Kansas Sister Care Seminar Draws Women from Five States

from Mennonite Women USA

Carolyn Heggen, psychotherapist specializing in trauma healing, and Rhoda Keener, Sister Care Director for Mennonite Women USA, led a Sister Care seminar at Bethel College Mennonite Church for 74 women from Colorado, Indiana, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas.

Marcene Entz and Karen Andres portray the Mark 2 dramatic monologue, “Carrying Our Friend to Jesus.”

Marcene Entz and Karen Andres portray the Mark 2 dramatic monologue, “Carrying Our Friend to Jesus.”

Participant, Elizabeth Raid, shared with her congregation, Bethel College Mennonite Church, her response to the seminar, saying:

“While I’m very comfortable speaking in front of large groups, as an introvert I often resist large gatherings, especially where women are somehow supposed to bond or have a grand time together. The Sister Care seminar had a different feel. Rhoda Keener and Carolyn Heggen provided a worshipful, inspirational setting and facilitated an environment where vulnerability, trust and truth-telling emerged. By sharing their personal experiences and examples during the seminar, they gave credence to what they said and opened the door for others to share more personally around the tables. I experienced and witnessed healing permeating hearts and creating commonality. The oil in my lamp has been replenished. I’m grateful! In an in-between time of my life, I feel renewed and open to what God has in store next for me.”

Participants at the Kansas Sister Care seminar.

Participants at the Kansas Sister Care seminar.

Heggen and Keener will lead Sister Care seminars in Kenya and Tanzania in April, Winnipeg in May, Indonesia in June, and an advanced leadership training in Guatemala in October. Marlene Bogard, MW USA executive director, provides leadership for the Sister Care for college women ministry. She led a seminar at Bethel College in February and will lead a similar event at Hesston College in March. Heggen and Keener hope to lead a Sister Care Level 2 retreat in the USA in November. Areas interested in scheduling a seminar or retreat should click here to email Rhoda Keener.

Sister Care in Cuba

by Mennonite Women USA

Shortly before presenting the first of two Sister Care seminars in Cuba, Carolyn Heggen, psychotherapist specializing in trauma healing, and Rhoda Keener, Sister Care Director for Mennonite Women USA, visited an art museum in Old Havana. They talked briefly to the two dignified women in charge; as they left, one women asked, “Do you have any soap?” Heggen, having been in Cuba before and knowing how scarce and precious soap is, did have two small bars of soap and gave them to the women.

On this lush and beautiful island country, the needs of the people for basic necessities form a stark contrast to Cuba’s outstanding educational system which provides free education for all. Four lane highways with modern busses and Chinese cars travel beside restored 40’s and 50’s Fords, Buicks, and IMG_8470Chevys, all on the same road also traveled by horse-drawn wagons and carts.

The Sister Care seminars held in Camaguey and Havana November 23-28 were hosted by the Cuban Council of Churches. Ninety women participated from 17 denominations including Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Salvation Army, and Quaker churches.

Heggen and Keener began each seminar by asking women to work in small groups to compile a list of the challenges faced by women in Cuba. Continue reading

The Global Connections of Mennonite Women USA :: by Anita Hooley Yoder

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

Postcard & a Prayer :: October Email Newsletter

Enjoy October e-news from Mennonite Women USA!

It is an easy way to get all the latest information, reflections and images that cover all our national and international happenings from our Sister Care seminars to our upcoming Timbrel coverage and giving tree. We also include a pertinent prayer, excerpts from women in the greater church and content relevant to Mennonite women everywhere.

Sign-up today, stay connected each month!

MW USA October Email 2015

 

 

Goshen, Hesston and Bethel Colleges to Host Sister Care for College Women

by Marlene Bogard

Katy, a recent college graduate posted an Instagram photo of a meal she prepared with local, fresh ingredients. It included squash fritters and truffled green beans. Yum. She considered this food fest, “Advanced Adulting,” proposing that such cooking finesse marked her journey from youth to adult.

When Katy moved out of her childhood home to her own apartment last spring, she snatched a professional job, got a scriptural tattoo with her first paycheck and shared with me that she was on the brink of “adulting.” She knew in her heart that the freedom and fun of college days were done, that loan payments were about to begin and she was in serious transition to adulthood.

Continue reading

Online Shop Fulfills Mission of Mennonite Women USA

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

Postcard & a Prayer :: July Email Newsletter

Enjoy July e-news from Mennonite Women USA!

It is an easy way to get all the latest information, reflections and images that cover all our national and international happenings from our Sister Care seminars to our upcoming Timbrel coverage and giving tree. We also include a pertinent prayer, excerpts from women in the greater church and content relevant to Mennonite women everywhere.

Sign-up today, stay connected each month!

MW USA July Email 2015

Connecting Women and Money by Everence President Ken Hochstetler

by Ken Hochstetler. Ken is President and CEO of Everence, which helps people and institutions integrate faith and values into their financial decisions to accomplish their stewardship goals.

Betty Loewen (left) and Camille Adrian of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota model the new Sister Care T-shirts, thanks to Everence.

I am delighted Everence is the sponsor for the Sister Care t-shirts for Mennonite Women USA. Everence wants to be identified with Mennonite Women USA as a financial organization that supports women and their futures.

Women are not the first group many people associate with financial matters. The traditional stereotype is that money issues are centered within the orbit of men. That is indeed true among many couples. In other households, married and single women take responsibility for financial decisions. You know other women all along that spectrum.

Our goal is not to treat women like men.

Continue reading

MW USA History Project Update :: by Anita Hooley Yoder

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

Sister Care: Level 2 “Going Deeper” Coming to Harrisburg, PA

by Rhoda Keener

A Sister Care: Level 2 “Going Deeper” retreat will be offered for the first time this fall. The retreat will be held October 2-4 at Camp Hebron located 20 miles north of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Carolyn Heggen and I cannot count the number of times we have heard women say during a Sister Care Level 1 seminar, “I need more time to process all that we have covered,” or “I wish we had more time at our table groups,” or “make this a full week-end retreat.” Here’s a description of the week-end from the brochure:

Continue reading