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RECTOR’S LETTER


Dear Friends at St Nicholas’,
This month we once again make time to celebrate Harvest Thanksgiving at St. Nicholas’. It’s a part of the calendar each year, but have you ever wondered why we do it?

The first and most obvious reason is that it is always right to give thanks. Without the harvest services, we might easily forget to give thanks to God for providing us with food and drink. It is so easy to take for granted the gifts we receive every day. We can easily overlook the things the Lord does for us every hour, every day, every week, every year. Planning special harvest services means that there is at least one Sunday each year when we do thank God for our daily bread. Of course, let’s try to remember to give thanks every Sunday, and indeed every day of our lives. but we can make sure that we do it together at this harvest-time.

A second reason for holding special services is because at those harvest services, we remind ourselves that our food and drink does not arrive by some automatic and inevitable process. We hear talk about “the laws of nature” or “the agricultural cycle” or “the global economy”, but we talk about God: the God who makes the grass grow, who sends the rain and the sun, who brings lambs and calves to birth, who guards the ships that carry food from one country to another. God did not just create the world and then step back and leave it to tick on by “natural processes”. He is personally involved in all that happens in his world – the germination of a single seed, the falling of a single raindrop.

Finally harvest thanksgiving services are a reminder of the great plan that God is carrying through for his world. God has built into life on earth the principle that each year there should be a harvest. The harvest brings to fulfilment the work that the farmer has been doing throughout the year, sowing, watering, weeding, and finally reaping. And the Bible teaches that God’s whole plan works according to that principle. Jesus said that God is like a farmer, who sows and then patiently waits until the time for harvest comes. And then he goes out and reaps his fields, gathers in the grain, and burns the weeds (Matthew 24 v 24-34).

This year I will be speaking at our morning harvest service and we look forward to welcoming Bill Press, the Rector of Knockbreda Parish in south Belfast as our special speaker in the evening. Do plan to come and share with us as we listen to God’s word opened and enjoy the special music which the choir have been preparing for us.

After Harvest Sunday we will be resuming our Cafe Church meetings on Sunday evenings again. Alongside the normal Sunday evening church services at 6.30pm, 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 16th for our opening night - we’ll be glad to see you!

There is a warm invitation extended to all of you to join one of our Small Groups which meet informally together to listen to what the Bible has to teach us about life and service. This term we will be looking at the person and character of Elijah.

Elsewhere in the magazine you will find details of our “Life Explored” course. Beginning on 12th October, Life Explored gives us a chance to ask the biggest questions of all - what is life all about? What do we want life to give us? Come along and join us as we wrestle with these things in the light of what the Bible has to say on the subject. We’ll be delighted to see you

With love in Jesus,
George

LATEST NEWS FROM TREVOR & ANDREA

All five of us are now at school!  Praise God for how the girls have settled so far.  They’ve made some good friends but we’re still praying for at least one Christian friend each.  

Language study brings almost daily gospel opportunities.  Trevor and Andrea are studying with many other immigrants from Syria, Iran, Iraq, India, China, Brazil … and more!  Please pray especially for A from Syria, R from India and C from Brazil who have shown much interest.  Also praise God for P from Iran, in Trevor’s class, who is a new Christian.  As part of Andrea’s course, she will have a work placement in a nursing home that is close to our apartment.  We praise God for all his gracious provision. 

On Friday 16th September we began a fortnightly Youth Bible Study in our apartment.  Please pray for fruit that lasts. 
Trevor, Andrea, Emily, Grace & Alice xx

BUSY BEES

Busy Bees Parents and Toddlers group has started back after the summer break.  We meet every Friday morning between 10.30 am and 12 noon and enjoy food, friendship, craft, play, music and God’s love together.  Any parent, grandparent or carer with responsibility for babies, toddlers or pre-school aged children are very welcome.  Busy Bees would also like to thank all of the church family for your gifts of time, toys and money which we have received over the last few years.  We so appreciate your help and support.

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.

What's the best gift God could give you?

Life Explored is a seven session series featuring a combination of short films - shot around the world - and Bible interaction.  It’s an exposé of the little gods that promise us so much happiness, yet deliver so little. Life Explored shows how our deepest desires for happiness can only be satisfied in one person, Jesus Christ. The best gift God can give us is himself.

Begins Wednesday 12th October
7.30 pm in the Church Hall.

PrayerPoint

Our PrayerPoint schedule follows a fortnightly pattern with a shorter Monday evening at the beginning of the month and a slightly longer time on a Tuesday night in the middle of the month.

