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RECTOR’S LETTER

Dear Friends at St Nicholas’,
The second Sunday in October is when we take time to celebrate Harvest Thanksgiving at St. Nicholas’. The custom of the harvest thanksgiving has its roots in rural communities when, having worked throughout the year to grow crops and food, and having put in particularly long hours in the late summer to harvest those crops, the community gathered in church to thank God for His provision.

We are not a rural congregation, and few of our parishioners will have been labouring in the fields over the summer months, but nonetheless we share in the Harvest because we recognise that without the blessing of God and the work of those whose work is in farming and agriculture, we would not have the food that our bodies need.

So we make a special effort - we decorate the church with flowers and fruit and vegetables, we have special music and we bring gifts of fruit to some members of the congregation who are not able to be out and about as much as they used to. As we give thanks for God’s goodness to us, we must also remember the responsibilities we bear to use the resources entrusted to us wisely and generously.

Few of us can fail to have been touched by the situations of real need being experienced across the Middle East and Europe in recent weeks. People whose home countries are torn apart by terrible violence are fleeing and seeking refuge and safety far from home. This involves terrible risk and we have seen how many have lost their lives on the journey.
The Mediterranean Sea, which many of us associate with holidays and relaxation, has become a watery grave for many.

We have been praying regularly in church for all who are caught up in this terrible situation; for the refugees themselves, for the people and leaders of the nations where they seek solace. I hope that you will consider making a special offering, using your Harvest offering envelope to give what you can to help Tearfund and its partner churches care for those in greatest need.
After our Harvest weekend we will be resuming our Cafe Church meetings on Sunday evenings again. Alongside the normal Sunday evening church services at 6.30 pm, the Cafe Church meetings offer the chance to sing, pray and listen to God’s Word together in a relaxed and informal setting in the upstairs church hall. There is coffee and conversation and a welcome for all as we think about how the Bible helps us to live our everyday lives. If you haven't tried Cafe Church already, why not come along on Sunday 18th for our opening night - we’ll be glad to see you!

On a practical note, we hope that a major project to repair the guttering on the church roof will begin shortly. We are grateful to have been awarded a substantial grant from the government’s Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund which will help to pay for this work. We will continue to be able to use the church during the time of this project, but do please take great care around the church building when the works are ongoing.

With love in Jesus,
George




ST NICHOLAS' WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP
We had a very emotive beginning to this year’s programme with a presentation from Florence McCloy from Release International. She connected us, as Christians in Carrickfergus, with our persecuted sisters around the world, many of whom are enslaved, working, along with their children, in a brick kiln, owned by someone who places no value on who they are or what they are worth.  We need to pray for these women and for the work that Release Women are hoping to achieve.

This month, Tuesday, 13th October, we are having a visit from “Second Bloom”; so if you want to see what can be made from old jeans and sweaters, come along to see how Eleanor and Sharon up-cycle these unwanted items into beautiful bespoke handbags and tote bags. An opportunity to hear their story and a first chance to buy that early, unique Christmas gift.
Christine Cahoon

News about the Givans

Dr Raymond and Mrs Jackie Givan - End of Deployment with Crosslinks – November 2015
In their most recent prayer letter, Raymond and Jackie wrote, "It seems a very short time since we arrived in Uganda (Raymond in October 2013 & Jackie February 2014). Much water has run under the bridge since we came here! Most of what has happened has been out of our control, but no doubt God driven and we are thankful for the many friends we have gained and whatever little we have achieved for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God. Raymond is obliged to return to the UK to regain licence status with the General Medical Council (GMC) and so we leave for home on 1 August. We are uncertain of what the future holds but know who holds the future. Our prayer is that whether we are in Africa or in NI we will continue to witness to his saving grace in our lives and finish the course he has set before us".

Raymond and Jackie returned to Northern Ireland in August and following discussions with senior Crosslinks staff they are not planning to return to Uganda long term.  Raymond and Jackie will finish with Crosslinks at the end of November 2015.

Raymond and Jackie are extremely grateful for the way that you have partnered in the gospel with them and would ask that you continue to pray for God's guidance and wisdom as they look to him for his direction for the future.

