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Alexandra Newsletter Easter 2010


Dear Friends, This will be my final contribution to the Alexandra Newsletter. On 27 March I will have attained my 65th birthday, and I have decided to retire soon afterwards. Some people have been asking me what happens to Alexandra following my retirement. The procedure followed in the PCI is that the North Belfast Presbytery will appoint a minister as Convener. He becomes as it were, the acting minister, until the vacancy is filled. He will be responsible for supplying the pulpit every Sunday, for organizing the pastoral work, and along with the Kirk Session take steps to fill the vacancy. Along with you, I will be praying that someone will hear God’s call to come, and continue and develop the work of the congregation. About a year after I came to Alexandra Mrs Heather McCracken was assigned to us as a Deaconess on a part-time basis. Her ministry here over the last 20 years has been highly valued. I personally have greatly benefited from her practical wisdom and encouragement, and wish to thank Heather for the support she has offered me. There is another resignation that I would draw your attention to. Mr Drew McCallion has resigned his position as Clerk of Session after 26 years of faithful service. Elsewhere in the Newsletter I take the opportunity to thank Drew for all he has meant to me personally in this role, and also to the congregation. During my time in Alexandra we have had a considerable number of students helping us out in the summer and on other occasions. They have been a source of much blessing to our Church and I thank them for all they have meant to us. Many of you in the congregation also have served the Lord faithfully through the course of my ministry here. There are far too many to name but I sincerely thank every one of you. When we came to Alexandra David was 3, Janine 5 and John 8 years of age respectively. It’s hard to believe that John recently celebrated his 30th birthday. Our children have benefited immensely from the organizations they attended here and from the warmth of the congregation, and for this I also thank you. I wish also to thank Dale for her encouragement, love and support she has given to me. 1


Like all families there have been difficult times, times of disagreement and conflict. However overall the impression of visitors to Alexandra that we are a warm and friendly people is the truth. It is this that makes saying good-bye so difficult. I’m not sure that any minister in the General Assembly has received more encouragement and affirmation than I have. For this I am profoundly grateful. Thank you all very much for your love and friendship down through the years. You might well ask; ‘What will you do when you retire?’ It’s a question I have not fully pondered believing that following retirement I will have lots of time to make plans! - though I am reliably told that retired folk are busier than ever! My final Sunday as minister of Alexandra will be 16 May. That evening at 6.30pm we will have a Praise Service and I would warmly invite you to join with us.

League of Church Loyalty On Sunday 14th February we had our annual presentation of League of Church Loyalty. Twenty two children received prizes. One 5 year prize went to Nathan McBride, 7 received 1st attendance and the remainder were 2nd and consolation prizes. All children in the congregation age 3 and upwards who attend Creche or Sunday School are welcome to join the scheme. Please speak to Freda Moffitt or myself. Gillian McBride 2


Our Drew At our A.G.M., on 10 March we took some time to acknowledge the outstanding service of Drew McCallion as the Clerk of Session of Alexandra for the past 26 years. Speeches were made first by myself, and then Mervyn McCormick. Wesley Lewis presented a gift to Drew, and Bertha McIlroy our former Secretary, presented Anna with flowers. One job of the Clerk is to take notes at each meeting of the Kirk Session and read the minutes at the next meeting. Drew’s minutes were a work of art! I was almost ashamed to add my scrawl as I signed them! Of course Drew’s work as Clerk ranged way beyond the Kirk session, to cover every facet of the life of Alexandra, and he brought to each area, that same thoroughness and efficiency that was displayed in his presentation of the Session’s minutes. Whenever anyone was facing a difficulty, a problem or a conflict in the life of the Church, Drew was often the first person they turned to. Often he acted in the role of peacemaker. His tact and wisdom down through the years have been invaluable. Along with many others. I have cause to sincerely thank Drew, for his friendship, prayers, and his wise counsel and support down through the years. It’s fitting that we also acknowledged Anna. Only her continual encouragement, and prayerful support have enabled Drew to carry out his duties so well and for so long. The Kirk Session have appointed Mervyn McCormick as our new Clerk of Session. We warmly congratulate him on his appointment, and promise to support him in every way and especially through our prayers,

