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RECTOR’S LETTER

Dear Friends at St Nicholas',
This month sees a great deal of activity in the parish. As well as the ongoing work of the various organisations and groups which continue to provide opportunities for young and old in the parish week by week, a number of special events and activities are taking place in May.

Our Sunday School superintendent, Lynn Rodgers, is visiting Tanzania at the moment. The purpose of his trip is to bring greetings from St Nicholas’ to our brothers and sisters in the church in Tabora. Specifically he will be spending time renewing friendship, encouraging and seeing the work being done by the Child Outreach Mission run by Emmanuel Rubeye. This important work reaches out to young people with the gospel of Jesus and helps to train adults in supporting and teaching them. Lynn also hopes to have the opportunity to visit with Bishop Elias Chakupewe and see some of the work being done by the diocese to build the church in Tabora. He is bringing gifts which parishioners have generously given in recent weeks and will use these to help provide some of the practical resources which are needed to support the work being done there. Please continue to pray for Lynn - that his trip would be fruitful, that he would have safe journeys and that he would be kept in good health.

Our links with the church overseas will begin a new chapter when we welcome Trevor & Andrea Watson to St Nicholas' on Sunday 1st May. Trevor, Andrea and their daughters will be moving to Copenhagen in the summer to help plant a new church in the city supported by the Crosslinks mission agency. We will be one of their partner churches praying for them and helping to provide some of the finance needed to support them in their work. Do come and join us at 11 am on 1st May as we meet them and pray with them as they prepare to take this step in Christ's service.

As is our custom on the first Bank Holiday Monday in May, on May 2nd, there will be a parish picnic at Tollymore Forest Park near Newcastle. Everybody is welcome to join us for fun and games and of course a big picnic!! Activities include a walk in the forest, fun and games for the children and a boys v girls rounders match! There is something for everyone and we'd love you to join us. If you need a lift please contact the church office. We look forward to seeing you then!

On Sunday 15th May at 6.30 pm we will be welcoming the Bishop of Connor back to St Nicholas’. Bishop Alan Abernethy will be coming to conduct a service of confirmation and parishioners from St Nicholas’, along with others from Holy Trinity and from All Saint's, Belfast will be coming to profess their faith and be confirmed. Please do remember those who are preparing for this important public profession of faith and do come and support them with your presence at the service that Sunday evening.

At the end of the month St Nicholas’ has the privilege of hosting the County Antrim Service of Thanksgiving for Her Majesty the Queen's 90th birthday. Organised by the Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim, many people from across the county will be gathering to give thanks to God for the faithful service of our Queen and celebrate her special birthday. We give thanks that we have a monarch who so clearly is a woman of faith and speaks publicly about the importance of her Christianity in the way that she carries out the important role that has been entrusted to her. We continue to pray for her as she demonstrates her commitment to Christ and to our nation.

With love in Jesus,
George

EASTER VESTRY

The Annual Easter Vestry meeting was held on Wednesday 6th April 2016.  At this meeting the Rector, Rev George Davison’s address centred on looking back and looking forward. The Rector gave thanks to various people during this address for their hard work and dedication over the year to Parish life.

At the meeting the following members were elected to serve on the Vestry:-
Rector’s Church Warden: Appointment awaited
People’s Church Warden: Mr Ted McAuley
Rector’s Glebe Warden: Mr Richard Eakin
People’s Glebe Warden: Mr Glenn Nelson

Mrs Sharon Maxwell, Mr Ray Gilbert, Mr Peter Broad,
Mrs Ann McVeigh, Mrs Katrina Todd,  Mrs Christine Cahoon,
Mrs Julie Irvine, Mrs Heather Gingles, Mr Don Howe,
Mr Gordon Dalton, Mrs Linda Mulvenny and Mr Alan Miles.

