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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 available to
download on the Publications Page


ANNUAL GATHERING 2021

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.
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 1 873 5075

Facebook:       
               Public          Group

YouTube:





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.



Lord Jesus, many people have full larders,
with bread enough and to spare,
and yet inwardly they are hungry
for the things of the Spirit.
You are the Bread of Life:
without out you our hearts go hungry,
our lives are empty.
Help us constantly to feed on you by faith,
that we may know the abundant life
you came to bring us all,
for the glory of your name.

Llewellyn Cumings.

Let us reflect on those who work in the Harvest supply chain...
We thank you Lord for our daily food, for cupboards full with varied foods.
We pray for farm safety as farmers sow and reap crops; For breeders and shepherds  
who care for animals. For bakers, packers, processors, producers, hauliers and tradesmen
who fill our shops and supermarkets with food.
We thank you for the healthcare we have received during the pandemic  
and all who work in Hospitals and Medical Centres, frontline workers keeping us safe.  
We pray for all who work in industry and commerce to supply us with goods and services.
We pray for safety for all who engage in the harvest of the seas, those who travel to bring us
food from other lands, by land, sea or air,remembering many who toil in dangerous
situations.  

Creator God, we thank you for the wonder and beauty of creation, for the miracle and gift  
of life itself. We thank you for the farmers who work in fields on farms, for fishermen who
gather the harvest of the seas; for all engaged in the commercial and industrial life of
nations that they may receive a just reward for their labours.

O Lord hear our prayer.


Commissioning of June Butler
All-Ireland President Mothers' Union
Letter from June ~ All-Ireland President ~ October/November 2021

 
Hello MU Members and Friends, in Ireland and further afield
 
I have been told that my website “letter” is read worldwide so I bring greetings from all of us in Ireland to wherever you may be across God’s world.

Below our Mothers’ Union All Ireland Chaplain, Rev’d Canon Robert Deane, provides a short reflection which he has - by coincidence - based around one of my favourite poems by John Keats. I first encountered “To Autumn” when I was studying for my “A” level English literature at school - a very long time ago- but to me it epitomises autumn as it occurs in Ireland and I just love the language Keats uses to describe this time of year and the potential for bearing fruit. That is exactly what we in Mothers’ Union do each time we reach out to others.

As I have been walking in various areas of woodland in recent weeks, I have noticed our native deciduous trees just beginning to turn colour into the beautiful russets we expect here during October and November. This may be a strange concept to those of you who live in warmer climates but here the leaves gradually turn from their usual greens into resplendent shades of orange and gold - before the winter gales arrive to force them from the branches. The extent of the colour can be breath-taking. Last week I was fortunate to be walking on a glorious afternoon in Gosford Forest Park near Armagh and the beauty of the trees and the stillness, only broken by birdsong, reinforced to me how fortunate we in Ireland are to have access to such places of calm. I am reminded of the words in Psalm 46 “Be still and know that I am God”.



Being still and, on occasions, alone can help us focus on our priorities in life and I know that some of my most pertinent thoughts come when I am either walking or driving on my own. However, being alone is very different from being lonely and last month I mentioned here that a Mother’s Union working group, chaired by Lady Christine Eames, had been preparing a leaflet which would focus on loneliness among our members, and in our parishes and communities, and signpost ways in which we could address this problem.  As we are all aware, the problem of loneliness in our communities has been exacerbated over the last 18 months by the pandemic.  The All Ireland Trustees have now agreed that this leaflet should be printed as soon as possible and made widely available to MU members and also to all parishes in Ireland. I hope that when you receive a copy it will help you to think how you might support someone who is lonely or, if you yourself feel lonely from time to time, that it will help you thorough these difficult periods.
 
One other outcome from the pandemic has been an unprecedented rise in domestic abuse - in fact the United Nations termed this in 2020 as the “shadow pandemic”. At this year’s Church of Ireland General Synod Mothers’ Union were invited to speak about the work it had done to the highlight this acute problem in our society.  I gave some introductory remarks and Jacqui Armstrong, who leads on this project for MU in Ireland, provided details about the level of abuse, what parishes might do to help and what MU has been and plans for the future to highlight these matters and also bring aid to those who have been abused. There is a report on the presentation on the Church of Ireland website. Click on the link below to read the report.


However, more importantly there is considerable information on this, our Mothers’ Union website, about the activities planned in November and December across our dioceses for the “16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence” and links to available resources including the 16 Days prayer diary.  I would ask everyone please to read that information and participate in whatever way you can. Click on the image below to bring you to the web page.



Prayer for our work in this field is also important and, of course, there is a need for prayer for those who are abused and for the perpetrators of these crimes. This autumn - and beyond - my prayer is that our work to highlight such dreadful abuse will bear real fruit.
 
