LogoA Postcard and a Prayer
Mennonite Women USA December 2008
In This Issue
Coming in timbrel
Honoring and Remembering
Give to Mennonite Women USA
Christmas program materials...
Prayer for the Journey

Christmas blessings from our homes to yours during this advent season as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.



Berni, Patty, Lois, and Rhoda

Coming in timbrel
The Jan./Feb. issue of timbrel will soon be in the mail. This issue focuses on Embracing Diversity in the church, whether gender, culture, or ethnic group.  Rebecca Osiro writes the intriguing account of her ordination as the first female pastor in the Kenya Mennonite Church.  Rebecca has been a recipient of MW USA's International Women's Fund.  She serves as secretary of the African Anabaptist Women Theologians.  
SunflowerRegina Shands Stoltzfus writes about the work of the church in the area of anti-oppression, including anti-racism. In addition to historical background, she provides the story of the multi-racial church in which she grew up. Also, Bertha Beachy expresses some of the things she has learned from those who practice Islam. Pictured (left) are Rebecca Osiro with Bertha Beachy Photo by Steve Keener
The sister question for the Mar./April issue of timbrel which focuses on Betrayal and Forgiveness is:
What scripture, book, or other resource has helped you move toward forgiveness?
Send your response to Patty by Jan. 2. 

This holiday season you might want to consider giving a subscription to timbrel to the adult women in your biological family or your church family-or both.  To order individual subscriptions or gift subscriptions click here.  To get the group rate discount for 10 or more subscriptions, click here
To subscribe to timbrel, send $14 for one year or $12 per person for a group of 10 or more to Mennonite Women USA, P.O. Box 347, Newton, KS 67114.  You can also e-mail or call 800-794-5101, ext. 227.  We'll start your subscription and send you a bill.
Honoring and Remembering 

Each fall and spring Mennonite Women USA invites persons to share financially to support this ministry. Donors are invited to give in honor of, or in remembrance of, a significant woman in their lives - to be shared in our Postcard and Prayer. We recognize that each gift honors or remembers a relationship.

Gifts given by:

Nancy Roynon in memory of Luella Rupp
Justina Neufeld in memory of Anna Neufeld
Gloria Rissler in memory of Marian Rutt Weaver
Dorcas Good in memory of Miriam Martin
Emma Richards in memory of Zona Horner Bontrager
Elaine Sommers Rich in memory of Zona Horner Bontrager
Rebecca Sommers in memory of Evie Hertzler
Donna Lehman in memory of Evie Hertzler
Mary Newcomer in memory of Evie Hertzler
Don Hertzler in memory of Evie Hertzler
Dorothy Kingsley in memory of Mary Ann Erb
Bethel (Rittman, OH) WMSC in memory of Alma Newcomer
Barbara Dagen in memory of Mable S Neff
Rosalie Eshleman in memory of Arlene Eshleman
Maggie Glick in memory of Mary Nan Glick
Lois J Yoder in memory of LaVerne Wiseinger
Jane L Hooley in memory of Dorothy Myers
Martinsburg Mennonite Women in memory of Dorothy Detweiler
Ruth Liechty in memory of Ramaine Sala
Virginia Dietterich in memory of Anna Sargent
Kathleen Harder in memory of Vivian Eitzen
Elizabeth Raid in memory of Pauline Krehbiel Raid
Isabel Mullett in memory of Betty Martin
Esther Helmuth in memory of Naomi E Yoder

Gifts given by:
Alice Hartman Jantzen in honor of Ingrid Schultz
Mary Ann Shisler in honor of Brenda Hartman-Souder
Michelle Armster in honor of Kendra Tefera
Joy Kauffman King in honor of Rachel Hartzler
Carolyn Locy in honor of Arlene Schaefer
Shirley S King in honor of Irena Sprunger
Carol B Spicher in honor of Jan Emswiler
Carol R Schrock-Ropp in honor of Rebecca Sommers

Give to Mennonite Women USA


Your gifts make Mennonite Women USA's ministry possible. Contribute on-line. Please consider this ministry in your giving. Gifts are tax deductible.


Or send by regular mail to:  Mennonite Women USA,  722 Main St., P.O. Box 347,  Newton, KS 67114.
Christmas program materials
On the Mennonite Women USA web site are Christmas programs and readings from past years. Choose the Joy of Christmas by Jill Kaufman, God's Extravagant Love by Barbara Nelson, Waiting for Living Bread by Donna Mast, and The Gift of Life by Marilyn Houser Hamm.  Additional ideas for Christmas are also on the web in Women Together, Ideas for Groups: Volume I, edited by Cathleen Hockman-Wert. 
A few copies of Women Together: Ideas for Groups, Volume II, edited by Cathleen Hockman-Wert are available from our office for $8. Two Christmas programs in this volume include: Messengers of God by Cynthia Lapp and Blessed to Receive by Ann Weber Becker. To order send $8 to the Mennonite Women USA PO Box 347 Newton KS 67114.



Martha Kauffman Weaver purchased her first computer at the age of 80. In 2008 she authored a devotional book with titles reflecting time spent at the computer: Back, Control, Cookies, Crash, Cut and Paste, Delete, etc. Martha says, "The purpose of Log-on-Bytes is to encourage your faith when working at your computer. Is there anyone who does not get weary with long hours at the computer and yearns for an Sunfloweroccasional break?"
These 31 devotionals are an excellent resource for women's ministry devotionals or for personal use. Copies are available for $6.30 each, or discounted with orders of 10 or more. To order, contact Martha
The Pressure Bubble: An Advent Prayer 

By Dawn Lehman, Hubbard, Oregon


Jesus, it has begun. The pressure bubble to celebrate Christmas. It started right after Halloween this year. Buy, Buy, Buy. Do, Do, Do. Give, Give, Give. Want, Want, Want. Pressure, Pressure, Pressure.


Find the Perfect Gifts: Kids pouring over catalogs, changing minds weekly. Don't forget the newspaper boy, the neighbors, Sunday school teachers. What to get someone who has everything? Christmas cards out to 100+ people. What about co-workers? All must know we care. The obligations feel stifling. Don't forget the stocking stuffers.  Do I have time to mail out these packages? Should I go express? . . .


Decorate Fabulously: Lights must go up. Oops, there's a missing bulb. Lights must come down, up again. Color coordinated Christmas tree. Should the decorations match the kitchen this year? How should I decorate the porch? It must be unique. I should throw out these old tacky decorations. New ones made in China look so much better. How about snowflake toothpicks or poinsettia napkins for the party? . . .


Give to Charities: Letter from the soup kitchen came today, and the Audubon and the schools and Habitat and the Rescue Mission and the Hope House, and our Mennonite organizations... "Sock-it-to me" is coming up at the kid's school, and the food drive and the pick a child to sponsor from the tree.  We need gloves for under the tree at church and layettes and...


Must Start Baking:  Pepper-nut dough must be started by Thanksgiving you know. At least ten different types of cookies must be stored in the freezer.  Who should get cookies platters this year? Let's see, Sadies for my daughter, caramels for Mom, no nuts for Grandpa, can't forget the Spritz.  The kids want a pumpkin pie from this pumpkin, should I cheat and use canned? Need a big bag of pecans, boy are they expensive this year. Do I have enough brown sugar? Maybe I should pick up two packages.  Shrimp or crab for the cocktail sauce? Three kinds of crackers.  What about cheese? . . .


More Christmas Projects: Shall I start the kids on some Christmas crafts? They must be taught how to "do" Christmas right you know. What style of dress will the girls want this year? There is an art to this Christmas making you know.  It must be do just so. Our mothers have trained us, our community has trained us, our society has trained us.  We know what is expected . . .Stop!! I want to be free from this, no more pressure to make it "perfect."


I long for the simple, yet real meaning of Christmas. Restore me, O Lord; let your face shine that I might be saved. Family gathered around the fire, cup of tea in hand, reading the Christmas story. A familiar Christmas pageant done by the children. Simple goodie bags filled with an orange, nuts, and a few hard candies. Slow down, let the peace of God's gift sink into my bones.  Sharing the joy of God's love with a simple smile and a hug. Lift our glad voices at the nursing home. Just be. Marvel in the humble beginning of The Child. Marvel at the precious gift we were given. Share the story, not the things. Sigh, let it go, let it go. Bathe in hope.  Bathe in peace.  Bathe in love. Thank you Lord Jesus.

A Postcard & a Prayer is compiled by Mennonite Women USA staff Rhoda Keener, Patricia Burdette, Berni Kaufman, and Lois Loflin.

Know of others who would like to receive "A Postcard & a Prayer" e-mails from Mennonite Women USA?  Have them send name, address, and e-mail Berni.