Parish Magazine Autumn2016 - Camus-Juxta-Bann

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St. Mary’s Church

‘Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow’    
Parish Magazine

Autumn 2016

Rector’s Reflection

A Creative mess is better than idle tidiness - Michael Fox

‘A Tidy desk a tidy mind’ is a well know idiom, but not always true. Albert Einstein had one of the most productive minds of all time, but  his desk was cluttered and chaotic.   He challenged the usual thinking when he asked:
‘If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is a tidy desk a sign?’

My grandfather was a Presbyterian farmer in the East of Scotland for whom order and organisation were paramount.  To him beauty was  ‘A place for everything and everything in its place.’  Not only did he have a tidy desk and a tidy mind, his fields were immaculate and productive,  as were the straight rows of plants in  his garden.  
Nothing was ever out of place.  Anything no longer in use was immediately discarded.
He could not understand, or appreciate the beauty of the West of Ireland, which was so very different with  chaotic, unfertile, boulder strewn fields, blooming with gorse and wild flowers, or the higgledy piggledy dry stone walls, weaving around them.
In his thinking, when God finished creating the world, that is where he dumped the remaining rocks and weeds.  To my grandfather Connemara was God’s refuse tip!  

But does God ever dump anything?  To him there is everlasting purpose in everything. It is all recycled and re-used by the Creator. At harvest time we often read Jesus’ Parable of the Sower which seems to suggest that there is considerable wastage in God’s sowing the seeds of his word, but is that really the case?  

To the uncomprehending eye the contents of my office, my desk and my computer might look like chaotic refuse, but not to me. In the  Inbox are more than.  7,000 email messages. The Outbox  has almost as many.  The notes of every sermon I have prepared in the last 10 years and every letter I have written are still in the computer’s memory.  In each one seeds were sown, some may have produced weeds, but perhaps a few have produced flowers My desk may look as if it  is cluttered with papers. Occasionally,  I do some tidying,  but rarely does much get dumped, because  thoughts inspired by God are seeds he sowed in my mind long ago to be re-planted, recycled or  reused. By the grace of God they may germinate and flourish in years to come. However, there will always be uncertainty about what will grow.   ‘The mind is a garden, the thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.’

‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth,  so are my ways higher than your ways  and my thoughts than your thoughts.                                      Isaiah 55:8  9
Mike Roemmele   


                  Recent Select Vestry projects
During the Summer months several  Select Vestry projects have been completed.
The interior of the church, the Minor Hall and the computer suite have all been redecorated.  
The clock faces have been restored and were re-installed in the church tower.  
We have also replaced the external doors and some wooden windows of the Rectory which were in very poor condition.

Week by week, volunteers have maintained the graveyard, the rectory gardens and the allotment area.  
The path behind the church was paved.  

Several other projects are still in hand. The church lighting has to be replaced,  and improvements made to the amplification system.

This work is being paid for by donations to the Parish  Building maintenance Fund,  often supplemented by memorial gifts. The new chairs which have been purchased for the Minor Hall, were subsidised by a contribution from the Parish Catering Fund.

Church Porch Window
The exterior surface of the cast iron lattice window in the church porch is discoloured by surface rust and several  panes need to be replaced..  The cost of rust removal and prevention and repainting will be substantial and the window will always  require expensive on-going maintenance. If any  parishioner would like to donate a leaded light replacement (which would not require maintenance) as a memorial to a loved one,  please inform a  Select Vestry member.

Kerb-side parking  outside church
You may have noticed that there is now a parking restriction outside the church.  This is to reduce traffic congestion and the risk of an accident, when children are being dropped off at school, or collected. Whenever possible we try to avoid holding a funeral or wedding at  those times. It is unlikely that the police will enforce it on Sunday mornings.





Extraordinary General Vestry Meeting Tuesday 27 th  September
At the Annual General Vestry meeting shortly before next Easter  Churchwardens, Glebewardens and a new Select Vestry will be appointed for the following year.

Members of the Diocesan Synod and Parochial Nominators will also be elected.  

They will be in office for three years and entrusted by the parish with very important responsibilities. It is essential that the electors and the nominees understand the roles that have to be filled, so that the best possible appointments are made.  

