Kansas Sister Care Seminar Draws Women from Five States

from Mennonite Women USA

Carolyn Heggen, psychotherapist specializing in trauma healing, and Rhoda Keener, Sister Care Director for Mennonite Women USA, led a Sister Care seminar at Bethel College Mennonite Church for 74 women from Colorado, Indiana, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas.

Marcene Entz and Karen Andres portray the Mark 2 dramatic monologue, “Carrying Our Friend to Jesus.”

Marcene Entz and Karen Andres portray the Mark 2 dramatic monologue, “Carrying Our Friend to Jesus.”

Participant, Elizabeth Raid, shared with her congregation, Bethel College Mennonite Church, her response to the seminar, saying:

“While I’m very comfortable speaking in front of large groups, as an introvert I often resist large gatherings, especially where women are somehow supposed to bond or have a grand time together. The Sister Care seminar had a different feel. Rhoda Keener and Carolyn Heggen provided a worshipful, inspirational setting and facilitated an environment where vulnerability, trust and truth-telling emerged. By sharing their personal experiences and examples during the seminar, they gave credence to what they said and opened the door for others to share more personally around the tables. I experienced and witnessed healing permeating hearts and creating commonality. The oil in my lamp has been replenished. I’m grateful! In an in-between time of my life, I feel renewed and open to what God has in store next for me.”

Participants at the Kansas Sister Care seminar.

Participants at the Kansas Sister Care seminar.

Heggen and Keener will lead Sister Care seminars in Kenya and Tanzania in April, Winnipeg in May, Indonesia in June, and an advanced leadership training in Guatemala in October. Marlene Bogard, MW USA executive director, provides leadership for the Sister Care for college women ministry. She led a seminar at Bethel College in February and will lead a similar event at Hesston College in March. Heggen and Keener hope to lead a Sister Care Level 2 retreat in the USA in November. Areas interested in scheduling a seminar or retreat should click here to email Rhoda Keener.

Sowing Sisterhood :: Volume 4 of Illinois Mennonite Women Quarterly

This is Volume 4 of the Illinois Mennonite Women Quarterly Newsletter Sowing Sisterhood.’ It was created and designed by Kim Litwiller and Shannon Unzicker. Kim is the Associate Conference Minister for Illinois Mennonite Conference and the Co-Coordinator for Illinois Mennonite Women. Shannon is the Great Lakes representative to the board of Mennonite Women USA.

Download the PDF of Sowing Sisterhood or read below!

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 7.21.44 PM Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 7.21.52 PM Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 7.22.08 PM Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 7.22.13 PM


Diamond Jubilee Celebration of Central Mennonite Women Committee, MCI

This announcement comes from Vikal Pravin Rao the Executive Secretary of Mennonite Church India

“Warm greetings from Mennonite Church in India.

I am happy to inform you that Central Mennonite Women Committee MCI is completing 75 years as conference in 2016! We are planning to celebrate Diamond Jubilee from October 28 – 30, 2016 in India. The conference will be held in Bethel Mennonite Church, Balodgahan (Dhamtari), India.

Seeking Workshop Presenters + Facilitators

We are planning to invite the missionaries or their family members (especially women) who had served MCI or any women group from MC USA interested to participate in this event as facilitator for workshop related to women.”

Contact Vikal directly if you are interested in participating in this exciting celebration of Mennonite women leaders in India.

Postcard & a Prayer :: February Email Newsletter

Enjoy February e-news from Mennonite Women USA!

Check out our new format to get all the latest information, reflections and images that cover all our national and international happenings from our Sister Care seminars to our upcoming Timbrel coverage and giving tree. We also include a pertinent prayer, excerpts from women in the greater church and content relevant to Mennonite women everywhere.

Sign-up today, stay connected each month!

MW USA February Email 2016

Mennonite Women USA Endowment Expands 

Mennonite Women USA received two endowment gifts in 2015 totaling $98,000.

The new funds total is now $161,742.  One gift was received through an estate bequest; the other from a couple who sold their farm and shared some of the profit, remarking, “It’s more fun to give when we’re alive.” The funds are invested through Mennonite Foundation, a key factor for the donors, who noted their commitment to sharing their money through socially responsible investing.

“Our endowment goal is $1 million. These gifts help ensure our capacity to continue making a difference for Mennonite women in the USA and globally for generations to come,” says Executive Director Marlene Bogard.


Consider giving to the Mennonite Women USA endowment.

Mary Thosaengsiri 2016 IWF Scholarship Recipient

Meet one of our new 2016 International Women’s Fund scholarship recipients, Mary Thosaengsiri:

“My name is Mary Thosaengsiri. I was born on April 26, 1993. I was born into a Christian family since birth. My father’s name is Pornchai Thosaengsiri. He is the current pastor at St. Paul Hmong Mennonite Church. My mother’s name is Dao Thosaengsiri. I have five siblings including me and I am the second oldest or second child in the family. I have three sisters and one brother.

I am currently attending and am a member at a congregation called, Koob Moov, meaning “Blessings” in Hmong. This was the church that my father planted before he left for the United States. This congregation is located in Kheknoi, Thailand. I am also the Children Sunday School Teacher there as well. Right now I am studying at Bangkok Bible Seminary and this is my first year there. I have class every day Monday through Friday. On the weekends I would help out at my church with anything that is needed. Continue reading

Walking on Eggshells :: Defining Racism and Racial Prejudice :: Guest post by Jenna Bryant

by Jenna Bryant

For some reason, I have particularly vivid memories of recess where the Southern California sun would send us hiding in the shadows of the buildings, the only true respite being the beloved orange slices occasionally passed out on particularly scorching days. It was here, in between Capri Suns and the daunting topic of addition, where the foundation for my understandings of the world was laid. During this time, my friends and I, both male and female, with every skin color you can imagine, played with the fierce determinism familiar to all young, bright souls still untouched by the burdens of adulthood. The innocence of a child’s world was all I knew, where everyone is a likely best friend no matter skin color, language, or clothing. In fact, it was a pretty simple framework in which I existed: unless you tried to kiss me or fight me, you’re in.

There was a particularly beloved structure on our playground, that of a miniature metal bus frame with wooden seats which we would take turns driving, passengers requesting the next destination, Disneyland being the most frequented site. It was on one of these sweet days when I sat on top of the bus, overlooking my next play option, when someone from below shouted up at me. I looked down to find two young children, unfamiliar to me, staring up with a wild gleam in their eyes. “You’re as white as a toilet seat!” one of them yelled and although I was confused, I immediately knew this to be intended as offensive. Feelings of self-consciousness and hurt welled up within me and not understanding why these two potential friends would make such a comparison, I yelled back with equal ferocity Continue reading