World Wide Regional Meeting
World Wide Regional Meeting
Toowoomba 2-7 March 2008
Report from Ireland - added 22/5/2008
MU Australia President - Conference Report
What a busy time we’ve had in the past few months!
All the preparation, frustration and hard work made for a smooth running Conference.
Lois had the difficult task of coping with travel and visa problems; Shirley found all the necessary billets in Brisbane and involved a number of her members in making sure our needs were met while in Toowoomba.
The World Wide Regional Conference in Toowoomba was very successful from a planning and participation viewpoint. Our Australian Leaders were wonderful hostesses and fulfilled their part in the preparation, so making this Conference a great team effort by creating a friendly and caring atmosphere that is not always easy to achieve when people of different cultures meet for a short time. These Leaders now have so much to share with you through the knowledge they have gained and experiences shared with a diverse group from around the World.
Do invite your Diocesan President to your branch so that she can share her experiences of Mothers’ Union in your region.
For those of us who were on the Planning Committee, names on emails are now real people with whom we have built new working relationships. Brisbane members joined us for the Opening Service at St Luke's, Toowoomba and provided the evening meal. Thank you all for your work and sharing your time with us.
Executive members were not part of the Toowoomba Conference, but were able to meet with Rosemary Kempsell, Reg Bailey, Jean Price and Jane Groves in Brisbane the following week at the MU Australia Executive meeting. Their experience was very different, but of equal importance. Vision was shared, relationships developed, an understanding of World Wide Projects and a better working knowledge of how Mary Sumner House operates, was gained.
From this meeting we will see new directions emerge as ideas are developed.
Members of ABM travelled to Brisbane to have discussions with MSH staff about working in partnership with MSH staff in Papua New Guinea and Melanesia. This was the first step that will see a three way partnership between MSH, ABM and MU Australia. This will mean that MU Australia will be more directly involved in development work in our Region.
I believe that this will bring renewal and will invigorate our members as we become more familiar with the needs of our area. It will also prevent projects being done in triplicate.
Once again, I urge you to invite Diocesan Presidents and Executive members to your branch meetings to share their experiences.
During my term of office, I have been encouraging you to become involved in local and Diocesan Mission, so that we fulfil our vision “to extend Christian care to families and win homes for Christ.” The time we spent in Toowoomba and Brisbane, sharing with fellow members from the Asia Pacific Region, was a time of nurture and growth for our Leaders. A wider Vision was caught and problems and new ideas shared. The Quilt that is MU Worldwide came to life as new pieces were added, and we saw where the old pieces now fitted.
The future is exciting, the possibilities endless, as we as a team, rise to seize the moment and bring renewal into our home branches.
Our passion and commitment as Leaders, is to help empower you as fellow members with renewed hope and vision, so together we can shape Mothers’ Union for the 21st Century in Australia.
Human needs do not change, only the way we meet those needs in modern environments and communities.
The words of “In the streets of every city” – Jubilate Hymns; (words by Mrs B Perry and music by Chris Rolinson); are for me, a rallying cry to members and could well become a signature hymn for MU Australia.
I leave you with the words of the chorus:
Where it matters, there you’ll find us,
Where it matters, there you’ll find us serving Jesus;
Where it matters, there you’ll find in the service of our Lord.
Are you where it matters?
Report and Photos - with thanks to Anne Kennedy, Diocesan President, MU Melbourne
“Let me tell you a story! The young man had been jailed, leaving his wife and young family to fend for themselves. They came together in a special room at the Prison which was decorated brightly and full of children’s toys. As he gently cradled his three month old baby in his arms for the first time, he said “I couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for the Mothers’ Union”.
This was just one of hundreds of stories describing the incredible difference that MU is making around the world today. Ninety delegates to the historic Special World Wide Regional Meeting from countries all over the world spent six days in sunny Toowoomba, Queensland, led by World Wide President, Rosemary Kempsell, and CEO, Reg Bailey with a team from Mary Sumner House.
Each day was underpinned with prayer and Bible Study, as MU Provincial and Diocesan Presidents and MU Workers wrestled with issues facing women and families right now in so many places and conditions.
Common threads ran through members’ concerns and joys in discussions and workshops helping the delegates learn more about MU mission world wide, and how to keep the movement’s vision relevant to families today. Discussions included many diverse projects such as Literacy Development, HIV/AIDS awareness, family breakdown, substance abuse, emergency relief, gender equity education, micro-finance and seeding fund assistance, partnerships and pastoral care.
The unveiling of the new world logo gives a new focus for the work of the Mothers’ Union as an internationally recognised and locally relevant mission of the Anglican Communion.
Photo Gallery 1
Photo Gallery 2
Photo Gallery 3
Photo Gallery 4
thanks to Christine Jensen, Diocesan President, MU Sydney
(Photos from Christine)
Can you imagine learning to read and write merely using a banana leaf and charcoal or by cutting up margarine containers to write on?
It was very humbling to hear of how MU was working in countries so different to our own. Representatives came to this inaugural Special World Wide Meeting from Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, Myanmar, South India, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Canada, USA, The West Indies, UK and Ireland and a team from Mary Sumner House including the World Wide President Rosemary Kempsell and the CEO Reg Bailey.
MU makes it possible to develop and maintain projects in developing countries which assists with our MU vision. We heard how the MU workers in Melanesia, PNG and Myanmar are there to implement these projects and be ‘salt and light’ to those who do not know the Lord Jesus. One of the challenges I think is to not lose the focus of winning the families of each country for Christ. People are so needy, the labourers are so few and it’s always hard to make sure this happens.
However MU in the ‘west’ is struggling with ageing membership and it is crucial that we address this problem. It was a common theme but there were not many answers.
The highlights for me were the Spotlights on each country when we had a taste of how women were endeavouring to reach out to others often in the midst of great difficulty. In South India women on the poverty line are seed funded by MU to make candles which they can sell and begin to start their own business. In Melanesia mothers again on the poverty line want to raise money for their children’s school fees. They are taught to sew, and cook. The money they make is collected and kept until the time comes when they need it and in Myanmar women are trained to sew. At the completion of their training they are given a sewing machine which they can keep and use to raise money to support their children’s education.
On our final day we shared in the Women’s World Day of Prayer prepared by women in Guyana in the West Indies. We had women from Guyana with us who led us in that service. How moving that was!
Deane and Lois along with Shirley Beale from Brisbane are to be thanked for the tremendous effort in planning and preparing for the conference. It was a great time.
last updated 22/5/2008