Sep 23, 2016

Deep Faith Conference - October 6-8, 2016

Elsie Rempel, Mennonite Women Canada's Secretary-Treasurer, is chairperson of the working group which is planning the DEEP FAITH CONFERENCE being held at AMBS (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) October 6-8, 2016 in Elkhart, Indiana. Elsie is also one of the worship leaders and one of the workshop presenters. MW USA and MW Canada are sponsoring a display table and a break at the conference. You can find more information at the website CLICK HERE.

Here are a few of the workshops that might be of interest to you!

BOOMER FAITH: DROP IN OR DROP OUT
We will explore the life stage of Baby Boomers, along with their unique challenges, realities and expectations. What helps them connect with Christian faith? What draws them away? How can paying attention to their distinctive perspective on life help them be formed in their faith? Presenter: Marlene Bogard, director, Mennonite Women USA 

WOMEN EMPOWERING WOMEN: FAITH AND FRIENDSHIP IN THE DIGITAL AGE 
We will explore the power of women's friendships as a way to nurture faith in other women of all ages. Together, we will imagine how friendships offer wisdom, encouragement and companionship and serve as a catalyst for Christian discipleship. Presenter: Marlene Bogard, director, Mennonite Women USA 

SPIRITUAL GRANDPARENTING 
It has become uncommon for congregations to include three generations of family, and many grandparents and their grandchildren have to make the best of long-distance relationships. But congregations often have lots of older and younger people who would do well to form deep friendships with each other. Come and explore the rich possibilities of spiritual grandparenting, whether or not it is biological. Presenter: Elsie Rempel, faith formation consultant, Winnipeg, Manitoba 

COME TO THE TABLE 
Faith formation happens around our tables and around The Table when we recognize Jesus as meal host. Come and explore the meals that Jesus hosted in the Bible and consider their potential for enriching the faith-forming potential of your congregation or camp’s tables. Presenter: Elsie Rempel, faith formation consultant, Winnipeg, Manitoba 

LATE-LIFE SPIRITUAL FORMATION 
Late life is an intense and varied experience, often evoking new questions and challenging deeply-held beliefs. How might we develop a robust spiritual foundation that can help us face realities such as dependency, frailty and mortality and at the same time experience the joy of life as a graceful gift from a loving Creator? Presenter: Marianne Mellinger, coordinator of applied studies, theological studies, Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ontario

GENDER AND FAITH FORMATION 
This workshop explores the ways in which our worship and faith formation are shaping our understanding of ourselves, our gender, our calling and our worth in God’s eyes. Genesis 1 affirms that all people are created in God’s image. Therefore, the gifts and attributes that both women and men bring are equally important to the life and ministry of the church, as well as to the witness that the church has within creation. This workshop seeks to give practical ideas for worship and faith formation that are affirming and life-giving for all who are created in God’s good image. Presenter: Katherine Goerzen, associate pastor, Tabor Mennonite Church, Newton, Kansas, and coordinator, AMBS – Kansas Center 

MAKING ROOM FOR FORMATION 
Using the theme of hospitality toward those outside of majority groups, how do we stay attentive to faith formation? Connecting with the text Making Room (Pohl), we will discuss the practices of Christ with attention to contemporary examples of hospitality and faith formation. Presenter: Shannon Dycus, co-pastor, First Mennonite Church, Indianapolis 

WE PROCLAIM AND EMBODY THE GOSPEL: FORMATION IN THE MISSIONAL CHURCH
In the way we create programs and hire staff, churches often seem to separate formation and mission. In the missional church, formation and mission are easily integrated. Drawing from the writing of Lois Barrett and John Driver, we will consider the practical implications of Christian formation in a missional frame. Presenter: Shana Peachey Boshart, Conference Minister for Christian Formation, Central Plains Mennonite Conference.

