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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


INDOOR MEMBERS REFLECTION MARCH 2021
Click on the image below



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



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.


Prayers for June 2021




 
Away From It All

Loving Lord,
we pray for Away From It All
and thank you for the blessing it is
to so many families who are struggling
and carrying heavy loads.

We pray for volunteers involved in AFIA:
May your strength sustain them in all their work;
where problems arise may solutions be found.
Loving Lord, who gives us rest
lift their burdens and hear our prayers.

We pray for families who enjoy these times:
May they be refreshed in body, mind and soul;
may the benefits they gain be rich and lasting.
Loving Lord, who gives us rest
lift their burdens and hear our prayers. Amen



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

Hello Members and Friends

After a long wait, it does seem that summer has eventually arrived. With it comes the conflict, for me at any rate, of needing to work in the garden to deal with all the weeds which have miraculously appeared at the behest of the recent moisture and now heat, and wanting to sit and relax - just to take in all the lovely colours, sounds and smells. As with everything there has to be compromise, so over the past days I have tried to do a little of both.

That of course is when I haven’t been walking as part of my personal challenge to help raise money to boost the Mums in May Fund. If you read this website regularly you will know that I plan to walk 21kms in every diocese in Ireland this year as my part of the “21 in 21” challenge. Other members are setting themselves targets of completing 21 of other things. Some living close to me did 21 laps of a local park last weekend and I know of other members who are swimming 21 lengths, knitting 21 baby cardigans and reading 21 books - all wonderful initiatives.

To date I have completed 10 of the 7km walks, two in each of the dioceses which lie in Northern Ireland but now that restrictions have started to lift, I am planning walks in the dioceses in the Republic of Ireland.  This “interval” (or should I call it a rest?) is timely as one of my daughters (the one who lives closest to me) is expecting her first baby, with a due date of this week, so I obviously want to be around home for a few weeks to offer whatever help I can.
 
The walks to date have all been super - I have walked in such a variety of places and in all weathers - rain, hail, sun and wind - and with members, old and new friends, local historians, Diocesan Presidents and Trustees, Diocesan Chaplains and other clergy, and even one Bishop (Andrew of Derry and Raphoe). I understand other Bishops (at least five of them) are planning to join me on future walks so I am looking forward to spending time also with them and explaining about the work undertaken through the MIM Fund across Ireland.

Over the past few weeks, when I have been walking away from my local area, I have had the privilege of meeting up with two former All Ireland Presidents and spending time chatting to them. The first was Margaret Crawford who was with us on the first walk I did in Clogher Diocese. I see Margaret from time to time and she never seems to change - either personally or in her enthusiasm for Mothers’ Union. The second was Thelma Mehaffy whom I haven’t encountered for many years. When I was undertaking the walk in L’derry City, with the approval of Thelma’s daughter, DP Jacqui suggested I might call with Thelma before I headed home that evening. I was delighted to be able to do so, especially as it was Thelma’s 89th birthday the following day. As they say, the “craic” was mighty and Thelma recalled so many things I had forgotten in the realms of MU.

 
Thelma was, in many ways, responsible for me taking a leadership role in MU in the first instance. In those distant days of the 1990s I was a young member rep in Down and  Dromore but as AI President  she insisted on me taking a key role in a conference she was organising - I was petrified, but apparently survived  the ordeal and the result was many other MU paths gradually opened up for me. These two ladies - and so many other All Ireland Presidents over the years - have given of their time, energy, skills and knowledge to lead our members, to identify and nurture future leaders and to make Mothers’ Union in Ireland what it is today.

Last Sunday was Trinity Sunday and I had the privilege of being invited to preach - virtually of course - at the Festival Service for Cashel, Ferns and Ossory Diocese. Besides the conventional concept of the Trinity, I focussed on the trinity of the current MU Theme - “Rebuilding Hope and Confidence” and on how the power of the Holy Spirit abiding in each one of us will help us rebuild MU and our communities with hope and confidence after the pandemic.  The Holy Spirit obviously worked with such power through all those former AI Presidents, and through our founder in Ireland, Annabella Hayes, of whom you will hear a lot more in the coming weeks as we celebrate the centenary of her death.   

However, I will end now with verses from Romans Ch5, V 3-5 This is one of the readings for Trinity Sunday which I believe could - or should - be the mantra for Mothers’ Union members worldwide. Indeed, the verses reflect how so many people have managed to cope, and have actually gained extra personal strength, during the past fifteen months

“……. endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  
and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured
into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”

My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will continue to work through us all - in Mothers’ Union, in our parishes and communities, now and in the years to come
 
I will leave you with a lovely prayer which brings together the Trinity and that special Mothers’ Union theme for 2021.  

Our hope and confidence is in you,
our loving Father;
you have opened the door of heaven
through your plan of salvation.
 
Our hope and confidence is in you,
our saviour, Jesus Christ;
you have paved the way for us to know
joyous relationship with God.
 
Our hope and confidence is in you,
our counsellor, Holy Spirit;
you have shined a light for us to see
the love of the Father and Son.

Thanks be to God,
for our sure and steadfast confidence,
for the Holy Spirit within us giving us  
the hope in which we glory. Amen


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



Car radios were tuned to a fabulous drive-in concert. Clogher Diocesan Mothers’ Union launched their ‘Time for Hope’ CD and DVD on the 21st May at the Ulster Farmers Mart, Enniskillen.