The people who are elected must know the needs of the diocese and of our parish, and be totally committed to fulfilling their obligations.

The Venerable Donald McLean, our former Archdeacon, will be with us to address a short Extraordinary Meeting of the General Vestry on 27 th  September at 7.00pm.  
It is important that this meeting is well attended.

Anyone who will be at  next year’s  Annual General Vestry meeting needs to have heard him speak about the responsibilities of  members of the Diocesan Synod and the work of  different committees which manage and oversee the Diocese on behalf of every parish.

He will also explain the procedures  for the appointment of an incumbent in which Diocesan and Parochial Nominators play a very significant role. If they are unable to agree, the Bishop assumes the responsibility.

Safeguarding Trust
The parish procedures to protect the well-being of children in our care were assessed and reviewed at a meeting  on 15th September.  
A Diocesan Training evening for all parish Safeguarding Trust panel members will be held in the Diocesan centre on Thursday 6th October at 7.30pm.

Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Synod Thursday 20th October

Keeping our teenagers.

No we aren’t going to lock them in, nor are we going to change the time of the Sunday  morning services, but in the coming year we are going to try to involve them more in our worship  and other parish activities.  

We had hoped to send some of the recently confirmed on a life-changing trip this summer,  but with so many having part-time jobs,  or other commitments it was a real  struggle to find a time  to suit, or leaders available to accompany them even for an afternoon expedition to the Giant’s Causeway.

Don’t ever think that our church does nothing for teenagers. We really do try .

But if we are going to succeed in the academic year 2016 - 2107 we really need their interest and commitment and the support and  encouragement of their parents and the rest of the congregation


Sunday Club
The new Sunday School year began with the enrolment of children on 4th September after the first of several quarterly special ‘All-age’ services which include a parish lunch.

Alfie Hutchinson and Lynne Ballentine have a small, dedicated team of Sunday Club leaders, helped by teenagers who were confirmed this year, but they really could also use more adult support.

It would be wonderful if some of the parents in the congregation were willing to join the team. If you can help,  please speak with Alfie or Lynne.

It is a tremendous privilege to be involved in nurturing the faith of a new generation as a Sunday School teacher.  Many adults look back with gratitude, respect and affection  to people who taught them years long past,  when they  attended Sunday School. Today there are  wonderful teaching resources  on the Internet, and our leaders support each other, working together to prepare the lessons.    

The Mothers’ Union
The Summer Outing to Mountstewart in June was a really good trip and much enjoyed by more than 30 members and friends who were enthralled by the restoration of this magnificent  National Trust property and the surrounding historic gardens .  

The fund-raising Coffee morning  held in the Minor Hall on Saturday 3rd September was also successful and will hopefully help to  foster interest in the Mothers’ Union as a worthwhile organisation to join .

Monthly Branch Meetings resumed after the Summer break with a Service of Holy Communion on 20th September at which two new members were enrolled and three other members celebrated the 40th or 50th anniversaries of their enrolment.

The Annual Diocesan  Mothers’ Union Festival Service, this year will celebrate the 140th  anniversary of its foundation by Mary Sumner.  It will be held in St. Columb’s Cathedral on Wednesday 28th September at 8.00pm.
The  Men’s Society
During the Summer members enjoyed golfing competitions and particularly, one with men of St John’s Roman Catholic in Killowen. We hope to develop that bond of friendship in the future.
On Friday 16 th  September we hosted a great evening in the Upper Hall and heard the fascinating story of the discovery and excavation of a historic WW2 Spitfire aircraft from  bogland on the Innishowen peninsula by Johnny Mc Nee, the son of one of our Diocesan clergy.
Other interesting meetings will be held by the Men’s Society in the winter months .

Ordinand’s  placement
in the Parish of Camus-juxta-Bann
Dr Ian Mills is well-known in our parish. As Organist and Master of Choristers of St Columb’s Cathedral he has brought his choirs to  special services and has supported different fund-raising efforts.
He is now training for ordination at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute in Dublin.  
We are delighted  he has asked for one of his placements to be in Macosquin. He feels that he can learn from us, and I know that we will be blessed by his time with us on several Sundays and a number of weekdays during this University term.

