Encouraging Faith

Capital Vision 2020

Members in the diocese of London have joined the Anglican diocesan initiatice Capital Vision 2020.

The idea is to join others across London in committing to pray for seven people who they could share their story of faith with.

A card was produced explaining the initiative on the front and two prayers on the back with space to record the names of those with whom they hope they may share their story of faith with.

Knitted Angels/Wooden Spoons

Mothers's Union members in the diocese of Coventry took part in an Inspired Day run in the diocese Throughout the meeting participants learnt about initiatives run in other parts of their diocese and thourght about new ways of reaching communities.

As a result of the session a branch leader came away with the idea of knitting little angels to give to baptism families, which was already being done by members elsewhere in the diocese. She consulted her vicar, who encouraged her branch to start knitting.

Keeping in touch cards

Mothers' Union members make cards and send them to people who cannot get to Church or have moved away. Sometimes, cards are sent to people who members know are very busy, who feel they don't have time to come to Church.

Writing cards enables members to let those people not at Church know that Mothers' Union and the Church community still care and think about them. Those receiving the cards will still feel part of the Church community even if they can't be there.

Blessing gifts for beneficiaries

Mothers' Union members often produce items such as baby gowns, blankets, teddies and shawls which are given as presents to members of their community for example, new parents.

Once the items are finished members take them to a Church service or Mothers' Union meeting so that the items can be blessed before they are given to those they are intended for.

In this way the Church can also continue to pray for those receiving the items.

Messy palms

In 2012, Mothers’ Union and Messy Church came together at Liverpool Cathedral for a celebration of Palm Sunday – Messy Palms!

250 people attended, children and adults enjoying crafts, activities, worship and a picnic. People could write graffiti, wondering what the people of Jerusalem thought about this king riding on a donkey and make Palm Sundaes with crushed biscuits and green jelly.

During the time of celebration, everyone was encouraged to join in by waving their banners and palm leaves.

Prayer cushions

Mothers’ Union members and their friends in the Diocese of Cork provided prayer cushions to help furnish the newly established ‘Quiet Room’ of Brandon Grammar School after being approached by the principal of the school.

Beany bags and cushions were made from recycled material such as old curtains, upholstery from chairs, etc and then filled with beans.

All of the bags and cushions have the Mothers’ Union logo sewn on to them.

Prayer chains

Prayer is at the heart of Mothers’ Union. As well as participating in midday prayers, some dioceses also arrange prayer chains.

In the Diocese of Cork, a bimonthly prayer sheet is also put together by the Mothers’ Union Faith & Policy Coordinator and sent to all those who have indicated they want to receive it.

Care is taken to ensure that no personal details are shared without first seeking permission.

Baptism 'leaves'

Each church will have its own special way of enabling the whole church family to welcome and pray for the baptism family.

This idea comes from a Scandanavian church and is most appropriate for the baptism of a child already known in the church.

Each member of the church congregation, whether adult or child, is given a paper template of a leaf at the beginning of the service.

Gifts for baptism families

In many churches, members offer a very special welcome to the child and their family as part of the Baptism Service, helping to form a basis for the ongoing relationship the church hope to have with the family.

In Peterborough, members often present the baptism family with a flower and candle posie*. Some churches do not allow lit candles to be presented to the family, which is what inspired these members to make candle posies, which look lovely even with an unlit candle.