MEDA to launch “Women Empowering Women” groups

by MEDA 

Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) will launch two women’s groups in May. The groups, called “Women Empowering Women with MEDA,” will meet quarterly in Lancaster and Souderton, Pennsylvania, and promote the importance of women’s economic empowerment as a catalyst for positive change in the world.

Ruth Leaman, regional director of resource development at MEDA, will coordinate the groups.

“Women in developing countries often face social and economic adversities beyond our comprehension, and yet have an amazing drive to rise above these barriers when given the opportunity to do so. After a recent all-women’s trip to a MEDA project in Ethiopia, I noticed a phenomenal connection between the Ethiopian women and those on our trip. We shared a strong bond and there was mutual respect and understanding. The women on the trip have a vision to share these meaningful connections with others,” says Leaman.

Another woman who went on the trip to Ethiopia shared this story: Continue reading

Anabaptist Witness :: Call for Submissions

Call for Submissions to the April 2016 issue of Anabaptist Witness “Gender and Mission” Submission Deadline: May 1, 2016

The esteem of being identified as a “missionary” was generally reserved for ordained men in the early years of the modern missionary movement. Stories of commitment and years of service of the many women who gave of their lives were often left for the margins, the footnotes, and the letters now buried in shoe boxes and archives, waiting for us to breathe life into these memories once again.

The Co-Editors of Anabaptist Witness invite you to help resuscitate these stories for the October 2016 issue on Gender and Mission. Of course, highlighting stories of women in mission would leave any issue on gender limited.

  • How has engagement in mission shaped our understandings of masculinity?
  • What ministries or networks have been birthed to help address gender-related needs or struggles?
  • And how does testifying to the good news of Jesus the Christ challenge our understandings of gender today, particularly as we engage those from different cultural backgrounds, with different understandings of gender norms?

While we welcome contributions from all faith backgrounds, we especially welcome contributions that are grounded in Anabaptist thought and practice. Because we hope for this journal to be an exchange among peoples from around the world, from laity and pastors to academics and administrators, Co-Editors welcome submissions from a variety of genres including:

  • sermons
  • photo-essays
  • reflections
  • interviews
  • biographies
  • poems
  • academic papers

We also encourage submissions in languages other than English, particularly in French or Spanish.

Guidelines and deadline:

The Co-Editors welcome submissions on this topic through May 1, 2016. Through a peer review process, we will choose 3–4 shorter articles of approximately 1,500 words in length, and 5–6 academic papers of no more than 7,500 words (including footnotes).

Image-based submissions are also subject to peer review. Please familiarize yourself with our editorial process and technical requirements here:

Address all correspondence to Anabaptist Witness Co-Editor, Jamie Ross:


Anabaptist Witness is a publication of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Mennonite Church Canada, and Mennonite Mission Network.

The Birth of Anabaptism :: by Valerie G. Rempel

Valerie G. Rempel: Associate Dean, Fresno Pacific University Biblical Seminary and Associate Professor,  J.B. Toews Chair of History and Theology, Fresno, California. She wrote this article for Meetinghouse, a collective of Mennonite editors in the US and Canada. 

Sometimes, a single act can have enormous consequences.

In the religious ferment of 16th century Europe, a small group of Christians in the Swiss canton of Zurich gathered in a home on a wintry January day, 1525. One of them, George Blaurock, asked another, Conrad Grebel, to baptize him. Around the circle they went, baptizing each other in what they understood to be their first true baptism. It was a baptism performed upon their confession of faith in Jesus as Lord. It was a radical act that earned many of them a martyrs’ death.

The 16th century was a time of great change in the religious life and practices of many in Western Europe. A variety of voices from within the church were advocating for change. They were frequently critical of practices and theology that had developed over many centuries of church life.

In an earlier time, the criticisms of a few reform-minded individuals might have had little impact. Technology, however, had a hand in changing that. Continue reading