Flowers in Church October 2015

4th     Sharon Maxwell—Ian’s Anniversary
4th     Jacqueline & Lesley Clawson—Birthday memories of my mum
          Hanna Burton Clawson
11th      Harvest Flowers
18th       Vacant
25th     Hilary Wilshin
25th     E Hanna

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

Northern Ireland Hospice

Carrickfergus Support Group invites you to a
Ladies Breakfast

Saturday 17th October 2015 @ 10 am
Joymount Presbyterian Church Hall

Guest Speaker: Olivia Nash

Admission by ticket only
Donation of £8.00 per person

For tickets please contact Lynda Marshall

All proceeds in aid of Northern Ireland Hospice

SOUND DESK ROTA OCTOBER 2015

                 Morning                           Evening
4th           Johnnie McAlister           Jonathan Nelson
11th         Julie Irvine                    Dereice Maguire
18th         Rachel McVeigh              Paul Letters
25th         Gillian Dalton                 Steven Todd

Crèche Rota Ocotober 2015

4th      Christine Stewart, Valerie Leighton, Rachel McVeigh
11th    Ann Hodge, Janice Nelson
18th    John Kane, Alison Kane
25th    Faye Hamilton, Carol Moneypenny, Rachel McVeigh

The Crèche is now meeting 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.

Christian Marriage

‘What God has joined together, let not man separate’
26th August 2015

Christopher Patton, 43 Albert Road, Carrickfergus and
Sarah Martine Chism, 26 Regent Avenue, Carrickfergus

Prayer Diary – October 2015

The 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

Almighty God,
who built your church upon the foundation
of the apostles and prophets
with Jesus himself as the chief corner-stone:
So join us together in unity of spirit by their doctrine
that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen                                        BCP
------
1st October – Thursday
With refugees and migrants fleeing war, poverty and persecution continue to feature in the news headlines, particularly those arriving in Europe and often getting stuck in countries that have their own economic problems.  Pray that governments within the EU would come together to form a strategy to cope with the huge influx of people.  Pray for aid agencies as we move from autumn to winter.  Pray for a resolution of the conflicts in the Middle East.  Pray for grace to show God’s love to all made in His image.

2nd October – Friday
Pray for our Busy Bees Parent and Toddler Group.

3rd October – Saturday
Now that the new university year is underway, pray for young people settling into university life away from home for the first time.  Pray for their safety and well being.  Pray for parents, concerned about their children who have recently left home for work or study.

4TH OCTOBER – SUNDAY (18th Sunday after Trinity)
Pray for our church services today and this evening’s Cafe Church.  Pray for opportunities for outreach to families and individuals with no church connection.  Pray for George our Rector, for Cameron and Brian.

5th October – Monday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint.  Pray that parishioners would be moved to come together for this short time of prayer.

6th October  – Tuesday
The Select Vestry meets this evening.  Pray for this evening’s discussions and decision making.  Pray for members of our Select Vestry with health issues at this time.

7th October – Wednesday
This evening Choir practice is the last before our Harvest services.  Pray for Alison our organist and the members of the extended choir.

8th October – Thursday
Many thousands of people in the UK and Ireland are homeless.  Pray for them today, especially those sleeping rough.  Pray for Shelter, the Salvation Army and other organisations working with the homeless and vulnerable.

9th October – Friday
This weekend the church will be decorated in preparation for Harvest.  Give thanks for the parishioners who will decorate the church and for the produce provided.  Give thanks for all of God’s Blessings we perhaps take for granted; for food and shelter, for education and the NHS, for relative peace in our land, for the gift of salvation, for freedom to worship and study the Bible.

10th October – Saturday
Pray for the Parish Walking Group.

11TH OCTOBER – SUNDAY (19th Sunday after Trinity)
Pray for our Harvest services.  Pray for our preachers, organist and choir.  Pray for the Sound Desk team and for those who will hear today’s services via our CD Ministry.

12th October – Monday
Pray for those who will distribute and receive Harvest gifts today.

13th October – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s Women’s Fellowship.

14th October – Wednesday
Pray for the sick in mind and body.  Pray for carers.

15th October – Thursday
Bible Study continues in the various Small Groups that meet at different times and places each week.  Pray for growth in Parish Bible Study.

16th October – Friday
Pray for our elected representatives.  Pray that politicians would set aside cultural and political differences and act in the best interests of all citizens.

17th October – Saturday
Pray for Bishop Elias Chakupewa in Tabora Diocese.  Pray for Emmanuel and his Youth Ministry team, for Elkana Leha completing his training course and for Elijah, hoping to begin study at Bible School in January.