Following the election of the new Select Vestry, the first meeting was held after the Easter Vestry and the following appointments were made:

Honorary Treasurer: Mrs Linda Mulvenny
Honorary Secretary: Mr Alan Miles

CROSSLINKS

In their latest Prayer Letter Trevor and Andrea Watson write, “Moving to Sweden in June is certainly a daunting prospect in so many ways and yet we’re greatly reassured that this same Lord Jesus also gives us all that we need, to do all that he’s called and commissioned us to do. Our minds have been opened to understand the Word of Christ and we go to proclaim this life-giving Word in the power of the Spirit of Christ. It’s been a real joy to share about God’s grace in our lives and our plans to be involved in gospel work in Sweden over these months of deputation. We have still quite some way to go in raising our support but we praise God for all those who have already entered into partnership with us. Thank you so much for your prayers and practical support.”

Central Belfast Child Contact Centre

Urgently Needs Volunteers
Central Belfast Contact Centre began as a Connor Mother’s Union initiative in 2000.  Central Belfast Child Contact Centre is a safe, friendly and neutral place where children of separated families can spend time with one or both parents and sometimes other family members.  It is a child-centred environment that puts the need of the children first. In today's society, 1 in 3 relationships/marriages in the UK end in separation/divorce.

The centre is open each Saturday from 10 am until 2 pm and is staffed by a coordinator, Margaret Yarr and a team of volunteers.

Contact at the centre is NOT supervised, but supported and the volunteer’s role is to reassure, assist and be a friendly face to those using the centre. The commitment would normally be one session – either a morning (10 am – 12 pm ) or an afternoon (12 pm – 2pm)
approximately every four weeks.

We urgently need more volunteers! If you think you might be interested, please contact Margaret  on 07864 709598 for more information.

Beauty By Design – The Scandal of Grace

Women’s Conference 2016
Friday 20th May & Saturday 21st May
Jordan Victory Church, Carrickfergus

Headline News
“Powerful enough to change the world. Personable enough to shape a life!” That’s what is being reported in Carrickfergus.This amazing Scandal of Grace. Is this too good to be true?

One young women has said “I've never been the same again after having experienced the Grace of God”.  Another reported of this “Amazing Grace that has left her totally guilt free".

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30
Full Conference Admission £20
Friday night only £8, Saturday only £13
We would like to organise a group of ladies from St Nicholas’ Church to attend this event.Please contact Alison Kane or the Church Office by Sunday 15th May if you are interested in coming along.  EVERYONE WELCOME!

Men’s Nights Out

Calling all men.  We are planning 2 excursions over the next couple of months and you would be welcome to join us.

Tuesday 24th May
Visit to the Ulster Aviation Museum—meet at the Church Halls at 6 pm
Book your place with Brian Courtney by paying the £3 entrance charge.

Tuesday 14th June
Men’s Barbecue at Ram’s Island, Lough Neagh-further details to follow.
If interested, please speak to Brian Courtney.


PRAYERPOINT

St Nicholas’ Church
Tuesday 17th May 7.00pm - 8.30pm
There is no PrayerPoint Monday 2nd May
due to the May Bank Holiday

Christian Baptism

“Suffer the little children to come unto me”

17th April 2015
Reuben Eric Desmond McKeen, 17 Glenavna, Whiteabbey

Christian Marriage

‘What God has joined together, let not man separate’

30th March 2016
Adam Graham James Spencer, 43 Shrawley Road, Worcester and
Rebecca Lynn Patton, 43 Shrawley Road, Worcester

Christian Burial

‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’

16th April 2016
Ellen Tilson (Helen) Dempster, 59 Dunluskin Gardens, Carrickfergus

St Nicholas’ Church, Carrickfergus

Prayer Diary – May 2016

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.  Also included is 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
Eternal Giver of love and power,
your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world
to preach the gospel of his kingdom.
Confirm us in this mission,
and help us to love the good news we proclaim;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.            BCP

1ST MAY – SUNDAY (6th Sunday of Easter)
This morning we welcome Trevor and Andrea Watson, our new link missionaries.  Give thanks for this opportunity to get to know them.  Pray for them and their children as they prepare to serve in Gothenburg, Sweden.

