Holy Ground by Elizabeth Raid

When the speaker for our annual Western District Conference women’s luncheon, in Dallas, Texas, walked to the podium with a mask covering her face, I wondered who this mysterious woman was and how her story might relate to my life. Her Spanish words were translated into English as she shared about a childhood of sexual abuse that carried over into an abusive marriage. Troubled relationships with a son and daughter only multiplied her feelings of failure and low self-esteem. However, she continued to go to church and act as if all were well. She saw her mask as a powerful protection from her painful life experiences, keeping her secrets safe. Continue reading

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Annual Report Fiscal Year 2017

Greetings Friends of Mennonite Women USA,

Please click the link below to find our Annual Report from our fiscal year ending July 31, 2017.  I hope you enjoy seeing a summary of our year in infographic-style!  As a board and staff, we remain committed to live out our mission statement to empower women and women’s groups as we nurture our life in Christ through studying the Bible, using our gifts, hearing each other and engaging in mission and service.  We are very grateful for your support!

Marlene Bogard
Executive Director
Mennonite Women USA

Read the report here!

Woman of the Month by Kathryn Aschliman

In response to your invitation to “Send an email to our office to let us know how you are part of this royal tribe of Mennonite Women USA,” I am moved to write about an attempt at College Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana to maintain contact with women who no longer are able to attend our monthly Mennonite Women Work Day.  To assure them that they are not forgotten, we  select a WOMAN OF THE MONTH to whom we extend our love and for whom we offer prayers throughout the month. Continue reading

The Lady’s Prayer by Charity Kheshgi

Charity Kheshgi is a writer and Sign Language interpreter living with her husband and 3 cats in Pittsburgh, PA. She loves making new friends, reading, and playing board games. She is a member of Pittsburgh Mennonite Church where she currently serves on the Mission and Service commission.  

The Lady’s prayer is a new take on the prayer format that Jesus offers in Matthew 6:9-13 with the Divine feminine as the listener and guide. It shifts the focus from the material to the immaterial kingdom and emphasizes our agency in the creation of a better life and a better world. As a daily meditation, the prayer centers us with love in our hearts, light in our spirits, and purpose in each breath.

Continue reading

Share in the Journey

I’m excited for the theme for the fall Timbrel, “Caring and Listening”.  As an ICU nurse, I find that for myself, our increasing paperwork requirements and increased reliance on communicating and recording with our bedside computers can seem to be a greater priority than spending the desired time to care for and listen to those who come in to the hospital with a multitude of needs. At times the intensive physical care and procedures our patients require and our patient’s physical condition make communication more difficult. I embrace Mennonite Women USA’s mission and vision statements, which includes the phrases  “…nurture our life in Christ through…hearing each other”, and “…across generations, cultures and places to share and honor our stories, care for each other…” This is such a part of what makes us community, and communication and community are such similar words! Continue reading

Tending and Befriending for 100 years!

This article was originally published in June 2017 for The Mennonite

For 100 years, Mennonite women have gathered to connect. As a result, service, prayer, study, nurture and mission materialized. At the heart of it all, friendships thrived. And naturally, women bore fruit, enlarged their circles and developed sisterhoods.

Author Brene’ Brown, offers this description of this experience of connection:

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they are seen, when they feel heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” Continue reading

It’s Time

This article was originally published in Summer 2017 for Timbrel

Complete this phrase:

“ ______ like a girl.” Once upon a time, it was considered an insult to run like a girl, or throw like a girl. Because, well, it was likely perceived that doing anything like a girl was inferior to doing it like a boy.

Thankfully, we are evolving so that such phrases are no longer given much attention or power, right? Today, we can complete the phrase this way: Study like a girl. Invent like a girl. Code like a girl. Debate like a girl. Preside like a woman. Preach like a woman. Lead like a woman. Climb like a woman. Legislate like a woman.

And yet, sexism is alive and well in the broader church and in the Mennonite Church. For example, when my husband Mike and I joined a Midwestern church in the 1982, I called the man who was in charge of the printed church directory and asked him if women could be listed by their first names so that I would not be “Mrs. Michael Bogard.” Continue reading