The weather was kind and over 120 vehicles attended the drive in evening. Revd Charles Eames, Diocesan Chaplain compered the evening and entertained the audience with a number of humorous stories. It was wonderful to have the All Ireland President, June Butler, and The Bishop of Clogher, The Right Revd Dr Ian Ellis join and speak to the assembled
 
Irene Boyd, Diocesan President welcomed everyone to the launch and the evening began with Alan Ferguson singing “I Need Thee Every Hour” he was accompanied by Gillian Rutherford on the keyboard. Gillian also accompanied Michelle Elliott and Revd Mark Gallagher. Michelle sang “Yield not to Temptation” and Revd Mark sang  “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” and “Now Thank we all Our God”.  Diane Wright-Kendrick sang “Amazing Grace” and “What a Friend”, Diane was accompanied by Gerard Toal.  Marina Elliott and family sang “Nearer my God to thee” and Dean Raymond Ferguson joined them to sing “Be Still and Know that I am God”. Marina also accompanied Roy Crowe who sang “Blessed Assurance” and “I hear thy Welcome Voice”. Isaac Leathem played “Jesus Loves Me” and “Abide with me” on the bag pipes.  A thank you is due to Gillian who provided the keyboard for all the artists to use.
 
The quality of the singing and music from the artists brought favorable comments from those attending. The CD and DVD also includes the Bloomfield family, a reflection from the Bishop of Clogher, The Right Revd Dr Ian Ellis and an interview with Heather Kirkpatrick, a Mothers’ Union member from Fivemiletown Branch.

Sincere thanks was expressed to Stuart Johnston, Ulster Farmers Mart, for kindly granting the use of the mart premises, Harry Boles, site co-ordinator, for his help and assistance, Warren Kerr, Kerr Farm Supplies Ltd, for the use of his trailer for the platform and to Rocky Top Productions for managing the sound and light at the concert.

Thanks were recorded to all the artists who gave of their time and talents to record the hymns and music, the interview and the reflection, to the rectors and select vestries of the parishes for permission to record in their church buildings and to members of the Mothers’ Union Trustee Board and Revd Charles Eames.

The project received sponsorship from the following businesses, Maurice Allen, E & R Bennett, Rahoran Ltd, G R White & Sons Ltd, William Bell Tractors Ltd and Fleming’s and was part funded by a grant from the Mothers’ Union Mums in May Fund. The Office Repair Centre sponsored the production and printing of the concert programme. A huge thank you is expressed for all of these contributions.

Thanks are also due to Lyons Digital Productions for their professionalism and patience in recording and producing the CD and DVD and Ecclesville Printing Service for producing the publicity material and CD and DVD covers.

If you require any more copies of the recordings please contact lianearmstrong@hotmail.com. CDs and DVDs are £10 or €10. All profits are going to Mothers’ Union funds.

 


" 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

Pentecost
Since Easter, we have been celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord, and recalling occasions he appeared to his first disciples. As they acknowledged his real and living presence with them, their hearts burned within them and they were filled with the comfort, reassurance, inner peace and strength his presence brought.
Then came the Ascension event. That left the disciples ‘looking up into heaven’, open-mouthed, and at bit of a loss.
 
Then came the Day of Pentecost, on which we recall the descent of the Holy Spirit in a particular way on the disciples. It came to them in the form of a rushing, violent wind and tongues of fire. The effect this produced on the disciples was nothing short of spectacular … … and the change in them was startling … … caution was thrown aside, they were no longer afraid, and they felt compelled to begin their mission of preaching the Good News. Suddenly there was no uncertainty, everything had fallen into place, everything now made sense. The Spirit of God filled the disciples with new hope and courage. They received power and strength to set off out into the world and enthusiastically continue the work begun by Jesus. And thus the Church was born.

The gift of the Holy Spirit that first Pentecost was not a once off event. It was in fact the beginning of the Holy Spirit’s permanent presence in the church. For by that presence, we are reminded of God’s call to deeper relationship with him whereby he wants us to share in his life … and by virtue of our baptism, the Holy Spirit is closer to us than we might dare at first to imagine.

We may not always know that closeness or indeed when we might be moved by the Spirit, yet consider those times when we were surprised by a power that drove us into action. That was the presence of the Holy Spirit making a difference to our outlook. Whenever we go beyond the parameters of self and reach out to those around us, that’s the Spirit of God at work in us, guiding us, renewing courage and strength to turn accepted human values upside down, and move off again in a new direction.

Jesus promised the power of the Holy Spirit will come to us if we ask for it. It’s essential then that in prayer we leave the door of our hearts open to invite the Spirit in. We can become “changed people” if we allow the Holy Spirit to challenge where we are now, to disturb our complacency, and thus make way for fresh growth. And what he will bring to our lives, if we will permit him to lead us, is joy, peace and love.

So, at Pentecost, we thank God for his gift of the Holy Spirit, who works in countless hidden ways to deepen our faith, to fill us with strength and inspiration, and to renew our lives.

Almighty Father,
as we celebrate the personal coming of the Holy Spirit to your people, send your Spirit afresh into our hearts that we may live as you would have us live;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 

 
Some additional prayers:
 
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. If we live by the Spirit, let us walk in the spirit.      
 (Galatians 5:22)
 
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, you promised to send the Holy Spirit to your apostles and disciples
Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in our lives
the work of your grace and love.

Grant us the Spirit of Fear of the Lord,
that we may be filled with a loving reverence toward you.
 
Grant us the Spirit of Piety,
that we may find peace and fulfilment in the service of God while serving others;

Grant us the Spirit of Fortitude,
that we may bear our cross with you and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with our salvation;

Grant us the Spirit of Knowledge,
that we may know you and know ourselves, and grow in holiness;
 
Grant us the Spirit of Understanding,
to enlighten our minds with the light of your truth;

Grant us the Spirit of Counsel,
that we may choose the surest way of doing your will, seeking first the Kingdom;

Grant us the Spirit of Wisdom,
that we may aspire to the things that last forever;

Teach us to be faithful disciples, and animate us in every way with your Spirit.

Merciful Father,
accept these our prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. 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 (2018)


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.


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