Clifford Wright

Date for your diary Barn Dance... Friday 16th April 2010 3


Newsletter 2010 Hello Alexandra! This is Ben Preston, your student-minister from 17th of January to the 14th of March 2010. Betty asked to me to contribute to the newsletter on a subject of my choosing and I could think of none better than my experiences of Alexandra. While academic study in Union is enriching and often God glorifying there can be no substitute for getting involved with a congregation over a period of time. It is in our placements that we students for the ministry really affirm our sense of call and experience the joy of resting in the Lord’s will for our lives. When I nervously came through the doors of Alexandra back in January I didn’t really know what to expect, so I decided to entrust my time to God. He has richly blessed me more than I could ever give in service at Alexandra. I have been bowled over by the welcome and warmth of fellowship in your church. Treasure and build on that closeness in Christ that God has clearly blessed you with. It’s a privilege to stand at the front of your service and hear songs of praise to God. I have loved the other aspects of my placement, doing Nitelite, seeing the Boys’ Brigade, visiting homes, and of course the wonderful Ladies lunch. As I write this my placement isn’t over so no doubt Rev Wright has more activities planned, but my thanks to him and to you for these opportunities to learn and serve God. Col 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” Grace, Ben Preston

BODYBUILDERS SUMMER SCHEME 26th July - 6th August ( 5 - 10 year olds ) 9th August - 13th August ( 11 - 16 year olds ) Registration night Thursday 10th June 2010 at 6.30pm. 4


GOODNEWS CLUB We have had a good turn out each Monday night in our Goodnews Club. From January we have been looking at the Life of Christ. Some of the stories we have been telling the children are Jesus at the Temple / Jesus healing people / Jesus meets Zaccheus. The children have also been learning some new songs which they have enjoyed. We took the children to Indianaland in February and they all had a great time. After the earthquake in Haiti we decided to give the church a donation to go to this very worthy cause. Gillian and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Linda, Alison, Ruth and Philip for their help with the children over these past months. We would also like to thank Candice and Skye Bunting for all their help. The goodnews club will finish in March with a party. We look forward to seeing everyone at the summer scheme. May & Gillian

TIME 4 U The ladies meet every Wednesday from 12.00 – 2.00pm. We start with lunch which is a cup of tea & sandwiches. In February we went to the new Museum and Rosena and Hugh came with us. Everyone liked it so much that we are going back in the summer. We are going to Hillside Nursery and we are planning a few shopping trips. I have applied for funding from the Belfast City Council to have some more craft classes. We are hoping to start the classes in May and we are looking for more ladies to join us. May

Dates for your diary BB Display... Friday 26th March Songs from the Gang Shows... Tuesday 11th May

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PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN As I write this article we are not only thinking of our last meeting, but organising our Annual Outings and Church Service. Since the start of the year we have enjoyed having our own Heather McCracken with us, Dale’s boss Rev. Ronnie Hetherington from Union College, and hearing about the wild life in our Parks. The Rev. Rodney Cameron told us about working in Maghaberry Prison. We heard all about Scrapbooking and Nite Lite on the York Road. We were sorry to learn of the sudden death of one of our members, Helen Moore, and extend to her two sons and family our prayers and sympathy. Helen was always so ready to help. She will be sadly missed. For our Evening Outing we have booked to go to Barnaby’s for a meal, and for our Annual Outing we intend visiting the market at Cookstown and then going to Pomeroy Presbyterian Church for our meal. This is the Church where Rev. Mervyn Lindsay is now minister. Mervyn was one of our Summer Assistants, so it will be nice to meet up with him again. Mary Copeland

CHURCH CALENDAR - 2010 I thank all who purchased the Church Calendar depicting the Burning Bush which raised some money for the Building Together Fund. I also thank John Craig for his photograph of this unique feature above the pulpit in our church, and Mervyn McCormick for completing the graphic design. I hope as you look at the calendar daily it will remind you not only of our church building, but also of God’s continuous presence in our lives – and the verse chosen will encourage us in our walk with a faithful God. Wesley Lewis

