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Theme for 2022 ~ Transformation - Now!


Mothers' Union is an international Christian charity that seeks to support families of all faiths and none through practical outreach, prayer and advocating family friendly policies within both government and public life.

By supporting marriage and family life, especially through times of adversity, we tackle the most urgent needs challenging relationships and communities.
Our members are not all mothers, or even all women, but are single, married, parents, grandparents or young adults who are just beginning to express their social conscience.
For all 4.1 million members in 83 countries what Mothers' Union provides is a network through which they can serve Christ in their own community through prayer, financial support and actively working at grassroots level in programmes that meet local needs.





ANNUAL GATHERING 2022

23rd September ~ Service for the Annual Gathering in St. Anne's Cathedral, Belfast
24th September ~ Mothers' Union Annual Gathering 2022 ~ The International Conference Centre, Belfast





Shopping online?
A quick reminder that Amazon
will donate 0.5% to Mothers’ Union if you shop through
smile.amazon.co.uk and select Mothers’ Union
as your preferred charity to support.
https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ch/240531-0


If you don’t shop at Amazon but shop at M & S, Argos, and Next etc.,
you can also support Mothers’ Union on your next shop.
https://www.giveasyoulive.com/join/mothersunion




The brilliant Axel Scheffler has produced a book about Covid-19 Coronavirus just for children
https://nosycrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Coronavirus_INS.pdf




Do  you know of somebody who is cocooning or caring for someone vulnerable,  Age Action and the Irish Red Cross are giving grants to people in the  Republic of Ireland to help ease the problems faced by those who have to  social distance. Spread the word
https://www.ageaction.ie/how-we-can-help/age-action-and-irish-red-cross-covid-19-hardship-fund




The Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland has put together a super comprehensive booklet providing advice for people who have experienced a bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

Two other booklets are also available in this series – one dealing with practicalities and the other a children’s story helping children to cope with the death of a loved one.

Click on the symbol below to access our BLOG.
This contains all our latest news.



CONTACT DETAILS:

The Administrative Officer
The Mothers' Union Office
St. Michan's Church
Church Street
Dublin 7

Tel: +353 87 337 4090 / 087 3374090



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FOOD,  a basic necessity for all of us and during the current crisis we all  want to do our best to ensure we provide for our families.

Unfortunately,  not all families can afford to stock up in case of emergency, in fact  for 1000s of families across Ireland, north and south, daily food poverty is a harsh reality.

Breakfast clubs and free school meals, where they are available, are a lifeline for many of these families.

However  with the closure of schools and colleges in the South and the likelihood that Northern Ireland will follow suit these families have been plunged into a totally unexpected crisis. They need our help now  more than ever!

How can you help? ~  Keep donating to community food banks; help local initiatives in your area to distribute food packages to those in need or if you can’t find such an initiative in your area maybe consider starting one!

When we all find ourselves facing the unknown, the smallest act of kindness can mean the world to someone in despair.


Prayer for August
Thanksgiving for the Harvest

Creator God, we thank you for your  promise that while the earth endures, seed-time and harvest, summer and  winter, day and night, shall not fail. We thank you for the reliability  of this good earth, for the variety of the seasons, and for all the  unity and contrasts of creation. We thank you for allowing us to share  in the work of the harvest. We thank you that we can nourish the miracle  of life and praise you for the dignity of sharing in the work of your  almighty hands. O God our father, blessed be you for ever. Bring to  fruition, Creator God, the work of your kingdom. make us part of that  joyful harvest in which your loving purpose is completed. Help us to  realise how important the smallest words and deeds are in the context of  eternity. At harvest time when we remember your goodness make us  grateful also for all we have received from the labour of others who  have sown the seeds of faith, hope and love in our lives.

Father,  we thank you, out of the seas and from the earth, we receive the  provision which you have made for all our needs. We thank you for the  skills in harvesting the earth's resources that people have passed on  from one generation to another. We thank you for those through whose  vision and work products of our harvesting are channelled into areas of  need. Amen

Prayers from: St Mark's Church, Diocese of St Albans



Commissioning of June Butler

All-Ireland President Mothers' Union
Letter from June ~ All-Ireland President ~ Summer 2022

Hello Members and Friends of Mothers’ Union

Since I last penned some words for our website, I have been travelling! It has seemed as if I have been condensing the last three summers into the past two months!