18TH OCTOBER – SUNDAY (20th Sunday after Trinity)
Pray for our Sunday School, Bible Class and Youth Fellowship.  Pray for those who bring God’s Word to our children and young people.  Pray for today’s services, especially this evening’s Holy Communion with Prayers for Healing.

19th October – Monday
Pray for Christian Marriage and for couples planning to marry in St Nicholas’ in the coming year.

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

21st October – Wednesday
Pray for the ladies of our Widows’ Group meeting in the Small Hall.

22nd October – Thursday
Volunteers meet this morning to assemble Parish News.  Give thanks for them, for magazine distributors and for Catherine our Parish Administrator and her efficient running of the Church Office.

23rd October – Friday
Pray for the recently bereaved.

24th October – Saturday
Remember and pray for Darren and Karen McCartney and the communities they serve.

25TH OCTOBER – SUNDAY (5th Sunday before Advent)
Pray for this morning’s Family Service and for the Music Group leading our praise.  Pray for Cafe Church.

26th October – Monday
Pray for today’s Senior Moments.

27th October – Tuesday
Pray for Crosslinks.  Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for Raymond and Jackie Givan and their future direction in Mission.

28th October – Wednesday
Pray for Carrickfergus Ministers’ Fellowship and for all who serve in Christian Ministry in our town.  Pray for our Rector and his work in the wider church.

29th October – Thursday
Pray for the parishioners who clean our church and church halls.

30th October – Friday
Pray for our uniformed organisations.

31st October – Saturday
Pray for those, young and old, who feel lonely and isolated today.

WIDOWS GROUP

Our next meeting is
Wednesday 21st October at 7.15 pm
in the Church Halls.

We have invited a local council official for a Q & A session.  Come along and bring all your unanswered questions
whilst you have the chance to ask them!
All widows will be made very welcome

Rhema Theatre Company


present The ‘It’s not Fair’ Play

Carrickfergus Methodist Church
Saturday 10th October at 7.30 pm

Tickets £7.50 (£5 for children aged 11 and over)
Box Office: 07895 408901

An inspiring and moving new piece of theatre telling stories from around the world of human trafficking—and those who fight against it.  (suitable for children 11 and over)
Written by Mike Peacock
Performed by Mike & Becky Peacock

Go to www.theitsnotfair.co.uk for further details

SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTES

Bring your parents to Sunday School Sunday
On Sunday 4th October we are inviting all parents of Sunday School and Bible Class children and youngsters to another Parents Sunday School Sunday.

Parents should come with their children to the Hall at 11 am were they will experience a typical Sunday School morning.

The hope is that both children and parents will want to discuss what is read and taught on Sundays at home on any and indeed every other day of the week.

We want all the children and youngsters to realise that God’s word is for every day and not just Sundays and that to talk about what the Bible teaches with their parents is as normal as doing homework and talking about the weather.

Harvest
Our Harvest Services will take place in church on Sunday 11th October at 11 am.  There will be no Sunday School or Bible Class that Sunday.

While we give thanks for God’s goodness to us on a regular basis throughout the year, our Harvest Services present a special opportunity for us to thank and praise God for His provision for all that we eat day and daily.

We all too often take for granted the fully stocked shelves of food in our shops and supermarkets.  We must remember in the present economic climate that there are many people in this country who are increasingly relying on food banks and the generosity of others.  What are we doing to help our neighbours?

Children and parents are encouraged to attend our Harvest Services when we can give thanks together and also pray for those in need.

Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent

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


HYMN: The story behind … O God, our help in ages past

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home!...

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Still may we dwell secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure…

Isaac Watts (1674 – 1748) is often called the ‘Father of English hymnody’.  Certainly before his hymns came along, congregational singing was a tedious business. Watts was born in July 1674 in Southampton. (At the time of his birth, his father, an educated deacon in a dissenting Congregational church, was briefly in prison for his non-conformist beliefs.)

As a boy, Watts showed outstanding ability with language (learning Greek, Hebrew, Latin and French). He also had an unusual ability for easy rhyming in English. (At the age of five, when scolded for giggling in family prayers, it was because he had seen a mouse on the bell-rope, and instantly composed the line: ‘There was a mouse, for want of stairs, ran up a rope to say his prayers!’)

Watts’ literary ability, combined with his interest in theology, made him very unhappy with the congregational singing of the day, which focused almost entirely on strict metrical versions of the psalms. One Sunday after church, Isaac complained to his father about this. His father challenged him to write something better. Though only 18, Watts accepted the challenge and produced his first hymn – which was duly sung the following Sunday.