2nd May – Monday
The Annual Family Fun Day to Tollymore takes place today.  Give thanks for this day out for families who make up our church family.  Pray for good weather, for safe travel and for friendships to be made and strengthened in this fun time together.

3rd May – Tuesday
Our new Select Vestry meets this evening.  Pray for them and for the matters discussed and decisions made, that in all things they would do God’s Will.

4th May – Wednesday
Our Sunday School Superintendent Lynn Rodgers is currently visiting Tabora Diocese. Pray for him, for his health and safety, as he renews old friendships and forges new ones.  Pray for Bishop Elias and all who minister within the Diocese.  Pray for Emmanuel and his team working in children’s ministry.

5th May – Thursday
Today we vote for representatives for our Stormont Assembly.  Pray for those standing for election; for wisdom for the electorate; for those staffing Polling Stations and counting votes cast.  Pray that we would achieve a government ready and willing to act for the good of all the people of this land.

6th May – Friday
Pray for our Busy Bees Parent and Toddler Group.  Pray for the Beavers and their leaders at tonight’s ‘Stay Awake.’

7th May – Saturday
Pray for our former Curate, now Suffragen Bishop Darren McCartney and his wife Karen, and the safe delivery of the baby she is expecting.  Pray too for Andrew Campbell who was last month appointed Rector of Broughshane.

8TH MAY – SUNDAY (7th Sunday of Easter/Sunday after Ascension Day)
Give thanks for our clergy, for George, for Brian and for Cameron and the Biblical truth they preach.  Pray for our Sunday School and Bible Class and for the work of teachers and helpers.  Pray that parents would see the importance of Sunday School and bring their children to church.  Pray for Youth Fellowship.

9th May – Monday
Christianity Explained continues.  Pray for those taking part, that this would help them know more of God’s Love and His Plan for their lives.

10th May – Tuesday
The Women’s Fellowship rounds off this season with their annual outing this evening.  Pray for the members of our Women’s Fellowship.

11th May – Wednesday
Pray for our Safeguarding Trust team, George, Linda Cornhill and new member Ray Gilbert.  Give thanks for them and former member Frank Hill.

12th May – Thursday
The Church of Ireland General Synod begins today in Dun Laoghaire and continues until Saturday.  Pray for all Synod members, especially those known to us who strive to uphold Biblical teaching.  Pray for the Most Revd Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh and our Bishop of Connor, Alan Abernethy.

13th May – Friday
Pray for the sick.  Pray for those in hospital and those awaiting admission; for those frustrated by slow recovery and for those for whom there is no cure.

14th May – Saturday
As General Synod comes to an end, pray for safe travel back to parishes.  Pray for those studying for ministry, remembering former Diocesan Lay Readers Heather Clarke and Johnny McFarland.  Pray for them, for rest, and for opportunities to gain experience in parishes this summer.

15TH MAY – SUNDAY (Day of Pentecost/Whitsunday)
This evening, our Bishop will be with us as three adults from our parish along with adults and young people from Holy Trinity, Carrickfergus and All Saints’, Belfast are presented for Confirmation.  Pray for all attending this service.

16th May – Monday
Pray for our Small Groups meeting at different times and at different venues to study God’s Word.

17th May – Tuesday
Pray for and with those attending PrayerPoint this evening.

18th May – Wednesday
Give thanks for opportunities for clergy to visit local schools.  Pray for today’s visit to Sunnylands Primary.  Pray for young people sitting exams at this time.
19th May – Thursday
Pray for those bereaved in recent weeks and months.

20th May – Friday
Pray for resolution to the conflict in Syria and the consequent refugee crisis.

21st May – Saturday
The Walking Group meet at Crawfordsburn today.  Pray for them and for the first aid training in our church halls.  Pray for the North Irish Horse Regiment Service in our church this morning.

22ND MAY – SUNDAY (Trinity Sunday)
Pray for our Family Service this morning and for this evening’s Cafe Church.

23rd May – Monday
Pray for today’s Senior Moments.

