In Australia we celebrate Mother’s Day next Sunday, 9 May.
Motherhood is a very special relationship, rated more highly than most others because of the love, dedication and often sacrifice of mothers for their children. That is why Mother's Day is now celebrated across some 50 different countries of the world.
But not all on the same day. In the UK, Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man, Ireland and Nigeria, Mother’s Day was celebrated on 14 March this year.
The UK Mother’s Day, often known as Mothering Sunday, is always held on the fourth Sunday of Lent. From the 1500s, this was the day Christians would visit their “mother church” – where they were baptised, or their local parish church, or their nearest cathedral (the mother church of their diocese).
In later times, Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother church, usually with their own mothers and other family members. It has morphed into a celebration of all mothers and grandmothers.
Other countries have their Mother’s Day at a different time from the UK. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany and Italy are among those that follow the United States, celebrating mums on the second Sunday in May.
The US tradition began with Miss Anna Jarvis, a Philadelphia schoolteacher. In 1907 she started a movement to set up a national Mother's Day in honour of her mother, Mrs Ann Jarvis. Mrs Jarvis had spent her life mobilising mothers to care for their children, and she wanted mothers' work to be recognised.
“I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mothers' day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life. She is entitled to it,” Mrs Jarvis said.
Miss Jarvis sought to fulfil her mother’s wish. She and her supporters began to write to ministers, businessmen, and politicians in their campaign to establish a national Mother's Day.
The first Mother's Day observance was a church service on the second anniversary of her mother's death, the second Sunday of May. Anna handed out her mother's favourite flowers, white incarnations.
By 1911, Mother's Day had spread nationwide and was being celebrated in almost every US state. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as a national holiday in honour of mothers.
Over the years, Mother's Day became increasingly popular, and the current traditions of card and gift-giving increased. The blatant commercialisation angered Anna – she even began to campaign against the greed and profit motive that was demeaning her day of remembrance.
But Mother’s Day continues. Many Christian families ignore the commercialisation, making an effort to show their appreciation for their mums with a special visit, meal, or gift of flowers.
It is sad that the children’s charity Barnardos no longer recognises the unique contribution that mothers make to their families’ wellbeing, ditching the long-standing Mother of the Year award in February.
In this “woke” era, the word “mother” is becoming “politically incorrect”. Barnardos may not have wanted to offend “gestational parents”.
Senay Boztas reported for the Dutchnews.nl that there were more euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands than ever before. According to the Netherlands euthanasia report there were 6938 reported euthanasia deaths in 2020 up by 9% from 6361 in 2019. Boztas reported:
All but two of these were judged to have met the six legal requirements...
The number of euthanasia cases exceeds the previous peak of 2017, when there were 6585 deaths. Numbers fell after a doctor was prosecuted but eventually found not guilty of manslaugher for a controversial procedure involving a woman with advanced dementia.This confirms my comments in previous years when I stated that the drop in Netherlands euthanasia deaths was based on the controversial court cases. Doctors simply don't want to be brought before a tribunal or court to justify why they lethally injected a patient.
Boztas reported that Jeroen Recourt, the chairman of the euthanasia commission was not surprised by this growth.
The data indicated that four euthanasia deaths were connected to the Coronavirus. Boztas also reported that:
As in previous years, dementia was a factor in 2% of the deaths, and psychiatric disorders represented just over 1%. The vast majority of people had terminal cancer, and just two people had advanced dementia.
The Expertisecentrum Euthanasie, formerly called the End of Life Clinic, did however deal with 221 fewer requests than in the previous year, according to its annual report. The body is an option for people whose GP cannot or will not grant a request, or to support complex cases, and last year it was involved with 899 euthanasia procedures.
The Netherlands government announced last year that they intend to extend a form of euthanasia to children under the age of 12 and that they are considering expanding the law to include people who have no medical issues but are "tired of living."
Alex Schadenberg is Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
The article was headed: Thomas the Tank Engine’s creator: Teaching children to laugh and see God.
Few people realise that the popular children’s stories about Thomas and his friends were created by a Church of England vicar from the south of England – whose three abiding loves were God, children and railways.
That “puff puff pastor” was Wilbert Awdry – named after his uncles William and Hubert – who was born in Hampshire in 1911.
After graduating with a BA, Wilbert trained for the Christian ministry in Oxford’s evangelical Wycliffe Hall. He then spent three years teaching in Jerusalem, where the land of the Bible came vividly alive.
He was ordained in the Winchester Cathedral 1936 and married Margaret, whom he had met in Jerusalem, in 1938. They went on to have three children – Christopher, Veronica and Hilary.
As a boy, Wilbert had lived near a railway line, beginning his lifelong fascination with steam trains. So when two-year-old Christopher was ill in bed with the measles, his father soothed him by telling stories about humanised steam engines.
Young Christopher loved the stories but was a stickler for detail. He complained that the tales were a little different each time Wilbert told them. So Wilbert wrote them down. His wife, noting the scarcity of children’s books at the time, urged him to seek a publisher.
“Despite several rejections the doughty clergyman persevered and his book was eventually accepted,” said David Furse-Roberts.
The moral themes of the Bible came to life on “Sodor“– the fictional island created by Wilbert off the English coast.
“Life there was not all rosy… The engines often exhibited the familiar human traits of pride, envy and contempt for ‘outsiders’ such as Bertie the Bus and Terrance the Tractor,” David said.
It was not long before the vicar’s stories about Thomas and his friends, along with the Fat Controller, became a runaway success. They sold more than 50 million copies in Britain and abroad, before enjoying a new lease of life on TV from the early 1980s.
“Awdry envisioned a universe that remained fashioned by a good and loving creator,” David said. “While the ‘Fat Controller’ was often a figure of fun, the portly gentleman of Sodor represented a firm yet kindly father-figure that had the power to reward and punish his engines.
“In the world of Sodor, there was always redemption and forgiveness. Offending engines were disciplined for wrongdoing but never scrapped. With the Bible replete with stories of God always giving his people another chance – from Yahweh’s forgiveness of King David to Jesus’ restoration of the Apostle Peter – the grace of the gospel was never lost on Awdry and his railway tales."
Like Phil Vischer’s Vegie Tales and C.S. Lewis’s Narnia classics, the Thomas stories communicate Christian moral themes while captivating children of all backgrounds.
Towards the end of Awdry’s life, his biographer asked how he hoped to be remembered.
The old vicar replied that he “helped people to see God in the ordinary things of life, and made children laugh”.
And please pray that Thomas and his friends will escape today’s “cancel culture” that has even targeted the delightful Dr Seuss…
As WA endures increased COVID-related restrictions, two meetings this week on:
LGBTQ Ideology and WA Anti-Conversion Law
Are now happening online via Zoom webinar, tonight or Thursday night,
Meet James Parker, former gay activist and others young West Australians who have left behind their LGBT identity and found new life in Jesus Christ. Hear their stories of Hope, Vision and Dignity. LGBTI activists want the WA Labor Government to enact legislation that denies these people’s very existence, and criminalises those who helped them on their journey.
Such laws have been passed in Queensland, ACT and Victoria. The freedom destroying provisions of the Victorian Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act 2021 will be explained. This will help you understand why even the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Alliance strongly opposed this legislation.
Be informed! Don’t let this happen in WA! Have your say!
We will email a Fact Sheet after the meeting to all who attend.
Two times are available: – pre-registration is essential: