June 2015

Noteworthy News

June is a time of green grass, harvesting the spring garden and experiencing the first hot days of summer. 


June is also a time when many celebrate love through anniversaries and weddings.


God's love is not limited to a month or a season, it is ever-present, ever-accessible, for everyone.


In this issue, we hope you experience the good news of God's love as evidenced in women's lives through these stories and updates.



Mennonite Women USA staff 

A Prayer from Spark: Igniting your God-Given

Creativity by April Yamasaki

 God, you are stirring within us.

Make us bold to create, and bold to offer our gifts in community.

We confess that we have not always accepted

 the creative ones among us.

We have not always recognized your gifts in others and

even in ourselves.  

Forgive us our failures, and open our eyes and hearts

to your stirring among us.  Amen.


This brand new Women's Bible Study is commissioned by Mennonite Women USA and Mennonite Women Canada. 

Order your copy today.

Mennonite Women will be at KC 2015 
and we want to connect with you!


Visit our booth to:

  • Get different, fun giveaways everyday!
  • Connect with staff and board members.
  • Buy raffle tickets for beautiful prizes - like the t-shirt quilt and gift baskets!

Attend a seminar:

  • Marlene Bogard will help lead a seminar introducing the new Spark Bible Study Guide and Retreat Kit.
  • Rhoda Keener and Carolyn Heggen will lead several Sister Care seminars. 
We have over 200 signed up for the Mennonite Women Dinner!
  • Enjoy a delicious meal and fellowship with other women from around the country.   
  • Receive inspiration from Goshen College women presenting powerful monologues. 
  • Meet several of the International Women Fund recipients from Latin America.
Lydia + Miriam Circle Members:

You have received a special invitation to attend a tea at the Aladdin Hotel on Saturday, July 4.

Look out for Mennonite Women - we are everywhere! 


"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." 
  • "I wish we had more time at our table groups."
  • "Make this a full weekend retreat."

Read the full article with a PDF download of the brochure and registration.


We're thrilled to announce our brand new online shop!

Here are a few items you'll be happy to quickly and easily purchase online:
You can even stream the Sister Care DVD content online...amazing Check it out today and enjoy shopping from the comfort of your home.
Lombard Mennonite hosts Sister Care Seminar 


A Sister Care seminar led by Carolyn Heggen and Rhoda Keener was held at Lombard Mennonite Church near Chicago on May 15-16. Women from four states attended. Anita Hooley Yoder, Ohio, (left) who is writing the Mennonite Women USA history, is pictured with Susan Botts from Illinois. 


See more pictures on Facebook.

Timbrel Highlights  

 "On an idyllic summer day some years ago I found myself strolling down a flower-laden path in a small village in Poland. The sunshine and flowers were so engaging--disarming even. As I paused to look more clearly at a flower and delve more deeply into the world in my head, I was suddenly shocked by the flood of water that covered me, all of me. Uproarious and fleeing giggles gave way to my gasps and clenched fists. I was wet, shocked, and duped by the local favorite: water balloons."

IWF Spotlight 

"My future goals for service within the Anabaptist/Mennonite church is to further my ministry among the Hmong women. My goal is to gain the knowledge and skills to reach out to Hmong women and provide them with encouragement and support in their spiritual walk with God. I believe that taking the courses will enable me to open new doors to work within the church and the community."


Complete 2015 

MW USA Raffle

We are planning another raffle this year at convention! At the Phoenix Convention we raffled a t-shirt quilt that raised over $800 for our ministries!

This year we are expanding the raffle and the money raised will go towards the International Women's Fund.

2015 raffle prizes:

GRAND PRIZE: T-shirt Quilt

1st PRIZE: MW USA Gift Box (with things like our new Bible study guide, free subscription to Timbrel, a Sister Care t-shirt, and MORE!) 

2nd PRIZE: MW USA Prayer Box

The Sister Care seminar is now available for purchase on DVD with 12 sessions for small groups, retreats, or Sunday school classes. An easy to use 40-page facilitator's guide written by Rhoda Keener and Carolyn Heggen accompanies the DVD.

Each DVD session taught by Carolyn or Rhoda averages 12-15 minutes in length with total viewing time of 166 minutes. The facilitator's guide offers suggested scripture, songs, and additional questions and activities for participants. Each participant will need a Sister Care: Equipping Women for Caring Ministry manual.


