Faith & Policy

Faith & Policy

The Faith and Policy Unit aims to facilitate Christian Care for families world wide. Faith and Policy go hand in hand. Policy gives direction and Faith supplies the motivation and energy for the required action. Creating and sustaining change in ourselves and in society takes time, effort, patience and commitment.

We aim to nurture Christ’s love for families world wide. Opportunities for worship and prayer are provided during Quiet days. Indoor members services of Holy Communion and fellowship.

Intercessions by members on a prayer circle where prayers are regularly offered for people facing adversity of any kind. Use of the Wave of Prayer, a calendar of prayer, which extends over the Anglican world and includes prayers for every part of the Mothers’ Union family in turn.

Message from Charlie Eames (Diocesan Chaplain)

It is a month since I wrote my last thought to be shared with you and if I am honest, I did not think that we would still be in the same situation as we were then. I was probably being slightly optimistic with hindsight. However we are nothing if not resilient and by and large people continue to follow the rules and are getting on with life albeit in a different way.

We are also gladdened that the number of new cases and the number of deaths seems to be on the decline and we pray that will continue not just in our own land but elsewhere in the world whilst of course being mindful of the sorrow that so many families will be feeling at this time.

I have said to a number of people that many of us seem to have lost sight of the fact that people die every day and that this continues to be the case and will do so long after these days have passed.

The reason that I mention this is to suggest that we need to become concerned about areas such as mental health with the associated issue of suicide as we move forward.

This has been a problem for many years and is one which has been ignored by many Christians and by the government in that it has not been given sufficient support and that is something that the Mothers Union and indeed the wider church could and should campaign for in the future as well as undertaking initiatives in this regard.

I would say that if anyone finds themselves feeling overwhelmed by all that is going on at present the most important thing for them to do is speak to someone as a problem shared is a problem halved and in a case like this speaking to someone will have an even greater impact.

As I said last month, I started a Facebook page for the group of churches that I work in which has a been steep learning curve but one which has been greatly beneficial I believe.

I try to put a thought for the day on each day which are sometimes quite short and on other occasions a bit longer and I was writing some for this week earlier and want to share one of them with you which I think has something to say to the Mothers Union.      

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2.6-7

If the first words of this reading are true for you that is wonderful. However while God offers us the gift of salvation unconditionally our lives should change when we accept what he offers.

 

As we read in Romans chapter 12, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

When we place our trust in Jesus we should indeed be transformed and the result of that should be that we live our lives for him rather than for ourselves. Of course as human beings we will make mistakes and get it wrong on occasion but that does not mean that we should not try our best.

As we do this we will be built up in him and become stronger in our faith and the result of that is that we should abound in thanksgiving or to be it another way we should be filled with joy and peace.  

I know that the Mothers Union both at diocesan level and at branch level has not been idle and that a lot of work has been going on to support members, the wider community and the health service. I trust that this will continue going forward.

As I said last month, I will continue to pray for you all and would encourage you to pray for each other, for Archbishop John and his family, for Irene Boyd and the diocesan trustees as well as for your own branches.

I would like to remind you again that despite all that is going on God still loves us and that we should continue to place our trust in him for all things. Charlie

 

Prayers (taken from 500 Prayers for All Occasions by David Clowes)

Father we pray for ourselves. Keep convincing us of your tremendous power. Assure us of the height, depth, length and breadth of your love. By your Holy Spirit, save us from despair, fill us with your power and be present with us and for us forever.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for ourselves. Move again within our hearts and lives. May we be aware again of your still, small voice. Lord, call us by name, commission us to serve, heal our wounds, renew our lives.

Lord, when we feel lost, empty and alone, may your presence find us, fill us and comfort us and enable us to stand and go on standing.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Quiet Time

When you have been quarantined or self isolating at home, it’s very tempting to sit in front of the TV or constantly check your phone for news and social media for updates. This can add to your stress levels; instead add self reflections to your prayer routine. For every day in May there is an idea for prayer to help renew your mind both mentally and physically.