Mission in the year of Opportunity The Pilgrim CourseMany people have heard of the 14 week ‘Alpha Course’ which has been an amazingly successful  introduction to Christian faith and membership of the church, helping thousands of people millions find an answers to some very  puzzling  questions about ‘The meaning of Life’.
There are other shorter courses which also address similar questions, showing that  Christian belief is still relevant and meaningful in today’s world.  While he is with us in October and November Dr Mills will lead  a six week ‘Pilgrim Course’- based on the Lord’s Prayer, which tackles the question, ‘What is Christianity?’  Each session begins with a fork supper.
Do you have friends who are cynical or sceptical about Christianity but who are willing to listen, discuss,  and learn more.  Or, if you struggle to explain what you believe about God, Jesus Christ and the teaching of the church, then this course may prove to be very helpful.
Encourage your friends to come and add your own name to the list on the church noticeboard.. You will not be disappointed,  and   may find that many of your deepest questions are answered.

Harvest Thanksgiving 2016
Once again, we have encouraged  people who may not have been in church for some time to return and enjoy worshipping with us as we celebrated the blessing of a good harvest.  This year’s service reflected growing world-side  concern about global warming and our need to take responsibility and care for the environment. Our guest preacher was Canon Michael Barton, a former rector in the Diocese of Armagh and brother of the much loved late Canon Sam Barton who was well known in our diocese.  His son, Michael is the Rector of Ballintoy.

Bishops’Appeal 2016
For many years this fund has enabled the Church of Ireland to respond immediately to crises throughout the world,  and support many  development projects,  which help to relieve suffering.  Beginning with our Harvest Sunday collection, and continuing throughout October, please contribute to The Bishops’ Appeal Fund.
If you are a tax payer, complete the Gift Aid declaration on the envelope.

Senior Citizens’ Lunches
The new season begins on 5th October and continues every Wednesday until mid-March with a short break between Christmas and  New Year.
Good food, great company and interesting speakers every week. Encourage people aged over 60 to collect tickets  from the church on Sundays, or the village shop on weekdays. They will enjoy a good meal, great company and the hospitality of our cooks and helpers.

Poppy Appeal
Once again, during the first fortnight of November, Joy White will be coordinating a team of collectors who will visit every home in our parish, selling poppies and raising money for the Royal British Legion which does wonderful work supporting former members of our armed forces and their dependants.  

Remembrance Sunday Service 13th November 10.30am
The cost of war, the loss of life and the physical and mental injury of so many members of our armed forces should never be forgotten.  Every poppy worn next to our heart speaks of the sacrifice of someone who was specially loved and who deserves to be remembered, not just by his own family, but by the community he was taken from, and by the nation.  Their memory must be preserved and respected for ever. Please attend this service of remembrance to honour them and join in the refrain with us as we say, "We will remember them".

Commemorating the faithful departed
Memories of all people we have known and loved are precious.

They may be gone but they are not forgotten. Every day our graveyard has many  visitors who come to place flowers in memory of someone who was special to them.  

All Saints and All Souls Days (at the beginning of November) are days when the church remembers our loved ones.  

The Prayer Book describes them as ‘The Faithful Departed.’  A Service of Thanksgiving is held each year and we invite bereaved families to attend.   These services are much appreciated. It is great comfort to those who are left when they hear the names of people who were dear to them being read and remembered in prayer.  This year’s Service will be held on All Soul's Day 2nd  November at 7.30pm.

The Responsibilities of Churchwardens and Sidespersons
Most members of the congregation a unaware of what goes on behind the scenes to ensure that church services are dignified and worshipful.

When they arrive, the churchwardens, assisted by the sidespersons, switch on the heating, update noticeboards, prepare the church and everything that will be used in a service and distribute named communications to members of the Select Vestry,  or other groups.  

They ring the bell, greet worshippers, identify lesson readers, people who will be leading intercessions and the ones who are to help with the collection.  
They also welcome and introduce visitors to members of the congregation.

During the service they look after the amplification and lighting, count the congregation and the number of communicants and keep a watchful eye to see if anybody is in difficulty. After the service they tidy everything away, count and secure the collection and complete the Service Register in the parish office .

