On Wednesday 14th October, 65 members gathered in Holy Trinity Parish Church, Lisnaskea for the Autumn Council meeting which commenced with a service of Holy Communion led by the Rector, the Revd Alan Capper. The Diocesan President, Dr Margaret Knox welcomed everyone and thanked the Rector, the Revd Alan Capper for leading the service. She also thanked the organist as well as the vestry members for the use of the church. She especially thanked, Doris Johnston, Branch Leader for all her preparation for the evening and the members for the lovely supper.
Dr Margaret introduced the speaker, Moira Thom, All-Ireland Fundraising and Communications Unit co-ordinator, who spoke on how the activities and projects undertaken by Mothers' Union locally and nationally make a difference to communities and families around the world. She reminded everyone that they are one of 4 million members in 83 countries. Projects such as AFIA (Away From It All holidays) supporting families who have been through difficult times, supporting hospitals, child contact centres, prison Visitors' centres, Women's Aid and Simon communities.
Projects such as Literacy and financial Education Programmes are making a difference overseas. Since the year 2000, 130,000 illiterate adults can now read, write and count. In 2004 Mothers' Union began in Ethiopia and in 2012 Literacy programmes began there. To date 1240 people are enrolled leading to changing attitudes towards education. Only 29 per cent of Ethiopian women are literate. The sale of the recipe book produced by the Unit for Mums-in-May 2015 was a resounding success and will easily cover the cost of the Ethiopian project as planned. Moira concluded saying that it is thanks to all members who raised this money through cups of tea' the end result being that women (and men) of all faiths and none becoming literate and numerate. Dr Margaret thanked Moira for her informative and inspiring presentation and presented her with a gift.
Dr Margaret then introduced the business part of the evening. In her remarks she stated that this was her final Council report and that she had enjoyed the privilege of visiting many branches in the diocese and hearing of all the excellent work done as well as the astonishing number of long service certificates awarded. She mentioned the themes of the last 3 years and the events she attended since the Spring Council meeting. She concluded by thanking all members for their support and special thanks to the Secretary, Diane Whittaker. Dr Margaret then introduced her successor, Mrs Irene Boyd, and asked members to support Irene in prayer. She wished Irene every blessing in her new role and pinned on the diocesan brooch.
The diary of events was reviewed.
Valerie McMorris gave details of the Prayer Vigil - Activism Against Gender-based violence' to be held in the Hilliard Room, St Macartin's Cathedral Hall, Enniskillen, from 3.00 - 5.00pm on Saturday 28th November.
Mrs Irene Boyd will be commissioned as Diocesan MU President on Friday 15th January 2016 in Colebrooke Parish Church at 7.30pm.
She also mentioned the Prayer Breakfast on Saturday 20th February 2016 in the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen, at which the speaker will be Jacqui Armstrong, All-Ireland Faith and Policy Unit co-ordinator.
The meeting ended with the saying of the Grace.