Faith Development Unit
Role of the Faith Development Unit:
- To support members in their faith as it applies to the Mothers’ Union’s vision
- To research and campaign on faith and policy issues relevant to the vision and aim of Mothers’ Union
- To enable members to be active in areas of faith and policy
- To network and liaise with external organisations nationally and internationally on faith and policy issues
Mothers’ Union Listening, Observing, Acting – in step with God, is our theme for 2019.
MULOA puts spirituality back into members’ lives and our worldwide organisation. Spiritual transformation can and does happen, but this is an going process, which has already evidenced shared goals and shared “good news”. The Church can be rebuilt and re-energised through Bible reading/ study, which brings others back to God and his plan for us all.
Jesus Christ is our spiritual leader and as Christians, we grow day by day to become more Christ-like. If we don’t tell others about Christ, who is going to? Much of Jesus’ teaching shocked his listeners. He wanted them to love their enemies, to do good to those who were spiteful to them, to ” take up your cross” daily. This challenge has not gone away. We are still called to turn the world upside down, to serve others and put our faith in God. We all have our part to play.
Prayer is the bedrock on which MU is founded and it is the most powerful tool we have to bring us closer to God. The uniqueness of MU is its spirituality and the most difficult and decisive part of prayer is the ability to listen. Jesus’ attractiveness did not lie in glitter and hype but in his ability to listen and to be with others. People relate to people and by encouraging engagement with our members, so our faith journey will develop and grow.
We aim to develop the faith of our members, and the faith of Christians of all ages. We aim to encourage and nurture those new to faith, and reach out in Christian love to those of little or no faith.
“There are many things in life that will catch your eye but only a few will catch your heart – pursue those
Lady Day Service Llandaff Cathedral
Welcome to our Diocese of Llandaff Mothers’ Union Lady Day Service from Llandaff Cathedral our Mother Church. As we strive to rebuild our hope and confidence in God after the traumas of the past year, we pray we will be inspired and equipped to help rebuild hope and confidence in the lives of others. So, we gather together online to celebrate the example of Mary whose hope and confidence in God was evident throughout her life.
Call to worship.
We offer this time of worship to our glorious Lord
who will rebuild our hope and confidence.
We rejoice that God is our Saviour
whose promises stand firm forever.
Blessed are we who have believed
that the Lord will fulfil his promises to us!
Our souls glorify the Lord
and our spirits rejoice in God our Saviour. Amen
Opening hymn – Tell Out My Soul
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord:
unnumbered blessings, give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his word;
in God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his Name:
make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age to same;
his holy name, the Lord, the mighty one.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might:
pow’rs and dominions lay their glory by;
proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.
Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word:
firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to children’s children and for evermore.
Timothy Dudley-Smith © 1961
Gracious God, you have done so much for us
and we so little in return.
You ask for humility
and we are often a proud people.
You ask for willingness
and we are often a stubborn people.
You ask for repentance
and we are often a deaf people.
You ask for service
and we are often a busy people.
Gracious God, you want the best for us.
Teach us obedience
grant us forgiveness
that we, like Mary
might be your willing servants. Amen
© John Birch
Exploring the Word – following the thread of hope and confidence which runs through the life of Mary.
In her initial response to the Lord’s call upon her life, Mary declared her hope and confidence in the word of God.
The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants for ever; his kingdom will never end.’
34 ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’
35 The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.
37 For no word from God will ever fail.’
38 ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Luke 1:30-38
The truth of Mary’s hope and confidence in the word of God was evident to those who had also encountered the Lord’s divine intervention in their life.
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfil his promises to her!’ 46 And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour. Luke 1:39-47
Mary treasured the outworking of God’s word and took time to ponder its depths.
The shepherds hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:16-19
Even when God’s word through Christ was hard to understand, Mary had the wisdom to treasure it deeply.
When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.’ 49 ‘Why were you searching for me?’ he asked. ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’
50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.
But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. Luke 2:48-52
Having put her hope in God’s word through the years, Mary had the confidence to encourage others to follow his instruction.
Jesus’ mother, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’
4 ‘Woman, why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My hour has not yet come.’
5 His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’
7 Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’
They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realise where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, ‘Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink;
but you have saved the best till now.’ John 2:1-6, 7-10
At the time of Mary’s greatest sorrow her hope and confidence in all God had spoken to her through the years kept her faithful to her dying son on the cross and she was blessed once more by the word of the Lord.
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing near by, he said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son,’ 27 and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’
From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. John 19:25-27
As the wonders of Pentecost approached Mary was to be found still following the word of her Lord as she joined in prayer and waited for the gift of the Spirit.
Jesus gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. Acts 1:4-5, 14
Throughout her life, Mary continued to put her hope and confidence in the word of God. In doing so, as she experienced the wonder of Pentecost over 30 years on from the Nativity, she may even have said to God, as was spoken of the miraculous wine at Cana, “You have saved the best till now.”
Hymn- Come Down , O Love Divine
Come down, O Love divine,
Seek though this soul of mine,
And visit it with thine own ardour glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
Within my heart appear,
And kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.
O let it freely burn,
Till earthly passions turn
To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
And let thy glorious light
Shine ever on my sight,
And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.
Let holy charity
Mine outward vesture be,
And lowliness become my inner clothing;
True lowliness of heart,
Which takes the humbler part,
And o’er its own shortcomings weep with loathing.
And so the yearning strong,
With which the soul will long,
Shall far outpass the pow’r of human telling;
Nor can we guess its grace,
Till we become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.
Our souls magnify the Lord,
and our spirits rejoice in God our Saviour,
for he looks with favour upon us
and sees our unrealised potential.
In the tradition of Mary,
and all who have said “yes” to God,
we stand here today,
to add our assent to theirs.
Like Mary, we feel overwhelmed;
we wonder if we are worthy,
or capable, of following the calling.
Like Mary, we have our questions
and we will not be afraid to ask them.
Like Mary, we will hear and ponder
the assurance that God will empower us.
Like Mary we will strive to say –
“Let it be with us according to your will.”
To whatever God is inviting of us
at this time in our lives,
and relying on God’s grace,
we say “yes.”
Ann Siddall; ©2018
Take My Life
Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee;
take my moments and my days,
let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
at the impulse of thy love;
take my feet, and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing
always, only for my King;
take my lips, and let them be
filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
ev’ry pow’r as thou shalt choose.
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
Frances Ridley Havengal
Prayers of intercession
Lord, listen to your people.
There are many crying out for justice.
Their wait goes on and hope is fading:
Lord hear their prayers,
build their hope,
renew their confidence in you.
Lord, look upon your people.
There are many seeking for answers.
Their search goes on and hope is fading:
Lord hear their prayers,
build their hope,
renew their confidence in you.
Lord, bring comfort to your people.
There are many longing for peace.
But conflict remains and hope is fading:
Lord hear their prayers,
build their hope,
renew their confidence in you. Amen
Mothers’ Union Prayer
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
As our Saviour taught us, we boldly pray:
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heav’n to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation,
enter every trembling heart.
Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
into ev’ry troubled breast;
let us all in thee inherit,
let us find thy promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning,
Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.
Come, Almighty to deliver,
let us all thy grace receive;
suddenly return, and never,
never more thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above;
pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.
Finish then thy new creation,
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee.
Changed from glory into glory,
till in heav’n we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.
The Sending Out
Christ the Son of God, born of Mary,
fill you with hope and confidence
to trust his promises and follow his will;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen