Convention 2015 was truly amazing for Mennonite Women USA. If you were there, thank you for visiting with us at our booth, in our seminars and at our gatherings. If you weren’t there, thank you for your support and prayers over us during this important event.
Here’s a fun recap of how we were involved:
We had a polkadot theme this year as a kick-off to our mega polkadot theme for our 100-year anniversary being celebrated at the 2017 convention in Orlando. With visitors and friends wearing polkadots we had a lot of fun! (PS: I only wore polkadots so I was always easy to “spot.”)
We had a wonderful seminar Marlene Bogard co-lead with Amy Gingerich of MennoMedia. We’re thrilled about our new Bible Study written by April Yamasaki. You can get your own copy here and then enjoy these great pictures from Marlene’s seminar:
Spark on display:
Marlene and Amy presented one of the activities for participants. It required thinking about the ways we’re creative. There were excellent group discussions on the prompts about how we can be creative in our daily lives. We were given ways to think about being creative that we may not have considered before:
Then there was a beading activity where we could create a bookmark, a bracelet or necklace in a creative way that would connect us with our God-given creativity. This was especially wonderful to see how groups might use Spark for an engaging retreat:
Each day of convention we had a FREE giveaway which turned out to be very fun! There were notepads:
BOARD + STAFF
Which just have an awesome board and staff if I do say so myself. They have energy for the important work of our ministries and hearts for sharing and listening prophetically. Plus they’re just fun to be around!
We were overjoyed with the sponsorship from Everence for our NEW Sister Care t-shirts. Buy one for your very own here…and thank you Everence!
Rhoda and Carolyn lead a Sister Care seminar to introduce this vibrant and important ministry to women with a handout that shared these foundational assumptions and beliefs of the Sister Care Core Concepts:
Healing from spiritual and emotional wounds is possible. God desires this for each of us. All Christians are called to be compassionate. The congregation can be a place of healing. Sister Care is a training resource for healing ministry.
They also lead a seminar to share the new Sister Care Level 2 regional retreats being offered nationwide where women can explore their life journeys, identify toxic personal stories and ways to transform them, consider the meaning and power of forgiveness and create healing rituals.
There was also a seminar led by the Women in Leadership Project staff Jenny Castro which generated excellent ideas from participants about the future possibilities with this project:
We also had a flash mob choreographed by Maggie Weaver…what fun! Be sure to watch the video below. Mennonite Women can DANCE!
Marlene wrote a very fun intro which you can watch below:
We had lovely music:
Amazing women from Goshen reading pieces performed in Goshen Monologues:
We said goodbye to Ruth Lapp Guengerich, our outgoing executive director:
Our special guests were three Latin American Theologians who shared powerful stories of their ministry work:
We had an expanded raffle this year with three winners. Grand prize was the t-shirt quilt made by Marie Harnish:
Our Lydia Tea was a very inspiring, moving (and delicious!) event. Have you become a Lydia, yet? Lydia’s are women who give $500 each year to Mennonite Women USA. That’s only $1.37/day! Our guests were the Latin American Theologians and the tea was held Saturday morning at the Aladdin hotel…just one block from the convention center. Consider becoming a Lydia then wear purple to our next tea and learn all the ways your gifts enrich the lives of women theologians around the world (among many other ways we minister to Mennonite Women):
The week was intense and important. We learned so much. We’re moved with a new intentionality to do the work God has placed before us as staff and board of Mennonite Women USA.