The Joy of the Purple Ribbon

Kathy Bilderback, board chair for Mennonite Women USA, reflects on Mennonite Church USA Conference 2017 in Orlando.

As I walked from hotel to classroom to booth to ballroom and exhibit or meal hall, I observed others. I smiled to strangers, hugged friends I hadn’t seen in a while, and walked alongside new friends. But it was the ribbons on nametags that I kept noticing. The sight played out in my mind, “oh, that person is an Executive Board Member, that woman is a Mennonite college alum, and look there is another purple Mennonite Women USA ribbon.” Continue reading

Women grow the fruit of persistence on the vine of Christ

This article was originally written for Mennonite World Review in July 2017.

By Laurie Oswald Robinson

ORLANDO, Fla. – In the late 1890s, as Mennonite historian John Ruth tells it, a teacher once asked a local Sunday school boy a leading theological question: “Who can do anything?”

“Mary Mellinger,” the boy replied.

Mellinger organized one of the earliest recorded gatherings for mission and service in the late 1890s for Mennonite women in America. Continue reading

Sisterhood in Florida

This article by Anita Hooley Yoder was originally published in The Mennonite, May 29, 2017.

While I was working on a book about Mennonite women’s organizations, I wanted to experience diverse and vibrant Mennonite women’s activities firsthand. I met interesting people and heard important stories at women’s gatherings across the country. But it was a trip to south Florida in November 2015 that provided an especially unique and inspiring glimpse of what Mennonite women are up to today. This excerpt from my forthcoming book describes the activities of a local congregation and a regional women’s organization—activities that are both unique and typical of Mennonite women across various time periods and geographical locations. Continue reading

MW USA announces New Communications Manager

Mennonite Women USA has a new communications manager. In May, Katie McKinnell joined the MW USA staff, replacing Dawn Araujo-Hawkins, who resigned in March. McKinnell is a 2017 graduate of Goshen College, where she studied art and graphic design and attends Assembly Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana. While her background is based in the visual arts, McKinnell is looking forward to working in the broader field of communication. “I am excited to a part of a network within the church that focuses on supporting women.” McKinnell joins the MW USA team as they prepare to celebrate their centennial year this summer in Orlando.