Wednesday, 24 July 2024

A Time for Friendship

Moravian Women's Association Away Day

On 22 April minibuses and cars from around England descended on Hall Green, Birmingham. As the MWA Away Day, it was truly a time for friendship. For many, it was the first Away Day since before the pandemic: an opportunity to rekindle longstanding friendships and meet new friends.

The day opened with the glorious sounds of a rousing 'singspiration', led by Sr Diane Thornton. The first hymn was 'As we are gathered, Jesus is here' and we sang many joyous hymns before concluding with 'I'll go in the strength of the Lord.'

The formal start was marked by a warm welcome to Hall Green by Sr Lorraine Shorten and the MWA President, Sr Gillian Taylor.

The roll call of Circles showed how many people from so many places were meeting together. We also heard of two examples of the MWA growing by meeting in different ways: the Saplings and Peartree are groups making use of technology to share and come together.

The President's Report provided details of donations to charities in the last year, plus how the Disaster Fund had been used to support people in Pakistan following the floods and in response to the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. The total of the project money was £2,445.

Based on suggestions from the Circles, the Executive have chosen next years theme as 'Fruits of the Spirit'. Finally, Sr Gillian offered warm thanks to current, retiring and new members of the Executive team. A warm thanks was also offered to Sr Gillian for all her hard work.

Two Bible readings, from Esther and Ecclesiastes, set the context for the address delivered by Sr Susan Quildan-Foreman. A time for friendship was emphasised, and we were encouraged to be beacons of hope.

The morning came to a close with the singing of 'Lord, for the years, Your love has kept and guided'. Time for lunch gave more space for chatting and laughter rang around the hall. A special thanks here to those who set up the hall and served refreshments.

We then went to workshops: Tai Chi, Bible Study, Card-making, Singing and Meditation1. I truly valued the Meditation workshop: I suggest others did by the relaxed expressions as we left the room. I am confident each of the workshops was a positive experience allowing time for learning and sharing.

The Away Day Communion Service was led by Sr Kathryn Woolford. It was then time for refreshments and to head home, having put the Away Day date of Saturday 13th April 2024 in our diaries; looking forward to meeting up once more and sharing friendship.

On a personal note, this was only my second Away Day so let me share my thoughts of the day. I admit I arrived with some trepidation of 'do I know anyone?' This was quickly replaced by my amazement at the level of laughter, communal fellowship and warmth of folks I had never met before. I left with a smile on my face and a genuine sense of having attended a lovely event.

Before closing I would like to offer a warm thanks to the Executive Committee and all who made the day such a fulfilling and joyous occasion.

Sr Mary Holmes

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Church House is the Headquarters of the Moravian Church in the British Province and is located in London at:
Moravian Church House, 

5 Muswell Hill, 
N10 3TJ


020 8883 3409

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