MW USA at Kansas City Convention :: Recap

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:

BOOTH

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.”)

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Here come the polkadots!

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Polkadot purse!

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Me on the Wednesday “wear green” for MC USA day!

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Berni Kaufman and me.

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My new friend Pam Schrag and me.

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Berni Kaufman, Marlene Bogard and me setting up the booth the first day!

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Marlene and me.

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Me with my daughter, Gloria.

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Carolyn Heggen and me before the dinner.

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Me with my sister, Jennifer Davis Sensenig.

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Denise Nickel, me and Marlene after the Women’s Dinner.

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Nearing the end of the week…do I look tired?

 

SPARK SEMINAR

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:

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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:

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IMG_9040 IMG_9038 IMG_9045 IMG_9029 IMG_9036Then 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:

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BOOTH GIVEAWAYS

Each day of convention we had a FREE giveaway which turned out to be very fun! There were notepads:

IMG_8887There was some nice lip balm:

IMG_9060 IMG_9054We had beautiful Sister Care cards and envelopes to giveaway:

IMG_9141Magnets AND….drumroll please…Mennonite Women USA tattoos! This was, by far, the biggest hit of the giveaways. We had 50 tattoos and ran out 15 minutes from opening the booth!

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Annette Brill Bergstresser

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Jennifer Davis Sensenig

 

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Sherah-Leigh Gerber and Claire DeBerg

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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!

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Left to right: Denise Nickel, Marie Harnish, Tonya Detweiler, Peggy Martin, Kathy Bilderback, Twila Yoder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Me with board member, Hyacinth Stevens

Me with board member, Hyacinth Stevens

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Pam Schrag (our volunteer super woman!) with Berni Kaufman

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Denise Nickel and Kathy Bilderback

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We gathered as many as we could! Standing (l to r): Rhoda Keener, Berni Kaufman, Marlene Bogard, Kathy Bilderback, Peggy Martin, Claire DeBerg, Twila Yoder. Kneeling (l to r) Marie Harnish, Denise Nickel, Tonya Detweiler

SISTER CARE

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!

 

Ken Hochstetler, president and CEO of Everence with his wife, Sue, and Everence marketing manager Judy Martin Godshalk

Ken Hochstetler, president and CEO of Everence with his wife, Sue, and Everence marketing manager Judy Martin Godshalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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:

Jenny Castro with a participant on the dream wall.

Jenny Castro with a participant on the dream wall.

 

FLASH MOB

We also had a flash mob choreographed by Maggie Weaver…what fun! Be sure to watch the video below. Mennonite Women can DANCE!

IMG_9065 IMG_9064 IMG_9063Here’s the video!

WOMEN’S DINNER

Marlene wrote a very fun intro which you can watch below:

 

We had lovely music:

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Amazing women from Goshen reading pieces performed in Goshen Monologues:

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We said goodbye to Ruth Lapp Guengerich, our outgoing executive director:

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Rhoda Keener and Ruth Lapp Guengerich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our special guests were three Latin American Theologians who shared powerful stories of their ministry work:

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left to right: Alix, Linda (translator), Rhoda, Olga, Angela

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Rhoda asked them each the following: “What is your connection with Mennonite Women USA?”

 

RAFFLE

We had an expanded raffle this year with three winners. Grand prize was the t-shirt quilt made by Marie Harnish:

Raffle winnders: Linda Goering (not pictured) won the Mennonite Women USA gift basket, Cora Voran (not pictured) won the prayer basket and Carol Swartzendruber won the grand prize, the t-shirt quilt! Pictured above is (l to r) Marie Harnish, Carol and Lauralee Kauffmann (the previous convention quilt winner!)

Raffle winnders: Linda Goering (not pictured) won the Mennonite Women USA gift basket, Cora Voran (not pictured) won the prayer basket and Carol Swartzendruber won the grand prize, the t-shirt quilt! Pictured above is (l to r) Marie Harnish, Carol and Lauralee Kauffmann (the previous convention quilt winner!)

 

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):

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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.

 

4 thoughts on “MW USA at Kansas City Convention :: Recap

  1. Rhoda Keener on said:

    I can only imagine how the polka dots will grow by 2017. I’ll certainly be checking in all my favorite thrift stores for more polka dots. Thanks Claire for this pictorial story of Mennonite women in Kansas City.

    • Claire DeBerg on said:

      Yay! It will be so fun! I have polkadots on the brain. My goal is to find purple polkadots to wear to the Lydia Tea.

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