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Remembrance

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,  a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time  to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)

Creative idea, “Hands up for peace”

Give everyone a piece paper and ask them to draw around their hand. Using scissors cut out the shape. Write on each paper hand a prayer for peace and harmony both in our own communities and around the world. Pray for an end to discord and conflict so that we can all live together peacefully as God intended from the beginning. Stick these prayers onto a large piece of card. Perhaps find a place in your church to display it and include an MU logo.

Prayers

We remember all those who work to bring peace and reconciliation. We pray that the MU can continue to be a voice of reason in society and actively participate in all that makes for peace.

Dear Lord,
We thank you for our family and friends – help us to remember the lonely.
We thank you for the food we enjoy – help us to remember the hungry.
We thank you for our health –help us to remember the sick.
May these remembrances stir us into active service, so that your gifts to us may be used to help others. Amen.

Lord God of the nations,
Whose sovereign rule brings justice and peace,
have mercy on our broken and divided world.
Pour out your peace into the hearts of all,
that all races and peoples may learn to live
as members of one family in obedience to your law,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/3774/remembrance_resources.pdf

Thanksgiving

I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.
Psalm 7:17 (NIV)

Creative idea, starting a branch “Please and Thank You Book”

Use an A4 notebook and ask people to add the names, situations and projects that are on their minds and hearts at the moment. As well as requests, think of things to be grateful for and thank God for answering our prayers. The prayers within it can be gathered together by the person leading the prayers holding the book and saying:

Dear Lord,
You always know whatever is uppermost in our hearts, we ask that you will hold the petitions written in this book within your loving hands and intervene to help those in need. We give thanks that you always answer our prayers and we trust in the knowledge that your ways in all things are perfect. Amen

The book could be made available at subsequent meetings. Alternatively slips of paper using the downloadable template below could be provided and these made into a prayer collage.

Prayers

Please pray for our Diocesan projects and give thanks for the generous resources that have been provided in terms of people, time, commitment and donations.

Dear God,
We love you and we need you, this day and every day.
Thank you for your blessings in our lives,
Thank you for your great love and for all your goodness to us.
May we always be willing to give you thanks and praise. Amen.

Father God,
Teach me to be joyful always, to pray continually and to give thanks whatever my circumstances. Help me to accept them as your will for my life and to adopt an attitude of humility and thankful acceptance. I want to grow ever closer to you and I know that your truth dwells in a thankful heart. Amen

Prayer Template

Harvest

When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19:9-10 (NIV)

Creative idea, guess the number of seeds

You will need one apple and a knife to cut it open.
Hold up an apple and ask everyone how many seeds there might be inside it. Cut the apple open and count the seeds to discover who guessed correctly.
All of these seeds have the potential to grow into an apple tree and produce fruit of their own.
In the parable of the sower, Luke 8:4-15, Jesus teaches that the seed is like the Word of God. In the right situation it will grow and flourish.
Have a discussion about who first told them about Jesus, who sowed the first seed. Thank God for all these people, e.g. parents, friends, Sunday school leaders, church leaders.
Our faith calls us to love one another and to share what we have been given because everything comes from God.

Prayers

We pray for the people who are hungry and will not eat properly today. May we find ways to support those who run food share schemes in our communities.

O Lord our God,
We pray that the seed we sow
today will bring a harvest that
causes continued dew upon the
earth to sustain the seed in our hands.

May we always have seed to sow
and rejoice when we see the
transformation that reflects the image
of God in your people all over the world.
Amen.

http://www.christianaid.org.uk/harvest-appeal

Holidays

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land  and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11(NIV)

Creative idea, write a postcard to God

Write a postcard to God thanking him for all the happy times that you have shared with family and friends this year. Think of the places you have visited. If you haven’t been able to go away on holiday, remember all the fun that you have had in past years.

You can use the template below to print some onto white card or purchase blank postcards from The Works, Rymans or W.H. Smiths.

Prayers

We pray for our “Away From It All” holidays, for those who organise them and the people who take the holidays. Help us to find new ways to raise the funds to run the schemes in future and to reach out to families in need.

Lord God,
We pray that you will bless us and our families during these special months of summer.
May our homes be places of relaxation, joy, love and peace.
Help us to be considerate and kind,
thinking about others and helping everyone enjoy the blessings that come from you in summertime.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

Summer Prayer

Creator of all, thank You for summer!
Thank You for the warmth of the sun and the increased daylight.
Thank You for the beauty I see all around me and for the opportunity to be outside and enjoy Your creation.
Thank You for the increased time I have to be with my friends and family, and for the more casual pace of the summer season.
Draw me closer to You this summer.
Teach me how I can pray no matter where I am or what I am doing.
Warm my soul with the awareness of Your presence, and light my path with Your Word and Counsel.
As I enjoy Your creation, create in me a pure heart and a hunger and a thirst for You. Amen.