Jesus took the time to remove Himself and His disciples away from the crowds to be alone with the Lord and to pray. Having quiet time alone with God makes it so we can hear his voice and see his work in our lives.  It doesn’t matter what time of the day, just know that he wants to spend time with us too.

“Evening and morning and at noon, I will pray and cry aloud and he shall HEAR MY VOICE” Psalm 55 v17

A Prayer for Yourself

I am loved, called and chosen. I am rich in every way and generous on every occasion. I’m anointed, appointed, equipped and enabled by the power of God that works mightily within me!  No weapon formed against me will prosper and no enemy scheme against me will succeed.  I live, breathe and serve powerfully under the shelter of the Most High God.  Amen.

The Month of May Prayer Prompts

1st       Good morning, Lord Thank you so much for…..

2nd       Lord, I pray for my friend…..

3rd       Lord, there is sickness in my family, I ask you…..

4th       God, I thank you for my Minister…..

5th       Lord, I pray for our Key Workers…..

6th       Lord, I give you glory for…..

7th       Father, I am really struggling with…..

8th     Heavenly Father, I thank you for…..

9th       Jesus, I just wanted to tell you…..

10th     God, I ask you to bless the home of…..

11th     Father, I pray for our country…..

12th     Lord, I cannot…..

13th     God, thank you for your creation and for creating…..

14th     Lord God, thank you for my family, for food at my table and…..

15th     Today, I want to use the strengths you have given to me…..

16th     Heavenly Father, I pray for Mothers’ Union…..

17th     This morning, I want to lift up my…..

18th     A verse I want to dwell on today…..

19th     I need your help in forgiving…..

20th     Lord bless…..

21st     I am grateful for…..

22nd    Dear Lord, I am thankful for my friend…..

23rd     Lord, I can see you moving in…..

24th     Lord, I sing…..

25th     Dear God, thank you for ….. who has nurtured my faith

26th     Heavenly Father, I pray for my family members…..

27th     I thank you for Jesus …..

28th     Dear Father, will you please help me grow…..

29th     Lord God, I pray for those who are sick…..

30th     Jesus, I want to tell you…..

31st     Heavenly Father, I thank you for this month…..

Dear God, Please give me the strength to endure this situation, and to find blessings and lessons that it contains. Please give me the endurance to continue ahead. Please guide my thoughts, words and actions, so that I walk your path of peace and love. Amen

Barbara

Faith & Policy

Quiet Time

When you have been quarantined or self isolating at home, it’s very tempting to sit in front of the TV or constantly check your phone for news and social media for updates. This can add to your stress levels; instead add self reflections to your prayer routine. For every day in May there is an idea for prayer to help renew your mind both mentally and physically.

Jesus took the time to remove Himself and His disciples away from the crowds to be alone with the Lord and to pray. Having quiet time alone with God makes it so we can hear his voice and see his work in our lives.  It doesn’t matter what time of the day, just know that he wants to spend time with us too.

“Evening and morning and at noon, I will pray and cry aloud and he shall HEAR MY VOICE” Psalm 55 v17

A Prayer for Yourself

I am loved, called and chosen. I am rich in every way and generous on every occasion. I’m anointed, appointed, equipped and enabled by the power of God that works mightily within me!  No weapon formed against me will prosper and no enemy scheme against me will succeed.  I live, breathe and serve powerfully under the shelter of the Most High God.  Amen.

The Month of May Prayer Prompts

1st       Good morning, Lord Thank you so much for…..

2nd       Lord, I pray for my friend…..

3rd       Lord, there is sickness in my family, I ask you…..

4th       God, I thank you for my Minister…..

5th       Lord, I pray for our Key Workers…..

6th       Lord, I give you glory for…..

7th       Father, I am really struggling with…..

8th     Heavenly Father, I thank you for…..

9th       Jesus, I just wanted to tell you…..

10th     God, I ask you to bless the home of…..