Sister Care resources available on our NEW online shop!

Sister Care Facilitator Kit // DVD + Facilitator Guide: $25

Sister Care Bundle// DVD + Facilitator Guide + Participant manual: $30

1-4: $10 each
5-9: $ 9 each

10+: $ 8 each

Shipping costs additional

Everence Sponsors Sister Care T-Shirts

Everence President and CEO, Ken Hochstetler states, "I am delighted Everence is the sponsor for the Sister Care t-shirts for Mennonite Women USA. Everence wants to be identified with MW 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..."

"This month is new beginnings for our family. We have a High School graduate, a college graduate and a graduate school graduate. High School diploma, bachelor's degree and master's degree. Each graduate set their own goal and accomplished it.

In life we each have a goal we set (whether it is a formal goal or an informal goal) that we want to accomplish. To some it may seem like an easy goal and to others it may be a long journey with many ups and downs..."

by Claire DeBerg

"There are powerful leaders and humble leaders, horrible leaders and questionable leaders.

Throughout my adult life of working under various leaders-from churches to places of employment, from neighborhood associations to my children's school board, from nonprofit organizations where I've volunteered to my own family-I've had varying experiences of leaders and come to understand that everyone is a teacher. They teach me what to do and sometimes what not to do.


1. Do this: Get your hands dirty..."

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
  • I have surveyed 40 years of VoiceWindow to Mission, and Timbrel magazines. 
  • I learned that "two cents and a prayer" became a $95,717 Missionary Pension Fund
  • I learned that over 200 families served by Mennonite Disaster Service have received quilted wall hangings
  • I learned 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.


Without a doubt, the highlight of my work so far has been talking to women (48 of them so far, plus one man, if you're wondering) from different eras of the organizations. These interviews have taken many forms, and I often feel that I enter sacred space as we talk together. Here is a sample of the conversations I've had so far.


My first interview was with Marian Hostetler at her apartment in the Greencroft complex in Goshen, Indiana..."
Give to Mennonite Women USA

Giving to MW USA online is so easy! Give today...transform tomorrow...
2015 Sister Care seminars
  • MC USA Kansas City convention workshops :: June 30-July 5
    • Sister Care: Level II
    • Sister Care: DVD resource
  • Mennonite World Conference workshops :: July 21-26
    • Sister Care: Global Contextualization and Testimonials
    • Explore Sister Care International
  • Sister Care: Level 2 "Going Deeper" :: Camp Hebron,
    Halifax, Pennsylvania :: October 2-4
  • Goshen College pilot for college women :: October 9-10
  • Atlantic Coast Conference, Pennsylvania :: Compassionate Care for pastoral care leaders and teams :: October 23
  • Cuba :: November
2016 Sister Care seminars
  • Newton/Hesston, Kansas :: January 29-30
  • Kenya :: April
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba :: May 13-14
From The Mennonite   
With my body I worship thee
by Sara Wenger Shenk

It's one of my husband's favorite lines: "With my body I thee worship."...


This public declaration, with its poetic beauty, is held within the deep wisdom of a traditional, communal recognition that keeping faith (fidelity) with one's partner is profoundly good. That this bodily honoring of one's partner is declared within public worship of our Creator God makes all the difference in the world.


Read more.

Gifts to honor and remember


Mennonite Women USA invites persons to share financially to support this ministry. Individuals are invited to give in honor of, or in memory of, significant people in their lives. We recognize that each gift honors or remembers a relationship. 


Gifts given by:

Dorothy Harder in memory of Tina Block Ediger.

Suzanne King in memory of Naomi King.

Martha Hershberger in memory of Rose Buckwalter.

Nancy Lee in memory of Margaret Foth.

Berdella Stutzman in memory of Doris Stutzman.

Jeanne Zook in memory of Clara Pierson.

Becky Harder in memory of Irma Harder. 

Yvonne Martin in memory of Naomi P. Martin.

Pam Risser in memory of Vera Kuhns.

Esther Bixler Heatwole in memory of Marilyn Burkholder Yoder.


Gifts given by:

     Suzanne King in honor of Clara Mary Etta King.



A blessing for you


Let your eyes seek the way of the Spirit's refreshing love,

Let your hands show the way of Christ's extravagant love,

Let your ear know the way of God's unconditional love.


-Marlene Bogard  

718 N. Main Street // Newton, KS 67114 // 316-281-4396