In May, I attended the wedding of a close family friend in Australia – Katie is really like a niece (I was certainly introduced to everyone there as her “aunt”)  and it was wonderful to be able to celebrate their  marriage with the happy couple and their close families. It was a very special occasion, particularly as the wedding had been postponed from last year and it was the first time the bride and groom had seen their parents and siblings for several years. I revelled in spending quality time with my friends and in visiting some beautiful areas on the east coast of that continent. The main “problem” however, was the weather …it was much colder and wetter than I had anticipated. As someone said to me, there is no such thing as “bad” weather – just poor wardrobe choices! I had certainly packed many inappropriate clothes but even the residents confirmed that it was one of the coldest and wettest autumns they ever remembered. Even since I have returned home there have been so many reports on the news about the extensive rainfall and dreadful flooding around Sydney so we actually seem to have missed the worst of this year’s weather. More consequences of climate change, I suspect.

I spent some time one wet morning in Sydney in the Anglican cathedral church of St Andrew which lies in the heart of the city beside the Town Hall. It is a beautiful building – a place of rest and peace close to the busy commercial and shopping centres.  The Cathedral was founded in 1819 and consecrated in 1868, with major restoration work undertaken in 1999-2000 to bring the Cathedral up to its present state of good order. I especially loved finding out about the fabulous stained glass which is placed throughout the cathedral, depicting in glorious colour so many of our well known bible stories. My favourites were probably those showing the arrival of the Magi and also the last Supper.

On my way home from Australia I had arranged to stop over in England to attend the first “in person” meeting of the Mothers’ Union Britain and Ireland Committee since early 2020. That was a memorable event and we former, and the several new, members of the group were so glad to be able to meet, discuss and plan again together. While Zoom has been a great facility over recent years and meant we could continue business, there is nothing quite like sitting around a table with people, being better able to read their body language and interact in person.  The All-Ireland Trustees have decided that, due to cost, time taken in travel and general efficiency, we will mostly continue to meet using Zoom, but that we will have at least one full day meeting each year to enable us to bond and therefore work more effectively in our responsibility of leading MU in Ireland.

Back to my travels……..In 2019 I had booked to go to the 2020 Passion Play at Oberammergau in Bavaria – I know many of you reading this will have attended that in earlier years but it has always been on my “bucket list” and 2020 was to be THE year. You may know that in 1633 the residents of the village of Oberammergau pledged to perform the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ as an act of thanksgiving for the village being spared from the ravages of the Black Plague – they have done so every 10 years (with very few, but necessary, exceptions) since 1634.   Obviously when the pandemic arrived all the plans for 2020 were scuppered and I remember thinking when we were asked if we wished to rebook for 2022 that the organisers were being unduly pessimistic!  They were obviously being completely realistic - only now can I really appreciate the extent of the planning which has to go into such a huge-scale event.

I went on a “package” tour from Dublin with my old friend from university days, Eleanor Patterson – a former Archdeacon’s wife, a staunch MU member and great company – and another 15 folk from his island. Besides the Passion Play the tour incorporated the cities of Innsbruck, Saltzberg and Konstanz, a journey by boat across the Bodensee and sorties into Germany, Austria and Switzerland….. with a great deal of coach travel! Passing on the detail of that – and also on the frequent scary thunder and lightning storms - I have to say the travel all went smoothly and the Passion Play was magnificent.



I knew beforehand that thankfully the play is held in a huge undercover auditorium which seats 4.500 – it used to be open to the elements and, in the light of what happened at our visit, it was just as well that improvement had been made! In glorious sunshine we spent the morning in the beautiful village of Oberammergau, which is a tourist attraction in its own right; we admired the fabulous painted buildings and sampled its fares, including shops with the most amazing array of Christmas decorations. At 1.30pm we began to queue through security and we reached our seats high up in the auditorium in good time for the start at 2.30pm. Photographs of the performance were strictly forbidden but some scenes will be etched in my brain forever – especially those when Jesus cleared the merchants from the Temple with about 500 actors, young and old, on stage - as well as sheep, goats and horses; the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem; and of course the crucifixion scene. No words can convey the enormity or reality of those scenes – it was really like being taken back 2000 years. While it was all performed in German we had the English translation of the script to hand and my only fear was that I might miss something happening on stage as I was trying to follow the words of the actors.  



The rumbles of thunder could be heard in the distance from around 4.15pm, and the high transparent cover was hoisted in a timely manner over the stage just before the thunder and lightning – and torrential rain - arrived in full force. It certainly gave an authentic feel of pending doom to the production! I wondered how the actors managed to continue, seemingly unphased by their words being drowned out by the thunder, but they are probably used to it. The interval was from 5pm until 8pm to give everyone time for dinner in local restaurants – we got absolutely soaked walking to ours and I was glad I had taken note of the forecast and had brought a change of trousers and shoes – as well, of course, as a good waterproof. Dinner gave us a great opportunity to chat with colleagues about the play, before we resumed our seats for the second half which continued until 10.45pm. The time absolutely flew by as we were enthralled by the performances of the actors, the set changes and, of course the music. Besides the 50 strong choir, there were four fabulous soloists and a brilliant score underpinning the whole production. The visual spectacle was brilliant too – particularly as the play was conducted in monochrome - the actors all wearing beige, black, white and grey - with Christ’s blood towards the end as really the only vivid colour.

