Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland
RECTOR’S LETTERDear Friends in St Nicholas’
November always strikes me as a month of transition. We move from the mellow days of autumn into the cold crisp days of winter. Its also a month which begins looking backwards in time and ends looking forward! What do I mean by that? Well, simply that for me, November begins looking back in remembrance and ends looking forward with Advent.
Remembrance Sunday is always a significant day in the life of the parish. For many people it still brings memories of times gone by, and of friends and relatives who paid a heavy price in order to guard the freedoms of the nation. Recently I read the following story:
“The battle had raged for over two hours, with neither side gaining any advantage. Wave after wave of soldiers had been dispatched from the muddy trenches and sent over the top. So many had died already that day that he decided he could not afford to lose any more men before reinforcements arrived. Perhaps they'd give the remnants a few more days of life. There came a slight lull in the battle due to the sheer exhaustion of the men on both sides.
During this interval, a young soldier came up to him requesting that he be allowed to go over the top. He looked at the boy who couldn't have been more than nineteen. Was this extreme bravery in the face of the enemy or was the soldier so scared he just needed to get it over with?
"Why would you want to throw your life away soldier? It's almost certain death to go out there."
"My best friend went out over an hour ago, captain, and he hasn't come back. I know my friend must be hurt and calling for me. I must go to him, sir, I must." There were tears in the boy's eyes . It was as if this were the most important thing in the world to him."
"Soldier, I'm sorry, but your friend is probably dead. What purpose would it serve to let you sacrifice your life too?"
"At least I'd know I'd tried, sir, he'd do the same thing in my shoes. I know he would."
He was about to order the boy back to the ranks, but the impact of his words softened his heart. He remembered the awful pain he'd felt himself when his brother had died. He'd never had the chance to say goodbye.
"All right soldier, you can go." Despite the horror all around them, he saw a radiant smile on the boy's face, as if a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders. "God bless you, sir," said the soldier.
It was a long time before the guns fell silent for the last time and each side was allowed to gather their dead and wounded. The captain remembered the young soldier. He looked through the many piles of bodies. Young men. So many as to give an unreal quality to the scene before him.
When he came to the makeshift hospital, he looked carefully through the casualties. He soon found himself before the prone body of the soldier, alive, but severely wounded. He knelt down beside the young man and gently laid a hand on his shoulder. "I'm so sorry, son. I knew I was wrong to let you go."
"Oh no, sir. I'm glad you did and I'm glad you're here now so I can thank you. You see sir, I found my friend. He was badly wounded, but I was able to comfort him at the end. As I held him dying in my arms, he looked me in the eyes and said: "I knew you'd come."
The young soldier faded between consciousness and oblivion for some time before he finally slipped away. The captain stayed by his side until the end, tears streaming quietly down his cheeks. Only in war could the happy endings be so terribly sad.”
At the heart of Christianity is the message of a God who lays down his own life for us in an act of unbelievable grace and mercy. His sacrifice is not the story of a tragic loss, but of the most wonderful gain for all who will believe and trust him. We will share together in an act of remembrance in St Nicholas’ on Sunday 13th November, but please don’t forget that our service is half an hour later than normal at 11.30 am, in order that those who wish to attend the civic Act of Remembrance at the town War Memorial may do so.
The season of Advent also turns our thoughts towards God’s activity and reminds us that from the beginning of time our Father had an amazing plan to save mankind. This plan is told through the words of prophets and unfolds in the coming of Jesus to this world in the unlikely setting of a humble dwelling in a small town called Bethlehem. It also reminds us that the Bible speaks of Jesus’ return, when he will come to rid the world of sin and suffering and reign over God’s kingdom.
We will be thinking together about these things in a number of Advent activities including three Advent Bible studies and a special Advent themed Family Service on Advent Sunday itself. You will find details of these elsewhere in the magazine - we look forward to welcoming you to join us for them.
Yours in the service of Jesus,
Update from Trevor & AndreaLanguage study is as tough (for Trevor!) as it is thrilling, with the continuing gospel opportunities. Pray for Lena, one of the teachers, who accepted and has just finished reading Greg Gilbert’s ‘What is the Gospel?’.
A group from church took part in the annual Bergsjön run. Please pray for the Bergsjön / Kortedala area, where the church is situated. There are many social problems and in the last few weeks this has again resulted in gang violence. Pray for the witness of the church.
Praise God for a good conference over this past weekend with Dr. Voddie Baucham. The subject was ‘Does the Reformation still matter?’ with almost 100 people attending.
