TOUCH- the official newsletter for the Ministry of Empowerment IN THIS ISSUE: HOW TO BEAT THE FEBRUARY BLUES. PAGE 2 COMING SOON… DATES FOR YOUR DIARY. PAGE 3 WHAT A DISNEY FILM CAN TEACH US ABOUT TRUE LOVE. PAGE 4 A YEAR IN PICTURES; WHAT HAS MOE BEEN UP TO IN 2013? PAGE 5-6 FASHION TIPS WITH YVONNE PAGE 7
What Happened to All Those Resolutions? How to Beat the Spring Blues. Each New Year, many of us make resolutions. We decide to eat less, exercise more, work harder, achieve more, be ‘better’. By spring, many of these resolutions have already fallen by the wayside, and we may feel discouraged and ashamed that we have once again ‘failed’ to improve ourselves. Why is this pattern so familiar? Over and over, we set ourselves the challenge of self-improvement, only to find ourselves despondently accepting that we will never achieve what we set out to. Perhaps the problem starts even before we make our resolutions. If we believe that in order to be happy with who we are, we must be slimmer, fitter, smarter, or better qualified, we set ourselves up to fail. It is hard to succeed, when we don’t believe that we are already loveable and likeable. It’s a lot like trying to climb a mountain with a sack of rocks on your back; undertaking the difficult task of getting fitter, healthier or achieving more (all of which are great goals!) whilst carrying around the belief that until we achieve these things, we are not good enough. When we hold these negative ideas about ourselves, obstacles and setbacks can feel personal, a confirmation of our low self-belief. We may find ourselves thinking ‘I can’t lose the weight, because I’m no good’, or ‘I didn’t pass my exam, because I’ll never amount to anything’, or ‘My boss is upset with me because I am a disappointment’. The truth is that difficulty rarely means anything about us. Problems will arise; that’s a sad fact of life. Many women triumph against the odds. Their journeys are not free from adversity, but they already value and accept themselves, so mistakes and setbacks cannot deter them. A woman who believes that she is accepted just as she is, may fail an exam, or argue with her boss. Yet when she does, she will be able to encourage herself, and resolve the situation, spurred on by her kindness and patience with herself. A woman with strong self- belief will get up again, as many times as it takes to achieve her goal. As the February blues hit, and setbacks to our goals occur, let’s encourage ourselves that we are already of worth and remind ourselves that no matter how many times we fall down, we can get back up again; not because we have anything to prove, but because we don’t. You are of great value, right now, with all your mistakes and setbacks and disappointments. Make 2014 the year you decide that they won’t determine your future.
Ever felt isolated or misunderstood? Need help achieving your goals? Need support to move forward from negative life events? MOE are offering 10 FREE sessions of practical and therapeutic activities offering s upport and encouragement in Health and Wellbeing for women like you. It will be an opportunity to meet with other women in a safe, confident, non - judgmental and happy environment. Register your interest at email@example.com PLEASE NOTE: There are limited places for this event. _________________________________ YIPP will be offering Maths 4 Fun sessions this year. Boost attainment whilst ha ving fun! CAPTION YOUR PHOTO H ERE Children aged 7 - 11 years welcome. For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org Annual Family Conference August 15 th - 17 th Contact email@example.com for more inform ation _________________________ Women’s Spring Retreat Windmill Farm Cost: £120 Ministry of Empowerment, ACTS House, 30 Union Road, CR 0 2XU. www.ministryofempowe r ment.org.uk
An Act of True Love; A Kiss, A Snowstorm and a Revelation. I’m a self-confessed Disneyaholic. If you happened to be passing by Croydon last Sunday afternoon, you might have spotted a cinema full of children enjoying the newest Disney epic, Frozen. A cinema full of children and me, that is. I’d like to say I’m a parent and was only there because my six year old dragged me there by the hair. That wouldn’t be true though. I’m not a parent, and I was there simply because I love Disney. Initially, it seemed like Frozen was going to follow the usual predictable Disney formula. Within fifteen minutes of the opening credits, the beautiful protagonist Anna finds herself swept onto the dance floor by a dashing Prince. Lonely and vulnerable after the death of her parents and estranged from her older sister, Anna is delighted to have found someone to share her life with. Apparently having sorted out the romance question, Anna sets off to rescue the kingdom from an eternal winter, and free herself from a shard of ice which has found its way into her heart. Along the way, Anna learns that to save herself, she needs to experience an ‘act of true love’. She travels across the Kingdom, trying to find her ‘true love’s kiss’ to break the spell. Hopeless romantic or not, I couldn’t help thinking the idea seemed a little stale, especially given that she seemed to have found her true love at the beginning anyway. After spending most of the film journeying to the Snow Queen’s kingdom, was she really going to just go home and kiss the guy she met over an hour ago? Even for Disney, who clearly believe love is only ‘true’ if the first kiss is passionate enough to turn beasts into princes, sleeping beauties into waking ones, and dead princesses into live ones, that seemed a little pathetic. That brought a smile to my face; a Disney film about sisters and forgiveness. As women, we don’t all get to have a happily ever after with the perfect prince. Some of us are only too familiar with ‘real’ life and the pain and disappointment it brings. We probably all know what it’s like to feel alone. We’ve probably nearly all been swept off our feet by the wrong person, at one time or another. I would guess most of us know what it’s like to have a loved one hurt us so much that it feels like ice really has entered our hearts. We do all get to be sisters though. We all get to find the strength to help someone else, even when we’re hurting ourselves. We get to learn what true love is, from each other. In my life, I’ve had many sisters. Some of them have caused me more pain than I care to remember, others have brought more healing than I could ever have imagined. The most beautiful friendships I have are the ones where I’ve had to exercise forgiveness, or been forgiven myself. In the end, it is not a passionate romance that can break the winter of isolation, and melt the ice in our hearts, but forgiveness; an act of true love. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I love Disney; because in a culture as cynical as ours, they still make films about true love. I’m just glad that at last, like me, they’ve come to realise that the greatest act of true love isn’t a kiss; it’s forgiveness. To my delight, it seems that, unlike me, Disney has grown up just a little. In the end, the not so charming Prince betrays Anna, and it is not his kiss that melts the ice in Anna’s heart, but a selfless act that she herself carries out for the sister who has hurt her so much. It struck me that, unless Anna had forgiven her sister, she probably would not have risked so much to save her.
