Archbishop of Canterbury's advisor on Reconciliation encourages Mothers' Union to move outside its comfort zone and build on its strength
Canon Sarah Snyder, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Advisor on Reconciliation, called on Mothers’ Union members at our General Meeting in Edinburgh on Saturday to be Ambassadors of reconciliation.
In her keynote address she spoke about her work around the world and brought it home by explaining that “one of the most powerful tools for reconciliation is to show hospitality – not just to our friends, but to those outside our comfort zone.”
Canon Snyder, a member herself, went on to encourage fellow members and described the movement as being wonderful at hospitality, “How can we build on this strength, to extend our reach, in ways that move us beyond our comfort zones, and help us to live out the call to be ambassadors of reconciliation?”
Finally, she asked members how they can be ambassadors of reconciliation in their families, community and beyond. How they can be a voice for women around the world serving as ambassadors of reconciliation in risky places and “How can we as a worldwide network of women and mothers, answer God’s call, to every one of us, to serve as His ambassadors and His ministers of reconciliation?”
In response, Mothers’ Union’s CEO Bev Jullien, proposed two pledges to members. Firstly, they voted overwhelmingly to support the following call to action:
“We, a global movement of four million members, many of whom have experienced directly the impact of conflict on the lives of women and children, and are actively involved in peacebuilding, call for women’s voices to be heard, and their needs represented, in all areas of peacebuilding and conflict resolution.”
Members, who attended from as far afield as Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago, and throughout Britain and Ireland, also wrote down their own personal pledges of what they planned to do when they returned home.
“Much of what we do in our communities is the work of reconciliation, but we don’t put a name on it,” explained Bev Jullien. “We just get on and do it. We are out on the front line. Canon Snyder has encouraged us and inspired us today to build on what we are doing,” she continued.
In her speech, Worldwide President, Lynne Tembey, talked about the many ways Mothers’ Union is at the front-line all over the world. She described the work of Mothers’ Union groups in Truro Diocese who give children starting school their very own little “Teddy Horsley” and share with them his adventures, linked to Bible verses. “The aim is to encourage trust and a sense of security for the children, saying you are not alone, someone cares for you and you have someone to care for,” she said.