24th May – Tuesday
Pray for Persecuted Christians in our world.  Pray for Open Doors.

25th May – Wednesday
Pray for Mission Carrickfergus Ministers’ Fellowship meeting this morning.

26th May – Thursday
Pray for Catherine and her team as they assemble Parish News this morning.

27th May – Friday
Pray for our uniformed organisations.

28th May – Saturday
At the beginning of our Church Openings, pray for visitors, guides and helpers.

29TH MAY – SUNDAY (1st Sunday after Trinity)
Pray for Queen Elizabeth, as the Lord Lieutenant hosts the County Antrim service to mark Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday in St Nicholas’ this afternoon.

30th May – Monday
Pray for the count team and for those who clean our church and halls.

31st May – Tuesday
Pray for Crosslinks.

SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTES

Letter and prayer writing to the children in Tabora Diocese took place over two Sundays last month and a lot of thought went into all of them.  Photos of the children have been included with each letter to add a personal touch to the sentiments written.  A group photo of the combined Bible Classes will also go to the Senior Children’s Clubs in Tabora.  Not to be outdone, a group photo of our teachers will be left with groups of volunteers and teachers who are an essential element of the Children’s Outreach Mission in Tabora.  The children have studied a map of the world and have seen just how small Northern Ireland is compared to Tanzania, and how far away it is.

By the time you read this, the visit will be well underway.  I would ask you all to pray for health, stamina and safety in travel, as roads outside Tabora town are no more that tracks.  Also please pray for a renewed relationship between Bishop Elias and Tabora Diocese with St Nicholas’, leading to a group visit in 2017.  Many of us know people belonging to different churches, be they Anglican or from other denominations, who go on group visits to partner churches in various countries at regular intervals.  What is stopping us?  We have the link, let’s build on it and the blessing will flow, in both directions.

I must say a very sincere thank you to all who have given me gifts of money for use with the Children’s Outreach Mission prior to departure.  I was able to forward £1,000 by Western Union money transfer just before I left so that it would be available to Emmanuel when I got there.  All gifts given to me for this work have been or will be acknowledged formally.  Your generosity has been outstanding and very humbling.  It is quite clear to me that there is a genuine interest in our Parish for a deeper involvement in practical mission.  We’ve talked about it, even prayed about it, now’s the time to do it.

The Sunday School timetable for May is routine, with classes on 1st, 8th, 15th and 29th May with 22nd being our monthly Family Service. 
Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent

Crèche Rota May 2016

1st       John Kane, Carol Moneypenny, Sophie Foreman
8th       Faye Hamilton, Sharon McMaster
15th     Karen Bell, Ciara Lester
22nd     Lorraine  Gibson, Valerie Leighton
15th     Ann Hodge, Deirdre Beck, Sophie Foreman

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 MAY 2016

                    Morning                Evening
1st          Julie Irvine                Steven Todd
8th         Rachel McVeigh          Jonathan Nelson
15th       Glenn Nelson              Paul Letters
22nd      Johnnie McAlister         Cafe Church
29th      Dereice Maguire           Lynn Rodgers

Flowers in Church April 2016 (not in last magazine)
10th    David McAtamney & family—In memory of my late wife, Denise
24th    Joan Butten– In memory of our mother, Ellen Dobbin’s birthday

Flowers in Church May 2016

1st    Vacant
8th    Ann McVeigh—In memory of Roy
15th    The McElhone Family—In memory of our mother
22nd    Vacant
29th    Vacant

If you would like to donate flowers for the Sanctuary please fill your name in against the appropriate space on the Flower List in the main porch or contact Mary Withers at.  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.