Sep 15, 2016

Women Walking Together in Faith - May 2016 - "All about love"


I just realized that I forgot to post our bi-monthly article which appeared in the May 4, 2016 issue of the Canadian Mennonite. It begins:   

At the request of Elsie Wiebe of Mennonite Women in Manitoba, Mennonite Collegiate Institute graduating student Amelia Pahl interviewed Martha Epp, 77, of Morden, Man., who has been the primary caregiver for her husband Henry, 88, ever since debilitating arthritis set in all over his already frail body four years ago. Both Epp and Pahl attend Morden Mennonite Church. 
CLICK HERE to read the article. 

Martha Epp, left, shows off one of her quilts to interviewer Amelia Pahl.
(Photo by Larrisa Pahl)

SGAF UPDATE - 2016 RECIPIENTS

Mennonite Women Canada is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients of our Spiritual Growth Assistance Fund. 

Danielle Fillion Raimbault is a returning student studying at Conrad Grebel College University. She writes: This semester I am enrolled in four courses at Conrad Grebel University College as part of the Masters of Theology program. The first two courses are very pastor-oriented. The first is a pastoral care course while the second is "The Skill of Learning and the Soul of Teaching" which will explore an Anabaptist approach to Christian education and talk about some helpful tools for teaching in the 21st century. My third course is a seminar in theological studies on the Holy Spirit which will examine contemporary and historical theologies on the Holy Spirit. Finally, I am taking a course at Wilfred Laurier University which is called "Inshallah." This course explores world music (specifically the global south). As part of of the course I have the opportunity to sing this music in a choir and then discuss the theological significance of the texts and music.
Outside of school, I will continue in my three jobs as a chaplain for a retirement residence, administrative assistant for my church as well as working part-time home-care for senior citizens. I am very grateful for the funds that Mennonite Women Canada has provided me to continue my education at Conrad Grebel. 
Thank you very much, Danielle  

Marlene Kruger Wiebe of Gretna, MB is studying part-time at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg. She writes: My desire to pursue further theological study at CMU is being fulfilled. I feel drawn towards the ministry of chaplaincy and my courses will help me go in that direction. This year I will be taking courses to nurture my skills of theological reflection and pastoral care. 
Thank you so very much for your generous support in my endeavour to complete my Masters degree.
Sincerely, Marlene

Sep 1, 2016

A Prayer of Blessing for Labour Day

Bless the work of our hands, O God.
Bless the hands that work the land;
hands that move earth, plant seeds and harvest,
hands with callouses and dirty fingernails, strong hands.

Bless the hands that use machines;
hands that drive cars, trucks and forklifts,
hands on computer keyboards, capable hands.

Bless the hands that make things;
hands that manufacture and create,
working wood and metal and plastic, practical hands.

Bless the hands that clean;
hands that wash, mop and scrub,
hands that know what to do with soap, determined hands.

Bless the hands that make music and art;
hands that play instruments and hold paintbrushes,
hands that are creative tools, artistic hands.

Bless the hands that care for people;
hands that cook and feed, heal and nurture,
hands with a gentle touch, loving hands.

Bless the hands that are generous;
hands that give away money and food,
hands that are always trying to be empty, Christ-like hands.

Bless the tiny, baby hands.
Bless the strong adult hands.
Bless the hands that are folded in prayer.
Bless the hands that are lifted in praise.
Our hands do the work of your hands,
O God our Creator.  Amen.

Carol Penner
(Used with permission. Check out Carol's blog called leadingworship.) 

2016 Bible Study Guide - Faith Travels


Are you looking for a new women's Bible study guide to use this fall? This might be the one for you! Excellent for personal study, women's groups, and retreat settings this dynamic study nurtures the faith of women in new and active ways and encourages women in their Christian walk. 

