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RECTOR’S LETTER

Dear Friends in St Nicholas’,
What does it mean to you to be a member of St Nicholas’ Church? Indeed, what does it mean to be a follower of Jesus today?

I believe that one of the big challenges that faces the church today is quite simply the way that we understand the world around us. Increasingly, we have become the consumer generation and often our lives revolve around us getting what we think we need - a nice home, a nice car, the latest technology, good food… The list could go on and on! We shop around for the best bargains and we look to see what each shop has on offer, but somehow there is always just one more thing the we need and we are never satisfied. So we work longer and harder so that we can have the money for the next thing and then we begin to have less time for one another.

This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I think that we can all recognise a bit of ourselves in that description. The problem is that increasingly Christians are allowing this way of thinking to shape the way we look at church too.

We are becoming ‘consumer Christians’! We go to church to get what we need; we look to others in the church to provide us with what we want - enjoyable worship, good sermons, interesting activities for us and for our children. And if we think that we can get better elsewhere, we don’t think twice about going there to get it. It might even sound like a reasonable way to go about things.

The trouble is that I don’t think that is what Jesus had in mind when he called people to be his disciples!

Jesus spoke to ordinary men and women and said “Come, follow me!” He invited them to leave behind their other priorities and discover what it was to find life in the Kingdom of God. Men and women who became his disciples (the word means one who learns, an active follower) listened as He explained to them that God’s plan for the world was that we should find his new life, not through what we do or get, but through finding forgiveness for our sins and a new beginning through trusting Jesus himself.

His followers (then and now) are called to be a community of people who are committed firstly to Jesus and then to each other. I hope that over the weeks and months that lie ahead you will join us in discovering how we can become more faithful to that call in the family that is St Nicholas’ Church. But it will only happen when each one of us, who is reading this magazine, realises that we have an important part to play.

We are family - the family of Jesus, and we need each other! Being part of a church is not just about buying into what I want or like, rather it is about recognising that I’m part of the family. When I’m with my family, together we’ll be blessed as we share together in family life - we’ll love being with our Heavenly Father, we’ll encourage each other to discover just how much He loves us and we’ll be delighted when together we can welcome new members of the family.

Sometimes (just like in any family!) we might get on each other’s nerves a bit - none of us is perfect and we might have to learn to put up with each other’s funny little ways, but we’ll miss those who are absent and we’ll only really be the family we should be, when everyone is there and is playing their part. As one of the family in St Nicholas, I’m really thankful for all of you and I’m praying that we will keep getting closer to one another as we keep getting closer to Jesus.

If that’s going to happen, we all need to recognise that we need to take the next step. What does that mean for you? Is it starting to come to church to meet the family again? Is it taking that vital step of actually trusting Jesus as your Saviour? Is it sorting out a problem that you have from the past with another member of the family? Joining a Small Group with other church family members to learn more about what the Bible says? Or offering to help with some simple task in church life?

As clergy, we are here to help you take that next step, so that we all grow deeper in our love for Jesus, grow as his disciples and grow as a church family. If you would like to talk to us about what that means for you, please do speak to myself or Cameron or Brian. We’d be glad to help!

With love in Jesus,
George


LATEST FROM TREVOR & ANDREA

After a long cold Winter, Spring has finally arrived!  Thank you so much for praying for our ‘bring and share’ international Easter Special at church.  We had a really encouraging afternoon with many different nationalities represented.  Praise God also for our Easter Children’s Club.  26 children came along, accompanied by their parents; some were from church contacts, but 1/3 were non-church kids.  Pray for spiritual fruit and the possibility of a Summer Holiday Bible Club in Kallebäck!

Recently we had an unexpected invite for our church to be involved at Sagåsen, the refugee centre on the edge of the city.  There are over 200 residents at a time, who stay for 1-2 weeks while they await asylum decisions.  We were allocated the Thursday morning slot, starting on April 19th.  Please pray for good contacts and gospel opportunities.  We really need God’s wisdom in knowing how to develop this very exciting opening.  

In April we launched our first Equipped preaching course.  We have 11 participants for a two-day intensive on Module One of this excellent course from Proclamation Trust.  Pray for Trevor as he leads the 8 sessions and Andrea as she looks after the catering.  We’ll tell you a little more about Equipped: Sverige in our next prayer letter, both the course and the conference that’s planned for the Autumn.  
Trevor, Andrea, Emily, Grace & Alice xx


Billy Graham 1918 - 2018

Billy Graham died on 21st February. He grew up on a farm in North Carolina and became one of the world’s most recognisable figures. I first saw and heard him at Earl’s Court, London in June 1966 and attended three subsequent crusades. The last being in 1989 in the old Wembley Stadium during a thunder storm.