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BOYS’ BRIGADE COMPANY SECTION ANNUAL FOOTBALL MATCH

The football pitch at the Grove on Boxing Day turned out to be more like an ice rink, especially around the goalmouths, and referee Alan Crowther had no hesitation in declaring the ground unplayable. However the enthusiasm of all the players who turned up was obvious and they were keen to have the match played and suggested we play on Monday 28th. Realizing the problem of all the frozen pitches (and the snow) it was decided to ask Crusaders Football Club for the use of their 4th Generation Pitch at Seaview and this was duly hired. We are the first Boy’s Brigade Company to try out the new surface, and on Monday 28th we had two teams made up of boys, staff, former members and a few fathers. It was a big occasion for some to be on the pitch of the Irish Cup winners and especially for those who were supporters of Crusaders. With the backdrop of the tower of Seaview Presbyterian Church, the Cavehill and a white frost across the surface of the pitch all created a lovely scene. Grant Wilson (assistant referee) blew the whistle to start the game. We had 13 players on each side, one team in blue shirts and the other in yellow and it soon became clear it was an effort to keep steady and on occasions it was good to know that there was a railing around the pitch. The match started lively with some end to end play, and it was Mark Anderson keeping his feet who dribbled around a few blue team players and drilled the ball past goalkeeper Andrew Harbinson making it 1-0 for the yellow team. Teddy Sloan (goalkeeper) made a few good saves and it was good to see Alan Logan, back home for a few days, make an effective defence along with the experienced Jeff Montgomery. Another guest player Johnny Kennedy (son-in-law of Rev Clifford

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Wright) showed great enthusiasm and covered a lot of ground, however it was Craig Taylor who really caught the eye with some very clever touches, and equally Samuel McCormick for the blues put on a great performance. The second half followed the same pattern as the first. By now the sunlight had thawed out some of the frost, and skillful play by the yellow team gave Jonny McConkey the opportunity to fire in a long range shot to score a second goal for his team. In another attack Craig Taylor pushed the ball through to Lawrence Wallace who had only to put the ball into the net, but somehow he hit it past the post. The blue team applied a lot of pressure towards the end of the game with Stephen Barr taking a few knocks (thankfully now fully recovered). Samuel Allister made some good runs, and Jordan Barr looked very impressive, but they were unable to break the yellow team’s defence who won the game by 2-0. We were pleased to see all the spectators who braved the elements to give their support and it was lovely to see John Craig ‘camera in hand’ who created a short DVD of the match. We thank our referee, Alan Crowther, the staff at Seaview, and especially Brian Moore who made us feel so welcome and we can only think ‘We’ll book it again for next year’. NIGHTS OUT Prior to Christmas some members attended a Sports Challenge Night with an all star coaching team at the McConnell Youth Complex of Whitewell Metropolitan Church. The following evening we had a full turn out of boys at the Valley Leisure Centre for a night of football on their 3rd Generation Pitch which was followed by the customary trip to McDonalds for a ‘Big Mac’ BB WEEK The final total of our collection for funds during BB Week, including the Jumble Sale (£535), was £2,808. Our highest collector was Jordan Barr (£237) a new company record. Many many thanks to all who supported us, especially former members, without whose help this total could not have been achieved. FIRST AID Seven boys take part in our weekly Badge Class learning first aid, and we thank Alison McConkey for her assistance with these sessions. 8


NATIONAL COMPETITIONS CHESS The team travelled to Coleraine to play against the 5th Coleraine Company and they won by 5 games to 4 and now meet 1st Knocknamuckley in the semi final of the All Ireland Section. Best wishes to Adam, Samuel and Darryl. TABLE TENNIS. Charlemont, Armagh was the venue for the second round of the table tennis competition where unfortunately we lost by 6 games to 3 and well done to Jordan Barr who won all his 3 games. FIVE-A-SIDE FOOTBALL It was up to Ballymena and the new Wellington Presbyterian Church (fantastic premises which includes a large sports hall and cafĂŠ) for our first round of the FiveA-Side Football competition. Teams came from Ballymena, Broughshane and Kilkeel, and although we put up a good performance we did not quality for the next round.