We will shortly be holding a ‘refresher’ evening for Wardens, assistant wardens and sidespersons to remind them of all their responsibilities and  how these duties are supposed to be carried out.  
Diocesan handbook Churchwardens’ Responsibilities
1  Keep record of registered vestry members with rector.
2  During vacancy allow authorised cleric to cover service duties.
3  maintain order during services, ensure churchyard not used for profane purposes.
4  With rural dean hand over to new rector all plate and documents.
5  Upkeep of fencing of graveyard.
6  Control and manage graveyards with rector, including headstones.
7  Define duties of all church officers with rector.
8  Apply scale of fees to visiting clergy.
9  Welcome strangers, and VIP visitors and escort to seats.
10  Maintain inventory and hand over at time of general vestry.



(This information will shortly be abbreviated and included on the Parish Website)

Holy Baptism
Jesus commanded his disciples to go into all the world, baptising those who believed in him in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them everything he had taught. In fulfilling that obligation he assured them that he would be with them always.

Baptism is the Sacrament of the Church ordained by Jesus to be the initiation ceremony for all believers and  the children of believing and practising members of the church.
It is a sacred trust not to be abused.

Before anyone is baptised whether as a child or an adult, there must be evidence of belief in God, faith in Jesus Christ and that after baptism there is an  intention to grow in faith, and worship God within the church, empowered  by the Holy Spirit.  

Except in cases of life-threatening illness, before any baptism of a child is arranged parents must show that they are regular worshippers and agree to attend preparation sessions.

Godparents must have been baptised and in most cases should also be confirmed members of the Church of Ireland.  Parents are also asked to nominate a member of the congregation willing to be a sponsor and who will support and encourage them in their undertaking to fulfill their promise to bring up the child within the church,  until he or she is ready to make a personal profession n of faith in confirmation.

Candidates should normally be at least aged 14, have a belief in God and faith in Jesus Christ and an understanding of the teachings of the church at the time of confirmation.

Preparation sessions usually begin in October and continue weekly during the winter months until the early summer.  

Those who have completed  the course are presented to the  Bishop for confirmation at a special service, an occasion which we pray marks the beginning of a new chapter in their life-story as communicant members of Christ’s Church.

The course covers many aspects of Christian belief, a knowledge of the church,  the Catechism, the Bible and Prayer Book  worship in the Church of Ireland.  Special emphasis is given to the importance of the sacraments and receiving Holy Communion regularly

The  candidates are required to attend services every Sunday, take part in some kind of ‘mission activity’  and be involved in various aspects of church life.

The course concludes in a compulsory ‘Weekend  Retreat’ packed with activities which are intended to challenge the participants into making correct choices,  test their understanding of the lessons taught in the course.

It also  includes personal pre-confirmation interviews to confirm that each candidate feels prepared to commit themselves to Christ and membership of his church.  

Adults who wish to be confirmed,  or to renew their confirmation promises,  normally attend a shortened version of the course but also attend services and take part in some of the activities with the younger candidates

As a small parish we do not have sufficient teenagers to justify an annual confirmation service  and courses are normally held every second or third year.

The newly confirmed should be encouraged by other members of the congregation to continue worshipping regularly and to be involved in the life of the church

Holy Matrimony
Any member of the Church of Ireland who is resident in Northern Ireland may be married in any of the Province’s  parish churches if the Officiant  has been licenced by the Bishop and has been  registered to conduct  weddings in Northern Ireland.

Before a wedding can be arranged there must be evidence that the couple are free to marry and an application submitted to the local Registrar for a  Marriage Schedule.

Rectors normally hold a number of Marriage preparation sessions with a couple and help them decide the detail of the wedding ceremony, the content of the order of service, the choice of appropriate hymns and advice about flowers to decorate the church.

Fees are set by the Select Vestry and are reduced if either of the couple is a subscribing member of the church. The fee includes the use of the church building, the officiant, the organist, the bellringer and caretaking charge

In some very specific cases the Bishop may authorise a rector to conduct a subsequent marriage of a person who was previously married and has been divorced.