PrayerPoint evenings are your opportunity to join in prayer for the life and witness of St Nicholas’ and the church of Jesus Christ around the world.   Come on one of the evenings or come to both;
Come for the whole evening or come for a short time;
Come and pray aloud or in silence;
But come - we’ll be delighted to see you!

St Nicholas’ Church

Monday 3rd October
7.00pm - 7.45pm
&
Tuesday 18th October
7.00pm - 8.30pm

St Nicholas’ Parish Church

Prayer Diary – October 2016

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 of the Month
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:
Help us to hear them, to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them that through patience, and the comfort of your holy word, we may embrace and for ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.                   BCP

------

1st October – Saturday
Carrickfergus YMCA is the venue for ‘The Big Reveal’ introducing Connor Youth Forum.  Pray for this event and for Connor Youth’s bringing together of young Christians from across the Diocese for friendship and fellowship.

2ND OCTOBER – SUNDAY (19th Sunday after Trinity)
Our Rector is preaching at Knockbreda Parish’s Harvest Service this morning.  Pray for those who will hear him speak.  Pray for our own services today and for our new Sunday School format.  Pray for Sunday School leaders.
3rd October – Monday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint.  Pray too for the new series of Bible study for our Small Groups.

4th October – Tuesday
The Select Vestry meets this evening.  Pray for the members of Select Vestry.

5th October – Wednesday
The extended choir meets this evening for their final regular practice before Sunday’s Harvest Services.  Pray for Alison, our Organist, and choir members whether temporary or regular participants.

6th October – Thursday
Major refurbishment work is due to take place at the Rectory.  Pray that the team carrying out the work will not encounter any problems and that work will be completed efficiently with minimum disruption to the Davison family.

7th October – Friday
Pray for Mary Withers, her daughter Sandra and the small team decorating the church for Harvest.  Pray for a generous supply of produce as we give thanks for our Lord’s generous provision.  Pray for Brian preaching this evening at the Harvest service in Castlederg.

8th October – Saturday
Pray for the sick remembering the terminally ill.  Pray that they and those they love would draw close to Christ at this time.  Pray for Carers.

9TH OCTOBER – SUNDAY (20th Sunday after Trinity)
Our Harvest Services take place today with Reverend Bill Press as guest preacher for this evening’s Harvest Praise.  Pray for our worship; for Cameron preaching at the Harvest Service in Waringstown; for Brian in Dublin today with ICM as its Superintendent Reverend Eddy Coulter prepares to leave for a new parish.

10th October – Monday
Pray for those who will distribute Harvest Gifts and for those receiving them.

11th October – Tuesday
Women’s Fellowship meets this evening with guest speaker Wendy Porter.  Pray for this evening’s meeting and that Women’s Fellowship would grow.

12th October – Wednesday
‘Life Explored’ begins this evening.  Pray for this short course that while encouraging people to examine their lives it will bring the Gospel to them.

13th October – Thursday
Pray for the Craft Group which meets this morning.

14th October – Friday
Pray for Busy Bees.  Pray for Cameron and those who will hear him preach at this evening’s Harvest Service in Ballinderry.

15th October – Saturday
Pray for the Parish Walking Group.

16TH OCTOBER – SUNDAY (21st Sunday after Trinity)
Cafe Church resumes this evening and in church we have Holy Communion with Prayers for Healing, while Brian is preaching at Edenderry Methodist’s Harvest Service.  Pray for these and all our worship today.

17th October – Monday
Pray for Crosslinks.  Pray for the Watson family in Gothenburg; for their new Bible study group and that Emily, Grace and Alice would find Christian friends.

18th October – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint and for the compiling of this prayer diary.

19th October – Wednesday
Pray for young people settling into life away from home at university or for training or employment.  Pray that they would know Christ and cling to Him in the face of temptations away from family and church support.

20th October – Thursday
As the nights grow ever longer, pray for lose living along and feeling isolated or afraid.  Give thanks for good neighbours.

21st October – Friday
Pray for Tearfund.

22nd October – Saturday
This morning the Mission Carrick Men’s Breakfast is taking place in the Belfast Loughshore Hotel with guest speaker David Blevins.  Pray for this event and for all the work done under the banner of Mission Carrickfergus.

23RD OCTOBER – SUNDAY (5th Sunday before Advent)
Pray for this morning’s Family Service and this evening’s Cafe Church.  Give thanks for George, Brian and Cameron and their faithful teaching of God’s Word.  Pray for those operating the new AV system, for ourselves that we become accustomed to it and that it will be a help to us in our worship.