BELFAST BATTALION COMPETITION CHESS AND DRAUGHTS NEW DRAUGHTS CHAMPION Congratulations to Aaron Beasant on winning the Battalion Draughts Competition and to the runner up Samuel McCord. In the Chess Competition Darryl Marshall was our only representative and he played well in the qualifying rounds to reach the final where he was narrowly defeated. TABLE TENNIS The Belfast Battalion Championships took place in our Church Halls on Friday 19th February where there were over 50 competitors. Disappointment for the 58th as Jordan Barr lost in the final of the Junior Singles and with his partner Jonathan Montgomery lost in the final of the Junior Doubles, and Craig Taylor and Samuel Allister lost in the final of the Senior Doubles. 9


CROSS COMMUNITY EVENTS Scott Dallas, James Donaghy, Aaron Beasant and Samuel McCord enjoyed a cross community day at Ganaway, where they teamed up with members of Belfast Youth Clubs and Scouts from Downpatrick. They had an opportunity to take part in team building exercises including use of the Zip Line and Climbing Wall. They participated further in a trip to Dublin to see round the Collin’s Army Base and enjoyed an overnight stay with the Dublin scout troop. Wesley Lewis

NOTES FROM THE CHOIR Our ‘Carols by Candlelight’ Service was held on Sunday 20th December. After the lighting of the candles, the service continued with the singing of our well-loved carols, Scripture Readings, and a CD from the Visual Bible. During the service the Alexandra Orchestra played “In the bleak midwinter”, “As with Gladness men of old“, “Hark the Herald Angels sing” and “Silent Night”. It was lovely to hear these pieces played by the young people from our congregation as well as some more experienced visitors, and of course, our own Scott, who “brought it all together” so successfully. Olivia took the role of First Violin, which delighted us all - didn’t she do well! Rachel Atkinson sang “The little road to Bethlehem” so beautifully without - it seemed anyway - any nervousness, and another friend, Judith Allison sang ‘0 Holy Night’ which of course is another universal favourite. The choir sang “Look away to Bethlehem”, “Softly the night is sleeping, “Holy Child, how still you lie”, “Born is the Light of the World”. The service was followed by supper and a chance to chat with friends, knowing that Christmas was near. We continue to practise each Thursday evening for the Sunday Services and more recently we have been working with Clifford for the Annual General Meeting and Social on 10th March. We would love some new members for the choir, and you are assured of a warm welcome - maybe soon we will be rewarded for our much asking, and that would be just great! E.L. SMYTH

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We would like to thank all our friends in Alexandra for their prayerful support on the sudden death of Jackie’s sister, Carol - especially to the Rev Wright for his visits to our home. Your prayers, ‘phone calls, and many cards were much appreciated by Jackie, myself, and our family. Jackie and Margaret Wallace

My husband Billy died on 16th November 2009 peacefully at home. I would like to thank everyone who prayed, visited, and took part at Billy’s funeral service. I deeply appreciated all the visits and chats with Heather and Clifford who conducted the service. I am hoping that this acknowledgement is accepted by all concerned. Yours sincerely, Lynda Robinson and Family. I wish to convey my sincere and humble appreciation to the Elders and members of Alexandra for your prayers, cards, messages, and visits during my recent illness you have truly been Christian family to me. Special thanks to Clifford and Heather, who kept in close touch and shared the news of my progress with you - for continuing prayer for me and even for my brother-in-law when he developed a stroke suddenly in December! This has been a long illness for me, with subsequent debility this past 5 - 6 months - it’s been quite an experience! I have been really blessed by your kind and thoughtful support. Big- time thanks! Betty Beggs

CONGRATULATIONS Fifty years ago, on 12th March 1960, Bobby Savage married his sweetheart, Maureen, in St Paul’s Parish Church. We congratulate them on their Golden Wedding Anniversary, send them our love and good wishes. Every blessing, Maureen and Bobby! BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS We rejoice with Marion Wright on celebrating her 98th Birthday in February. Hope you had a really happy day, Marion. We in Alexandra wish you God’s blessing for the future. ON THE MOVE We congratulate Bethany, Callum, Katie, and Scott, as they leave primary school and prepare for their new schools in September. We trust you will enjoy the holidays and look forward with excitement to the next step in your education.

