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 Thursday, May 9, 2019
Mother’s Day is coming. I always get in trouble with my mother because I can’t remember if in NZ it’s Mother’s Day, the second Sunday of May, or Mothering Sunday the 4 th Sunday in Lent, on which the opening sentence begins with Rejoice! Whichever it is, I am bound to get it wrong; sorry Mum.

So, what’s the difference between Mother’s Day and Mothering Sunday? Mothering Sunday is a festival of the Church on the 4 th Sunday in Lent. Its origins lie in the 16 th century as the day that people revisited the church in which they were baptized i.e. their mother church. The local cathedral, as the mother church of the diocese also qualified for a visit if one’s own mother church was too far away. People were said to have gone a mothering on Lent 4. In Britain in 1914, inspired by  Anna Jarvis's efforts in the United States,  Constance Penswick-Smith  created the Mothering Sunday Movement, and in 1921 she wrote a book advocating the revival of the festival.   British merchants saw the commercial opportunity in the holiday and relentlessly promoted it; by the 1950's, it was celebrated across all the UK.

The first American celebration of Mother’s Day – the 2 nd Sunday in May was in 1908. From 1905, Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Grafton, WV, which to this day houses the International Mother’s Day Shrine – who knew?

In 1908, the  U.S. Congress  rejected a proposal to make Mother's Day an official holiday, joking that they would also have to proclaim a "Mother-in-law's Day". However, owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all U.S. states observed the holiday. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother's Day, held on the 2nd Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers. Like its British counterpart, American commerce was not slow to see seize an opportunity. Jarvis roundly decried the commercialization of this day, however, soon after its inauguration, Hallmark Cards started producing Mother’s Day cards.

Many of us have complex emotions with regard to our mothers. Our mother’s face is the first face we come to know, the first eyes we behold our reflection in, the first smell we register, the first voice we hear. Such a crucial relationship is vulnerable to mishap, no matter how good-enough – a phrase coined by Donald Winnicott, the renowned 20-Century British pediatrician and psychoanalyst . Mothers needed to be good-enough and not perfect , remembering that the quest for the perfect in this arena of life is certainly the enemy of the good. Yet an early experience of a disinterested or unavailable mother will leave its mark. But lest you think I place too much responsibility at mother’s door, let me add that the success of the mother-infant bond is crucially dependent on the way the mother herself, is supported by the father or significant other. Mothers are supported not only by fathers or significant others, but crucially by all of us through the kind of society we want to be.

Mothering is an essential attribute of God – who is also mother as well as father. Mothering is broader than just women; mothering is a transgendered responsibility. Men also can be good-enough mothers! Mothering sets the tone for children’s early development and emotional security. We as a society frequently fail the women and men who are responsible for mothering through our failure to promote social and economic policies supportive of family life and child development. In a country that eulogizes mother and apple pie, the US ranks very low down on the scale of nations where public policy supports family life and child development; such as maternal and paternal paid leave, supported childcare, public pre- school and free kindergarten education.

For many of us, Mother’s Day is an opportunity to express feelings of gratitude for the love our mothers gave us. For some of us, Mother’s Day will be an opportunity to reaffirm the forgiveness of heart that is the only antidote preventing difficult memories of being mothered continuing to blight the quality of our future life.

Come celebrate mothers and mothering, both the human and institutional kind, with us in church this Sunday!

Mark +

Mother’s Day
is fast approaching! !

Beautiful porcelain, crystal, jewelry, scarves, and clothing, including linens and cottons, dresses, and skirts.

Come visit us at The Thrifty Goose!
Wed-Fri-Sat 10 am to 2 pm

It's spring and a great time to start downsizing those unneeded items. Help them find a new home in
the CLOAK!

All donations are greatly appreciated, and help us support the work of Harrington Hall, Camp Street Ministry, Open Closet, Savers, the Soup Kitchen and the RI SPCA.


(Track 1)

will be hosted by Brigit Timpson.
The Gates of Justice
by Dave Brubeck
Performed by the RI Civic Chorale and Orchestra
Saturday, June 1, 7:30 pm
Immaculate Conception Church
237 Garden Hills Drive, Cranston
Click HERE for more info
*See Beth Shearer and Hal Conner for discounted tickets
Providence Preservation Society
Festival of Historic Houses

Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16
Paterson Park neighborhood on the East Side

Support St. Martin's Ministries here !