ST JOHN THE BAPTIST — PARISH MATTERS — DEC 07/JAN 08

THE RECTOR ’ S LETTER
Dear Friends, We are entering the most hectic few weeks of the Christian calendar. It is a time of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ over 2000 years ago in Bethlehem, in ancient Israel. Our own preparations are amid the hustle and bustle of gift-purchases and Carol Services. Amid this stress and seemingly hastened world it is often so hard to find even a few moments of calm into which Christ may come. Advent and Lent have been the traditional times of preparations preceeding the two great Christian feasts of Christmas and Easter respectively. I encourage each one of you to seek some quietness and calm as we rush headlong into the joy of Christmastide. The Parish is holding three evenings for quiet reflection during Advent on Wednesday 5th, 12th and 19th.These evening will take place in the Meeting Room in our Parish Centre.There will be a short act of worship with a led reflection.The first of these evenings will give us the opportunity to reflect together on the Parable of the Prodigal Son, which is more correctly entitled the Parable of the Forgiving Father. Please take this time to enter into the season and join us for the three evenings. Perhaps you have not thought of attending such evenings before.Why not try it this year? No sooner has Advent arrived than we are putting up Christmas trees and hanging decorations around our houses.These are wonderful fun, especially when the children insist on telling us that they know the best place for that picture they drew during the year.We all live in a time of prosperity, though there are signs that the Celtic Tiger is clearly on the wane. We are in a country and a society where much of what we want is easily accessible, but elsewhere it is not. Every year we have a Giving Tree.The idea of this tree is quite simple. Each household is invited and asked to hang a bauble on the Christmas Tree. We will be helping two separate organisations this year. Those wishing to present a gift are asked to hang a red bauble on the Tree. Gifts of toys and clothing are to be sent to the project Susan Connolly worked with in Lesotho. Details of what is needed are available from Susan on 086 3777278. Those wishing to give a money gift are invited to place a gold bauble on the Tree. This money will be going towards Present Aid,

organised by Christian Aid. Depending on the amount of money collected, we will try to sponsor a specific project. For example if we were to raise 1000 euro we can sponsor three wells in such places as Malawi and India. These are places of real need and we in the wealthy West are in the enviable position of being able to help those who are less well-off. Christmas is a time when we reflect on God’s generosity in sending his Only Son to earth for us. How better to worship that God by offering something back in the shape of real and useful projects in the developing world? Please clearly mark your envelope ‘Giving Tree’ and place it on the plate or drop it into the Rectory. All donations will be gratefully received. I wish, at the end of this year, to thank all involved in the production of this Magazine. Thanks you to Harriet, Michelle, our advertisers, those who put the magazine together — Jack, Cecil and Philip, and all who deliver them to the homes in our Parish. I wish also to thank all who have worked for the Parish over the last year, especially all those involved in bringing to fruition the great dream we have all had in our Parish Centre and pray that 2008, like this year, will be one of blessing and grace for us as we seek to do God’s will here in Clontarf. Breda, Rebekah, David, Luke and I wish each one of you a happy and holy Christmas and a very peaceful New Year. In Christ, Derek

Giving Tree There will be red and gold baubles in the tray on the table beside the tree. If you wish to give a gift please hang a red bauble on the Christmas tree. Gifts of toys and clothing are to be sent to the project Susan Connolly worked with in Lesotho. If you are giving a monetary gift to the charity fund please hang a gold bauble on the tree.This money will be going towards Present Aid, organised by Christian Aid.

Nine Lessons & Carols
in the Parish Church on Sunday 23rd December 2007 at 10.30 a.m.
the Choir will be accompanied by John Rowden. Tea, Coffee & Mince Pies will be served. The collection on the day will go to the Parish Charity Fund.

