Fall is definitely here. The date confirms it, my zinnias and cosmos are fading, as the mums and autumn joys are thriving and bursting with color. Days are fuller and more scheduled, and daylight is disappearing more quickly and coming later in the morning. I’m jealous every year of my friends who embrace this change and yearn for the cooler weather and all that fall brings. I cling to the 90-degree weather that continues these days, and miss the more carefree and unscheduled days of summer, with canning and freezing; eating fresh produce from the garden most meals; and having a freer schedule to visit grandchildren (and children too, of course).
Although I enjoy the busyness that comes with September; the beginning of Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), changes in Sunday School classes, the MCC Sale in October, and the holiday celebrations, I think one of the things I miss and can go by the wayside, is meeting with one or two friends for times of fellowship. I loved rooming with my sister, Colette Hostetler, at the Kansas City MC USA Convention, and being part of her and daughter Angie’s discussions in the evenings regarding their experiences as delegates. Visiting with Pam Schrag and Berni Kaufman at my turn at Mennonite Women USA’s booth, and having an unexpected time of visiting with a friend on the first afternoon of Convention, were highlights. Meeting one-on-one with my BSF leader for coffee and sharing, visiting with best friends, and having more time to visit with my son and daughters is treasured.
I’m constantly amazed at the energy, discernment and ideas generated by the women who are part of Mennonite Women USA as they meet in small groups. Claire DeBerg and staff/EAC as they prepare for publications and the telling of our stories, Rhoda Keener and Carolyn Heggen as they plan and prepare for Sister Care, Marlene Bogard and Kathy Bilderback as they brainstorm and discern where MW USA can most impact and support Mennonite women, to mention only a few examples. Matthew 18:20 is often quoted almost apologetically when only a few of us show up for meetings, Bible study or prayer, but with the promise “there am I with them.” What power and potential for change and growth!