, Carrickfergus

2nd February 2018
Millicent Florence Kennedy, 49 Ellis Street, Carrickfergus

7th  February 2018
Edith Robinson, Burleigh Hill Nursing Home, Carrickfergus

8th  February 2018
Ethel Norman McKenzie, Joymount House, Carrickfergus

14th  February 2018
Rose Ellen (Helen) McAllister, Tamlaght Nursing Home, Carrickfergus

19th  February 2018
Stanley James Braden, 7 Windslow Rise, Carrickfergus



Bishop’s Lent Talks

The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, will deliver three talks on the topic of ‘God’s Mission and the Church today’ for his Lent series 2018.

The first takes place in Dunluce Parish Centre, Bushmills,
on Monday March 5th at 7.30pm

The second takes place in Jordanstown Parish Centre,
on Thursday March 15th at 7.30pm.

The third takes place in Lisburn Cathedral
on Tuesday March 20th at 7.30pm.

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

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 March
12th March        Catherine from Hidden Hearing explains the benefits
26th March        Crafty Karen & Co
28th March        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



God So Loved the World

‘For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ (John 3:16)  This verse has been described as ‘the greatest verse in the Bible’, as it enables us to understand the events of Good Friday and Easter Day. The cross and resurrection reveal the depth of God’s love for each of us.

God’s love is unconditional: God demonstrated the extent of his love by sending His Son into this world, to show us what it looks like: ‘God with skin on’! God graciously loves us, as none of us deserves it. ‘There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God love us less.’ (Philip Yancey).

God’s love is sacrificial: The cross is the supreme demonstration of God’s love, as Jesus identifies with a fallen, suffering world. He died for our sins, removing the barrier between us and God, giving access into God’s presence and release from the power of sin and death.

God’s love is accessible: Jesus’ resurrection makes His eternal life available to all who put their trust in Him. It’s an offer of life with purpose, in which we can know God personally, both now and for eternity.

Bobby Moore described receiving the World Cup from the Queen in 1966 as terrifying: ‘I noticed that the Queen was wearing some beautiful white gloves. I looked down at my hands and they were completely covered with mud’! Although we approach God with dirty and spoilt lives, by the cross and resurrection, we can shake hands with a holy God. He offers us ‘life in all its fullness’, with healing, forgiveness, peace and a fresh start in life!


Services in MARCH 2018

4th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Holy Communion—Apostleship—Paul’s rights
            1 Corinthians 9 v 1-18    Marion Letters
            Matthew 28 v 16-20        The Preacher
    6.30 pm    Evening Prayer & Cafe Church
            Lessons in Lent—Cleansing
            John 2 v 13-22        Christine Cahoon

11th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Mothering Sunday
            Exodus 2 v 1-10
            Colossian 3 v 12-17
    6.30 pm    Evening Prayer & Cafe Church
            Lessons in Lent—Condemnation or Forgiveness
            John 3 v 10-21        Jackie Kane

18th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer—Apostleship—Paul’s Service
            1 Corinthians 9 v 19-28    Gillian Dalton
            Matthew 20 v 20-28        Valerie Barr
    6.30 pm    Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing
            & Café Church
            Lessons in Lent—the Death that gives Life
            Hebrews 5 v 5-10        Ray Gilbert
            John 12 v 20-33        The Preacher

25th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Palm Sunday Family Service
            Jesus’ kingdom—the King is here!!
            Matthew 21 v 1-11
    6.30 pm    Café Church
            Lessons in Lent—the King who was to Come
            John 12 v 12-19


OTHER EVENTS IN MARCH

6th    7.30 pm        Select Vestry
17th    10.00 am        Parish Walking Group Outing
31st    7.30 pm        Youth Service

EASTER FLOWERS

Please bring all flower donations for Easter Sunday to the church at 9.30 am on Saturday 31st March. If you can also stay to arrange some flowers, your help would be greatly appreciated.        The Flower Group

ABBA GIRLS


Friday 23rd March  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



Y F stay awake

Easter Saturday evening, 31st March, YF is meeting in the church at 7 pm for the praise evening and then moving over to the halls afterwards for a Stay Awake.  We would like to invite all secondary school age children to come to this event and P7s are welcome to join us but must be collected at 11pm from the halls.

Parish Walking Group


Saturday 17th March

NEWTOWNABBEY WAY:
Whiteabbey to mossley mill
Come and enjoy some lovely scenery, fun and
fellowship with our Parish Walking Group.
Especially suitable for children and families.

Meet at 10 am at Whiteabbey car park, Shore Road
(opposite Dillon’s Avenue)
For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin or Joan Gray


Mission Carrick Holy Week Services

with Pastor Mark Stone
(Ballymena Elim Church)
Monday 26th - Friday 30th March 2018

Each evening at 7.30pm
in Holy Trinity Church, Woodburn.
Everyone very welcome.



 
St Nicholas Sketch