I won’t go on about it any longer but, for me, it was an absolutely wonderful and wondrous experience and I would encourage everyone if they can to try to go to the Passion Play in 2030 or 2040…….For me it really put Jesus’ final days in the context of time and place, made me think carefully about the men and women who were with Jesus at that time and also brought to the fore many of the less well known characters in his story.. When I read those parts of the bible in future I will have a different perspective on many of them.

Let me leave you with one short translation from the script of the play when Jesus is entering Jerusalem. It is still so important for every person to remember today, that Christ is with us in these times of uncertainty and distress in our world, be that at home or further afield:

“Come to me all who labour and are heavy burdened! Come all who are weakened by the burden of misfortune and sorrow………poverty and disease ravage you, and you hunger and thirst for justice. The Lord hears your cries. He sees your misery, your fear and your distress – I have come to comfort you, to heal your broken hearts”.

May the lord go with you, wherever you may be and whatever you may be doing over these summer months.

With every blessing and much love
June
Prayer Diary 2022


Click on the image above to download  the 2022 Prayer Diary

Women's Getaway 2022


Click on the image above to download the poster
Click HERE to download the booking form

Loneliness Leaflet

Click on the image below to download a copy of
The Loneliness Leaflet




Mental Awareness


Green Ribbon
The annual See Change Green Ribbon campaign aims to spread awareness about all mental health difficulties to help end mental health stigma and discrimination.
This year, they are celebrating 10 years of the Green Ribbon campaign, which will run across the month of September.
For more information see: https://seechange.ie/green-ribbon/


RESOURCES
For lots of Resources on the main website click on the link below
The Mothers’ Union Annual Gathering 2022 will take place at the  Waterfront Hall, part of the International Convention Centre (ICC) in  the city of Belfast on the following dates: 23rd and 24th September 2022.

In 2022, the Mothers' Union annual theme is Transformation – Now! and this will be the focus of our time together.

The programme will be as follows:

Friday 23rd September:
4.30 pm & 7.00 pm: Services of Celebration, St Anne’s Cathedral

Saturday 24th September:
10.15 am – 3.45 pm: Annual Gathering, Waterfront Hall (doors open from 9.30am)
7.30 pm – 8.45 pm: Evening Concert, Waterfront Hall (doors open from 7.00pm)

Click HERE to bring you to the dedicated webpage and to book tickets for the events.



Mother's Union Annual Gathering 2022
23rd - 24th September 2022

Click on the image above to download the event pack
Mothers' Union
Showing Solidarity with the people of Ukraine

We are asked to stop at 7pm each evening and pray for the situation and  the people in the Ukraine.


The following prayer in a time of war  in the Ukraine has been provided by the Church of Ireland’s Liturgical  Advisory Committee for use in parishes.

O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world:
We commend to your merciful care the people and government of Ukraine
that, being guided by your providence, they may dwell secure in your peace.
Grant to their leaders and all in authority,
wisdom and strength to know and to do your will.
Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness,
and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve their people;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.





Derry & Raphoe Tree Planting Ceremony

The All-Ireland President of Mothers’ Union, June Butler, joined  Diocesan President, Jacqui Armstrong, and members of the Derry and  Raphoe Mothers’ Union at a tree-planting ceremony on the outskirts of  Londonderry on Thursday, 21st April, to mark the Queen’s forthcoming platinum  jubilee.

Click on the image to bring you to the website for Derry & Raphoe Diocese to read more and view more photographs of the occasion.



Click on the link below to view the All-Ireland Festival Service

Mothers’ Union All Ireland Festival Service

The Mothers’ Union All Ireland Festival Service took place on Sunday 27th  February 2022 in St Patrick’s Cathedral Armagh. The Mothers’ Union  theme for 2022 of “Transformation – Now!” was introduced and a number of people were commissioned to serve in their various roles by Archbishop John McDowell, who was the preacher at what was a very special service  of Choral Evensong. The Dean of Armagh – Very Revd Shane Forster, welcomed everyone to the Cathedral, as for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, a gathering of this size was possible.