11th     Father, I pray for our country…..

12th     Lord, I cannot…..

13th     God, thank you for your creation and for creating…..

14th     Lord God, thank you for my family, for food at my table and…..

15th     Today, I want to use the strengths you have given to me…..

16th     Heavenly Father, I pray for Mothers’ Union…..

17th     This morning, I want to lift up my…..

18th     A verse I want to dwell on today…..

19th     I need your help in forgiving…..

20th     Lord bless…..

21st     I am grateful for…..

22nd    Dear Lord, I am thankful for my friend…..

23rd     Lord, I can see you moving in…..

24th     Lord, I sing…..

25th     Dear God, thank you for ….. who has nurtured my faith

26th     Heavenly Father, I pray for my family members…..

27th     I thank you for Jesus …..

28th     Dear Father, will you please help me grow…..

29th     Lord God, I pray for those who are sick…..

30th     Jesus, I want to tell you…..

31st     Heavenly Father, I thank you for this month…..

Dear God, Please give me the strength to endure this situation, and to find blessings and lessons that it contains. Please give me the endurance to continue ahead. Please guide my thoughts, words and actions, so that I walk your path of peace and love. Amen

Barbara

Faith & Policy

Amazing Grace

‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.’

Ephesians 2 v 8 & 9

Andrea Bocelli sang ‘Amazing Grace’ on Sunday evening in the Duomo Cathedral, Milan.  It was simply beautiful. 

Amazing Grace was written by John Newton, and serves as a beautiful confession of how God’s amazing grace worked in his life. It tells how an undeserving wretch is saved from fete that would await him if it weren’t for Gods intervention.  It tells of a person who has passed through “many dangers, toil and snares,” but is now safely marching towards his heavenly home.

God has always been a God of grace but Easter highlights that quality. The great price for our sin was paid by Jesus Christ.  The grace we receive from God was the most expensive gift ever given. 

‘He has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now revealed through the appearing of our saviour, Jesus Christ, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.’

2Timothy 1 v 9 & 10

God has shown us his undeserved favour and kindness by overlooking our sins; we can rejoice that God’s grace and spirit are working in our lives because we believe in his son Jesus Christ.

The hymn also reminds us of God’s kindness in bringing us safely through difficult times. It reminds us of his mercy and grace to us when we didn’t deserve help and his promise to us for the future-forgiveness and eternal life – they may have been lost but now they’re found.

Grace is the light that comes, not when you expect it, but when you need it.

The words of the Hymn are on page 2.

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The world shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun refuse to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Shall be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

At this time there is anxiety and uncertainty in our country regarding COVID-19.  Our Prime Minister has announced that we must ‘Stay At Home’ and this has increased the fear in all of us.  Prayer is one of the most important things that we can do. It is an opportunity to spend time with God, the power of prayer is so great and it is our tool to win the battle.  It gives us strength and faith.

Do not be Anxious!

Decide that each time, you feel anxious you will stop and pray, “Lord I’m not going to try to figure this out myself, I’m bringing it to you, trusting you for the Answer.”

The following prayer is from the Clogher Mothers’ Union Diocesan Prayer booklet ‘Family Prayers’ and was submitted by Colebrooke/Cooneen Branch. It will bring comfort and strength to us all.

Faithfulness

Loving father, we thank you for all your goodness to us. We know that you are always present with us, and that you will help us through times of difficulty and sadness.  When we find it hard to share our worries and anxieties with those around us, we know that we can turn to you and lay them at your feet.

We thank you Lord that you will always give us courage and the strength we need to meet any situation. Help us to pray every day Lord – sometimes it is difficult to find the right words – but we are assured that you know our thought and deed.  We pray too Lord, that we would never forget to be thankful for the many blessings that you have bestowed upon us, but to come into your presence daily and put our trust in you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I ask that you will:

Pray for medical professionals, caregivers and researchers responsible for fighting the Corona Virus.