Choreography and Craft In Croydon. An overview of just some of the great things MOE achieved last year. YiPP Fest 3013 A talented group of young performers delighted their audience this summer, at the long awaited YIPP Fest. YiPP Fest, run by the young people themselves, raised funds for the Youth In Partnership Project. The day included music and dance, a BBQ, raffle and sale of Hamabead accessories and was attended by many Croydon residents. The dance routines featured were choreographed by Charlene Isaac. Charlene commented that “These young people have worked so hard over the hot summer weeks... We realise that this was no easy ride. But having said that, there is no hesitation amongst the young performers to repeat the performance again if they have the opportunity!“ Touch hope that the young people are as proud of themselves as we are. Dorothy, founder of the Ministry of Empowerment concluded,“ The young people involved have been dedicated and enthusiastic throughout the whole the preparation process. We wholly commend them for their efforts and dedication.” Community Day MOE hosted a Meet and Eat day for elderly residents of Croydon. Guests took part in chair exercise therapy. Family Drop-In @ The Crescent School Thanks are due to the head teacher, Jane Fairburn, for use of the facilities for our family drop in. Sponsored Walk The walk raised funds to support the work of Ministry of Empowerment. May Bank Holiday Fun Day A day of fun for the whole family, hosted by MOE.
Ministry of Empowerment Annual General Meeting On 25 th January, we held our Annual General Meeting. It was a fantastic chance to reflect back on the past year, give thanks for all our blessings and celebrate all our achievements. Our founder, Dorothy Johnson, gave a presentation summarizing the events of the past year, and looking forward to the year ahead. She also welcomed several new members, board members and volunteers. New Members: Mother Logan Beatrice Dale And our thanks to Board Members: Dorothy Johnson Min Althea Smith Angelicia Dalrymple Gloria Williams Nicole Dryden Lurline Deslandes Lesley Carr Lurline Reif Min Gwen Madden Co-Opted Board Members: Caroline Thomas Asante Pastor Patricia Yeboah Faith Thomas New Volunteers: Leroy Robinson (Website) Maria McGrath (Newsletter)
Fashion with Yvonne Put a Little ‘spring’ in Your Step By Yvonne Pascal While most of the high street shops are still selling off their winter stock, if you look carefully, you’ll notice that spring fashion is also sneaking onto the shelves. Black is giving way to navy and grey and sweet candy colours are taking the place of jewel tones. To get the spring 2014 look, wear your pastels toned with a splash of bright colour. Fabrics are evolving and it’s nice to see that chiffon and lace, usually worn in winter, will be sticking around this spring. To get the look, choose very sheer chiffon blouses and skirts, with detail worn on hem and sleeves. Designs are fluid and loose but still feminine and shapely. Prints range from bold florals to vivid jungle both in pastel and bright. Keep the stripes simple and colourful, think art project. Lace may be heavy in design, but the light texture and colours make it the perfect addition to your spring wardrobe. Key lace pieces will be fitted tops/shirts and pencil skirts. Tweeds are also key for spring, think Miss Marple in gold! They are soft and light, with metallic thread running through to give them that 2014 edge. 10 Must Haves, spring 2014 (London Fashion Week Blogs) Pleats- Preferably knife pleats, on a sheer midi skirt. Paint Pot Prints- On dresses, shirts, everything! Candy Colours- Pastels separated with a little colour. Culottes- Think Victoria Beckham in black culottes, white city shirt and high heels. Sheer- Think sheer self-print skirts with half linings Bomber Jackets- Same shape in silky fabrics and bold prints. Great casual or smart. Bermuda/City Shorts- Wear with strappy vests for hot days or a crisp shirt for work. Luxe Sportswear Accessories- Think rucksacks/bucket bags in animal prints or textured fabrics for everyday use. Statement Sweats – Think sweatshirt shape in luxury fabrics and statement prints Shirt Dress – Soft fabrics, pretty prints in both midi and maxi!