24th October – Monday
Pray for our Senior Moments Group.

25th October – Tuesday
Give thanks for our cleaning teams.

26th October – Wednesday
Pray for those who have been recently bereaved.

27th October – Thursday
Catherine and her team will meet this morning to assemble Parish News.  Pray for them and give thanks for their work and for magazine distributors.

28th October – Friday
Pray for those spreading the Gospel in Tabora Diocese.

29th October – Saturday
Pray for Christian marriage and for those who would wish to redefine the status of marriage.  Pray for those who choose to follow Biblical teaching and are alone as a consequence.

30TH OCTOBER – SUNDAY (4th Sunday before Advent)
Pray for our church services today and for our ministry team.  Remember our Sunday School and Bible Class.  Pray for our Youth Fellowship.

31st October – Monday
Pray for those caught up in conflict in the Middle East.  Pray for MECO.

SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTES

Parents are asked to note that on Sunday 9th October there won’t be Sunday School in our Halls.

Children are encouraged to attend the Harvest Thanksgiving Service in Church with parents at 11 am.

We use this opportunity to thank God for His great provision to us.  While the concept of Harvest at this time of year for much of what we buy to eat is hard to understand for today's generation, we still are obliged to give our Great Provider the thanks and praise He is due for ordering our world in such a way that produce is available year round.

Peas, often picked by students as a Summer job, used to be a Summer crop but now come from Peru.  Broad beans come from Guatemala, strawberries from Israel, flowers and other vegetables from Kenya.  The list goes on.  We are glad that farmers and growers in other parts of the world are getting an income from their produce but questions must also be asked concerning the wisdom of flying this fresh produce daily and the carbon footprint this is causing.

We eat very well in this part of the world and we mustn’t take our plenty for granted.  Behind it all He still causes the sun to shine and the rain to fall and the seeds to germinate.  Let’s praise Him for our blessings and remember those who don’t have what we have.
Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent

CHILDREN’S outreach mission, Tabora

During my visit to Tabora in May, I was privileged to visit the Church at Kaliua that was rebuilt over 15 years ago through the generosity of St Nicholas’ parishioners.  The tradition after a church service is that the congregation files out of the church and greets every other member of the congregation, coupled with much joyful singing.  After a while the people disperse and the clergy retire to the Pastor’s house to disrobe and share a simple meal.  When all this had happened, one young man remained and Emmanuel suggested I speak with him.

It turned out he was the sole Sunday School teacher, responsible for upwards of 100 children.  He shared his predicament and the fact that he had no resources and no help.

I felt helpless, what could I do?  I talked to Emmanuel about him, conscious of the fact that Kaliua is a two hour drive from Tabora, half of which is on a dirt road.  This would surely be an impossible journey for Emmanuel on his motorbike.

Over the Summer, in my emails to  Emmanuel, I have mentioned that this young man’s situation has been on my heart and what could be done to help.

Just a couple of weeks ago Emmanuel has written to say that he is organising a Children’s Mission arrangement similar to the Good News Clubs he has set up around Tabora.

This will be backed up by Prayer Groups and in association and discussion with the Kaliua Pastor.  Part of the £300 that I sent at the end of last month will be used, where necessary, to facilitate this set up.

This is such good news.  While the project is still in its infancy we have a most important role to play in its success and must pray for the whole situation.  The young man’s name is NEMES DANSTAN, the church is St Thomas’ Kaliua, and I don’t know the Pastor’s name.

Pray for Emmanuel’s stamina and safety for his journeys.  Pray also for success in finding reliable and committed Christians to take part in the Prayer Groups.  Pray also for the children who will benefit from the Christian teaching they will receive.

Your prayers and your giving have set this ball in motion.  May God be pleased to see this initiative in Kaliua succeed and His kingdom extended there.

Christian Burial

‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’

2nd September 2016
Caroline Doreen Weir, 7 Harwood Park, Carrickfergus

13th September 2016
Thomas Scott Topping Howells, 33 Prospect Heights, Carrickfergus

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

10th September 2016
Kristopher Patrick Coyle, 30 Windermere Road, Carrickfergus and
Sarah Moore, 30 Windermere Road, Carrickfergus

15th September 2016
Mark James Craig, 23c Downshire Road, Carrickfergus and
Louise Margaret Jane Moore, 23c Downshire Road, Carrickfergus

Flowers in Church October 2016

2nd    Sharon Maxwell—Ian’s Anniversary
2nd    Jacqueline & Lesley Clawson—Birthday memories of my mum
         Hanna Burton Clawson
9th     Harvest Flowers
16th   Vacant
23rd   Hilary Wilshin
30th   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.  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.

