Mother's Day: Rejoicing, remembering or both.
Read how Lieutenant Emma Howan is incorporating The Salvation Army WM's Remembrance and Thankfulness We Celebrate She cards in an all-inclusive service this Mother's Day. Could you do something in your Corps to celebrate women?
Lieutenants Emma and Jacob Howan work every year at celebrating all women on Mother's Day at The Salvation Army Timaru Corps.
In previous years, the corps have had the opportunity to take cards or light candles for significant women in their life on Mother's Day. 'Not only their birth mothers, but 'spiritual mums' and women in the corps who may have lost children or mothers' says Emma. 'Our corps is blessed with a mother/daughter duo who set up these spaces as a place of ministry every year.'
We Celebrate She incorporated in a service
This year, they will be building on that tradition with Emma and Jacob using The Salvation Army Women's Ministries' We Celebrate She cards. They will be focusing on the cards' themes of thankfulness and remembrance, and telling the stories of three women in the Bible through this lens.
Thankfulness: We will start worship with a thankfulness focus, with Jacob looking at the life of Naomi and Ruth and their incredible mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship. This part of the service will be followed by songs of thanksgiving.
(Back side of We Celebrate She Thankfulness card) 'Thankfulness for those you love and have learned from. May God bless her legacy, in the manner of Mary Magdalene, Martha, Priscilla, Junia, Abigail, Huldah and Elizabeth'.
Remembrance: This will be followed by a remembrance focus. I will be describing the life of Hannah, followed by reflective songs.
(Back side of We Celebrate She Remembrance card) 'Remembrance for those you have loved, hoped for and lost. May God comfort you, in the manner of Hannah and Hagar, Esther, Anna, Sarah, Leah and Mary and Bathsheba.'
Response: To finish, we will move to a time of remembrance and thankfulness, where the congregation can respond with the We Celebrate She cards that are appropriate to their experience of Mother’s Day, and candles or flowers.
The spirit of celebrating women
Emma helped develop the We Celebrate She cards out of her experience of Timaru's inclusiveness and her own desire to honour all women on Mother's Day. In having both Remembrance and Thankfulness cards, she says ‘the opportunity is there for people to engage with all the experiences of mother figures in their lives… honouring all women, and the way different individuals are responding to Mother's Day'.
Emma wrote the following for the Mother's Day service newsletter for Timaru: 'Mother's Day is a day we take time to honour women in our lives. In our worship this morning we'll explore two different ways of recognising Mother's Day - thankfulness and remembrance.
For some of us, Mother's Day is a day of rejoicing. Today let's take time in thankfulness for those women we love and have learned from.
For others of us, Mother's Day is a day of remembering. Today let's take time in remembrance for those we have loved, hoped for and lost. Mother's Day might be a combination of the two for us. We pray that you will find God's comfort today as you reflect on what Mother's Day this year means for you.'
Rejoicing and remembering... Mother's Day might be a combination of the two for us. We pray that you will find God's comfort today as you reflect on what Mother's Day this year means for you.'