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NEW CLERK FOR SESSION This is a time of change for us in Alexandra. Following Drew McCallion’s resignation as Clerk of Session Mervyn McCormick has agreed to take on this post We congratulate Mervyn on his appointment, and pray that God will be near to bless him as he performs his duties, especially during the time of Vacancy in the congregation, when he will be working closely with the Convenor. This will be a new chapter for you, Mervyn, and our prayers will be with you and Elizabeth too, as you ‘take up the reins’ as Clerk in Session. May God bless you richly in this work for Him. Ellen Smyth

LEPROSY MISSION In India, leprosy is still legal grounds for divorce. There are active laws that state that those with leprosy are not allowed to have a driving licence. In fact, India still has at least 20 laws at the national level and about 40 at state level that discriminate against those who have leprosy and even against those who have been cured of leprosy. As a Leprosy Mission supporter you are no doubt aware of the discrimination people with leprosy face. This is an ongoing issue and we just cannot be silent about such injustice. I believe that this situation will only improve when we continue to educate ourselves about the disease, the stigma, and the people who live with leprosy. There are still over 4 million people in the world suffering from the permanent effects of leprosy. When we consider the toll leprosy also takes on family and those closest to affected individuals, leprosy causes close to 80 million people to experience the stigma associated with the disease. They need our prayers and our practical help. Your regular partnership in our ministry brings the world one step closer to eradicating a disease that has for centuries denied men, women and children their right to a life without poverty and rejection. Your gifts bring them healing and the self-worth they deserve as children made in the image of God. A. Colin Ferguson, National Director. This is an acknowledgement from the National Director of the Leprosy Mission for the recent donation from Alexandra. I would like to add my thanks to the very generous members of the congregation who donated £1,125 to the Leprosy Mission in 2009. I must also add a thank-you to Alice for her help when I took over - it has been a very pleasant little task so far, giving me the opportunity to speak to people I have only nodded to before. The generosity of the people of Alexandra never ceases to amaze me!. Joan Browne 12


GIRL GUIDES Following the Christmas break we were really busy making preparations for our Centenary celebration weekend on 20th and 21st February, the highlight of which was the Thinking Day Service on Sunday evening. Lots of parents, former Guides and friends joined with us for a memorable service in which all the girls participated. (you made us proud girls!) Afterwards, it was great to see the Knowles Hall full as everyone stayed to enjoy supper and celebration cake. We also managed to enjoy some normal Guide activities like baking - cheesecakes and shortbread were tried and “tasted”. We celebrated Burns Night with a supper of porridge which all the girls enjoyed. On another evening the Guides’ knowledge of recycling was tested by a work colleague of Christine Skilling from Belfast City Council. Barbara also brought along a special piece of equipment used in hospitals which revealed the “horrors” that can linger on our hands if they haven’t been washed thoroughly. Congratulations to Shannon McKeating who made her Promise at a ceremony in February. I Kane

GUIDE CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS Congratulations to ALL the members of the 44th Units for the wonderful Week-end you organised to celebrate 100 years of Guiding. Everyone who attended both the Dinner at Lorne and the Church Service thoroughly enjoyed being there and meeting up with lots of friends, some who had come from quite a distance. We all have treasured memories of our time in Guides and this was one to be remembered. Well Done to each and every one, especially all the Leaders. Mary Copeland

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GIRL GUIDES CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

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20th and 21st FEBRUARY 2010

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RAINBOWS

Since our return after Christmas we have had a baking night and a badge night. We then had a visit by a member of staff from Belfast City Council Waste Management who spoke to the girls about recycling. We were shown some crafts that were made out of recycled materials which looked very effective. After this we devoted the next few weeks to practising for our special Centenary Thinking Day Service. The girls performed a short play and sang 2 songs. They then renewed their promise with Kelsie & Zoe repeating it on their own. A prayer was read by Chelsea & Kaitlin. Thanks to the Rainbows for performing so well and to all the parents, family and friends who came to the service. We had a party the following Tuesday to reward the girls for all their efforts. Finally a great weekend was had by us all at our Centenary Dinner and Service. Various people made everything possible but we would like to acknowledge the work done by Christine Barr and Lee Kennedy in bringing everything together. L. Crowther 16


GIFT AID Once again I want to update you on the claim for 2008, which was received prior to Christmas 2009. The total received from the Inland Revenue was almost £20,000 and will be distributed as follows.