It was such a success that he wrote new hymn texts every Sunday for the next two years. In all, he went on to write more than 600 hymns. Some of them are still well-loved today, for example ‘O God, Our Help in Ages Past’, which is a paraphrase of Psalm 90, ‘When I Survey the Wondrous Cross’ and the Christmas carol ‘Joy to the World’.

TEA ROTA OCTOBER 2015

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.
 Many thanks for your support.

4/10/15
Sally Campbell
Tina Campbell
Carol Anderson
11/10/15
Gillian Dalton
Tamera Milligan
Andrea Drysdale
18/10/15
Alison Clarke
Maureen Jackson
Carol Campbell
25/10/15
Diane Innes
Janice Nelson
Karen Miles

Services in October 2015

4th     9.30 am    Holy Communion 1
         11.00 am    Holy Communion 2 — Introducing Elijah—the Ravens
            1 Kings 17 v 1-6             Marion Letters
            John 6 v 45-51             The Preacher
        6.30 pm    Evening Prayer — Broking hearts and trusting ones!
            Mark 10 v 1-16             Jackie Kane

11th    9.30 am    Holy Communion 2
          11.00 am    Morning Prayer—Harvest Thanksgiving
            Joel 2 v 21-28                 Ann McVeigh
            1 Corinthians 12 v 12-20        Linda Mulvenny
          6.30 pm    Harvest Praise with Extended Choir
            Genesis 1 v 26-31            Alex Jones
            Philippians 4 v 10-20            Ray Gilbert

18th     9.30 am    Holy Communion 1
           11.00 am    Morning Prayer—Elijah at Zarapheth: the God who gives
            1 Kings 17 v 7-24            Gillian Dalton
            Luke 9 v 12-17                Gordon Dalton
            6.30 pm    Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing
            Life through the Spirit
            Romans 8 v 1-13            Colin Logue
            John 8 v 31-38                The Preacher
            Cafe Church—Life through the Spirit
            Romans 8 v 1-13

25th    9.30 am    Holy Communion 1
          11.00 am    Family Service—Moses: called by God
            Exodus 3 v 1-15
           6.30 pm    Cafe Church—Future Glory
            Romans 8 v 14-28           

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

Fridays at 10.30 am in the Church Halls.
Everyone with pre-school age children
is welcome to come along!

Dates for Your Diary:

Parish Walking Group Programme 2015/2016

3rd Oct 15 *Lagan Towpath Walk.
Enjoy the autumn colours and a coffee stop at the Lock Keepers Café on this lovely riverside walk.
10.00 amBelfast Boat Club car park, Stranmillis

14th Nov 15 *East Belfast walk (section of Comber Greenway). Views of Harland & Wolff shipyard & Stormont.
9.15 am Meet at Carrick railway station for 9.24 am train to Bridge End.

9th Jan 16 *Larne Coastal walk to
Carnfunnock.
10.00 am at Larne Leisure Centre car park

13th Feb 16 *Carrickfergus local walk.
10.00 am Castle car park, meeting at the King Billy statue

12th Mar 16 *Loughmourne
A walk in stunning countryside with lake views – maybe home-made scones at the finish.
10.00 am 48 Loughmourne Road (Christine Cahoon’s house)

9th April 16 Cavehill Country Park walk.
10.00 am Belfast Castle car park

21st May 16 *Crawfordsburn Coastal walk
10.30 am Crawfordsburn Country Park car park

11th June 16 Rathlin Island
To be confirmed.

*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.

Congratulations and many thanks to the Gardening Team!
The Impact Carrick Community Garden in Market Place has won Runner-Up prize in the Carrick in Bloom 2015 Competition.

SENIOR MOMENTS INVITATION

Senior Moments is up and running for the next phase of activities, fun and laughter.  We meet on the second and fourth Mondays of the month from 2 pm until approximately 4 pm.  You are not tied to being at every meeting but you might just surprise yourself on how much you enjoy the craic!

We also have our luncheon club which meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month and this is already greatly enjoyed by more that 30 people who come along.

For further information on any of our activities or if you feel you have a gift you could share with us or perhaps you dabble in art and might come along and talk about it or indeed give us a painting lesson, please contact me  or speak to any of our committee members. 
Joan Armstrong

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY

Coffee Morning & Craft Sale
Saturday 7th 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 


 
St Nicholas Sketch