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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.









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.


Click on the link below to view a video of
Mothers' Union in Ireland


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 December

Loving Heavenly Father, as we approach this Christmas season, we thank you for the gift of our Saviour Jesus Christ born a baby in a human family. Help us to see you in the simple things of life as we prepare for Christmas. Pour into our hearts the joy of the angels and the gladness of the shepherds that we may celebrate and receive you afresh in our lives. We bring the needs of our world before you that those with power and influence may recognise and share the truth of your love to bring justice and peace.

We pray for families and children, the lonely and bereaved, and for all whose lives are full of misdirection. We pray for the people of Ukraine in despair and chaos; for peace in countries where there is war and suffering. We remember the homeless, families struggling to make ends meet, all who are in physical pain, mental anguish and finding it difficult to cope with the pressures of this season. May the power of your Gospel kindle a flame in all our hearts that we may reach out in love to others this Christmas time. Amen.

A virgin shall be with child and will give birth to a son.
He shall be called Emmanuel – God with us.


Commissioning of June Butler

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

Hello Members and friends,
 
Suddenly it is December and we are in the season of Advent! In my former working life one lady and I had a competition each year to see who would be the first to hear in any shop as their background, enticing us into the Christmas spirit (and purchases), the song “Driving home for Christmas, “sung of course by Chris Rea. There was great friendly rivalry, as when the “muzak” for Christmas began, we seemed to need to visit more shops and the song appeared to be played earlier each year. I still text her now when I hear it for the first time – this year it was in early November!
 
The other Christmas first for me is the first carol which is traditionally sung in the service of “Nine Lessons and Carols”- it is of course “Once in Royal David’s City”. When I hear that iconic first verse sung as a solo by a gifted chorister, a tingle travels up my spine and I am brought back to the humble beginnings of our Lord Jesus Christ over two thousand years ago. While this special service is usually thought to have been created in King’s College, Cambridge, which held its first Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve 1918 introduced by the young Dean, Eric Milner-White. His experience as an Army chaplain on the Western Front during the Great War allegedly convinced him that the Church of England had to explore more imaginative forms of worship. However, church historians have pointed out that the template for the service had been devised some 38 years earlier in the diocese of Truro by George Walpole, a future Bishop of Edinburgh, and Edward White Benson, the first Bishop of Truro

Of course, “Once in Royal David's City” was written by our own Cecil Frances (Fanny) Alexander, wife of the former Primate of Ireland. She included it in her hymnbook Hymns for Little Children in 1848 and, a year later, the English organist Henry Gauntlett discovered the poem and set it to music. The rest is history.


 
One of my family traditions is that I listen to the broadcast of the “Nine Lessons and Carols” service from King’s College as I am preparing for the Christmas meal to be served the following day - at that time the kitchen is my sole domain and I might even be overheard singing along! However, verse 4 has always made me feel a really strong connection with “our Lord in Heaven above “(quote from v5):

And through all his wondrous childhood
Day by day like us he grew,
He was little, weak, and helpless,
Tears and smiles like us he knew:
And he feeleth for our sadness,
And he shareth in our gladness.
 
There is an emphasis in this verse on Jesus being like us and Him understanding our joys and sorrows. How important that is for us all as we near the end of 2022. It has been a difficult few years for everyone but for some there has also been bereavement, illness, separation from friends, loneliness and now, for many, the added problems associated with the drastic cost-of-living increases and the struggle to pay for what were always considered “essentials”.  We all have to gain inner strength at this time and know that, as Fanny Alexander expresses it, our Lord is at our side sharing our tears and understanding our sadness.

During Advent and over the Christmas season we will hear all the wonderful bible stories surrounding Jesus’ birth but the one I love is from Luke C2 V10 “And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”  On that occasion the angel was speaking to the shepherds but those words we should remember every day, throughout the entire year, as we carry in our hearts the joy brought by the birth of Jesus. Yes, we all encounter difficulties, hurt and sorrow, but the joy of His birth is for everyone.  He came into the world, in His own words in Luke19 v10 “to seek and to save the lost” and He will bring salvation to all who will receive Him.  Let us welcome Him with open arms and hearts this Christmas and know He will be by our side in the months ahead, whatever they may bring.