Dear Lord,

During your time on earth you showed your power and caring by healing people of all sickness.

Be present now to people who need your touch because of COVID-19. May we feel your power of healing through the care of doctors and nurses who are putting their own lives at risk to save others, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

 

Pray for Leaders who are taking decisions about the

Corona Virus.

Our Father, Be with people making decisions that affect the lives and futures of our families, communities, countries and the wider world. We pray that they will communicate, clearly, truthfully and calmly – with each other and the public – and that their messages are received and heeded, in your name we ask.

Amen

Pray for people in Isolation

 

Dear God, we bring to you are concern for people in Isolation. Take away the fear of isolation from people who are receiving treatment, in self quarantine and now to us all who have to ‘Stay at Home’, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Amen

Pray for the Wider World

 

God of love and hope, you made the world and care for all creation, but the world feels strange right now.
The news is full of stories about Corona Virus.
Some people are worried that they might get ill.
Others are anxious for their family and friends.
Be with them and help them to find peace.
We pray for the doctors, nurses and scientists throughout the world who are working to discover the right medicines
to help those who are ill. Thank you that even in these anxious times, you are with us. Help us to put our trust in you and keep us safe.
Amen.

During these unprecedented times I ask that you will take all necessary precautions to keep your family and yourself safe. I ask you to pray ‘God is listening’.

Barbara

I have attached a link to The Mothers’ Union Website about Resources to support us in Challenging Times. The one below is about Prayer.

Faith & Fellowship – Encouragement To Pray Bible Study

Bible study which can be a quiet individual reflection or used for an online branch meeting

https://www.mothersunion.org/resources-support-us-challenging-times

Mothers’ Union campaigns around the world, through our 4million members in 83 countries, for an end to gender-based violence – violence carried out most often against women and girls because of their gender.

Mothers’ Union engages each year with the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which runs from 25th November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) and 10th December (International Human Rights Day). Throughout the campaign, members join together with one voice, to raise awareness of and call for an end to gender-based violence in all forms, and in all societies. 

This year, Mothers’ Union is focussing on the issue of stigma, where society responds negatively to, or by blaming those who are, victims of gender-based violence. Mothers’ Union is calling on members and others around the world to talk about gender-based violence, and challenge myths and harmful attitudes around it. We are calling on people everywhere to: break the silence surrounding gender-based violence, lift the shame which is often placed unfairly on survivors, and shift the blame from victim to perpetrator. 

Mothers’ Union has produced a set of resources, which you are free to use as you wish, in order to support members and others in engaging with this years vital campaign. 

Thought for February

Take a moment today to reflect with thankfulness on those people you have known over the years who have displayed the grace of God through the way they live – also for those who have been merciful and compassionate towards you or others.

Thought for February

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

Sierra Leone

Mothers’ Union in Sierra Leone is responding to the needs of thousands affected by the mudslides that hit the country’s capital, Freetown. Scores of people have been killed and many people are still missing.

Head of Development and Policy, Nicola Lawrence, has said, “This is a terrible tragedy that has hit a country only just getting back on its feet after the Ebola crisis. We are in regular contact with Mothers’ Union in Freetown and monitoring how we can support their efforts further and in the long-run. In the meantime, we are praying for all those who have been affected.”

A prayer for all those affected by the recent mudslides in Sierra Leone.

Lord, we pray for all affected by the mudslide in Sierra Leone: For those bereaved or physically harmed we pray for your comfort; for those left homeless and in practical need we pray for your provision; for those involved in the clean up and rescue we pray for your strength. Just as you heard the psalmist’s cries for rescue from the mire, please answer our prayers for your people in crisis. In your mercy and grace

Amen
http://www.themothersunion.org/sierra-leone-mudslides-mothers-union-mobilises

The Social Policy Unit

The Social Policy Unit works to affirm our faith and action as Christians through informing ourselves of community issues, suggesting practical initiatives and contributing to local, governmental and United Nation policies especially relating to women.