This article first appeared in the print version of The Mennonite.
by Anita Hooley Yoder
Now this, I thought, is a real “World Conference moment.” I was having a conversation in Spanish with a woman whose family came from a Low German-speaking Mennonite community in Mexico. Although neither of us was speaking our first language, we quickly connected over our interest in ministry among women—I as the writer of a history project for Mennonite Women USA (MW USA), she in her work with “Old Colony” Mennonite women. We also were both familiar with Sister Care, the program of self-healing and mutual support created by MW USA.
The woman I was speaking with, Anna Giesbrecht, had actually gone through the Sister Care seminar twice. Neither of her Sister Care experiences was led by MW USA personnel. Rather, Giesbrecht received the material from Ofelia García, a Mexican Mennonite pastor, and other Latin American leaders. García was trained at the 2013 Sister Care weekend seminar led by Carolyn Heggen and Rhoda Keener in Guatemala. García has since adapted the material for use in many different contexts, including as weekly meetings and as Sunday school lessons for children of both genders. And now Giesbrecht has taken the Sister Care materials to the Old Colony Mennonite women of Chihuahua.
Giesbrecht guided the women through the Sister Care material in 12 weekly sessions. Two pieces of the material particularly caught their attention: Continue reading
This is Volume 3 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!
MENNONITE WOMEN USA (MW USA) announces a new name and new coordinator for one of their important ministries. The Housewarmer Project ministry provides quilted wallhangings to individuals and families whose homes have been destroyed by disaster and have received a new or rebuilt home through Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS).
The Housewarmer Project’s newly appointed volunteer coordinator, Becky Koller, gathers quilted wallhangings from a network of volunteer quilters found across the US. Once gathered, Koller coordinates the distribution of The Housewarmer Project wallhangings with MDS during home dedication ceremonies.
by-Barb Voth, Bethesda Mennonite Church, Henderson, Nebraska
Central Plains Mennonite Conference Women invite you to their annual retreat at Swan Lake Christian Camp near Viborg, South Dakota. Bring a friend and enjoy a weekend of inspiration, relaxation, interest sessions, and fellowship in a retreat setting.
The speaker for the retreat, Luann Yutzy, is a 2006 graduate of Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, Virginia and an ordained minister in Mennonite Church USA, serving most recently in Central Plains congregations as a transitional pastor at Bethesda Mennonite in Henderson, Nebraska, and Salem-Zion Mennonite near Free man, South Dakota. She also was a part of the Emmanuel Mennonite faith community, worshipping with them while her husband served as their interim pastor. She has served in congregations in Pennsylvania and Kansas and has been a staff chaplain at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas.
Luann’s journey has had many twists and turns and she counts it a privilege to walk with others in the ups and downs of their lives. Continue reading
Mennonite Women USA announces the newly launched online shop added to their website in late June 2015. It was created and developed in response to the needs and desires expressed by their supporters. Instead of having to call the office or send a letter indicating interest for particular materials, the Mennonite Women USA shop has all of their resources and materials available at the touch of a button.
The store is fully functional and responds to customers shopping from their desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone. Now you can purchase as many copies of the latest Bible Study Guide Spark: Igniting Your God-Given Creativity right online for your groups or Sunday School classes.
With the launch of this new digital store Mennonite Women USA is offering bundle pricing for Sister Care materials, too. The discount encourages visitors to purchase their desired materials in a bundle to save money. One such offer brings a 20% savings over purchasing items individually. Continue reading
Join area Mennonite Women at the Ohio Conference women’s retreat September 18-20, 2015 at Camp Luz.
Three sisters are slated as speakers: Michele Rizoli, Ginny Hostetler and Willie Stoltzfus.
“Where’s the Pause Button? Making Space for God in Everyday Life” will be the theme of the Ohio Mennonite Women’s Retreat Sept. 18-20 at Camp Luz in Kidron, OH. Sisters Willie Stoltzfus, Michele Rae Rizoli and Ginny Hostetler will be the speakers for the retreat. Registrations are due Sept. 4. See the retreat flier for more information and a registration form.
Email Willie Stoltzfus for more information.
by Audrey Kanagy
I danced all the way to the car after Elizabeth Soto Albright invited me to create artwork with women who would be attending Mennonite World Conference. After months of preparation, I headed to convention loaded down with supplies, bubbling with nervous anticipation. Along with my supplies were three example pieces of art created by the women of Living Light Mennonite Church. Although their own original purpose was to serve as a model, God had something more in mind.
Each afternoon women from various continents gathered in the Delaware room above the Main Hall to encourage women engaged in theological work and explore ways to connect across cultures. My role was to create a space where women could engage creatively, working with their hands even as they engaged their minds and hearts in the discussions. Using a method of art called decoupage, we brushed pieces of magazines onto canvases with glue, forming five images combined to create a whole picture. This project would include a compilation of women in conversation from every continent, symbols of communion, scripture, and the Holy Spirit. Continue reading
This is Volume 2 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! Continue reading
by Anita Hooley Yoder
Let’s start with some numbers. Since I began this project last September, I have sorted through 29 binders and folders of material from Mennonite Women USA’s previous co-directors. I have read (or at least skimmed) nine books and 15 scholarly articles. I have spent 43 hours in archives and historical libraries and surveyed 40 years of Voice, Window to Mission, and Timbrel magazines. I learned that “two cents a prayer” became a $95,717 Missionary Pension Fund, that over 200 families served by Mennonite Disaster Service have received quilted wall hangings, and that the International Women’s Fund has supported the studies of 86 different women.
But this project is not really about numbers. It’s about people. Continue reading