Some of our All-Ireland Trustees are leaving our Trustee body at the end of December as their term of office ends and I would thank them for their service, wisdom and dedication over the past three or six years. One departing Vice President, Joy Gordon, has prepared for us the lovely reflection given below. I hope we can all consider our weaknesses – and strengths – as we move into next year and have a real sense of peace, and also joy, within ourselves.  

I wish you, your families and friends every blessing for 2023.
With love
June


Joy Gordon writes:

As I am coming to the end of my term of office as Trustee of All Ireland and Dublin and Glendalough Mothers’ Union, I have been invited to write a short reflection.  

It is difficult, almost impossible to try and capture and share my experiences with you. Least you should think that the Trustee board sit around a big table, drink tea and make decisions from on high. It is truly, the very opposite. The Trustee board are the engine and powerhouse that drive, cajole and push Mothers’ Union to the forefront. The Rt. Rev. Bishop Andrew Forster recently described Mothers’ Union like a stone in a shoe and I love this description.  Sometimes Mothers’ Union may seem invisible but yet our presence is there. We may not have as big a membership as we would like but we are there, persistent and determined as we strive to practically and prayerfully nurture and support family life in communities in which we live and overseas.  

The Trustee board consists of members that have had the privilege and honour to have been elected, to the board by the membership. The role of Trustee and their representation as the voice of the membership is taken very seriously . All decisions taken and all planning is made with the member’s best interest to the forefront. The board members are a representative group of our membership, all coming from different backgrounds and life experiences.  It hasn’t always been plain sailing and like any good robust committee there has been much debate, heated conversation and conflict with difference voices and opinions aired. And what makes the Trustee board work in unity and strength is the shared commitment, dedication, belief and passion in the work of Mothers’ Union.

I recently helped prepare a quiet evening for our diocese and the reading and reflections were taken from Romans 12 verse 3-5. As part of the preparation, I shared a reflection written by Rachel Turner, who is a writer in the Day by Day with God bible notes. Rachel implies that many of us want to be good at everything or perhaps we may just feel we should be good at everything. Perhaps we feel that we should be good at serving, loving, helping those in need, administration, leadership, communication, teaching, encouraging, the list could go on. When we realise we  cannot  do it all, we feel weak and ashamed and even embarrassed  that we have failed. Rachel writes that in these verses Paul tells us that we are lying to ourselves. We were never meant to be great at everything. We were designed to have weaknesses and strengths. She points out that our weaknesses are a strategic choice by God to leave space in our lives. To leave space for us to be alongside others in theirs. Our weaknesses are designed for us to experience the utter joy of being part of the body of Christ. Rachel describes us as like a jigsaw puzzle piece, designed to lock into each other to create a strong useful body. She asks us to consider what it would be like if we began to accept and be grateful for our weaknesses because they create opportunities for others in our lives.  God is still growing and changing us. Our weaknesses today may be our strength tomorrow. Rachel encourages us to be graceful with ourselves and others, reaching out in each other’s weaknesses and calling for each other's strengths in our lives.

This reflection really struck a chord with me as I reflect on my years on both Trustee boards. It is the strength and weaknesses of the members that have created the strong useful Mothers’ Union body that it is today. Mothers’ Union is as relevant today as it was when it was first started in Ireland 135 years ago.

With God's love, grace and blessing, Mothers' Union continues to be courageous, bold and visionary as it listens and seeks to share Christian faith and reach out to the communities in which we live.

Advent is the season of hope as we wait patiently for the coming of the baby born in Bethlehem. For some it is a season of preparation and business, for others it may be a different Christmas to the familiar they have previously known and for others a season that can be challenging and not to be enjoyed.



Whichever one it may be for you, as you wait, may God bring you peace about your weaknesses and may you become acceptable and grateful for the opportunity of allowing others into your life.  I am and always will be so grateful for answering the call, allowing others into my life and having the opportunity to have been a piece in the puzzle that unites Mothers’ Union members throughout the world.

Wishing you all God's richest blessings,
 
Joy Gordon



Click on the image above to bring you to the dedicated web page

IAWN



Click on the Image above to download the latest newsletter from IAWN

Loneliness Leaflet

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



RESOURCES
For lots of Resources on the main website click on the link below
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 3rd November 2022
   
The next Mothers' Union service will take place in Christ Church Cathedral on 3rd November @ 11.15 am ~  Derry & Raphoe/Limerick & Killaloe

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
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.
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