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Mothers' Union We will be meeting on Thursday 13th December at 8.00 p.m. On the night there will be a Jewellery Making demonstration and a raffle. Hope to see you all there. I. Acheson Clontarf Bowls Club Last week we had a happy little ceremony when our Captain, Pat Maguire, made a short speech in which he said that the Committee had unanimously agreed to a proposal that two of our longest playing members be made Honorary Life Members of the Club.These were Evie Cairns and Claude McLindon, the latter having been Secretary for a number of years. Pat presented Evie and Claude each with a Certificate. We are continuing to enjoy playing in the new Centre and League Matches are in full swing. Christmas is but around the corner and we are already planning our Christmas Party which will take place in the Vernon Hall in the Parish Centre on Tuesday 18th December starting at 8.00 p.m.

Clontarf Womens Group We will meet on Tuesday 4th December at 8.00 p.m. in the Pavilion Room of the Parish Centre. On the night Lemon’s Beauty Salon will give an Evening of Pampering. This will be followed by mince pies and a glass of wine.The cost for the evening is 20 euro and will include a treatment and a raffle. B. Sargent & H. McCullagh 5th Company Girls’ Brigade - Clontarf Presbyterian Since the last Parish Newsletter the annual Battalion Feis has been held and I am delighted to say that all of the girls who sang did so beautifully with excellent results in the Explorer Section and the Brigader Section. In the Under 6 Section, Emily O’Connor and Arianna Ryan came in 1st and 2nd places, in the 7 to 8 year olds Lucy O’Byrne and Rebecca Ledden came in 1st and 2nd places also and in the Brigader Section Lauren Maxwell was placed 1st with Kathryn Ledden coming in 3rd place — so a marvellous start to our Centenary Session. The Choral Speaking Competition in both the Explorer and the Junior/Senior Section is on Saturday 24th November 2007 and we have one team entered in both sections.The next dates of note are: Girls’ Brigade Past Member’s Carol Service: 2nd December 2007 at 3.30p.m. in Clontarf and Scots Presbyterian Church in honour of our Centenary. 5th Company Centenary Christmas Concert: 9th December 2007 at 7.00p.m. Also in the Presbyterian Church — all sections of the Company will be performing on the night and Liam McCormack of R.T.E.’s Young Peoples Department is the Master of Ceremonies so we expect a very enjoyable night so PLEASE come along and add your voice to all the well known Christmas Songs and Carols. Carol Singing around Marino: Monday 17th December 2007 Leaving Howth Road School at 6.45p.m. and back to the school for soup and rolls at 8.15 p.m. Singers AND collectors most welcome. Proceeds in aid of our Centenary Charity — The Lauralynn Foundation which is raising funds to enable a children’s hospice to be built in Dublin. M. McElhinney - Captain 5th Co.

Anchor Boys We are all looking forward to our Christmas Party in ENRG Artane on Monday 10th December. We might even have a visitor from the North Pole. I would like to thank Breda Sargent, Olive Jackson and Susan Connolly for helping out each week with the boys.The boys have had great fun with Damian Duggan, Damian has come down to teach soccer skills and to play football.Thanks Damian it is a great help. If there is anyone interested in helping out on a Monday night from 6.00p.m. — 7.00p.m. please contact me on 8535594. I would like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2008. H. McCullagh

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BB Junior Section The Boys are working towards their Scripture Test on Monday 10th December - some stories of Elijah.They are also working on their Badges. The Annual Enrolment Service will have taken place on Sunday 25th November with the following boys to be enrolled — Graham Blay, James Taylor, Hugh Grainger, Gareth Doolan, Diarmuid Goggins, Jordan O’Brien, Richard Gleeson, Matthew Dawkins,Tommy Malone, Ian Nugent, Ross Flynn, Josh Doran, Jonathan Byrne, Sam Acheson, Ronan Birch, Maccon Keane, Jamie Hickey, Mark Jackson, Mark Quinn, Fintan Birch, Conor Lanigan, Liam Fanning, Noah Goggins and David Crossan-Murphy. In addition the following Junior Section Leaders to be enrolled are Iris Bryan, Karl Black, Harriet Lyall, Mark Bailey and Mark Acheson. On Saturday 26th January we hope to enter the Junior Section Figure Marching Competition and on the 9th February there will be a Junior Section Quiz. The Leaders wish all the Boys, their Families and all Parishioners a very Holy and Happy Christmas and all that is good in 2008. M. Acheson Parish Charity Fund There will be a retiring collection after the midnight and at both Christmas Day Services for the Parish Charity Fund.