The process involves several interviews and  the officiant must  have no conscientious objection to conducting the wedding.
Christian Burial
The death of a family member is always a sad and emotional occasion,  and at that time the primary responsibility of every Rector is to give pastoral support to  the bereaved,  while  guiding them through the arrangements for the funeral that they make with a Funeral Director.

Although the basic format of a Church of Ireland Funeral Service is always the same, and speaks profoundly and with dignity, not only of the sorrow of parting, but also  of the Christian hope of resurrection,  there is considerable flexibility in the choice of Scripture readings, suitable hymns which express thanksgiving for a life and the relationships which were important in that life.

Often the remains are brought to the church and received in a short service,  the evening,  or morning before the funeral.  Sometimes a service is held in the home of the deceased or at a Funeral Director’s   Chapel / Parlour,   before being brought to the church.

Although the remaining sp ace in our Churchyard is limited, if the deceased was a subscribing member of the church,  or a grave has already been allocated, we will  usually provide a burial plot, and permit the erection of a memorial, subject to the graveyard regulations and payment of the  appropriate fees.  If a grave has been allocated in another cemetery,  the Officiant will accompany the bereaved to conduct  the interment ceremony.

Application for a grave space can only be made at the time of a death and in consultation with Alfie Hunter, who manages the graveyard and burial records

If the funeral service is  followed by cremation,  we have a Garden of Remembrance beside the church where  ashes may be interred and the position marked by a small memorial tablet .
We also recognise the importance of providing families with an opportunity to met with family, friends and other sympathisers after the service.  Whenever possible our catering team will try to provide a ‘Funeral Tea’ in a parish hall.  There are various options and depending on the choice of food and the number we are asked to cater for,  a charge is made for this service.

When you come to church, please make  time to read the noticeboards.
These are updated weekly and most contain important information

Often posters advertising a coming event state that people who intend to take part
should  add their names to a list.  If there is a lack of interest, it may be cancelled .

Check the Rotas for church cleaning, lesson reading, and refreshments after church.
Make sure you know if you are  responsible for something next week!

HUMOUR CORNER    Oops!! - Some Notable Gaffs in Church Bulletins
The sermon this morning: "Jesus Walks on the Water." The sermon
tonight: Searching for Jesus."

Don’t let worry kill you off — let the Church help.

Thursday 7.00pm   Auditions for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack’s sermons.

The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: "Break Forth Into Joy."

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What Is Hell?"  Come early and listen to our choir practice.

The church hosts an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.

Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM – prayer and medication to follow.

This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

The Weight Watchers Group will meet at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use the large double door at the side entrance.

Recent Building Fund Donations
£1,350 In memory of the late Robert (Bertie) Davis
£100 from the Macosquin Village fete

From the Parish Registers
Holy Matrimony
5th  August  Tracey Pollock and Wayne McCabe

Christian Burial
14th July         Desmond McClements
31st July         David Samuel Crowe
26th August    John Kerr

Who’s who in the Parish
Rector: Rev Canon Mike Roemmele   Parish Reader: Mrs Lorna Doherty
Retired Clergy: Rev Canon Brian Johnston, The Very Rev Dr Houston McKelvey

Select Vestry members
Churchwardens  Kenny Campbell and  Pearl Mullen
Glebewardens   Sandy Reynolds, Nigel McQuilkin, Stuart Morrell,
Gordon Kennedy,  Glebewarden Emeritus Tommy Oliver (Co-opted)
Secretary Lilian Davis, Treasurer Kenneth Mc Afee

Other Select Vestry members
Lorna Doherty ( Parish Admin)  
Janet Kennedy (Missions, Charities  & Parish Admin)     
Shirley Baird,  Collette Cuckoo,  Russell Doherty, Greg Duddy, Maureen Jamieson,  Alfie Hunter (Graveyard Administration and Parish website)

Non Vestry Personalities: Harry Caskey  Parish Stewardship Recorder
Erin Teacy  Organist & Choir Director,   Jill Oliver ‘Facebook’ administration         Bertha Madden  Mothers’ Union Branch Leader

For more information  about our parish
See our website -  www.camus-juxta-bann.Org

Visit Facebook -  CamusConnections


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