FREEWILL OFFERING BUILDING TOGETHER UNITED APPEAL PROPERTY AND MAINTENANCE WORLD DEVELOPMENT TEAR FUND SAPHARI (Olivia) PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN PUDDING & PIE “G.G” BOYS’ BRIGADE inc minibus

£11,504 £4.826 £1,464 £933 £80 £160 £194 £40 £187* £505

*for BUILDING TOGETHER FUNDS

May I again encourage any member who pays income tax, directly or indirectly, and has not completed a GIFT AID FORM to contact me. This means we can maximise the contribution you make to the church or any of the charities we support. In a few months’ time we will be preparing our claim for year ending 31st December 2009. WESLEY LEWIS

BON VOYAGE Anna and Drew, we hear on the ‘grapevine’ that you will soon be embarking on a long journey to visit family members, first to Singapore, on to Australia, and on to Baltimore in the U.S. of A.. How lovely for you to spend 7 whole weeks away, and we know there will be many loving arms reaching out to you when you arrive at your various destinations. We wish you safe journeys, and lots of fun and relaxation - you deserve time to enjoy all these pleasures. You will have much to tell us when you return, and no doubt the camcorder will be busy, wherever you go! Love from us all in Alexandra. God bless you both. E Smyth 17


TABLE TENNIS COACHING The coaching class on Monday evenings continues to be a big success and two of our church members excelled in the Primary Schools Competition which was held in our halls on Thursday 11th February. KATIE WALLACE was in the Cavehill School team and ADAM BARR was in the Seaview School team and both won gold medals. There were over 70 competitors taking part and it was good to see Ireland’s No.1 Lady Player, AMANDA MOGEY giving her encouragement to the children. We hope to increase our coaching sessions in the near future with Saturday afternoon sessions, and we also look forward to some days of coaching over the Easter Holidays. WESLEY LEWIS http://www.spanglefish.com/alexandrattc We will soon have a new table tennis web site, please check it out soon.

58th OLD BOYS’ BOWLING CLUB We look forward to the outdoor bowling season commencing in April. Our first match in the N.I.B.A. League Division 4 is against Windsor on Saturday 24th April at the Grove, commencing at 2.00 p.m. We are always delighted to see some supporters watching our home matches, and a welcome is given to any others who wish to join with them. We would also invite new members to join our club, when practices are on Tuesday evenings commencing at 7.00 p.m. MATTHEW NICHOLL has recently transferred to Whitehead Bowling Club and we wish him success in the incoming season. WESLEY LEWIS

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Our Home Study Group We meet in May’s house, twice a month and our numbers vary, but there are mostly 8 of us. We have just finished the study in Philippians which we all found very helpful. We have started a new study in Thessalonians. We are using a book- by- book study guide, it comes with a D.V.D which helps us understand the bible better. At the end of the night we enjoy a cup of tea (especially May’s home made scones.) Thank you May (not forgetting David) for making us welcome in your home. One Saturday morning in December we met at the Merchant Hotel for morning coffee which we all really enjoyed. Margaret Wallace.

CHURCH FLOWERS The Church Flower Committee would like to express grateful thanks to the members of our congregation who made donations or provided flowers for the Church building from January to March 2010. Your continued support is very much appreciated. Mrs E McKee and Mr S Reid, Mrs I Cobain, Miss P McKinney, Mr D Barr, Mrs L Neill E Kane

ODE TO JUNK MAIL There’s a thing on double glazing and one for making wills There are offers on a holiday in Poland and Brazil There’s news of a new diet, to help me lose some fat And another about a gourmet food to feed my little cat There are details of a driving school, offers on some coal Prices for a nursing home, improvements for my soul I didn’t ask for anything that’s in this morning’s post Just a simply, friendly letter is what I crave the most! But the postman understands me, and suggests that on my mat I should place a largish dustbin, and he’ll post the junk in that! 19


CHILDREN OF THE ANDES (COTA) Many thanks to everyone for your ongoing support for the work of COTA. Since November 2009 we have raised £300, another fantastic amount. Your donations make an enormous difference to the lives of Columbia’s vulnerable children. Our pennies really do go further in Columbia and support a variety of services. For example, £5 provides specialist educational materials for one child for a year; £20 covers the cost of an educational workshop for 30 children; £250 covers a teacher’s salary for a month. Our friend at COTA, Heidy Araque, sends her thanks and best wishes for good health and happiness. I Kane

SIGNS OF THE TIMES A SIGN in a Glasgow barber’s shop reads: “Haircuts repaired”, while a plumber’s van spotted in London carries the motto - “Singh Plumbers. You’ve tried the cowboys, now try the Indians”, writes Ron McManus. These days, if businesses want to get ahead, they’ve got to get attention and a catchy sign is a must. Here are some signs of the times which have been spotted around the UK.. Car exhaust dealers - No appointment necessary. We’ll hear you coming! Opticians - If you don’t see what you are looking for, you’ve come to the right place On a field - The farmer walks across the field for free - the bull charges! Secondhand shop - We buy junk and sell antiques. Car wash - if you can’t read this, it’s time to wash your car Chip shop - Battersea Cod’s Home Shoe repair shop - I will heel you, save your sole and even dye for you.