Those commissioned were:

  • Mrs June Butler, for a second term as All Ireland President of the Mothers’ Union.

  • All Ireland Trustees: Joy Gordon, Hazel Speares, Margaret Jacob, Clare Stewart, Mavis Thompson, Ada Lawson and Ann Howard.

  • Revd Canon Ken Rue as the Mothers’ Union All Ireland Treasurer and Mrs Iris Suitor as the Mothers’ Union Zonal Trustee.



Heavenly Father,
May your light and love enfold all who mourn today
as a result of gender-based violence.
 
In particular, our thoughts rest with the Murphy family,
Ashling’s friends, pupils, school and community.
May the strength of your love support and hold them,
and the peace of your presence console them.

In the days and weeks ahead
stir us with a resolve not to be silent,
to continue to speak out for action on
#No more 1 in 3.

As Mothers’ Union members,
continue to use us as hands and feet in the world,
to raise awareness of what must be challenged and addressed.

We pray for transformation in our culture
which often finds it easier to judge the victims of violence
than to solve the problems of injustice.
We pray for a transformation of the violent way
some men act towards and think about women.
We pray for right and just relations
between women and men, girls and boys
that together we may transform and overcome violence
in all its forms and learn to celebrate
our diversity and interdependence.

May we unite together to champion
the cause of women and girls
to create an Ireland that is safe for all.
#No more 1 in 3
Amen

‘Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.’
Romans 12:21


Note: 1 in 3 women worldwide can expect to be affected by gender-based violence at some point in their lifetime (UN)
Christ Church Cathedral Dublin


Click on the image above to access
the live stream from the cathedral

Mothers’ Union Holy Communion Service
Thursday 4th August 2022
   
The next Mothers' Union service will take place in Christ Church Cathedral on Thursday 4th August 2022, at 11.15am. ~ All-Ireland

It is hoped that the service will be available to view on the Live Stream Channel.


Mums' Marvellous Meals

The Mothers' Union Cookbook, "Mums' Marvellous Meals", was launched at our Special Council meeting on 22nd June.

The Cookbook contains recipes from members from all over Ireland and is divided into different sections ~ Starters, Main Courses, Desserts and Traditional Irish Recipes.

        

The Cookbook will go on sale for £ 5 or € 5 and all proceeds will go to the "Mums in May" fund.


Click on the image to view a video promoting the Cookbook
Reconnecting ~ A Guideline for Branches on Re-Opening

A Committee from All-Ireland has put together an excellent leaflet to guide branches in re-opening. We hope that this leaflet will give branches clear and precise guidelines on meeting up again and give them the confidence to move forward.

A big thank you to Hilary, June, Iris, Sophia and Lesley for all of the thought and effort they put into providing branches with these guidelines.


Click on the image to download the Leaflet


The Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line is a national freephone service
1800 80 70 77
It is available from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.
Many people have experienced and will experience the death of someone they love during the COVID-19 pandemic. It may have been a COVID-related death or a death from other causes. People may also be finding a previous bereavement more difficult at this time. While we may be seeing reductions in the number of deaths connected to COVID-19, we know that people’s pain and grief does not diminish as quickly. In the face of such loss and trauma, the Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line, in partnership with the HSE, has been launched to provide connection, comfort and support in these exceptional times. COVID-19 restrictions have changed the traditional ways we mark our grief. For the moment, it is not possible to come together as we did traditionally, resulting in additional challenges for those who are bereaved.

Click on the images to download a poster and information sheet & leaflet:

               
The Mothers’ Union Prayer

Loving Lord,
We thank you for your love so freely given to us all.
We pray for families around the world.
Bless the work of the Mothers' Union
as we seek to share your love
through the encouragement, strengthening and support of marriage and family life.
Empowered by your Spirit, may we be united in prayer and worship,
and in love and service reach out as your hands across the world.
In Jesus' name.
Amen


Portrait of
Mary Sumner


The Mary Sumner Prayer

Written in 1876 by Mothers' Union founder, Mary Sumner

All this day, O Lord,
let me touch as many lives as possible for thee;
and every life I touch, do thou by thy spirit quicken,
whether through the word I speak,
the prayer I breathe,
or the life I live.
Amen.
Reference and administrative information

Republic of Ireland:
Mothers’ Union in Ireland is recognised as a Charity by the Revenue commissioners, 5161.
Registered charity number- 20007331 (Charities Regulatory Authority).


Northern Ireland:
Not registered with The Charity Commission NI as a single entity.
Instead individual diocese have been registered separately.
Mothers’ Union All-Ireland
DATA PRIVACY STATEMENT (2021)


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