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Theme 2021 ~ Rebuilding Hope and Confidence

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.

The Spring edition of FOCUS is now available to
download on the Publications Page

Click on the image below

To access the Indoor Members Easter Letter from Sheran Harper
click on the image below


Mothers'  Union Annual Gathering 25th September 2021. This will be a virtual event
More details to follow

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.

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.

The brilliant Axel Scheffler has produced a book about Covid-19 Coronavirus just for children

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

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.

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

Tel: +353 1 873 5075

               Public          Group


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.

Prayers for May 2021
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and  peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the  power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15 verse 13.

Dear Lord, my God – as I look to you to fill me  with hope, I pray that you will help me to keep my eyes on you and not  on my circumstances.  Give me strength to  overcome the temptation to  wallow in self-pity or loneliness.  Help me to actively seek positivity in my life and to bring all my worries and concerns to you.  Amen.

Thank you for the amazing gift you gave in sending  Jesus to be the Light of the world.  Thank you that He died and rose  again so that I can have forgiveness for my sins through him.  Thank you  that because of his death and resurrection, I have hope for any eternal future with you.  Oh Father, will you help  me to believe this every day of my life so that I will learn to rejoice  in all circumstances, knowing there is hope for my soul as I dwell in  your constant presence.


Commissioning of June Butler
All-Ireland President Mothers' Union
Letter from June ~ All-Ireland President ~ May 2021

Happy May Day members and friends!

I was thinking about the art of being positive when I was considering what I might write for the website this month and then, as it is the first day of May and we in Mothers’ Union are counting our blessings every day during this month, the calendar of blessings was sitting beside my computer and the verse for the first day jumped off the page at me!  It is taken from that lovely old hymn by Johnson Oatman Jr. Even from his name you can guess that he was from the USA - in fact he was a Methodist evangelist from New Jersey who wrote many hymns but probably “Count Your Blessings” is his most famous. I imagine that as you read it you are humming the tune - it was composed by Edwin O Excell (what a wonderful name!)
When upon life’s billows you are   tempest tossed,
  When you are discouraged,   thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name   them one by one,
And it will surprise you what   the Lord has done.

Mr Oatman looks quite a formidable gentleman but he was obviously an optimist if he was able to put such wonderful thoughts into words.
I have always considered myself as a “glass half full” person. In that respect I emulated my father, whereas if my mother saw even a fluffy white cloud in the sky she would predict imminent rain! In the past few weeks there have been a few difficult issues - both personal and MU related - in my life but I have endeavoured to be positive and I have tried to put these matters in perspective among the great blessings in my life.
Sheran Harper the Worldwide President attended our recent Mothers’ Union All Ireland Council and after opening her time with us with wonderful prayers, she gave a stimulating address to Council members. She spoke about some of the overseas projects undertaken by MU members and praised us in Ireland for all our ongoing work with members and communities, and for our excellent record of fundraising. She spoke about those who are struggling at this time, especially with the restrictions and poverty brought about by the Covid pandemic. However she left us with the very optimistic words  “God has got us. This too will pass!”  
If you would like to hear Sheran’s address it is available on the MU YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZmE_bKgzE4&t=184s
As I’ve been walking to meet my personal challenge in order to raise sponsorship for the “Mums in May” Fund, I have been privileged to be joined on these 7km walks with other MU members and to “catch up” (socially distanced of course) with old friends. Also I have been lifted in spirits by finding out what they are doing in their dioceses to support our members and there is such optimism that, when the pandemic ends, we will be able to meet again as the MU we know and love and to be able to resume much of our outreach work in our churches and communities. Among our members there is a great deal of the hope and trust in the Lord that Sally speaks of in her reflection below.   

As I walk, I thank God for my personal blessings and for the fact that we live in such wonderful surroundings all created by Him.  In the past month I have walked in woods and wonderfully landscaped parks, by rivers, streams and loughs, and last week completed my first walk by the sea, along the north coast of N. Ireland and was able to gaze across to Co Donegal. I trust it will not be long before the restrictions ease and I can begin my series of walks in the dioceses in the Republic of Ireland.

I hope that this month you will use our MU “Count Your Blessings” template to do just that and I pray that it will help you, as understanding my blessings helps me, to realise how fortunate you are and help you shed some of your own worries as you think about the problems faced by others. Please too remember Johnson Oatman’s hymn and keep singing, as he tells us in the final verse:  

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
God Bless
With love
                                                                           "Archie" ~ The Mums in May Mascot

This month’s reflection was prepared by Sally Cotter, Diocesan President of  Connor.
Moving On
As sisters we walk hand in hand,
To spread the news throughout our land.
God loves you all and better still,
He’s promised that he always will.

Chorus:     Moving on, moving on,
              With hope in our hearts, we’ll go on.
              From the old to the new,
              As we put our trust in you
From north and south and east and west,
Each one united with the rest.
To bring God’s message loud and clear,
To trust in him and never fear.
As members of God’s family,
Our hope is that we all may see,
A future bright and free from pain,
And our whole land at peace again.

I wrote this hymn for the Mothers’ Union Millennium Journey in the year 2000. It’s hard to believe that this was 21 years ago! For those of you who don’t remember it, a core group of MU members travelled around Ireland, visiting each diocese. The journey began in Cork City on St Patrick’s Day where we took part in the parade. During the next two weeks, we visited every diocese in Ireland, attending many church services en route and taking part in a wide variety of events. Each day we were joined by lots of enthusiastic members and this hymn was sung at each location. The trip ended in Armagh Cathedral.

As I re-read the words of this little hymn I was struck by their relevance to our present situation. They remind us strongly of God’s continuing love for us in all aspects of our lives, in sorrow and in joy. In the midst of the pandemic, some of us may have wondered where God is, and why this has happened.  But our God is a God of compassion who is always alongside in our suffering, using the talents of all those who are at the forefront of efforts to tackle the virus, watching over us and guiding the doctors and nurses, as well as medical researchers in all that they do. Their spirit and undaunted example remind us all to ‘Be strong and of good courage’.

The last verse speaks of hope – the hope that a vaccine has brought us, and yes the hope that we might see a future bright and free from pain. In the chorus we also have hope. Hope that we will be able to put these ‘old’ days behind us and rejoice in a new era where the pandemic will be forgotten. With the coming of summer, we trust that the ‘new’ times will be here. We will be able to meet with our friends and loved ones again, sharing the hugs which we all have missed.

The overall theme of the Millennium Journey was ‘hope’, just as in our MU Theme. Hope is more than a feeling, and it is more than just optimism. It is a feeling of expectation and desire, of trust. If we put our trust in God, we will be able to ‘move on’, safe in the knowledge of his unfailing love and protection.
As we read in Lamentations 3:22-24 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’

Click on the image above to view
The Midday Prayers and Sharing Session with
Sheran Harper at All-Ireland Council

Click on the image above to find more information
about this initiative
(The Scheme is available for key workers in the United Kingdom
and Ireland)

Click on the image above to download the
Mothers' Union Prayer Diary
for 2021

Click on the image above to download a flyer
with details of Mums in May 2021

For lots of Resources on the main website click on the link below

" 21 in 21"
Mums in May Fundraiser 2021

Follow the events for our Triennial Fundraiser for "Mums in May" 2021 on our dedicated page. Please support this fundraiser which raises money to support some wonderful projects in every Diocese throughout Ireland.
Click on the image below to bring you to the webpage.

I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.
Leviticus 26:12

2012 - 2015 – 2018
It’s 2021

Three years have flown and here we are again,
Dreaming dreams, nurturing hope and confidence

As we weave and wander, pause and ponder,
Mums In May paves the path to the realisation of inspirations …..
AFIA, Book Schemes, Resourcing new homes ………
Literacy in Ethopia, Gender Based Violence in DR Congo……..
16 Days outreach at home, Loneliness initiatives, Tackling Child Poverty ……
Girls Nights Out, Getaway Weekends….
The sky is the limit ………

Loving Lord, we praise you for who and what you are,
For all the ways you journey with us
enhancing hope and confidence.
We marvel at your great goodness,
the love and care, mercy and forgiveness
you so faithfully show to us;
the strength, support, guidance and inspiration
you so freely give us.

Companion Lord, make us mindful of your will for us,
as we journey towards rebuilding a future embedded in your love
and dedicated to the growth of your Kingdom and the glory of Christ.
We look to the future with hope and confidence,
trusting that you, Lord, will continue to guide and inspire.  
Faithful Lord, this Mums In May,
Guide our feet as we walk in your paths,
Encompass us with your love and lead us by the hand.
Be with us in our ventures, be in our hearts for caring,
And be our good news for sharing. Amen

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.
Psalm 25:4

Congratulations to Mrs Paddy Wallace, a parishioner of All Saints’, Antrim, and a former All-Ireland President of Mothers' Union,who received the gift of Maundy Money from Her Majesty the Queen.

Click on  the image of Paddy to read a full account of this honour.

We are delighted that so many Mothers' Union members were honoured in receiving Maundy money in 2021. Congratulations and very well done to all the recipients.
Competition Time

Go to our "Competitions page" to see the results of the Logo and Mascot Competitions.

All-Ireland Mothers' Union have organised another competition to inspire our members creativity.
This time we would like members to write a hymn which may be sung to a "well known" tune or write a prayer (Please be cognisant of copyright when choosing a tune for your hymn).

Click on the image to download a poster with all of the details.