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KFC Children’s Ministry “Point your kids in the right direction - when they’re old they won’t be lost.” Proverbs 22:6 (TM) So here we go, another year has begun; an exciting year for everyone at KFC as we start the first full year with our new name! In my last article, I wrote of how we were going through a review process. I am pleased to say that this has been very successful in identifying any creases that need ironed out. I’m not saying that we have the “perfect” children’s ministry, but I feel that we are now in a better place to cater for the specific needs of the children that come through our doors on a Sunday morning. I am very excited, and I hope that you will be too, as God leads us in the development of this ministry over the incoming year. Back in December, we had a Christmas Party where we had games, food and most importantly, Santa who came along and had a gift for each child. It was a fun night for all, topped with TOTTS Carol Singing afterwards. I feel that it helped to get everyone into the festive spirit in the midst of the busyness and chaos that can surround our lives at Christmastime. The leaders of KFC were very pleased with the performance the children put on of “It’s a Baby”. I hope you enjoyed it too as you joined in with the carols as part of the performance. Thanks to all the children for putting in all that hard work; to the parents who made sure their children were there each week and arrived on time; to the Praise Band for playing the carols; to Heather for the PowerPoint and to the leaders of KFC who keep me sane. Without them, my job would be so much more difficult and stressful. In January, we all enjoyed a trip to Snakes and Ladders in Bangor. The kids ran about and exhausted themselves before we sat down and enjoyed lunch together. A great day was had by all. We are currently planning an outdoor event for a Saturday in June, so let’s hope for some great weather! Plans are in place for our annual Children’s Day service, this year a bit later than usual on Sunday 13th June. Our theme will be ‘Light of the World’. We hope for this service to be just as good, if not better than last year as we seek to tell our children how they can shine in this world. We will also be officially launching KFC at this service so please come along and invite anyone else you can think of. Our theme for Children’s Day comes from our mission statement that as leaders, we have agreed to.

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You can see it outlined below: • • • • • • •

At KFC, we aim for our children to be L-I-G-H-T At KFC, we exist to… Let children have a place where they can come, be themselves and be valued Instruct children by the Word of God Give opportunities for children to come to know God’s love personally Help children build upon their faith, come closer to God and encourage them Tell children about how much God loves them and wants to be part of their lives

I ask for your continued prayerful support for KFC as we carry on developing and shaping it into the ministry that God would have it be. Thank you for all your encouragement and support; it really does mean a lot. In Christ Alone, Phillip Massey

HATS FOR HAITI

TOTTS had a lovely evening in our Church Halls. We had a meal together and everyone wore a special ‘Hat for Haiti’, and we collected the sum of £100. As you can see from the photographs we had great fun, and the prize for the most dramatic change went to Lawrence! I hope you can recognise him. Heather 22


VICTORIAN CELEBRATIONS The 7th December 2009 was the start of a week of pre Christmas events with a Victorian theme on the York Road organized by the Lower North Belfast Community Council. Monday lunchtime our Church Hall was the venue for a Christmas Wrapping demonstration which was much enjoyed by those attending. Highlight of the week was the Victorian Carol Service held in Saint Paul’s and Saint Barnabas Church. It was a damp evening as groups of people gathered along York Road awaiting the candle-lit procession walking from Grove Wellbeing Centre to the church. Onlookers were not disappointed as the procession approached led by the town crier from Chester in full regalia. School girls dressed in mop caps and smocks, boys in short trousers, shirts and cloth caps, men in top hats and long coats; ladies in bonnets and shawls carrying lanterns all added to the authenticity of a bygone era. When all were gathered in the church the ‘Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah’ of the town crier called us all to order and one and all were welcomed to worship by the ‘Rt Hon Catherine McCartan’ from Jennymount. Children from Grove, Currie, Seaview and Holy Family schools combined into one choir and delighted us with their sweet singing of several carols. Local ministers, church representatives and councillor Ian Crozier read the Christmas Scriptures interspersed by congregational singing and members of the church choir also made a lovely contribution with ‘Oh Holy Night’. The service was followed with refreshments in the Church Hall and everyone agreed it was a community night to remember. We thank L N B C C and especially Jennifer Crockard for their first time initiative and look forward to future community events. Valerie Lewis

