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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Festival 2017 issue

Mothers’ Union notes

Our members were pleased to be invited by the Waterlooville Baptist Church Women’s Fellowship to their Anniversary Service on Tuesday 4th April.

After a welcome and introduction by Lucie Whittaker there were hymns, prayers and two beautiful solos sung by Valerie Lindridge.

The guest speaker - the Rev Kate Macfarlane (from Hartplain Church) spoke from our reading (Luke 10:v38-42) - the story of Mary who sat at Jesus’ feet and listened while her sister Martha busied herself with many tasks. Martha felt that Mary should be helping her but Jesus said that Mary was right.

Rev Kate said that sometimes we are too busy in our own lives to take time to listen and be open to what Jesus teaches and perhaps we should slow down a little and “be more and do less” in our lives. A great talk!

After the service a lovely tea was served in the adjoining hall.

Lent Group

We held a weekly Lent Group working from a booklet supplied by USPG. Its theme and title being “Living an Authentic Life”.

This five week course explored the meaning of discipleship, with Bible readings, questions and stories from India, Malawi, Pakistan, South Africa and England.

This was an excellent study course which gave us the opportunity for discussion and to share our thoughts and feelings within the group.

Faith in Action

Our speaker for April was Sue Kanavan, speaking on this year’s Mothers’ Union theme, “Faith in Action”.

She reminded us that Faith should always be at the heart of MU Mission and Outreach.

Branches around the country are involved in over 140 projects and ventures. It is a long list, including providing toiletries and sleeping bags for the homeless, welcoming refugee families, helping to run Messy Church and having stalls at Wedding Fayres, organising quiet days and retreats, and AFIA Holidays.

Members knit squares for blankets, hats and fingerless gloves for fishermen and teddies for traumatised young children.

They sew and fill emergency toilet bags for hospitals - and so many other things, some I had heard of (some we do at our branch) and some which were new to me.

Sue included in her talk a story about an old man walking on a beach after a storm, where a lot of starfish had been thrown up by the waves and left stranded on the shingle. He saw a small boy carefully picking up as many as he could and throwing them back into the sea. The old man told him that the few he could save would make very little difference, but the boy replied that it made a lot of difference to each individual starfish that survived. This was to illustrate the value of even the smallest project - I thought it a rather good little tale.

Sue is an excellent speaker and very easy to listen to.

Afterwards our Diocesan President, Rev Elizabeth Groves who was with us that afternoon, presented Pam with a certificate marking her 60 years as a MU member, and to Eileen who has reached 70 years membership. Both great achievements!

May meeting - Terry Davis: Stella’s Voice

I had noticed their shop in Waterlooville Precinct (we had our two week “Pop-up” Church shop opposite them last Autumn) but I had very little idea what the charity raised funds for - and who was Stella?

Terry told us that after the Soviet Union withdrawal from Moldova (a small Eastern European country between Romania and Ukraine) the country was left in a very poor state, with dreadful conditions especially in the state run orphanages. On hearing of this, groups of volunteers set out to bring aid and make repairs.

Orphaned children were, and still are, particularly vulnerable in Moldova. At 16 they have to leave orphan homes and, abandoned and destitute, can easily fall prey to traffickers - as sex slaves, forced labour, or for extraction of their organs for sale.

Stella’s Voice Charity takes these young people in - there are Stella’s Houses for the girls and Simon’s House for the boys.

They are cared for, encouraged and supported through education to University level, taught life skills, craft training, found employment and housing and most importantly they are taught to value themselves.

This is a Christian-based Charity which began in Scotland. They have five shops, in Peterhead, Aberdeen, Havant, Portsmouth and Waterlooville. They aim to spend as little as possible on publicity and shop fittings and as much as possible on the care of their young people.

And Stella? She was a disabled young girl who they met at one of the orphanages they helped. One day she vanished - she’d been sent back to her village where she’d been trafficked as a sex slave - and had died aged 19 of Aids.

Stella had no say in what happened to her and no voice, but through this charity her name lives on and many young men and women will have a voice and a future to look forward to.

Janet Johnson