With love and blessings
 
June

Loving father
Come to those who don’t know you and cause them to start seeking you.
Thank you for those who do know you, in whom your heart resides;
as they go through this day and cross paths with others, help them stop and listen, and show your great love to those they encounter.
May we all make time each day for the lonely, the lost and hurting, and for those who need our help or encouragement to make a change to their lives.
In your name we pray. Amen
 



Annual Gathering 2021
To view both the morning and afternoon session click on the image above


Click HERE to download a prayer leaflet

to view a video “Prisons Week 2021: Consider the Ravens” from Prisons Week
click on the link below




Bishop Hall Speers, a child of Derry & Raphoe, is currently Bishop of Mahajanga in Madagascar. Having spent an elongated Covid stay at home, he recently returned to Mahajanga.  He describes his recent MU adventure following his return….  Click on the image above to read his account.



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


RESOURCES
For lots of Resources on the main website click on the link below
To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
conspiring with him how to load and bless
with fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
to bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
and fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
to swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
with a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
and still more, later flowers for the bees,
until they think warm days will never cease,
for Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
John Keats (1795 – 1821)

In Keats’ Ode to Autumn, we have a wonderful picture of nature bursting and blooming with bountiful produce … all ripe and ready for harvesting … which picture is a quite apposite at present, what with Harvest Thanksgiving services taking placearound this time of year. Hymn 37 springs to mind: “Come ye thankful people, come; raise the song of harvest home; all is safely gathered in ere the winter storms begin.”.

At the same time though, hasn’t the weather has gotten a bit cooler: short sleeves now replaced with longer ones; sandals making way for leather shoes (maybe even boots!). Winter is coming (“Game of Thrones” fans might recognise that phrase!), andwith the changing of seasons, w e move from summer to autumn to winter.

Autumn is a transitional time of year, when we put away the paraphernalia of summer, and prepare for winter. In the church’s calendar, we also note a transition …from the season of Trinity, to the five Sundays before Advent, to the four Sundays of Advent. And it’s in the Season of Advent we make preparation again for God’swonderful initiative over two-thousand years ago! Yes … I’m referring to the “C”word! … but more of that again.

Nature in autumn is full of “mellow fruitfulness” … meaning that nature has a way of providing food for all creatures great and small, especially for those that don’t emigrate to warmer climes for the winter. With the mellow fruitfulness, however, comes a die-back in nature, where energy is removed from leaves and stems in preparation for seed propagation and regeneration in spring. With that comes that wonderful colour palate of yellows, coppers and golds set against the darker background of blacks and browns. Sometimes the skies can be lit up with pinks, blues and oranges, even greys. All dazzling, awe-inspiring, amazing!

And then grandson beside me stirs and begins to waken as babies do, bit by bit, as it dawns on him he’s hungry, but not quite awake enough (yet!) to make his demands clear and audible. Hard to fathom he was only born early September and here we are in October, moving steadily on to November and then on to December … and then WHAM! … a God-given revelation! How could it not have been seen before?

Jesus the Christ was a baby boy too! He too would stir from sleep and begin to waken as babies do. He too would have been hungry and I dare say quite capable of making his immediate demands clear and audible. And just for a moment I fleetingly glimpse something of the Christ-child in all of grandson’s beauty, fragility, and wriggly-ness. Looking up, I glimpse something of Mary’s tiredness of endured pregnancy and bringing-to-birth of her son in my own daughter’s face and eyes. And standing back just a little, something of Joseph’s awe-inspired pride of fatherhood is glimpsed in son-in-law’s face and eyes.

A tear falls, but not one of sadness or despair! Rather, a tear of sheer joy, gladness and thanksgiving for life, love and nature. And another line from Hymn 37 comes to mind and seals the lid on pretty well … “God our maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied”.

Take time, look up and see around you … God is present and with us … in nature and in those around us.

Thanks be to God for his gift beyond words.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

(Canon Robert Deane, All Ireland Mothers’ Union Chaplain, 4/10/21)

Mothers' Union Services from Christ Church Cathedral

Please note that the Mothers' Union services from Christ Church Cathedral are continuing on the first Thursday of every month. We are very grateful to our All-Ireland chaplain, Canon Robert Deane, for leading these services. Services may now be attended by members. The next service is on:
  • 4th November ~ Service Christ Church Cathedral - Cashel, Ferns & Ossory/Connor
We are also very grateful to Dean Dermot Dunne for giving permission to live stream the services (click on the image of Christ Church to view live). The services are now also uploaded and available to view at a later date on our All-Ireland YouTube Channel.

Annabella Hayes
Founder of Mothers' Union in Ireland


1847-1921
Click on the image to bring you to a
web page dedicated to Annabella
ZOOM Coffee Morning
14th August 2021

The Zoom Coffee Morning to celebrate the life of Annabella Hayes, founder of Mothers' Union in Ireland, and the refurbishment of her grave,was held on Saturday 14th August and  is now available to view on the All-Ireland YouTube Channel.

Our thanks to everyone who contribute to and supported this event.

To view the video 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
Mums' Marvellous Meals

The Mothers' Union Cookbook, "Mums' Marvellous Meals", was launched at our Special Council meeting on 22nd June. Copies will be delivered to the Dioceses over the next couple of months.

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 thse guidelines.


Click on the image to download the Leaflet
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
Mini Bootcamp and Lunch Giveaway in Cregagh




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:

               
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.
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.


Mothers’ Union All-Ireland
DATA PRIVACY STATEMENT (2018)


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