Encouraging Faith

Story telling

Children love stories, and reading them Bible stories is a great way to help even young children begin to hear about a God who loves and cares for them. Children like to get involved in helping to tell the story, and this also helps them to concentrate.

The props for this story telling session, that of The Lost Sheep, are small knitted animals, which can be introduced to the children at the appropriate point in the story, and together with the story teller, they can use the animals to help act out the story.*

Prayer shawls

Members and friends get together to pray and share fellowship, and whilest together, they knit prayer shawls. These are given to anyone the group hears of who might appreciate one. A card and a prayer is added to the shawl.

So many recipients have said how much comfort they get from just having them wrapped around them or close at hand - my own mum refused to be parted from hers, and even as she lay dying her hand strayed often to feel if it was nearby

Hand in hand

Hand in Hand is a booklet that aims to help families enjoy faith as a family. There’s also a series of practical ideas sheets that families could use, which can be downloaded from the Mothers’ Union website.

Are there families you know who might like a copy? Are there members you know who are in touch with families who might like to know about this resource?

Could it be offered to parents coming along to a Mothers’ Union parents’ group?

Books of comfort

These books of comfort provide inspiration and support to individuals and families. At some point in our lives, most of us will experience a difficult time, and these books of comfort are intended to offer support, and a reminder of a God who loves us and sustains us.

The books of comfort, put together by groups of members, include:

Advent travelling crib

Many branches around the UK & Ireland help individuals and families focus on the meaning of advent, by passing round a hand knitted replica of the Holy Family*.  Some dioceses add in story books, prayers and poems which families can read together.

The travelling nativity stays with a family overnight and is then taken by that family to the next recipients. Often, levels of interest in this advent initiative mean that there are several knitted nativity scenes circulating round a parish at the same time.

Prayer trees

As people find out that Mothers’ Union is a Christian faith based agency, caring for the family, they often ask us to pray for them.

At Wedding Fairs, members from the Diocese of Norwich invite couples who are preparing for their marriage to write down their prayer request on blank cards which they provide, and then tie their prayer to a branch on a tree.

At the end of the day, these cards are given to members who will then pray for the couples.

This great idea would work in many other contexts too.

A cross in my pocket

Using cross stitch, members make these crosses and then give them out to family and friends, and in many other contexts too, praying for these people. It’s amazing how grateful people are when they receive them, appreciating the care and thoughtfulness that the gift of a cross represents.

Depending on who the crosses are given to, it’s sometimes appropriate to enclose a short prayer within the cross pocket. (For the pattern and prayer see below).