4 Dangers to Ministry

Billy and his team identified four pitfalls that they had seen undermine other Christian ministries and took steps to safeguard themselves against falling to the same temptations.

Money: Every team member was on a salary and offerings went to crusade organisers. Financial accountability was practiced and transparency essential.

Sex: While on the road, no team member would eat, travel, or spend time alone with someone of the opposite sex.

Pride: Humbly working with others to advance the Kingdom and refraining from criticising other pastors or churches.

Integrity: Being honest in publicity and accounts of crusades and refraining from exaggerating numbers attending.


3 Important Principles

Prayer: “Every man or woman whose life has ever counted for God has been a person of prayer. A prayer-less Christian is a powerless Christian. Throughout both the Bible and the history of the church, those who made the greatest impact for God were those who prayed the most.” Billy Graham.

Preparation: Billy Graham once wrote that if he had only three years to minister, he would spend two of them in preparation.

Local Churches: From early on in his ministry, Billy Graham would only hold a crusade when invited by local churches and the names of converts were forwarded to their home church.


2 Memorable Statements

‘The Bible says . . .’ Billy Graham recognised Scripture as the authoritative Word of God and often prefaced sermon points with those three simple words.

‘I want you to get up out of your seats.' Those who heard his message were invited to respond publicly, leave their seat and come to the

front as an indication they had accepted Christ for the first time or wished to rededicate their lives to him.


1 Life given to God

Over some 60 years of ministry, Billy Graham spoke to millions ‘live’ and many more millions through relays and broadcasts. While God spared them, he worked within a team and at its inner core were Cliff Barrows, George Beverly Shea and George Wilson.

Billy Graham once said of the Holy Spirit: ‘It is not how much of the Spirit we have, but how much the Spirit has of us.’ Billy was, like us, part of a fallen humanity, subject to failings, disappointments and sin. Yet, in the power of the Holy Spirit, he is remembered as a faithful and honest servant of God. His message was straightforward, human nature is in need of transformation and its only hope lies in God’s provision through Christ and his death and resurrection.


EASTER VESTRY

The General Easter Vestry was held on Wednesday 11th April 2018 with 47 members present. At this meeting the following members were elected to serve on the Select Vestry:-

Rector’s Church Warden – Mr Brian Reid
People’s Church Warden – Mr Alan Miles

Rector’s Glebe Warden – Mr Roy McAlister
People’s Glebe Warden – Mr Ray Gilbert

Select Vestry – Mrs Linda Mulvenny, Mrs Christine Cahoon,
Mrs Julie Irvine, Mrs Sharon Maxwell, Mrs Diane Strain,
Mrs Ann McVeigh, Mrs Tamera Milligan, Mrs Katrina Todd,
Mrs Lisa Thompson, Mrs Valerie Kirk, Mr Gordon Dalton and
Mr Geoffrey Bairsto.

At the first meeting of the new Select Vestry the following appointments were made:-

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

PRAYERPOINT

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 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
Tuesday 15th May 7.00 pm—8.30 pm

Due to the May Day holiday there will only be
one PrayerPoint meeting in May


Flowers in Church May2018

6th    Vacant
13th     Happy 60th Birthday Mum (Jacqueline) - Love Lesley
13th    Birthday memories of Rosemary Bankhead - Colin & Audrey
20th    The Finlay Family
27th    The Bishop & Patton 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 porch.  The money can be given to either Catherine in the Church Office (028 9336 0061) or Gillian Dalton. As these details go into Parish News, we would ask, if possible, that you book your chosen Sunday at least 6 weeks in advance.


St Nicholas Parish Church

Prayer Diary – May 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
O heavenly Father, in whom we live and move and have our being;
We humbly pray thee so to guide and govern us by thy Holy Spirit,
that in all the cares and occupations of our daily life we may never forget thee, but remember that we are ever walking in thy sight;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.                                    BCP

------

1st May – Tuesday
Our new Select Vestry meets for the first time this evening.  Pray for this evening’s meeting and especially for those new members and those taking on new responsibilities.  Give thanks also for parishioners who bring their expertise to various sub-committees.  Pray for Boards of Nomination meeting this month and remember parishes that are currently vacant.

