The Mennonite Women USA booth at MennoCon 19

You can’t miss our booth. It’s the one with four one-of-a-kind quilts. Read more about each quilt. Tickets can be purchased for a chance to win one of these quilts. Only $20! Visit us at the Mennonite Women booth. Not in Kansas City? You do not need to be present to win. You can buy tickets from our online shop. Designate how much you want to spend, click the “select program” button below the article about the quilts and scroll to the bottom to complete the credit card information. Please provide a phone number where you can be reached. The drawing will begin at noon tomorrow, ,July 5. Buy your tickets NOW!

Sister Care brings tools for healing the residue of wars

By Rhoda Keener and Carolyn Heggen

Two Sister Care leadership training seminars were held in eastern Ukraine, May 16-18 in Dnipro, and May 25-27 in Zaporizhzhia, cities located just north of Russian-annexed Crimea and 135 miles west of the current conflict on the border between Ukraine and Russia. Most of the participants were part of the Russian Baptist church or leaders of various social service agencies.  Seminars were led by Carolyn Heggen, psychotherapist specializing in trauma healing, and Rhoda Keener, Sister Care International Director for Mennonite Women USA (MW USA). 

Read more.

Mennonite Women and AMBS collaborate

International Seminar on Healing
by Rhoda Keener and David B Miller

For three days (March 31-April 2), the Wadsworth Room at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) became something of a microcosm of the global church. Here six couples from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America met together to explore and test new resources and approaches for healing ministry in their contexts. When asked what they hoped to learn from Mennonite Women USA’s  Compassionate Care: Equipping Leaders for Healing Ministry seminar, Patrick Obonde, AMBS student from Nairobi, Kenya said: “I want to learn how to break through the social veneer, traditions, and culture that keep women suffering in silence.”  Shabnam Bagh, India added, “Women don’t speak, especially in the rural areas.”  Jonah Yang, Hmong pastor from Thailand currently living in Minneapolis said, “In my culture men have power over their wives. I want to learn how to break that. We need to reinterpret scripture.”

Read more. 

Mennonite Women of Virginia celebrate Annual Missions Day

Mennonite Women of Virginia (MWV) holds an ‘annual missions day’ each spring. This event serves a variety of purposes. For 66 years, women from all around Virginia Mennonite Conference (VMC) gather for fellowship, a meal and to raise funds to share with mission workers and congregations in countries that have roots in Virginia Mennonite Missions (VMM). Food was brought to Ridgeway Mennonite Church by 130 women on February 21.

Grazia de Hernandez led music.

The 2019 theme was “Women Encouraging Women…through Prayer.” For the first time, Hispanic sisters were intentionally welcomed. All parts of the meeting were presented in both English and Spanish. There are four Hispanic congregations in VMC and we want to know and honor each other as sisters in Christ.


Veronica Sanchez (right) shared her call to ministry in Spanish, with Melanie Miller translating.

Angelina Pardini (right) talked about her work in Jordan in English, with Lizzette Hernandez translating.

Lynn Suter, VMM director of international missions, concluded the program with a time of guided prayer. 

Then the fun began – raising funds for sisters around the world.

Directed by Dianna Lehman, MWV missions needs secretary, women took a number representing a VMM mission worker/family or a congregation overseas. Gifts of $25, $50, $75 were soon offered. In the end $5,730 was raised!

The blessings of sharing this annual event together as Anglo and Hispanic sisters were abundant.

It is our goal to continue joining Anglo and Hispanic women in our MWV events. God has led is to this point and will continue to lead.

(Left to right) Gloria Lehman, Joy Gabriel, Aldine Musser

In March 2019, Gloria Lehman and Aldine Musser, MWV past president, traveled to Jamaica. They shared love gifts of $125 to each of the 13 congregations in Jamaica Mennonite Church which will be used for their women’s and children’s ministries. Joy Gabriel, president of the Women’s Department of Jamaica Mennonite Church, graciously receives the gift for her church, Good Tidings Mennonite Church, Kingston.

