ABOUT THE WOMEN ORGANIZATION
Mother’s Union is an international Christian charity that seeks support for families worldwide. Its members are not all mothers or even women, as there are many parents, men, widows, singles and grandparents involved in its work. Its main aim is to support monogamous marriage and family life, especially through times of adversity. It was founded in 1876 in the Church of England parish of Old Alresford, near Winchester, by Mary Elizabeth Summer. She was inspired to start the movement after the birth of her first grandchild. She wanted to bring mothers to all social classes together to provide support for one another and be trained in motherhood, something which she saw as a vocation.
In 1885, Ernest Roland Wilberforce, the first Bishop of Newcastle, was preparing to address church-going women at the Portsmouth Church Congress; finding he had nothing relevant to say, he contacted Mary Summer to speak in his stead. After the initial hesitation she spoke and the women present were encouraged to return to their parishes to set up similar women’s meetings and the Bishop of Winchester, who presided over the congress declared that, the Mothers Union become a diocesan organization.
AIM & PURPOSE OF MOTHERS UNION
To demonstrate the Christian faith in action by the transformation of communities worldwide through the nurture of the family in many forms.
1. To uphold Christ’s teaching on the nature of marriage and promote its wider understanding.
2. To encourage parents to bring up their children in the faith and life of the church.
3. To maintain a worldwide fellowship of Christians united in prayer, worship and service.
4. To promote conditions in society favourable to stable family life and the protection of children.
5. To help those whose family has met with adversity.
Mothers’ Union emphasizes the importance of prayer, underpinning its work. Each year, Mother’s Union organizes a “wave of prayer” whereby each diocese is given a set day to pray for other dioceses and within each branch is given a specific time to pray.
I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Philippians 4:13V
MOTHERS UNION PRAYER
Almighty God our heavenly father who gave marriage to be a source of blessing, we thank you for family life with all its joys and sorrows. May we know your presence and peace in our homes, fill them with your love and use them to your glory, bless all who are married and every parent and child, pour out upon us your Holy Spirit that we may truly love and serve you, bless all members of mother’s union throughout the world, unite us in prayer as we seek to do your will, through Jesus Christ our Lord (Amen).
MOTHERS UNION HISTORY IN NIGERIA
The Mothers Union in Nigeria was founded by Mrs. Abigail Oluwole in 1908. Today, the Mothers Union covers the fourteen Ecclesiastical Province of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) namely, Lagos, Diocese of the Niger, Niger-Delta, Ibadan, Ondo, Kaduna, Owerri, Bendel, Jos, Abuja, Enugu, Aba, Kwara and Lokoja. With these fourteen provinces are about 167 Dioceses, with the headquarters in Abuja and headed by the wife of the Primate of the Church of Nigeria. The membership is open to women who are baptized, confirmed and wedded in the church.
The Women’s Guild was founded by Mrs. Frances Melville Jones (wife of R.T. Jones, the Bishop of Lagos). It was inaugurated on 23rd May 1921. It was founded in order to cater for all the women folk, who for one reason or another cannot join the mothers union.
ROLES OF WOMEN’S GUILD
1. To read the Holy Scripture and pray every day and to learn a verse from the Bible every week.
2. To uphold the sanctity of marriage and the upbringing of our children and servants in the right way, and to teach them to pray every day and every night.
3. To avoid being debtors, to avoid living corrupt lives and drinking intoxicating wine and to avoid speaking filthy words.
4. To attend church services, class meetings and Guild’s meeting regularly.
5. Evangelism: Helping people to discover Christ.
6. To visit the sick, physically handicapped, the aged and the bereaved.
WOMEN’S GUILD PRAYER
“O God Heavenly Father, we pray you to bless every member of our Guild. Cleanse us with the blood of Jesus Christ our Saviour so that we may be cleansed from all our sins, bind us in love and prayer, help us to keep all rules of the Women’s Guild, make us trustworthy women and loving mothers. Help us in all our efforts to make others know you, that at least we may reach the heavenly joy, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.”
MOTHERS UNION/WOMENS GUILD IN YEWA DIOCESE
The inauguration of Egbado Diocese on the 2nd November 1990, as the 26th member of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) automatically brought about the existence of the Mothers Union and Women Guild in the Diocese. The consecration of the Rt Rev’d. T.I.O Bolaji on 1st November 1990 then placed the wife, Dr. (Mrs.) M.O. Bolaji, a pediatrician of repute, a mother in Israel and a Deborah of our time as the very first president of the organization.
PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES OF THE PRESIDENTS CENTRED ON THE FOLLOWING
1. Flower Service (Celebration of couples)
2. At the feet of Jesus (Monthly prayer meetings organized by the prayer and Spirituality department)
3. Clergy wives Retreat
4. Women Harvest service
5. Midyear Thanksgiving
6. Women Conference
7. Diocesan Train The Trainers
8. Christmas party for special children
9. Christmas party for women, girls and Roses of Christ
10. Christmas party for Clergy and family
11. Joint Re-dedication service
12. Women Sports Fiesta
13. Family Funfair
14. Archdeaconries local conferences
15. Mothering Sunday
16. Annunciation of the Virgin Mary
17. Women Wave of Prayer
18. World Day of Prayers
19. Women Vigil
20. Mission Outreaches