2nd May – Wednesday
Pray for this morning’s Holy Communion service.  Give thanks for the friendship and fellowship shared at this service.

3rd May – Thursday
This afternoon a member of our clergy team will be at Victoria Primary school for assembly.  Pray for all who teach and all involved in education.  With school Boards of Governors being reconstituted, remember parishioners nominated as Transferors Representatives to schools’ Boards of Governors.

4th May – Friday
Pray for our Busy Bees Parent and Toddler Group.

5th May – Saturday
Pray for Darren and Karen McCartney and their son Liam as Darren continues to serve as Suffragan Bishop in the Canadian Arctic.  Pray for a successful outcome to their application for residency in Canada.

6TH MAY – SUNDAY (The 6th Sunday of Easter/Rogation Sunday)
Pray for our church services today and for our Sunday School and Bible Class.  Remember those preparing for Confirmation later this year.  Pray for crèche volunteers.  Pray for Brian at Glencairn parish this morning.

7th May – Monday
Today a number of parishioners will travel to Tollymore for a time of fun and relaxation together.  Pray for all those travelling today and for the making and strengthening of friendships.

8th May – Tuesday
Our Women’s Fellowship concludes its programme with an outing to Kilcoan Gardens on Tuesday 12th June.  Pray for our Women’s Fellowship.

9th May – Wednesday
Pray for the sick.  Remember those living with chronic pain and those awaiting surgery.  Give thanks for the skills of health professionals in the NHS.

10th May – Thursday (Ascension Day)
The General Synod of the Church of Ireland begins today in Armagh.  Pray for all who will attend, especially for our parishioners who are members of the General Synod.  Pray for Archbishop Richard Clarke and for all in roles of leadership in the Church of Ireland.  Pray that Christ and Biblical teaching would be at the heart of all they and we do.

11th May – Friday
Pray for our Cubs and Scouts and for this evening’s Beavers ‘stayawake’.

12th May – Saturday
The Parish Walking Group visit C S Lewis Square and Victoria Park today.  Give thanks for the fellowship enjoyed by our Walking Group.

13TH MAY – SUNDAY
(The 7th Sunday of Easter/Sunday after Ascension Day)
Our Bishop Alan Abernethy begins his Sabbatical today.  Pray for him and this time away from Diocesan duties.  Pray for patience and stamina for George as he covers the Bishop’s absence this month.  Give thanks for George, Cameron and Brian and their faithful ministry to us.  Pray for time to relax in busy lives.

14th May – Monday
Pray for today’s meeting of Senior Moments.

15th May – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint and the compilation of this Prayer Diary.

16th May – Wednesday
Pray for today’s visit to Sunnylands Primary for Assembly.  Pray for Alison and Nadine; and for the members of our Choir and Music Group.

17th May – Thursday
Pray for those who are recently bereaved.

18th May – Friday
Pray for this evening’s meeting of Abba Girls.

19th May – Saturday
Pray for the spread of the Gospel in Tabora Diocese.  Pray for Bishop Elias and his leadership of the Diocese.  Pray for our future relationship with Tabora and the continuing work of Emmanuel and Children’s Ministry in the region.

20TH MAY – SUNDAY (Day of Pentecost/Whitsunday)
Pray for our services today.  Give thanks for all who add to our worship by reading lessons or leading in prayer.  Remember those who greet visitors; those who supply refreshments after worship; and the flower arranging team.

21st May – Monday
Pray for our Small Groups and One-to-One Bible Study.

22nd May – Tuesday
The Watson family continue to service in Gothenburg.  Pray for them and for lives changed or challenged through their work.  Pray for Crosslinks.

23rd May – Wednesday
Pray for today’s visit to Carrick Model.  Give thanks for these invitations.

24th May – Thursday
The next issue of Parish News is assembled this morning.  Pray for Catherine and her team as well as for distributors.  Pray for the Craft Group.

25th May – Friday
Pray for ICM and especially for Mark Smith and City Church, Dublin.

26th May – Saturday
The North Irish Horse Service takes place in our church this morning.  Pray for all who will attend.

27TH MAY – SUNDAY (Trinity Sunday)
Pray for this morning’s Holy Communion and Family services.  Pray for Cafe Church this evening and for our Youth Fellowship.

28th May – Monday
Pray for our Count Team and for parishioners who clean our church and halls.

