Mothers’ Union: Let’s give something of ourselves to others
By Julia Tum, Mothers’ Union branch leader, St John the Divine, Rastrick
Is it possible to give something to someone without retaining any element of it? Can we give a smile to someone without feeling some joy ourselves? Can we give away toiletries to women leaving prison without having a feeling of pleasure that they will be slightly better off and have a marginally improved life because of the gifts and donations? Can we knit gloves for school children who don’t have any to keep their hands warm, or hats for homeless men without a feeling that God has been part of this and showed us where the needs are.
We don’t give away items in order to feel better ourselves, but it must be an inevitable outcome that we will feel pleased and satisfied. So, when Sarah gave her slapped cheek syndrome to Molly, she still had some left over for granny!
The Mothers’ Union in Leeds Diocese has two caravans on the east coast, costing £15,000 to keep each year. They are readied for families who are in difficulty. Families and individuals are referred to an administrator who secures the required dates. The money is raised by each branch throughout the diocese. The fundraising may come from exciting and joyous events. Certainly, as the money is given, the fun of the event remains with the branch. Giving and retaining!
Recently our church has made little “crosses in a pocket”. About a dozen of us got together to learn how to cover the little pieces of plastic with a cross stitch, shaped as a pocket and as a cross. We had a fun morning and shared lunch and now have a little pile of ‘crosses in a pocket’ to give away.
One was given away on Sunday to a baby newly baptised at church!
At a nearby women’s prison a small group of us facilitate a short cooking session with just six or seven women. This isn’t to teach cooking skills, but to encourage the ladies to prepare dishes alongside each other, giving opportunities to work well together, to share their produce and to understand each other’s limitations.
Friday, March 1, is World Day of Prayer. This is part of a great wave of prayer beginning as the sun rises over Samoa, continuing around the earth and ending in the Pacific as the sun sets over American Samoa. Whichever service people attend they will be joining people from over 146 different countries. There is a service in Brighouse at the Salvation Army Citadel.
This year the service has been prepared by Christian women from Palestine, the land in which Jesus was born and died. It is now a land which is involved in a devastating war. Little did the women of Palestine know this when they prepared their very moving words and shared their stories.
All of the MU branches are different. By getting together we share ideas, what works well and what we are good at. Let’s give something of ourselves to others, and see how it can be multiplied in ways not previously thought of.
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