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

2—4 pm in the Church Halls 2nd & 4th Mondays of the month
9th May    Drop In
23rd May    ‘What we can do for you?’ Health Centre Pharmacy

Calling all Crafters

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

Services in May 2016

1st    9.30 am    Holy Communion
        11.00 am    Holy Communion
            Visit of Trevor & Andrea Watson (Crosslinks)
        6.30 pm    Evening Prayer & Cafe Church: The kingdom established
            1 Kings 2 v 13-46        Hilary Bishop

8th    9.30 am    Holy Communion
        11.00 am    Morning Prayer—Ascended!
            Daniel 7 v 9-14        Ted McAuley
            Acts 1 v 1-11            Christine Stewart
        6.30 pm    Evening Prayer & Cafe Church: God’s King starts to reign
            1 Kings 3            Janet Preston

15th    9.30 am    Holy Communion
         11.00 am    Morning Prayer—Holy Spirit power
            Exodus 33 v 7-20        June Carmichael
            John 16 v 4-15            Kathleen Arthur
        6.30 pm    Confirmation Service (no Cafe Church)
            Acts 2 v 1-21           
            John 14 v 8-17           

22nd    9.30 am    Holy Communion
          11.00 am    Family Service: Moses—bread from heaven!
            Exodus 16
         6.30 pm    Cafe Church—Wisdom reigns
            1 Kings 4

29th    9.30 am    Holy Communion
         11.00 am    Service of the Word: Titus—Crete’s troubleshooter!
            Titus 1 v 1-9            Valerie Barr
         3.30 pm    Queen’s 90th Birthday Service (no 6.30 pm service)

OTHER EVENTS IN MAY

2nd    10.00 am        Family Day Out to Tollymore
3rd    7.30 pm        Select Vestry meeting
10th    6.45 pm        Women’s Fellowship Outing
21st    10.30 am        Parish Walking Group Outing

Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section Parents’ Night
Tuesday 7th June
6-30pm to 8pm.


All welcome



ST NICHOLAS' WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP
We really appreciated the lovely relaxed evening with Cameron and Alex in April and look forward to this month's outing on Tuesday 10th May. We are having a tour of Sinclair Seamen's Presbyterian Church in Corporation Square and have been invited to Alison Irwin's for supper. A suggested donation of
£2 - £3 will be collected on the night.
We will meet in Lancasterian Street Car Park at 6.45 pm.

If you would like to go, please let me know by Sunday, 8th May.
Thank you. Christine

Church Open for Visitors – Summer 2016

Saturday 28th May – *Tuesday 6th September incl.
*Not Tuesday 12th July

Tuesdays – 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm
Saturdays – 11.00 am – 1.00 pm


Parishioners needed to greet visitors during church openings.

We urgently need volunteers to be in the church during
openings, especially for Tuesday afternoons.
Would you be interested?  Would you be free?
If so, please speak to Ann McVeigh or any church warden.

On Saturday 14th May there will be an opportunity for anyone interested to come into church and speak to a tour guide about what is involved and hopefully add your name to the rota.

Look forward to seeing you then.
SATURDAY 14TH MAY – 11.00 AM

TEA ROTA MAY 2016

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.

1st May Gillian Dalton Tamera Milligan Andrea Drysdale

8th May Patricia Wilson Anne Laverty Annie Crawford

15th May Valerie Kirk Robin Gray Joan Gray

22nd May Diane Innes Janice Nelson Karen Miles

29th May Nadine Davison Alex Jones Liz Hanna

ANNUAL FAMILY DAY OUT

MAY DAY—Monday 2nd May

Calling all families and friends!
Join us for our Annual Family Day Out
at Tollymore Forest Park

Walk/Games/Food/Fun/Fellowship

Meet at the Church Halls at 10.00 am
For further information
contact Janice or Sharon

Parish Walking Group


Saturday 21st May

Crawfordsburn Coastal Walk

Meet at 10.30 am
Crawfordsburn Country Park car park

For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin or Joan Gray

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


BUSY BEES


Runher Coastal
10K run
Friday 20th May

Karen Bell and Alison Kane are raising money for St Nicholas’ Church of Ireland Busy Bees Parents and Toddlers Group by running the Runher 10K coastal run.  If you would like to sponsor them please speak to Alison/Karen or Catherine in the church office.  All money raised will go straight to Busy Bees.







 
St Nicholas Sketch