This interview of Mennonite Women USA board member, Carol Roth, first appeared in the The Mennonite. Hannah Heinzekehr, Executive Director of The Mennonite posed seven questions to Carol. Read the conversation below.
Name: Carol Roth
Hometown: Jackson, Mississippi
Home congregation: Open Door Mennonite Church
Occupation: Staff leader for Native Mennonite Ministries
Tell me about your experience with church growing up.
I grew up in a mission church. I have two sets of parents.
My foster parents (Mennonites originally from Harrisonburg, Va.) had lived in Florida and in the early 1963 moved to rural Mississippi. My traditional parents had three small children, and when my twin sister and I were born, it was a cold winter and we needed a place that we would be able to thrive (we were premature and needed to grow), so we lived with the Good family until spring. When spring came along, our parents saw that our foster parents were taking great care of us and said that we could live with them until they were able to take care of us. Continue reading
This article by Anita Hooley Yoder originally appeared in The Mennonite. Look for a book by Anita Hooley Yoder in summer 2017 about Mennonite Women USA.
Rhoda Keener was a reluctant fundraiser.
“I would tease her that our meetings felt more like therapy sessions,” said Rebekah Basinger, an organizational consultant. “And she’s the trained counselor!”
Basinger started working regularly with Keener in 2003, about two years after Keener became director of Mennonite Women USA (formerly Mennonite Women), the denominational women’s organization of Mennonite Church USA. Basinger shared her understanding of fundraising as a ministry, a spiritual act in itself, not something you just add on to help you do ministry.
“That really resonated with Rhoda,” Basinger said in a January 2015 interview. “She shaped her whole approach to fundraising around that idea. And I really believe that’s been the key to the success.”
The “success” Basinger refers to is the transformation of Mennonite Women USA (MW USA) from a floundering organization—like many of today’s church-related groups—to a now stable and relatively thriving one, financially and otherwise.
by Denise Nickel (left), Mennonite Women USA Board representative for Central States Conference. Denise is a member of Tabor Mennonite Church in Newton, Kansas. She is active with the Worship Team, Children’s Ministries, Deacon and Women’s Group. She is secretary to the principal of Goessel Elementary School. She and her husband, Elton have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.
In Isaiah we are told that God’s chosen ones became a wild vine because Israel didn’t obey; but God also promised that a few who believed would be preserved. From those remnants would come the choicest of vines—our Savior Jesus Christ. “I am the true vine. My Father is the gardener” (John 15:1).
I am one of his cherished branches and his fruit of the spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control will grow within me as I let Christ fill me. It’s not always pleasant to be pruned, but I am developed in character by the pruning, tending, feeding, watering, and nurturing that he has done to me. Because of this process, I am now better prepared to care for others. Continue reading
Women leaders hope to translate, contextualize materials for other cultures.
by Heidi Martin for Mennonite Women USA
Carolyn Holderread Heggen, psychotherapist specializing in women’s issues, trauma recovery and healing, has accepted a role as co-facilitator of Mennonite Women USA’s (MW USA) Sister Care.
During the past year she provided leadership in the revision and expansion of the manual and seminar, collaborating with Rhoda Keener and Ruth Lapp Guengerich.
“Sister Care brings together the best of our theology and psychological understandings in practical ways that are accessible for lay women,” Heggen says. “It provides training women can use for their own healing and as they reach out to help others.” Continue reading