The delivery of these gifts with hugs and smiles represents “warm money” to our sisters. These resources are used to enhance women’s ministries and provide funds to attend their annual retreat.

Later this year, MWV representatives will share gifts with sisters in Italy, Albania, and Trinidad.

International Women’s Fund

Mennonite Women USA has a long and rich history. We are starting into our second century having celebrated 100 years 2017. Over the years women have recognized the value of faithful accountability. They have honored their desire for mutual nurture and fellowship. They have followed the call to serve.

As affirmation for women in leadership, and particularly pastoral leadership, emerged in the Mennonite Church, Mennonite Women USA embarked on a new ministry. The organization budgeted to provide scholarships for international Mennonite women studying theology throughout the world. In 2000, the International Women’s Fund (IWF) assisted the first 4 women, each from a different country, with money to pursue theological education. The ministry has grown and in 2018 twenty-eight women from 14 countries were supported through the fund.

After having received her Certificate of Theology, Zaraí Gonzalía from Bogotá, Colómbia, applied again in 2016 for scholarship to begin her studies for her Masters in Theology. In her letter of thanks for the scholarship, Zaraí concludes, “It remains for me to thank the Good Lord for his strength amidst all of you for your company and prayer. God bless you! A HUG!” Since 2016 when Zaraí started her Masters work, she has gone on to serve in the administration of Seminario Biblico Menonita de Colómbia. Find out more about Zaraí here: http://www.imcol.org/index.php/seminario

Rebecca Osiro, Nairobi, Kenya, was a recipient of these funds in the early 2000’s. She went on to be the first woman ordained in the Kenya Mennonite Church. In 2016, Rebecca was selected as vice president of Mennonite World Conference. Here is a recent blog post by Rebecca: https://mwc-cmm.org/content/nothing-i-am-doing-am-i-doing-myself

A first-year student at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and new recipient of an IWF scholarship is Febri Kristiaini. From a small village in Central Java, Indonesia, Febri was “the first person in my village who went out from our village to get a better education. She left the village for middle and high school. She came to the states first as an MCC International Volunteer Exchange Program volunteer, working in Hutchinson, KS. She is now at AMBS to pursue a Master’s program in pastoral care and counseling. Read more about Febri in her own words here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured: (L-R) Former International Women’s Fund recipients Elisabeth Kunjam and Rechal Bagh from India.

Maundy Thursday by Berni Kaufman

There we were, eight of us around the table. We came from different homes, different activities of the day. What we had in common was that we were all from the same church, around this table to observe Maundy Thursday. The table was modestly dressed with eight bowls, spoons, cups and napkins. A soup tureen, basket of sliced homemade breads and a pitcher of water. The centerpiece was a  platter and goblet, which held a small loaf of bread and juice respectively. Each of the seven other tables was laid out like ours in our large fellowship hall. Yet, in this moment, the awareness of our one table of eight was quite intimate. After a prayer of blessing, the fellowship was as warm as the soup and as comforting as a slice of homemade bread. At the conclusion of the meal, three of the four children made their way to a classroom to play. The fourth made her way around the tables on all fours, crawling being her mode of mobility.

From our seats at the table, we were guided into a service of scripture and song, remembering the last week of Jesus’ life. We shared the bread and juice that had been specially prepared, served on hand-thrown pottery, sets of which were made for these holy occasions. During a time of extended silence, we were invited to foot washing. Others remained at the tables to reflect. As we reconvened at our tables, the pastor brought the service to a close. Continue reading

Postcard & a Prayer :: April Email Newsletter

Enjoy April 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. We also include a prayer to bless your day, excerpts from women in the greater church and content relevant to Mennonite women everywhere.

Sign-up today, stay connected each month!

Read the latest issue.

Postcard & a Prayer :: March Email Newsletter

Enjoy March 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. We also include a prayer to bless your day, excerpts from women in the greater church and content relevant to Mennonite women everywhere.

Sign-up today, stay connected each month!

Read the latest issue.

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. We also include a prayer to bless your day, excerpts from women in the greater church and content relevant to Mennonite women everywhere.

Sign-up today, stay connected each month!

Read the latest issue.