29th May – Tuesday
Pray for Open Doors and for persecuted Christians.  Remember those in Somalia, India and Pakistan.


30th May – Wednesday
Pray for our government and all involved in the continuing Brexit Negotiations.

31st May – Thursday
Pray for the work of TEARFUND.


SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTES

Our classes in May follow the usual routine.  The first three Sundays our children and young people will meet in the Halls and the fourth Sunday will be our Family Service.

One of the positive aspects of our Family Services is the inclusion of several of our young people in the music group.  I know that a number of other children in Sunday School and Bible Class play musical instruments and it would be such an encouragement to them if they were to be included in the group.  Get them involved as early as practically possible and they are more likely to become committed to it and then stay with it after their time in Bible Class ends.

Another aspect of our Family Services is the very noticeable absence of many of our children and parents.  Regrettably it has to be said that for some, Family Service is regarded as a Sunday off.  This is regrettable for several reasons.  The Family Service is geared to families (sounds obvious but needs to be stated).  The importance of family worship is central to Christian worship when all generations can together worship our God and Father.  This inclusive aspect of worship should be at the core of worship at home when children watch, learn and join their parents and grandparents in prayer and Bible reading.

If Bible reading and prayer are not a feature of  home life then children quickly come to regard these activities as a bit odd and even eccentric.  Then, attending Church, even for one Sunday a month hardly compares with the swimming pool or the football pitch, a shopping trip or a long lie in.

In Sunday School we have your children for no more that ¾ of an hour for three Sundays a month.  Our influence is minimal, but with all that has been said above, it is essential and vital.  We are committed and passionate about reaching children and young people with God’s word.  We are in the business of sowing seeds.  Some seeds germinate quickly while others may lie dormant for years.  Please pray for God’s watering and an abundant crop of youngsters and not so youngsters who have accepted Jesus’ call on their lives.
Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent

Children's Outreach Mission

Emmanuel has sent his first Newsletter since the events of the New Year.  It is full of positives indicating a return to some sort of normality.  As always he is full of praise to his Lord who has brought him through so much.  The time he spent away from Church he used for prayer, meditation and reflection.  He likens this time to that of Paul when taken to the court of Rome to state his case.  He admits to struggling to forgive and forget the past but also recognises that in order to forgive he must learn to love.  His example must surely be a lesson to all of us as we cope with relational issues.

One of the last decisions of our old Select Vestry was to agree to send money to cover the cost of a printer.  Emmanuel has now bought a printer and is using it to produce children’s materials.  He thanks us for this huge support which has encouraged him immensely.  He asks, “Please express my deep thanks to the whole congregation of St Nicholas.”  I also gratefully acknowledge the Select Vestry’s commitment to the continuing work of the Children’s Outreach Mission.  

In his Newsletter he lists six Primary and two Secondary Schools to which he and two other colleagues are returning to take R E classes.  He also names four Good News Club leaders along with himself and he asks for prayer for these two ministries.  A sizeable programme of events has been prepared for the coming months, including parents’ meetings.  A number of photographs are included of recent Good News Club meetings.

I must say that this Newsletter reflects a return to the enthusiastic Emmanuel that I was used to reading about previously.  Let’s praise God for the revelation that Emmanuel has experienced, coupled with the fact that children are still being reached with the Good News, indeed the Best News about our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.



Church Open for Visitors – Summer 2018

Saturday 2nd June – Tuesday 4th September
Saturday:  11.00 am – 1.00 pm
Tuesday:  2.00 pm – 3.30 pm

European Heritage Open Days
Saturday 8th September:  11.00 am – 3.00 pm
Sunday 9th September:  2.00 pm – 4.00 pm

Have you acted as a Church Tour Guide in the past or have you offered to be in church during our summer openings?  Would you like to become part of the welcoming team for church visitors?
If you would be available, please speak to Ann McVeigh in church.  The rota for openings will be put together this month.