After Service Refreshments Tea and coffee is served after the 10.30 am Service. Parents need to be aware that the Church site is very open. Children remain under their care during this time. Please keep an eye on them. Better safe than sorry.

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Seafield Singers The Annual Christmas Concert by the Seafield Singers takes place in the Parish Church on Friday 14th December. Tickets from usual sources and at the door. All are very welcome.

Advent Wednesday Series The Advent Wednesday Series will be starting at 7.30p.m. on Wednesday 5th, 12th and 19th of December.They will take place in the Parish Centre and refreshments will be served after each service and talk. All are very welcome. D. Sargent

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SERVICES FOR DECEMBER

2nd December 8.30 a.m. 10.30 a.m. 9th December 8.30 a.m. 10.30 a.m. 16th December 8.30 a.m. 10.30 a.m. 23rd December 8.30 a.m. 10.30 a.m. 3.30 pm 25th December 0.00 a.m. 8.30 a.m. 10.30 a.m. 30th December 8.30 a.m. 10.30 a.m.

Advent Sunday Holy Communion Morning Prayer with the lighting of the 1st Advent Candle Advent 2 Holy Communion Parish Family Communion Advent 3 Holy Communion All-Age Worship with the Sunday Club and the Band Advent 4 Holy Communion Parish Nine Lessons & Carol Service BB Christmas Bible Class in the Seafield Room (Parish Centre) Holy Communion at Midnight Festival Holy Communion Festival Parish Family Communion with Children’s Address Christmas 1 Holy Communion Parish Family Communion

Scripture Readings for December
2nd December Advent Sunday Isaiah 2: 1-5 Psalm 122 Romans 13: 11-14 Matthew 24: 36-44 Advent 2 Isaiah 11: 1-10 Psalm 72: 1-7, 18-19 Romans 15: 4-13 Matthew 3: 1-12 Advent 3 Isaiah 35: 1-10 Psalm 146: 4-9 James 5: 7-10 Matthew 11: 2-11 Advent 4 Isaiah 7: 10-16 Psalm 80: 1-7, 16-18 Romans 1: 1-7 Matthew 1: 18-25 The Nativity of our Lord Isaiah 62: 6-12 Ps 97 Titus 3: 4-7 Luke 2: 1-20 Christmas 1 Isaiah 63: 7-9 Ps 148 Hebrews 2: 10-18 Mt 2: 13-23

9th December

16th December

23rd December

25th December

30th December

SERVICES FOR JANUARY

6th January 8.30 a.m. 10.30 a.m. 13th January 8.30 a.m. 10.30 a.m. 20th January 8.30 a.m. 10.30 a.m. 27th January 8.30 a.m. 10.30 a.m.

The Epiphany Morning Prayer Morning Prayer 1st Sunday after the Epiphany The Baptism of Christ Holy Communion Parish Family Communion 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany Holy Communion All-Age Worship 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany Holy Communion Songs of Praise Service

Scripture Readings for January
6th January The Epiphany Isaiah 60: 1-6 Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14 Ephesians 3: 1-12 Matthew 2: 1-12 1st Sunday after the Epiphany The Baptism of Christ Isaiah 42: 1-9 Psalm 29 Acts of the Apostles 10: 34-43 Matthew 3: 13-17 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany Isaiah 49: 1-7 Psalm 40: 1-12 1 Corinthians 1: 1-9 John 1: 29-42 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany Songs of Praise Service