© Source unknown

Postcard Template

Family Life

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV)

Creative idea, thinking about relationships

Below is a blank photo montage template to download and fill in. Quietly and prayerfully reflect on the relationships (past and present) that are and that have been significant to you.

Now write some of those people’s names in the any of the blank shapes.

  • Who do you need to affirm or thank?
  • Who do you need to get in touch with?
  • Who do you need to forgive?
  • Who needs your peace?

If you have time later in the week you could make a new photo album or sort out old ones. Spend time in prayer with the photos of those who matter to you – they are God’s gift to you.

Resource taken from, “Seasons of my soul, conversations in the second half of life” Published by Methodist Publishing 2014. ISBN 9781858523989

Prayers

We pray for the members who support the Diocesan project at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford; remembering those that help the families whilst their young baby is in hospital and those who provide the toiletries that enable them to stay close to their loved one. 

A Prayer for Children

Loving God,
your Son told his disciples
to become like little children.
Lead us to work for the welfare
and protection of all young people.
May we respect their dignity
that they may flourish in life,
following the example of the same
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

A Prayer for Family Life

God of compassion,
whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary,
shared the life of a home in Nazareth,
and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself:
strengthen us in our daily living
that in joy and in sorrow
we may know the power of your presence
to bind together and to heal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/topical-prayers/prayers-for-family-life-and-children.aspx

Photo Montage Template

Using Our Talents

Creative idea, finding Your Gift

Print and cut out the “Gifts of the Holy Spirit” cards (download the template below), ensuring you have enough for one for each person. These are just a few of the gifts of the spirit (you might like to add cards for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). On the day set up a table to one side as a prayer station with perhaps a lit candle and a copy of the Bible on it.

Read the Bible reading then invite everyone to come forward and take one of the “Gifts of the Holy Spirit” cards on the table.

Bible Reading, Romans 12:6-8 (NIV)

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Once everyone has taken a gift of the Holy Spirit, say the prayer together:

Dear God,
We pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit:
wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, and piety.
May we always feel the presence of the Holy Spirit directing us and guiding us.
Help us to use the gifts that the Spirit offers to help others who struggle with decisions in their own lives.
And may we do all this in love and service to you, O Lord. Amen

 

Prayers

We pray for the members who use their skills of needlework and knitting to create beautiful objects for our many projects. We thank God for their ability and pray that they continue to be able to provide these gifts that bring joy and pleasure to many.

God of love and of life,
May you help us discover where our strengths lie and give us the perception we need to discover the gifts that we possess.
We give thanks for the talents you have blessed us with and ask you to direct our lives in a way that best uses our own unique combination of gifts.
Give us the courage to show others the talents they have and help us serve others in the community and in so doing build up your kingdom.
We ask this through Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit cards template

Living Fire

Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord. When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful. Share with God’s people who are in need. Welcome others into your homes.
Romans 12:11-13 NIRV

Creative idea, circle dancing

God sent his Holy Spirit to guide us to live as Christians, and to help us offer him prayer and praise. The flame symbolises the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and the movement of the Holy Spirit now. Try undertaking a simple circle dance together to symbolise the Holy Spirit moving within you.

Choose a gentle piece of music then all join hands in a circle. Gently sway from left to right feeling the rhythm of the music. Be aware of your connection to the people next to you and nominate a leader to guide you in some simple steps or in raising your arms up and down. Try to move together as one. Continue for as long as it feels comfortable.

If dancing is difficult for the participants or there is insufficient space sit and listen to the music, ask people to close their eyes and imagine they are dancing. Feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Prayers

We pray for the mission undertaken by members of the Mothers’ Union around the world, for the Literacy and Development projects and the work to support impoverished families. Help us to do everything that we can to help this valuable work continue so that we can reach out as God’s hands to those in need.

“The divine awakening produces in the soul of the perfect flame of love…that living flame which is the Holy Spirit Himself…this is the operation of the Holy Spirit in the soul that is transformed in love, that His interior actions cause it to send out flames…This flame wounds the soul as it is given, but the wound is tender, and, instead of causing death, it increases life…”

John of the Cross

Dear Lord,
Bless our work as we seek to show your love in our own families, the communities where we live and our family in Christ across the world.
Make us ready to proclaim your message of love, peace and hope and to be prepared to offer a voice of reason in the dissonance of modern life.
Let us be your willing conduits here on earth so that you can use us to fulfil your will in the world as we reach out in love to our brothers and sisters in need.  Amen

Easter

While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.
Luke 24:4-8 (NIV)

Creative idea, finger labyrinth

Download this finger labyrinth template.

Use the finger labyrinth to focus your prayers today. As you trace the lines think about Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and the others with them who found the empty tomb and ran to tell the disciples. What is your first memory of hearing the Good news? Give thanks for all the people who teach and share the Word.

Prayers

We pray for the members of the Clergy who live and work in the Oxford Diocese. We pray that they will support the Mothers’ Union as members and co-workers in our projects. We pray that God will deepen the bonds between us so that together we may share the Good News in our communities.