Our fortnightly Youth Bible Study has had a very encouraging start. We have eight young people (3 + 5!) and we’re now two sessions in with CY. Thank you for praying!
Trevor, Andrea, Emily, Grace & Alice xx
Dates for Your Diary:
Parish Walking Group Programme 2016/2017
Meeting time and place
*Larne Coastal walk toCarnfunnock.
10.00 am Larne Leisure Centre car park
*Colin Glen Forest Park
10.00 am Colin Glen Forest car park, 163 Stewartstown Road, Dunmurry
*Carrickfergus local walk—Oakfield Glen & Bashfordland
10.00 am Castle car park
*Portaferry: Marlfield Bay/ Strangford Lough walk
9.00 am Carrick Castle car park.
*Loughmourne A walk in stunning countryside with lake views
10.00 am (Christine Cahoon’s house)
To be confirmed.
*Crawfordsburn Coastal walk
10.30 am Crawfordsburn Country Park car park
*Especially suitable for children and families.
Come and enjoy some lovely local scenery, fun and fellowship with our Parish Walking Group. There is a varied programme this season with some particularly scenic walks. Plan ahead and put the dates in your diary. Families can pack a picnic or often enjoy some optional cafe culture after.
Flowers in Church November 20166th Gillian & Gordon Dalton
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
St Nicholas’ Church, Carrickfergus
Prayer Diary – November 2016The 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
whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the king of all:
Govern the hearts and minds of those in authority, and bring the families of the nations, divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin, to be subject to his just and gentle rule; who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen BCP
1st November – Tuesday
Since the completion of our last Prayer Diary, Hurricane Michael has devastated Haiti leaving in its wake death, disease and destitution. Pray for the people of Haiti, its government and the work of relief agencies. Pray especially for Tearfund.
2nd November – Wednesday
Remember in prayer the Holy Communion service in church this morning.
3rd November – Thursday
Give thanks for the teams that clean our church and church halls
4th November – Friday
Pray for the Watson family in Gothenburg, Sweden. Pray for Crosslinks.
5th November – Saturday
This evening, Senior Moments present ‘A Feast of Hits from the Musicals and a Cocktail of Panto.’ Pray for those taking part in and those attending this event.
6TH NOVEMBER – SUNDAY (3rd Sunday before Advent)
Pray for today’s church services and this evening’s Cafe Church. Pray for our Sunday School and Bible Class. Pray for our Youth Fellowship.
7th November – Monday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint and Select Vestry meeting.
8th November – Tuesday
This month’s Women’s Fellowship is focusing on Craft. Pray for the ladies meeting this evening.
9th November – Wednesday
Life Explored continues this evening. Pray that those attending this short course would have their minds opened to the Gospel message and that they would hunger to know more about our Lord’s amazing grace.
10th November – Thursday
Clergy from Connor Diocese meet at Lisburn Cathedral today for a ‘Quiet Morning’. Pray for this time together, for Alan our Bishop and for all who minister in this Diocese.
11th November – Friday
Pray for Busy Bees this morning, giving thanks for the Christian Love shown by the volunteers who welcome adults and children each week.
12th November – Saturday
Pray for our Guides, Brownies and Rainbows and for Girl Guiding’s ‘First Response’ First Aid training taking place in our halls today.
13TH NOVEMBER – SUNDAY (2nd Sunday before Advent)
This Remembrance Sunday, pray for all who bear the scars of conflict whether physical or mental. Pray for those bereaved through conflict and especially for those with hate in their hearts from past wrongs. Pray for serving members of our police and armed forces and for all attending Remembrance services today, including our own service at 11.30 am this morning.
14th November – Monday
Pray for the sick and for those who care for them. Pray for those fearful about necessary treatment or for what the future might hold for them, that they would put their trust in the hand of our loving God.
15th November – Tuesday
Pray for and with those meeting in church this evening for PrayerPoint. Pray for growth in our prayer life, that more would feel moved to join this twice monthly time of pray. Remember Intercessors praying daily for the sick.
16th November – Wednesday
Pray for this morning’s visit to Oakfield Primary School for their morning assembly. Give thanks for these opportunities to go into local schools and speak to children, particularly those with no family church connection.
17th November – Thursday
Pray for George our Rector and his work in this parish and the many other duties he fulfils in the Church of Ireland. Pray for Cameron and Brian. Pray for today’s Connor Diocesan Council meeting.
18th November – Friday
Pray for the bereaved, for strength on the bad days, friendship on lonely days and give thanks for the assured Hope of eternal life through Christ.