Congratulations to Vi Breen, a member of  Kinawley Parish Church, in the Diocese of Kilmore, who  received the  award of Maundy Money ahead of Maundy Thursday (April 1), following a   nomination by the Bishop of Kilmore in recognition of her years of   support for the church and community.

In  normal circumstances, Vi, who is a loyal Mothers' Union member, would  have travelled to  Westminster for the service and would have met The  Queen in person, but  unfortunately due to Covid-19 restrictions this  could not go ahead.

Vi received the gift via post, with an attached letter from Her Majesty.

Mrs Elizabeth McClure
Click on the picture to read more

Mrs Avril McNee
Click on the picture to read more

Maundy Money

Two other Mothers’  Union stalwarts - Elizabeth McClure and Avril McNee - were also  honoured by receiving Maundy Money this year and both were commended for their work for the Church of Ireland  in their respective dioceses and also for their role in Mothers’ Union. Both ladies have served in the role of Diocesan President and thus demonstrated great leadership to MU members over many years. Elizabeth is a member of Woodschapel Parish, Magherafelt in the Diocese of Armagh and Avril worships in Drumchose Parish, Limavady, in the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe.

Many congratulations to all these ladies and we are delighted that their commitment to Mothers’ Union has been recognised in this important way by our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen.

Click on the image above to access the video of
The ZOOM Breakfast
ZOOM Breakfast 2021
Rebuilding Hope & Confidence ~ Living with Covid-19

Well done to Liz Greer, Wendy Halligan and all those involved in organising a wonderful morning on Sturday 6th February. Those who were able to join the ZOOM breakfast enjoyed listening to two wonderful spakers, Lydia Monds who is the Education Advisor to the Bishops' Appeal and Karen Gray who is an eco-trauma therapist combining therapy and nature.  

96 participants enjoyed an inspiring morning of information and fellowship.
The event was recorded and you can watch it by clicking on the link on our Home Page.
Mini Bootcamp and Lunch Giveaway in Cregagh

Mothers' Union during Lockdown

All Mothers' Union meetings and services have had to be put on hold due to the restrictions imposed on movements with Covid-19. Mothers' Union members and Branches , however, have not been idle and many have been busy sewing scrubs and masks, organising food parcels and finding new inovative ways of keeping in touch with each other and helping those in isolation.

Dioceses have held zoom meetings, recorded festival services and many Branches have used various forms of technology and media to keep in touch with members.

Click on the image to read all about an initiative in which Down & Dromore was involved ~ Mini Bootcamp and Lunch Giveaway in Cregagh

https://www.mothersunion.org/resources-support-us-challenging-times ~ has resources for use during these challenging times
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 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.
From: Canon Robert Deane, MU All-Ireland Chaplain

Intercessory Prayer in the midst of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic
(adapted from the Luthern Federation of Churches)

O God our Healer,
Show your compassion for the whole human family now in turmoil and burdened with illness and with fear.
Hear our cry, O God,
and listen to our prayer.

Come to our aid as the coronavirus spreads globally; heal those who are sick, and support & protect their families and friends from being infected.
Hear our cry, O God,
and listen to our prayer.

Grant us your spirit of love and self-discipline, that observing medical advice to personally vigilant, we may work together to control and eliminate the coronavirus.
Hear our cry, O God,
and listen to our prayer.

Make us vigilant, attentive, and proactive in the eradication of all diseases that create suffering and often result in death for many people.
Hear our cry, O God,
and listen to our prayer.

Heal us of self-centeredness and indifference that makes us worry only when the virus threatens us, and open ways beyond timidity and fear that too easily ignore our neighbour.
Hear our cry, O God,
and listen to our prayer.

Strengthen and encourage all who work in public health services and in the medical profession: care-givers, nurses, attendants, doctors, and all who commit themselves to caring for the sick and their families.
Hear our cry, O God,
and listen to our prayer.

Inspire and give insight, perseverance and hope to all researchers focused on developing successful vaccines.
Hear our cry, O God,
and listen to our prayer.

Sustain all workers and business owners who suffer loss of livelihood due to shut-downs, quarantines, closed borders, and other restrictions … protect and guard all whose work is essential and who must travel.
Hear our cry, O God,
and listen to our prayer.

Guide all leaders of nations that they may speak truth, halt the spread of misinformation and act with justice, that all people may know healing.
Hear our cry, O God,
and listen to our prayer.

Heal our world, heal our bodies, strengthen our hearts and our minds, and in the midst of turmoil, give us hope and peace.
Hear our cry, O God,
and listen to our prayer.

Hold in your gentle embrace all who have died and are now at rest. Comfort their loved ones in their grief and despair.
Hear our cry, O God,
and listen to our prayer.

May we live by faith,
walk in hope and be renewed in love,
until the world reflects your glory
and you are all in all.
Even so, come Lord Jesus. 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

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.

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.

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