Faith Travels
One step forward, two steps back. Life is full of change and transition and rarely do they go as planned. Faith Travels: Trusting God in Life's Transitions takes women on a journey through the Old Testament, inviting them to walk alongside the Israelites from the wilderness and into the Promised Land. Just as the biblical story tells of a people who trusted God along the journey, this study helps readers consider God’s promises in their own lives during times of transition. Author Marlene Kropf carefully weaves stories of Celtic Christians throughout the study as well, bringing together the larger story of our human desire to be faithful to God as the journey unfolds. (from a release by MennoMedia)

The 2016 author of Faith Travels: Trusting God in Life's Transitions is Marlene Kropf. She is a spiritual director, retreat leader, and ordained Mennonite minster who lives in Port Townsend, WA. 

Mennonite Women Canada, together with Mennonite Women USA and MennoMedia, publishes an Annual Bible Study Guide which is available through MennoMedia and CommonWord. A complimentary copy is sent to each Mennonite Church Canada affiliated congregation ~ c/o the pastor, the office administrator or the women's ministry coordinator. They were mailed out in July.  If your church has not received a copy please contact your Provincial Rep! 

Jul 23, 2016

Barkman's latest newsletter

Darnell and Christina Barkman, along with their children Cody, Makai and Teyah, are Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers in the Philippines. They are current recipients of our PENNIES AND PRAYER LEGACY FUND. 
Their newsletters from April 2016 and July 2016 were recently posted on our web site under NEWSLETTERS They also have a BLOG where you can read more about their life as a family, their joys and their challenges.

Jul 16, 2016

MW Canada Coffee Meeting ~ July 7, 2016

About 40 women of all ages from across Canada met at TCU Place in Saskatoon for a short business meeting, some singing and an inspirational talk from our guest speaker, Dori Zerbe Cornelsen.

Special thanks to Waltrude Gortzen, our MC BC Women's Ministry Rep, for taking photos during our meeting!
Mel Harms (right), our SK Rep and hostess for the morning, and Kate Janzen (left) our AB Rep, greeted women as they arrived and collected their tickets so they could win one of the 5 door prizes! The talented Val Wiebe led us in singing 'Great is thy Faithfulness' and 'Will you let me be your Servant' during the program. 





A huge challenge for us during the past few years has been the transition of leadership roles at both the national level and the provincial level. We are happy to announce that our key leadership roles of President and Secretary-Treasurer have been filled and that we have a Rep from every area church currently on our executive. The theme for our 64th Annual Report Book 2015 is "Embracing Transitions" and our guest speaker, Dori Zerbe Cornelsen of Winnipeg, MB, a consultant with Mennonite Foundation of Canada, gave us an inspiring message entitled "Saying YES to Transition".


Special guests in attendance were some of our Past Presidents.  In the photo above are:  Marguerite Jack, CWM Task Force Chair 2008-2010, Dodie Lepp CWM 2002-2005, Ruby Harder CWM 1993-1999, Erna Neufeldt CWM 2005-2011, Liz Koop MW Canada 2011-2016, Shirley Redekop MW Canada 2016-? 

Installation of Shirley Redekop of Elmira, ON as President
"Receive this candle as a symbol of the love of Christ, the power of the 
Holy Spirit and a token of our support and encouragement." 

 Installation of Elsie Rempel of Winnipeg, MB as Secretary-Treasurer 
"Receive this candle as a symbol of the love of Christ, the power of the 
Holy Spirit and a token of our support and encouragement." 

2016 -2017 Executive: Mel Harms (SK Rep), Elsie Wiebe (MB Rep), Kate Janzen (AB Rep), Shirley Redekop (President) Elsie Rempel (Secretary-Treasurer), Dorothy Hamm (sitting in for Phyllis Ramer WMCEC Rep), Waltrude Gortzen (MC BC Women's Ministry Rep)


Before the Assembly was over Shirley and I spent some time at the Mennonite Women Canada display area going over some of the computer files that need to be transferred.  We are hoping for a smooth transition in both of the leadership positions. In the past couple of years our liaison with Mennonite Church Canada has been Tany Warkentin who serves on Witness Council as Short Term Ministries Coordinator.  Tany has been a wonderful support to both Lois and me in our positions and she will continue to support Shirley and Elsie in their roles.   Thank-you, Tany!