19th November – Saturday
The Civic Carol Service takes place in our church this afternoon. Pray for this and for this morning’s Coffee Morning and Craft Sale in the halls.
20TH NOVEMBER – SUNDAY (Sunday before Advent)
Pray for this evening’s Holy Communion with prayers for healing. Pray for our worship today and that we would strive to obey God’s Word in our daily lives.
21st November – Monday
Give thanks for Catherine Milligan and her friendly, efficient administration of this parish in the Church Office.
22nd November – Tuesday
Last month another 21 of the Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram were freed. Pray for them; their captors; the 197 still missing and their families; for the Nigerian Government and efforts to secure the girls’ release.
23rd November – Wednesday
Pray for Mission Carrick and this morning’s Ministers’ Fellowship meeting.
24th November – Thursday
This evening, our Small Groups come together for the first of three Advent Bible Studies. Give thanks for this Bible Study and for all who facilitate our Small Groups. Remember those making up Parish News this morning.
25th November – Friday
The annual Parish News Distributors’ meeting takes place this evening. Pray for our magazine distributors and for all the households receiving FWO envelopes and Parish News in the coming days.
26th November – Saturday
Pray for our Parish Walking Group.
27TH NOVEMBER – SUNDAY (1st Sunday of Advent)
Pray for this morning’s family service, giving thanks for the time of fellowship we enjoy each Sunday over tea and coffee and for the teams who provide our refreshments. Pray for this evening’s Cafe Church.
28th November – Monday
Pray for the church in Tabora Diocese.
29th November – Tuesday
Pray for those caught up in the violence in the Middle East.
30th November – Wednesday
As Life Explored finishes this evening pray for those who have taken part.
SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTESThe Remembrance Day Service will be on Sunday 13th November 2016. Older children attending P5-P7 classes and youngsters attending Bible Class are encouraged to attend the Remembrance Service in Church with their parents.
There will be Sunday School for children attending Nursery and P1—P4 classes in the Hall.
Please also note the change of time as both the Service in Church and Sunday School will start at 11.30 am.
Classes will be as normal on 6th and 20th November with 27th being the monthly Family Service.
Children’s Outreach Mission Tabora Update
Further to last month’s news about developments at Kaliua, Emmanuel has had a very promising first meeting, with the new Pastor and others, at which challenges and opportunities were identified regarding the structured development of the Sunday School.
Key to this development is organising a number of Sunday School teachers to help Nemes Danstan who is the sole teacher for just over 100 children.
Groups within the church such as the Elders, Choir, Mothers Union, Youth Group and Fellowship Group are to provide two or more people to help in Sunday School.
Coupled with these people, four ladies have volunteered to help with the yet to be formed Good News Club for children.
While this is a very promising start, we must ask for God’s discerning help for Emmanuel and the Pastor as they assess these volunteers’ abilities to teach the Bible to children. Having met the volunteers and teachers at the Good News Clubs and Sunday School in the Tabora area, God has clearly guided Emmanuel already in these matters, may He do so again at Kaliua.
A second meeting is scheduled to take place on 29th October (at the time of writing) and our prayers must be for unity in purpose for building the children’s understanding leading to faith in Jesus their Saviour.
Whilst the only name I know of, at Kaliua, is Nemes Danstan, I would ask that you remember the leaders of the Good News Clubs in the greater Tabora area. They are Jane, Ester, Elkana, Elijah and Elizabeth (Emmanuel’s wife). May God bless them along with a number of other ladies who assist them with continued enthusiasm and dedication as Christian leaders.
Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent
Christian Burial‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’
29th September 2016
Margaret (Peggy) Foulis, late of Woodburn Road, Carrickfergus
8th October 2016
Thomas David Wright, 20 Willow Park, Carrickfergus
19th October 2016
Margaret McKinty Anthony, 11 Thornfield Court, Carrickfergus
Christian Baptism“Suffer the little children to come unto me”
16th October 2016
Alfie William Warren Anderson, 20 Windslow Grove, Carrickfergus
Crèche Rota NOVEMBER 20166th Alison Kane, Rachel McVeigh
13th Ann Hodge, Janice Nelson
20th John Kane, Carol Moneypenny
27th Faye Hamilton, Sharon McMaster, Sophie Foreman
The Crèche meets 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 NOVEMBER 2016Morning Evening
6th Johnnie McAlister Dereice Maguire
13th Rachel McVeigh Steven Todd
20th Gillian Dalton Lynn Rodgers
27th Graeme Miles Cafe Church
POINTS TO PONDERNovember brings us Remembrance …
The tragedy of war is that it uses man’s best to do man’s worst. Anon
A great war leaves the country with three armies - an army of cripples, an army of mourners and an army of thieves. Anon
With the Advent Season approaching…
The Word of God became flesh; the Son of Man became Man; the Lord of all became a Servant. Anon
The incarnation was a necessary means to an end and the end was the putting away of the sin of the world by the offering of the body of Christ. Thomas Hewitt
Services in NOVEMBER 20166th 9.30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Holy Communion
“I am” Jesus, the way, the truth and the life
2 Corinthians 5 v 16-20 Jean Stewart
John 14 v 1-14 The Preacher
6.30 pm Evening Prayer & Cafe Church
Journeys with Paul: A change of companions
Acts 15 v 36—16 v 5 Janet Preston
13th 9.30 am Holy Communion
11.30 am Remembrance Sunday
“I am” Jesus, the true vine
Psalm 80 Ted McAuley
John 15 v 1-17 Gordon Dalton
6.30 pm Evening Prayer & Cafe Church
Journeys with Paul: New Territory—Philippi
Acts 16 v 6-15 Kathleen Arthur
20th 9.30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Morning Prayer—“I am” Jesus, believe in me!
Isaiah 53 v 1-6 Christine Stewart
John 20 v 24-31 Joan Armstrong
6.30 pm Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing
& Cafe Church
Acts 16 v 16-40 Jackie Kane
Matthew 5 v 1-12 The Preacher
27th 9.30 am Holy Communion
11.00 am Family Service—Advent Sunday
Isaiah 9 v 1-7
6.30 pm Cafe Church
Journeys with Paul: Thessalonica and Berea
Acts 17 v 1-15
VESTRY HOURParishioners 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 CITIZENS CHRISTMAS PARTYOrganised by 4th Carrickfergus Girl Guides
St Nicholas Church Halls
Please come and celebrate the Christmas Season with us on
Tuesday 6th December 2016 at 7 pm
To help with catering & transport please return the slip below to the Church office or phone
Church Office 028 9336 0061
by Wednesday 30th November 2016
Everyone welcome to this free event
Entertainment by Baillies Mills accordion band
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I will be attending the Christmas Party
I require transport YES/NO
TEA ROTA NOVEMBER 2016Please 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 Gillian Dalton (9336 5687 or 07801 389860). Many thanks for your support.
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
Coffee Morning & Craft SaleSaturday 19th November
10 am—2 pm in the Church Halls
Come along and enjoy fellowship while having a cuppa. There will be the opportunity to try out some crafting yourself. Suitable for all ages.
Also, for all you crafters out there, if you could donate one or two items to be sold on the morning, please contact me, Janice Nelson.
BUSY BEESFridays at 10.30 am in the Church Halls.
Everyone with pre-school age children
is welcome to come along!
Sunday 13th November
The main morning service at
St Nicholas’ will begin at
to allow those, who wish to,
to attend the
Act of Remembrance
at the Cenotaph.
SENIOR MOMENTSinvites you to
A FEAST OF HITS FROM THE MUSICALS
AND A COCKTAIL OF PANTO
St Nicholas’ Parish Hall
Saturday 5th November 2016 at 7 pm
Adults £5 Children £3
LEPROSY MISSIONLeprosy still exists around the world with many people still
suffering. If you would like to make a donation to this
worthwhile cause or you would like a collecting box for your home, please contact Tina Campbell
Our new programme of events got off to a great start with our first meeting in October when we were joined by ladies from the Methodist and North Street Presbyterian churches. Our guest speaker, Wendy Porter, gave a highly entertaining and sometimes hilarious presentation on the subject of upcycling the contents of our wardrobes and useful tips on how to make the most of our clothes. Wendy is a talented designer and seamstress and an
excellent communicator who uses all these skills to share her strong Christian faith with her audience in a very powerful way. Our next meeting is on Tuesday 8th November when we will be having a Christmas craft evening led by Janice Nelson. All ladies in the parish are invited, so do please come along and enjoy the fellowship and fun.
Ready for Christmas?A short series of three meetings for anyone who wants to make sure that their Christmas preparations are complete! Informal evenings chatting together about what the Bible has to say about God’s plans for his world and the part that a baby in a manger plays in it all!
Thursday evenings in the Upstairs Church Hall at 7.30pm
Begins on 24th November — Everybody Welcome