13th January

20th January

27th January

Reflection What is Christmas? As we push our way through frenzied crowds of shoppers and stack excessive purchases into the boots of our cars, we need to ask ourselves,‘what is the meaning of all this?’ In these times of famine-awareness, should it be ‘in order’ to overload our tables and fridges with more than we could consume? Little children live rough and hungry in Dublin whilst we overindulge. So many questions posed yet in the hearts of the Christian there can only ever be one answer. ‘Jesus is the reason for the season’. Together with those who feel validly jolly and carefree, we must remember that for many, including some in our Parish, Christmas 2007 will be a time of sad nostalgia with the vacant chair at the festive table. As we all gather in our separate homes to enjoy this happy tme, how thrilling that we are blessed to know that the tiny Babe in Bethlehem was born to be our ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, our everlasting Father and Prince of Peace’. As we exchange gifts under the traditional tree, we can reflect that over 2000 years ago, mankind was given the greatest gift of all — peace and salvation, gift-wrapped in the form of a Babe, ‘for unto us was born this day, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.’ Therefore, as Christians, it is up to us to witness to the Christ in Christmas. May we all experience a time of rejoicing. A. Maharry

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Youth Groups Clontarf Parish have 3 very active youth groups catering for ages 4 to 18. The three groups are divided up into: The Klub which is for 4 - 8 year olds, The Klub are an active bunch who meet on Wednesdays from 4.00p.m. - 5.00p.m. They do Arts & Crafts, Memory verses, Bible stories, cooking and singing as well as sports and games.This is a great group and new members are always welcome! Wired is the group for 9 - 11 year olds and meet from 6.00p.m. - 7.00p.m. every Sunday. This group enjoy, Sports, Discussions about faith and how that works in everyday life, and outings including Bowling, Ice Skating and the Cinema. This group are full of enthusasim and activity, again new members are more then welcome. Connect is the biggest of the groups and caters for 12+.This group meets on Sundays from 7.30p.m. - 9.30p.m. The group join in discussions and debates about life, relationships & school, image & identity.This group has been built almost entirely on relationships and is a friendly group who are welcoming and enthusiastic about exploring and learning more about our Faith, God and life and how they all combine. For more information on all above Groups call 086 377 7278. Post Confirmation Group One of the more unique things in Clontarf is the Post Confirmation Group. In an effort to avoid the traditional loss of young people after Confirmation Clontarf have set up a Bible Study based group which is held on the last Sunday of the month during the Sunday Service, which go to a local restaurant for breakfast after the service for discussion. This Group is open to anyone who has been Confirmed in the past three years or of the age of Confirmation but hasn’t made it quite yet.The group use a book called Fuel a resource book which is used to explore the relevance of the Bible and how to learn from the ancient Bible stories. S. Connolly

THE JOURNEY SO FAR The latest Youth Service held in the parish was a huge success. I would personally like to thank all those who worked so hard to see it happen in particular I would like to thank the band, Ian Maxwell, Darren Clayton,Alan Doolan, Mark Doolan and our sound engineer Jenny Gaffney. I would also like to thank the youth who spoke so clearly from the heart and about their faith journeys, (Ryan, Katie, Elizabeth and Julie), it was inspiring to hear you speak, and to all those young people who collected and read prayers and readings it was a true youth service, a service for the youth by the youth. S. Connolly

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Sunday Club Notes for December 2007 We are now preparing for the Carol Service on 16th December in Church. We will tell the story of Christmas and place everything in the Crib. It is important that all Sunday Club members make sure to attend Sunday Club on both the 2nd and 9th of December to ensure everyone knows what is happening on the 16th. Anyone between aged 4 and 12 who have not yet attended is welcome to join us — the more the merrier! (We meet in the Parish Centre at 10.30a.m. when we are not in Church) We will be reviewing our programme for next year shortly. We will be starting back on the 13th January.