SOUND DESK ROTA OCTOBER 2016

                    Morning                Evening
2nd        Gillian Dalton                Steven Todd
9th         Dereice Maguire           Lynn Rodgers
16th       Rachel McVeigh            Steven Todd
23rd       Graeme Miles               Cafe Church
30th       Julie Irvine                   Lynn Rodgers

TEA ROTA OCTOBER 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 Gillian Dalton (9336 5687 or 07801 389860). Many thanks for your support.

2nd Deirdre Beck, Valerie Leighton, Linda Mulvenny

9th Lorraine Gibson, Doris Close, Kathleen Arthur

16th Alison Clarke, Maureen Jackson, Carol Campbell

23rd Diane Innes, Janice Nelson, Karen Miles

30th Alex Jones, Christine Cahoon, Nadine Davison

Calling all Crafters
2nd & 4th Thursdays of the month
10 am – 12 noon in the Minor Hall
For further details contact Janice Nelson on 028 9336 0415
Everyone welcome

HELP PLEASE!

Are you reasonably useful with technology?
Our new church audio-visual system needs people to help make the magic happen! Could you be part of a small team who are trained to operate it? Please speak to George or Glenn Nelson if you would like to know more.

We also currently need someone to help clean the church halls on a Thursday morning.  Could you spare one hour a week to help with this work?  If so please contact Catherine in the office on 028 9336 0061 or speak to one of the clergy.

Mission Carrick Men’s Breakfast

Belfast Loughshore Hotel (fomerly the Clarion)
Saturday 22nd October at @ 8.30AM
Cost £10

Join men from churches across Carrickfergus for a morning with David Blevins
(Sky’s Ireland correspondent) and a hearty breakfast.

Sign up in church or book with Catherine in the Church Office.

Services in October 2016

2nd    9 30 am        Holy Communion
        11.00 am    Holy Communion—“I am” Jesus, the Gate
            Revelation 3 v 19-22       
            John 10 v 1-10           
        6.30 pm    Evening Prayer
            Journeys with Paul: Lystra
            Acts 14 v 8-20           

9th    9 30 am        Holy Communion
        11.00 am    Morning Prayer—Harvest Thanksgiving
            Leviticus 23 v 15-22       
            Mark 12 v 1-12           
        6.30 pm    Harvest Praise

16th    9 30 am        Holy Communion
         11.00 am    Morning Prayer with Baptism
            “I am” Jesus, the Good Shepherd
            Psalm 23           
            John 10 v 11-21       
         6.30 pm    Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing & Cafe Church
            Journeys with Paul: Derbe back to Antioch
            Acts 14 v 21-28           
            Matthew 28 v 16-20       

23rd    9 30 am        Holy Communion
         11.00 am    Family Service:  Moses—False gods—the Golden Calf
            Exodus 32
         6.30 pm    Cafe Church
            Journeys with Paul: Jerusalem—a problem
            Acts 15 v 1-11           

30th    9 30 am        Holy Communion
         11.00 am    Service of the Word
            “I am” Jesus—the Resurrection and the Life
            John 11 v 17-37           
         6.30 pm    Compline
            Journeys with Paul: Jerusalem—a resolution
            Acts 15 v 12-35           

Crèche Rota October 2016

2nd    Karen Bell, Alison Kane
9th     Lorraine Gibson, Carol Moneypenny
16th     Deirdre Beck, Sharon McMaster
23rd    Kathleen Arthur, Ciara Lester, Sophie Foreman
30th     Christine Stewart, Valerie Leighton

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.

SENIOR MOMENTS

invites 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

Donations
Adults £5  Children £3
(includes supper)

Parish Walking Group

Saturday 15th October
Lagan Towpath Walk

Meet at 10.00 am at Belfast Boat Club car park

Enjoy the Autumn colours and a coffee stop at the Lock Keeper’s Inn on this lovely riverside walk.

Especially suitable for children and families

For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin or Joan Gray

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY

Coffee Morning & Craft Sale
Saturday 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 

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



Our new programme of events for 2016/17 starts on Tuesday 11th October at 7.30 pm in the Minor Hall.

The theme of the evening’s presentation is “Upcycling” with guest speaker Wendy Porter, followed by supper. We will be joined by ladies from Carrickfergus Methodist and North Street Presbyterian churches.

All ladies from our own parish are particularly welcome and we look forward to seeing a good turn-out for our opening night.                    Valerie Leighton





 
St Nicholas Sketch