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GIRLS ALLOWED

We don’t need permission to have fun, but ladies we do know how to enjoy ourselves. The ‘Girls’ recently had a lovely evening at McKees Country Store and Restaurant situated in the Craigantlet Hills. We had 44 ladies and a very enjoyable evening together. We are planning to have a visit to the Cinema, a Pampered Chef evening, and rounding off the year with our Christmas Dinner. Remember to listen out for more details and plan to come and bring a friend. A big thank you goes to Christine Barr for all the detail she puts into each event. Heather

COMMANDING RHYME Have no other God but me, unto no image bow thy knee Take not the name of God in Vain, do not the Sabbath day profane. Honour thy father and mother too, And see that thou no murder do From vile adultery keep thou clean, And steal not, though thy state be mean Bear not false witness - shun that blot! What is thy neighbour’s, covet not. Anonymous, 1731 24


THIS IS FABULOUS !!! It was written by an 8 year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista, California. He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to 'explain God'. I wonder if any of us could have done as well? (…..and he had such an assignment, in California, and someone published it, I guess miracles do happen….)

EXPLANATION OF GOD: 'One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on the earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers. God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.' 'God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere, which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have. Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church.' 'Jesus is God's son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him but he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.. His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth, so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.' 'You can pray any time you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time. You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God! Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides, the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.' 'If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids. But you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.' 'And …….that's why I believe in God.'

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John 20:11-23 27


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Church Record Bereavements “I am the resurrection and the life.” Mrs Julia Martin of 23 Jude’s Crescent N’ards died on 23 January 2010 Mrs Agnes Montgomery of 16 Ayr Street died on 26 January 2010 Mrs Helen Moore of 65 Gainsborough Drive died on Sunday 21 February 2010

3,430 £ S U B R O TOTAL F

Please note your Elder is ............................................................................... and his telephone number is ........................................................................ should you wish to contact him. If you have recently joined our Fellowship in Alexandra, or have changed your address, please complete the information below and give it to Molly Benison or Bertha McIlroy, or even place it on the collection plate, as this will help us to keep our records up to date.

Ê

Many thanks. Bertha.

Name: ....................................................................................................................................... Address ....................................................................................................................................


LOOKING AHEAD ‘Reflections on the Cross’: From Monday 29 March to Thursday 1 April each evening in the Church at 7.30pm. Take the opportunity to come, be still, and ponder the love and sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Programme of Services: 2 April 7.30pm

Good Friday Service in Seaview Presbyterian Church

4 April 11.00am 6.30pm

Testimony from the Tomb John 20 Sunday at Six thirty Praise/Testimony Service in the hall

11 April 11.00am 7.00pm

Mr Stephen McNie Mr Stephen McNie

18 April 11.00am 7.00pm

Why are you crying? John 20 Final urgent Charge 2 Timothy 4: 1 - 8

25 April 11.00am 7.00pm

Going for Christ John 20 North Belfast Presbytery Service

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May 11.00am 7.00pm

The Struggle for Faith John 20 Divine Healing Service (David Jardine and Team)

9 May 11.00am 6.30pm

Breakfast by the shore John 21 Sunday at Six thirty - informal Service in the hall

16 May 11.00am 6.30pm

Clifford’s Final morning Service Evening Praise and Thanksgiving Service

Special Events: Friday 26 March:

Boys’ Brigade Display

Saturday 10 April:

Spring Cleaning Day

Friday 16 April:

Barn Dance

Wednesday 5 May:

Joint Churches Prayer Meeting in St. Paul’s Church of Ireland at 7.30pm

Tuesday 11 May:

Songs from the Gang Shows

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Easter 2010 Alexandra Newsletter