An April Fool’s Funny: Seeking Names for New Women’s Groups :: Ladies of the Evening?

On this April Fool’s Day we’re seeking fun (and funny!) ideas for naming Mennonite women’s groups…leave a comment with your group’s name or name idea! This story inspired us to gather names of groups from the US and Canada:

One Mennonite Women’s group in South Dakota called themselves “Ladies of the Evening” because it was made up of women who worked during the day and could not meet with the Mission Society group during their daytime meeting, hence “Ladies of the Evening.” (hahahahaha!)

Below is a list of different group names found in a history book of Canadian Women in Mission by Esther Patkau. Patkau notes that what may be the earliest Mennonite sewing circle in Canada called themselves the “Wohltätigkeitsverein” (charity organization). Here are more: Continue reading

You’re Invited to the Spring Supper of the South Central and Western Districts Mennonite Women

MW USA executive director, Marlene Bogard, is the keynote speaker for the 2016 Mennonite Women Spring Supper hosted by South Central and Western District Mennonite Women groups.

When: Thursday, March 17, 2016

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Where: Whitestone Mennonite Church, 629 Crescent Drive, Hesston, KS 67062

Theme: “Making Connections: friendship, faith and women today”

Marlene Bogard serves as executive director of Mennonite Women USA. She works from her home office in Salem, OR, and daily walks her cute little doggie up a hill, over a creek and beside tall trees. She regularly cuddles and reads to her grandson and is very grateful for that opportunity, but she still misses Kansas and all the wonderful Mennonite women who live there.

More highlights:

  • Music provided by Whitestone Women’s Quartet.
  • Full Meal provided by Whitestone Youth Group of Ham, Potatoes and more
  • Only $10 payable at the door

RSVP TODAY here:

email here: ksmennonitewomen@gmail.com

or

call here: 620-327-8201 (Angie at Hesston College).

This event is sponsored by Mennonite Women organizations of South Central and Western District Conferences. The offering will fund the WDC project:  The International Women’s Fund scholarships that help women around the world receive training and education for church leadership. Make check out to:  Mennonite Women USA for WDC project OR to South Central Conference.

It’s Not Me…Or Is It? :: by Shannon Unzicker

Women_gatheringShannon Musselman Unzicker (pictured on left), Benson, IL, is an active member of the Mennonite Church of Normal where she presently serves on the Creation Care Committee. She teaches a primary Sunday school class and participates in the local Moms in Touch. A social worker, Shannon is presently a fulltime mother of four children.

About five years ago, the mother of one of my son’s classmates invited me to join a prayer group that was being formed for our elementary school.  She explained that she would be one of the group leaders, and that the group of mothers would be meeting two mornings per month in her home to pray for our children, their teachers and the other students.

I was flattered that she had asked me, and thanked her for the invitation. I told her I would let her know in a week or so, but in my head, I was already thinking, “Nice of her to invite me, but I just don’t know if that’s ‘me.’ I will probably have to pray out loud in front of a group…not something I am very comfortable with.” Continue reading

Picture Gallery of the Franconia Conference / Eastern District Women’s Gathering

written and compiled by Doris Diener

Saturday morning, March 7, approximately fifty women joined together at Nueva Vida Norristown to “set the day apart” for worship, learning, and fellowship. The theme of the day was “Shattering Our Mirrors”–releasing the false image we see and embracing the image God sees when our Creator looks at us.

Sandra Dresher-Lehman shared that God’s creativity in His creation of women may not always fit the mold the community has prepared for us and encouraged each to be authentic followers of Jesus. Christine Waanders challenged each to own her personality and to see positive possibilities in what may be considered our down-sides. Continue reading

Women Together I :: How to Write a Governance Document

Many women’s groups have some sort of written document that guides their operations and overall sense of being together. While often called a constitution, a better term might be governance document. Constitution refers to the governance document of an entity that stands alone, but most women’s groups are a part of the formal or informal structure of a congregation.

Advantages of having a document like this are: Continue reading

Women Together I :: Types of Women’s Groups

Bible study: Meet for a half hour of fellowship and a half hour of study once a week, using Mennonite Women USA’s annual Bible study guides or other materials. This could involve private study between sessions.

Spiritual friendships: Gather in twos, threes, or fours for prayer, meditation, and spiritual direction in a space outside the busyness and demands of everyday life. A place of encouragement and accountability.

Mentoring: Pair older, mature believers with younger women or newer believers. Continue reading

Women Together I :: Steps for Starting a Women’s Group

Consider the characteristics of your congregation.

Are you:
Small: no women’s group
Large: a mix of full-time homemakers and women working outside the home
Integrated: men and women work jointly on committees, leadership
Traditional: an established women’s group meets some needs very well
Urban: many professional people, possibly a number of university students
New and growing: people of many backgrounds Continue reading

Sister Care Expands to [Compassion] Care in Portland

Men join women for seminar

Published: February 14th, 2012, by: Annette Brill Bergstresser of Mennonite Church USA.

By Joan Kropf

Some came because their wives wanted them to, others because they are in leadership positions and their congregations encouraged them to. But the underlying reason men participated in a [Compassion] Care seminar for the first time was the same reason women have been coming to Sister Care: to be better equipped for caring ministry.

So the harmony was four-part for the Jan. 20-21 seminar in Portland, Ore., with men adding their voices to the hymns and their insights to the discussions. Continue reading

Sister Care Seminar Breaks New Ground with Inclusion of Translation

By Emily Ralph, first published in The Mennonite, May 2012.

SOUDERTON, Pa.—One hundred and thirty women gathered for training and fellowship at Souderton Mennonite Church on March 23-24. The Sister Care seminar, developed by Mennonite Women USA, was sponsored by Eastern District and Franconia Conferences as part of their continuing work to equip and train congregational leaders.

Souderton’s Sister Care seminar was groundbreaking for Mennonite Women USA; it was the first time the seminar used materials translated into Spanish. Spanish-speaking participants were also equipped with translation headsets. As a result, the seminar was well-attended by Spanish-speaking members of Philadelphia Praise Center, Nueva Vida Norristown New Life, First Mennonite Church of Brooklyn, and Mennonite Evangelistic Tabernacle, New York City. Continue reading