Dear Lord,
We give thanks for all those who have answered your call and generously dedicated themselves to service in your church.
We pray for all our Clergy and ask you to bless them in their work, which they carry out in your name.
May you grant them every good thing that they need to accomplish your will. Continue to encourage them in their vocation, helping them to live according to your wishes so that they may share your love with everyone they meet.
Enkindle in our parishes a missionary zeal and inspire others to join us in our work so that together we may meet the needs of our local communities and thus promote your Kingdom here on earth. Amen.                  

Halleluiah! Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed!
May this declaration resound throughout the world
touching the lives of all who hear it.
May it be forever the truth of which we speak
and the call that guides our daily lives.
Halleluiah! Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed! Amen

Dear Lord,
We thank you that Easter is for all people
who confess with voices, hearts and lives
that the tomb is empty because Jesus is risen,
that we might know forgiveness,
that lives might be reborn and your name glorified 
now and for eternity. 

“The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.”

Basil C Hume, (1923-1999) Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster

Lent

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

Creative idea, a wooden cross with salt dough prayers

God gives us unconditional love and He loves each of us the same regardless of our merit.

Remember that Christ died for us and will always be there for us, willingly carrying our burdens. Use the dough to represent how God’s love has inspired your life in your actions towards others in the world. Now place your shape at the foot of the cross as a symbol of your continued service to Jesus, our Lord.

Standing Crosses are obtainable from:

And many other places

SALT DOUGH RECIPE

  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 cup of flour

METHOD

Add the 1/2 cup of salt and 1 cup of flour to a bowl, and stir in the water adding it slowly.  You may not need all of the water. You want the dough to be dry. If it gets sticky add more flour. Knead the dough, then flatten out and shape it as wanted.

Once you have made the shapes you want then you need to dry them so you can paint or write on them. Traditionally salt dough is dried in the oven which takes about 3 hours at a low heat so they don’t burn. But instead, you can swap your oven for a microwave and microwave on high for approximately 90 secs.

Prayers

We pray for the marginalised people in our society. For the homeless, people who use food banks and those in prison. Help us to support the projects that allow members to walk alongside these people in their time of trouble. May we be generous with our time and provide the resources needed so that we can support this important work.  

A Prayer before a crucifix, by St. Francis of Assisi

Most High, glorious God,
enlighten the shadows of my heart, and grant unto me a right faith,
a certain hope and perfect charity,
sense and understanding, Lord,so that I may accomplish
Thy holy and true command. Amen

At the foot of the cross, in silence, we pray for those who cannot pray, for those who suffer and for everything which troubles our hearts. Lord God, your sacrifice and suffering have made us whole. In silence we pray now for love, for healing and for peace of mind. 
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Take my life, and let it be by Frances Havergal

Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne,
Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Dear Lord, 
Let me reach out and feel your hand to guide me,
so that everything I do this day and in this season of Lent
comes from you and is inspired by you.
Help me to remember that you are the only truth
and to keep my focus on you at the centre of my life.  Amen

Love one another

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)

Creative idea, Newspaper Prayers

God calls us to love one another and as members of the Mothers’ Union we reach out as His hands to help others in need. Take a current newspaper and divide the pages so that each member can each find an article to focus on. Talk about these together and then compose a prayer for the people, location or situation it describes.

One format is to say:

Thank you Lord that you always listen when we pray, we pray today for the people involved in …………… and ask that you help them at this time.

You could vote for the most deserving cause and all agree to focus on this in your daily prayers over the coming week.
If it is a local paper you could choose some recent Birth, Marriage and Death Announcements. Pray for the people named and their families.

Prayers

We pray for all our members and the work that they carry out for the Mothers’ Union in the Oxford Diocese. We pray for the members of the Indoor Member Prayer Circle and join our prayers with theirs for the future success of all our endeavours.

Let Us Love One Another
Let us love one another and pray;
Let us love one another and be faithful; 
Let us love one another and be humble,
be filled with the charity of God;
Let us love one another with God, in God, and for God;
And we shall thus be one with Him for all eternity.  Amen

(Prayer of Cornelia Connelly who founded the Society of the Holy Child Jesus)

Dearest Lord,
May we leave a trace of love from our journey here on earth,
a tangible thread that bears witness to our faith and endures so that future generations fully understand how truly wonderful you are. Amen

What’s New

Upcoming Events

  1. Zoom Meeting St Michaels Tilehurst

    April 26 @ 7:45 pm - 8:45 pm
  2. Diocesan Members Zoom Meeting

    May 4 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
  3. Zoom Meeting Newport Pagnell

    May 6 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
  4. Zoom Meeting St Michaels Tilehurst

    May 24 @ 7:45 pm - 8:45 pm
  5. Zoom Meeting St Michaels Tilehurst

    June 28 @ 7:45 pm - 8:45 pm

Verse of the Day

“[Christ crucified is God’s power and wisdom] For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” — 1 Corinthians 1:18 Listen to chapter . Powered by BibleGateway.com.