Jul 21, 2017

Women Walking Together in Faith - July 2017 - "Letting all our gifts bloom"



The latest of our bi-monthly articles in the Canadian Mennonite was written by Ev Buhr. Ev has been the Alberta Rep on our executive for many years and is the office administrator at First Mennonite Church in Edmonton. She enjoys letting her gifts bloom through music and children's stories during worship.  

In her article she asks:  "How often do we hold back for fear of other people's inadequacies being heightened? How often do we minimize our efforts so the person praising us still feels worthy? How do we deal with an expression that seems to stem from jealousy or seems to be fishing for a compliment in return? How do we let our gifts bloom so others can bloom as well?"

You can read her article HERE.

Jul 11, 2017

Crisis in DRC ~ Prayer Request

I received the information below from the President of Mennonite Women Canada, Shirley Redekop. Her counterpart, Adolphine Tshiama, National President of the women's organization for Mennonite Church of Congo, wrote the following letter to Africa Inter Mennonite Mission (AIMM) sharing her grief and sadness at the violence which has affected many families. She herself has lost a number of her family to the violence.  
Adolphine Tshiama writes:  
"It is with great sadness that I share this sad news. When my husband was still alive, he purchased agricultural land on the road leading to Ndjoko Punda, 65 kms from Tshikapa at the village of Inga which is inhabited by the Chokwe ethnic group.
After his death, the land was divided in two, one part for me and one for the members of his family. My young brother decided to go live on my land in order to farm it and to help me as well as make a living for his family. In the troubles (the violence, sometimes between ethnic groups, currently happening in the Kasai region of the DRC) he was attacked by some Chokwe, and in that attack lost his 23 year old son, who left behind a widow and two children.
On Friday June 16, 2017 their farm was attacked a second time. My brother was killed and dismembered, his wife and his two daughters along with his son's widow were all killed. The two children of his son have disappeared and have not been found up to today.
I ask you to pray for me, placing me in the hands of the Lord. I am going through a difficult time." 

Rod Hollinger-Janzen, AIMM staff, encourages us to:
* Pray for Adolphine and her family, that the Lord would comfort and strengthen them
* Pray for the two children, traumatized and in grief, wherever they are, that the Lord would protect them and bring healing
* Pray for all families living in the Kasai who have experienced loss and grief
* Pray for an end to violence and hostility in the Kasai region
* Pray that the church might continue to play its role as the hands, feet and mouth of Jesus who gave his life to bring an end to hostility and to reconcile all things to himself

(Information from an email received from Shirley Redekop)

Jun 26, 2017

SGAF Application Deadline - June 30

Mennonite Women Canada offers scholarships to women who are studying Anabaptist theology at a Master's level through their Spiritual Growth Assistance Fund. This includes academic and/or practical courses in church related ministries (such as seminary, theology, peace and conflict resolution). Members of a congregation belonging to Mennonite Church Canada are eligible to apply.  Funding may be granted for part of the tuition costs (payable to the institution) at the discretion of the executive of MW Canada.  First time applicants are given priority, but applications for continuing support are also considered.  
The deadline for applications is June 30.
Applications can be downloaded from our website - CLICK HERE.

Lessons learned from the elderly

This is the title of an article in the Young Voices section of the June 5, 2017 edition of the Canadian Mennonite.  Young Voices editor, Aaron Epp writes about Danielle Raimbault and her work as a chaplain at Chartwell Long Term Care Residence in Elmira, Ontario.  Danielle is a recent recipient of Mennonite Women Canada's Spiritual Growth Assistance Fund

From the article:  Reflecting on the strong faith of the residents has inspired her in her own faith.  She says,"It's made me think a lot about how people see my faith....What am I doing in my actions that show my faith?"

CLICK HERE to read the whole article.

Jun 9, 2017

Interview with Marlene Bogard by Elsie Rempel, May 2017

Marlene Bogard, currently living in Salem Oregon after several decades in Kansas, has joined the Salem Mennonite Church. In Kansas, Marlene served Western District Mennonite Conference as Minister of Christian Nurture and Resource Library director; a role in which she collaborated closely with Mennonite Church Canada's Resource department.  Since 2015, she has been the Executive Director of Mennonite Women USA, a role in which she collaborates with MW Canada in the Annual Bible Study Guide (BSG) project.

Elsie: How do you see your faith playing a role in the work that you have chosen?
Marlene: I live out my discipleship in my job. When I use my gifts of administration, creativity, networking, and humour, I feel like I'm in a place where God has called me, I feel alive, useful, rooted, validated.

Elsie: What are some of your challenges?
Marlene: Because the broader Mennonite church is in transition, we need to be more creative in offering meaningful materials, events, and connections.  A constant challenge is to imagine how we might attract younger generations of women.

Elsie: What are the highlights?
Marlene: I experience joy when I am with women who gather for support, prayer, and earnest conversation. God's spirit is alive and well in these friendships.

Elsie: What's new among MW USA?
Marlene: In 2017 we are celebrating 100 years of MW history, some of which is shared with our sisters north of the border. Our theme is “Fruit from the Vine” taken from John 15:5. We are happy to announce the publication of “Circles of Sisterhood, a history of Mennonite Women's Organizations” by Anita Hooley Yoder, published by MennoMedia.

Elsie: One ministry of your group, which Canadian women have appreciated, is Sister Care. Can you Share a story with us.
Marlene: A favorite story is about Suzette Schreffler of the Northern Cheyenne in Montana. She attended a Sister Care Seminar in Winnipeg with Indigenous Relations and was so inspired that she is  now leading weekly encouragement sessions with young women in detention centers.  She uses parts of the Sister Care materials and finds the women very engaged.  I believe Sister Care addresses the needs of all women’s hearts, across cultures.

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May 25, 2017

2017 BIBLE STUDY GUIDE ~ Live Your Call

Mennonite Women Canada, together with Mennonite Women USA and MennoMedia, publishes an Annual Bible Study Guide which is available through MennoMedia and CommonWordA complimentary copy is sent to each Mennonite Church Canada affiliated congregation ~ c/o the pastor, the office administrator or the women's ministry coordinator. 

Is this what my life was meant to be? Caught up in the everyday realities of life? Are you left wondering how you fit into God’s larger mission? 

Live Your Call empowers and motivates women to name and share their gifts as they serve God. This twelve-session Bible study guides women toward the Spirit’s gentle nudging or firm push on their lives so that they can clarify and participate in God’s mission. Author Anna Leichty Sawatzky draws deeply from stories in the Gospels, both to affirm and challenge women to live out their God-given calling and to empower them to share the good news with others.

  • Women’s Bible study that gets everyone into their Bibles and helps them notice God’s calling in their lives.
  • Excellent for individual study, women’s groups, and retreat settings, the session nurture faith in new and active ways and encourage women in their Christian walk.
  • 12 sessions of study plus one worship service in each guide.
  • Commissioned by Mennonite Women Canada and Mennonite Women USA



SGAF Application Deadline - June 30

Mennonite Women Canada offers scholarships to women who are studying Anabaptist theology at a Master's level through their Spiritual Growth Assistance Fund. This includes academic and/or practical courses in church related ministries (such as seminary, theology, peace and conflict resolution). Members of a congregation belonging to Mennonite Church Canada are eligible to apply.  Funding may be granted for part of the tuition costs (payable to the institution) at the discretion of the executive of MW Canada.  First time applicants are given priority, but applications for continuing support are also considered.  
The deadline for applications is June 30.
Applications can be downloaded from our website - click here.