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
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
Linda Gehman Peachey, a writer and editor, along with Mary Anne Isaak, a Canadian Mennonite Brethren woman in church leadership, are coordinating a gathering of women theologians at Mennonite World Conference (MWC) Assembly in Harrisburg, PA next month, July 21-26. This North American gathering is being organized in conjunction with the efforts of the other continental groups and their vision for a global network of women theologians.
Please forward this invitation to women you think might be interested in joining this gathering of North American Mennonite and Brethren in Christ Women Theologians.
Space has been set aside each day for women theologians from each continent to gather for fellowship and networking at the Global Women’s Space (specific times to be determined closer to the date):
- Asian women: Tuesday, 7/21
- North American women: Wednesday, 7/22, 1:30-3:00 pm
- African women: Wednesday, 7/22, late afternoon
- Latin American and European women: Thursday, 7/23, afternoon
- All women: Friday, 7/24, 1:30-5:00pm
Below is some background information on the history and goals of these gatherings, as well as more information about the joint gathering to take place on Friday, 7/24 from 1:30-5:00pm. Continue reading