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Rebuilding Hope and Confidence

by Michael Ford last modified 08 Jan, 2021 08:41 PM

A New Year's greeting from our Diocesan Mothers’ Union has launched the Mothers’ Union theme for 2021 – 'Rebuilding Hope and Confidence'.

Diocesan President Rosie Stiven says:

"The old year closed with increased restrictions for us all throughout the UK. No one likes their freedoms curtailed regardless of the very valid reasons for doing so. Many of us have spent months in enforced isolation due to our vulnerability. We have been unable to share precious time, to physically touch our loved ones, parents and relatives. Significant moments in the life stories of those closest to us – births, graduations, weddings, funerals have taken place as we looked on from afar. What will our emotions be when we remember 2020 – fear, isolation, frustration, anger, despair?

"As I write, it’s very early on New Year’s Day 2021. I look out of my study window and see a white garden – frozen and still. There’s no snow but a very hard frost. Clean and crisp, fresh and new – and then, the first birdsong of 2021. The frost sparkles as dawn breaks and the moon gives way to a pale sun. There’s a feeling of hope in the air.

"Many of you know how much I enjoy candle light. Our trustees are so used to me lighting the ‘Diocesan Renewing Hope Candle’ at the beginning of our Board and Committee meetings. How wonderful that our own Mothers’ Union theme for 2021 – Rebuilding Hope and Confidence – goes hand in hand with our own Bishop Nicholas’ focus of Renewing Hope throughout Salisbury Diocese. How wonderful that we can all be a part of and share in that Hope.

"As we hoover up the last of the Christmas tree needles and put away the decorations in their boxes, we can look forward with hope to the season of Epiphany. And what exactly does that mean? I looked up the word, Epiphany, earlier and as you would expect, found many definitions. However, there was one definition, which jumped off the page at me. It was ‘illuminating discovery’.

"The 3 Wise Men sought and found the Christ Child in the manger at Bethlehem. Their journey brought them to the most ‘illuminating discovery’ of all time. Their discovery has resonated down through the centuries to us, in this new year of 2021.

"Arguably, not only for science, but also for humanity, the discovery of life-saving vaccines in such a short space of time, has to be the Epiphany, the God-given 'illuminating discovery' for our moment. As the Christ Child has given and continues to give hope to the world, so, in this season of Epiphany, we have renewed, God given hope, as the vaccines are distributed.

"I pray that in 2021, we will Renew and Rebuild our Hope and Confidence together, and encourage all those around us to do the same."

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