DECEMBER SCHEDULE 2nd 9th 16th 23rd 25th 30th Sunday Club (11.45am) Sunday Club in Church Sunday Club in Church None None None Morning Prayer Holy Communion All Age Worship 9 Lessons & Carols Christmas Morning Holy Communion

J. Acheson Parish Fashion Show Our Fashion Show was a huge success on 1st October and we are grateful to sponsors, children, models and all who supported it. It fundraised in excess of 23,000 euro for which we are deeply grateful. J. Patten Clontarf Parish Fund Raising Group

BB Christmas Bible Class The Boys’ Brigade Christmas Bible Class takes place on Saturday 23rd December at 3.30 pm in the Seafield Room in the Parish Centre. All are very welcome.

Greenlanes School Open Day An open day will take place for all parents to see the newly renovated School on Friday 14th December from 12.30p.m. — 2.00p.m.We are hoping Santa might arrive. The School trips will take place in December. Junior Infants, Senior Infants, 1st, 2nd and 3rd class are going to Alice in Wonderland in the Helix and 4th, 5th and 6th classes are going to Christmas on Ice. The School Garden is looking great. We would like to thank all our volunteers for all their hard work, encouragement and support in preparing our School Garden, especially Candi Stanford.This is the start of our journey towards a Green School.

Greenlanes National School Carol Service The School Carol Service will take place in the Parish Church on Friday 21st December at 11.00a.m.The children will break-up for the Christmas holiday straight after.This is always a well attended service by parents and friends of the School.

From L-R: Mary Corcoran, Emily Harper, Derek Erskine, Alan & Michelle Harper, Mark Kidd, Claudia Harper, Lorraine Desmond and Rev. Derek Sargent

Baptismal Register Lucy Elaine O ’Toole – 1 6th September 2 0 0 7 Emily Louise H arper – 2 8th O ctober 2 0 0 7 Claudia Isa bella H arper – 2 8th O ctober 2 0 0 7 Burial Register Alice Joy Flood – St Fintans — 2nd N ovember 2 0 0 7 Aileen Storey – Columbarium — 2 5th N ovember 2 0 0 7

Songs of Praise Service
will take place in the Parish Church on Sunday 27th January 2007 at 10.30 a.m.

Please return your voting sheet by 24th December to the Church Wardens or to the Rectory.

PARISH GROUPS/CONTACTS
RECTOR: The Rev’d D. C. Sargent (833 1181) clontarf@dublin.anglican.org YOUTH AND CHILDREN’S PASTOR: Susan Connolly (086 377 7278) susanconnolly04@yahoo.co.uk GREENLANES NATIONAL SCHOOL Principal: Ms. C. Atkin (8331554) greenlanes@oceanfree.net B.B. COMPANY SECTION: Mr A. Ayling (831 5234) B.B. JUNIOR SECTION: Mr. M. Acheson (831 8645) ANCHOR BOYS: Mrs. H. McCullagh (853 5594) CLONTARF WOMEN’S GROUP: Mrs. B. Sargent (833 1181) and Mrs. H. McCullagh (853 5594) YOUTH GROUPS: Ms. S. Connolly (086 377 7278) BOWLING CLUB: Mr. H. Maude (833 1056) BADMINTON CLUB: Mrs. P.Watts (832 6078) JUNIOR BADMINTON: Mr. R.Watts (832 6078) ORGANIST/CHOIRMASTER: Mr. J. Rowden (831 0486) SUNDAY MORNING CRECHE: Mrs. B. Sargent (833 1181) FLOWER GUILD: Mrs. I. Acheson (833 8288) and Mrs B. Gallagher (833 8683) GB PAST MEMBERS: Mrs. I. McMullen: (853 0356) BROWNIES: Mrs. P. and Ms. M.Watts (832 6078) LADYBIRDS/GUIDES: Ms.W. Kelly (848 1569) and Ms. N. Flynn (8476110) MOTHERS UNION: Mrs. I. Acheson (833 8288) SUNDAY CLUB: Mrs. J. Acheson (831 8645) POST-CONFIRMATION GROUP: Susan Connolly (086 377 7278) susanconnolly04@yahoo.co.uk