Mothers’ Union members urged to explore global identity at diocesan service
The bond of identity connects Mothers’ Union members around the globe, Archbishop Michael Jackson observed at the Dublin and Glendalough Diocesan Festival Service yesterday evening (Thursday September 15). The Archbishop encouraged members in branches throughout Dublin and Glendalough to reach out to their counterparts around the world by Zoom for inspiration and energy.
Representatives of Mothers’ Union from around the dioceses attended the annual service in St Saviour’s Church in Arklow. It was hosted by the Arklow, Inch and Kilbride branch who provided warm hospitality after the service, including a special cake, and the Rector, Canon Arthur Barrett welcomed the congregation. The service was led by the diocesan chaplain, Canon Leonard Ruddock.
In his sermon, the Archbishop said Mothers’ Union had much to celebrate. The organisation was engaged with parishes and communities the length and breadth of Ireland and internationally, he said. He commended MU’s work in addressing the trauma of gender based violence and abuse and enabling those who experience it to be heard, upheld, supported and comforted while raising awareness amongst the wider population.
Archbishop Jackson emphasised the importance of connections and partnerships across dioceses and provinces. “On every level, I suggest that we in Dublin and Glendalough need much more of this sort of connectivity. This type of stretching is good for us, painful though some of us may find it. It makes us all the stronger to know that our identity connects us compassionately and prayerfully with people beyond ourselves and people we do not know and may never in fact meet. I say this because there is the powerful bond of belonging we share through The Mothers’ Union. It is the bond of being children of God and inheritors of the Kingdom of God. This transcends advantage, race and class. This is our identity,” he stated.
He said both readings [1 Timothy 1: 12–17 and St Luke 15: 1–10] led to the heart of the Christian faith, speaking of repentance and restoration. Repentance was seen as a road to dignity and full belong and the restoration of humanity in a new and different identity, he explained. It pointed to new beginnings, new priorities and new possibilities. With this new gift of grace, the Archbishop encouraged Mothers’ Union members to construct a hierarchy of urgency.
“As disciples of Jesus Christ living in the world of today, in a secular Ireland where religion is under pressure and where religion puts itself under pressure, what are the matters of urgency that really count? … If you feel lost, if you feel overwhelmed, ask your Branch Leader to set up a zoom call with fellow Mothers’ Union members in other parts of the world where survival and provision are themselves an urgency. If you feel inspired, take the energy that you get from this encounter into your local neighbourhood and re–kindle a spirit of generosity and service which gives a focus and an outlet for the goodness and the community spirit of Mothers’ Union members. Each Branch can do this. The whole Diocesan Mother’s Union can share and rejoice in it,” he said.
Speaking at the end of the service Diocesan Mothers’ Union President, Ada Lawson, encouraged members to open their minds to new experiences, particularly as everyone was starting out again together after the pandemic. She asked members to keep communicating.
She reminded members of a number of upcoming events including the Worldwide MU President’s visit in early November. D&G MU has organised a full programme for the 16 Days of Action Against Gender Based Violence starting on November 25 and she urged all members to get involved. Full details will be available shortly.