Christian Burial

‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’

15th  March 2018
Mary Clarke, 6 Fulmar Avenue, Carrickfergus

17th  March 2018
William Noel Law, 14 Unity Street, Carrickfergus

21st  March 2018
Maude Evelyn Sheldon, Tamlaght Nursing Home, Carrickfergus

30th  March 2018
Hayley Elizabeth McCartney, 37 Tudor Park, Carrickfergus

Christian Baptism
“Suffer the little children to come unto me”

8th April 2018
Jessica Grace Craig
23c Downshire Road, Carrickfergus



ST NICHOLAS' WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP

There will be no Women’s Fellowship meeting in May. Instead we are planning an outing on the evening of Tuesday 12th June to Kilcoan Gardens in Islandmagee. There will be a tour of the gardens, a short flower arranging demonstration and a light supper and the total cost will be £10. If you would like to come along and have not already signed up please speak to Christine Cahoon or myself as soon as possible.                Valerie Leighton


ACTION ON HEARING LOSS

Action on Hearing Loss in partnership with the Northern Trust are running a free spring support session on Wednesday 9th May at the new venue of Carrickfergus Community Forum Offices, 31 Lancesterian Street, 1st Floor (above Poundland) from 10 am -12 noon.

It is a free drop-in service, where trained volunteers provide practical support by providing free batteries, tubing, hearing checks and change filter tips together with advice/information on wearing hearing aids and how best to maintain them. Everyone welcome.

For individuals who are housebound or in residential care, home visits can be arranged with an appointment to support their hearing loss or tinnitus.  For further information please contact Angela, at Action on Hearing Loss on 02890 239619 or mobile 07940160672 or visit the website at www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk



SOUND DESK ROTA MAY 2018

                  Morning                      Evening
    6th       Rachel McVeigh         Steven Todd
13th    Gillian Dalton             Julie Irvine
   20th    Johnnie McAlister     Glenn Nelson
 27th   Graeme Miles                Cafe Church



Crèche Rota May 2018

        6th    Faye Hamilton & Tamera Milligan
13th     Karen Bell & Janice Nelson
       20th     Lorraine Gibson & Alison Kane
                27th     Deirdre Beck & Carol Moneypenney


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.

Services in MAY 2018


6th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Holy Communion—Getting ready for church!
            1 Corinthians 11 v 2-16    Jean Stewart
            Luke 18 v 9-17        The Preacher
    6.30 pm    Evening Prayer & Café Church
            Paul’s last words—Be Strong
            2 Timothy 2 v 11-13        Hilary Bishop

13th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer — Meeting at the Lord’s Table
            Exodus 12 v 1-13        Harry Kirk
            1 Corinthians 11 v 17-34    Valerie Kirk
    6.30 pm    Service of the Word & Café Church
            Paul’s last words—A worker fit for God
            2 Timothy 2 v 14-19        Jackie Kane

20th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer—Pentecost Sunday
            John 16 v 5-16        Robin Gray
            Acts 2 v 1-21            Joan Gray
    6.30 pm    Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing
            & Café Church: Paul’s last words—Flee from evil!
            2 Timothy 2 v 20—3 v 9    Christine Cahoon
            Luke 9 v 42—50        The Preacher

27th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Family Service — Jesus’ kingdom—I can see!!
            John 9 v 1-12    
    6.30 pm    Café Church
            Paul’s last words—Continue in what you know
            2 Timothy 3 v 10-17



ANNUAL FAMILY DAY OUT

MAY DAY—Monday 7th May


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

Walk/Games/Fun/Fellowship

Due to the vast amount of leftover food last year we would ask everyone to bring their own picnic this year

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


Parish Walking Group


Saturday 12th May 2018
(new date due to the Royal Wedding)

C S Lewis Square & Victoria park
Especially suitable for children and families.

Meet at 9.40 am at Carrick Train Station
to catch the 9.54 am train to Sydenham

For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin or Joan Gray


TEA ROTA MAY 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 (9336 0203).   Many thanks for your support.

6th
Deirdre Beck
Valerie Leighton
Linda Mulvenny
13th
Kaye Cheshire
Doris Close
Kathleen Arthur
20th
Laura Horner
Heather Parkes
Colin Parkes
27th
Gillian Dalton
Tamera Milligan
Patricia Wilson

Proclaim Crosslinks Mission Night

Saturday 9th June 2018
7.30 pm Knockbreda Parish Church
Guest speaker Chris Brown

Chris and his wife Lizzie live in Bologna, Italy where they are
involved in Bible teaching, evangelism and training university students. Refreshments will be served at 7.00 and the event will start at 7.30.  RSVP .



ABBA GIRLS

Friday 18th May 7.30 pm – 9.00 pm
Meeting Room Upstairs in the Church Hall

All girls from P7 to secondary school age are very welcome.
Craft, food, games and more

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 May

14th May        Drop In
28th May        The Fire Authority—Don’t Panic
30th May        Luncheon Club


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



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

 
St Nicholas Sketch