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St Albans Diocesan President's Letter - Autumn 2020 Newsline
Dear Fellow Members
Well, we have certainly been ‘through the mill’ as the saying goes! Since I wrote my last letter for Newsline, we have had Coronavirus (Covid-19) been in lockdown, slowing started to come out of it only to go back into various forms of lockdown depending on where we live. My goodness I think we are all a little dizzy from the merry-go-round we are finding ourselves on at the moment. Our one and only constant is God and the knowledge that He loves us and is there for us.
Your trustees, very gingerly, held a physical trustee meeting in September, our first one since the beginning of March. We have been meeting via zoom every couple of weeks which is why St Albans Diocese have been able to continue supporting the hospitals, refuges, keeping in contact with Yarls Wood, the Contact Centre and other projects around the diocese. Brenda Cottle, our MUe manager, has continued to keep busy with orders via email, post and with members visiting her car port and buying her goods. I am so impressed at how branches and groups have been keeping in touch with one another, either by telephone, post, zoom and occasionally via social gatherings, when allowed and keeping socially distanced. MU St Albans is alive and kicking!
As you are aware, we now have our own FaceBook page, Kathie Lally is happy to post any updates you have and if you are able to help with FaceBook please get in touch with her and have a conversation. (All our details are on page 2.) It is a great way to spread the news of what is going on, how we are continuing to work in partnership with one another and letting non-members know all about MU and what we are involved in. If you go into FaceBook and under the search button at the top type in ‘MU in St Albans diocese’ you will find updates from other members. Do share with your friends and families, MU might be ‘the best kept secret’, but it is time for us to share and, you know my favourite manta, ‘Shout out loud’ that you belong to MU and be proud of what we do!
You will find later in this edition our Annual Reports including accounts for our November Zoom Meeting. This zoom meeting is alongside our Autumn Sharing Day. Zoom has become the new norm for many people enabling us all to keep in touch with one another. I know not everyone has a computer/laytop/iPad/Smart phone, but it is the nearest we can get to having everyone meeting together, plus members can join by telephone. The day is Saturday 7th November and we will be holding two zoom meetings that day. The first will be from 10.30am – 12.15pm and will involve the business of the day plus a talk from Bev Jullien our CEO from MSH and the second from 2pm – 3pm, will be in the form of a service with the commissioning of the Cluster Coordinators and Cluster Chaplains. The zoom details and agenda appear with the reports, I do hope as many of you as possible will be able to join us.
Our diaries this year have been all over the place, with the majority of events cancelled. While this is a shame, we have still managed to move forward as a diocese. I have had zoom meetings with Branch Leaders, Group Contacts, Cluster Coordinators, trustees, our Provincial President, other DP’s from around the province and of course our Central Office at MSH. They have also been busy, providing support to MU members and continuing to help women and families all over the world survive in one of the most challenging periods in modern history, alongside wars, famines and other disasters that the world faces. I hope you have been able to join in the Midday Prayers that is being provided daily on FaceBook. It is truly amazing to discover on the chat scroll that members join in from as far away as Australia, Nigeria, India, America, Canada, and many more countries near and far. I am continually being surprised. Some diary dates have been kept, for example, Lady Day services were held and we have the 16 Days of Activism coming up this month.
We are living in a rapidly changing world at the moment and everything we know has been turned on its head. But we have one constant, our Lord. He has been there for us through the good as well as the bad times and if we continue to have faith we will come through this pandemic, maybe not the same but with a new normality that will bring fresh joy and blessings.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our meeting on the 7th November.
With my continued love and prayers