July 2015

Noteworthy News



The first watermelon, crisp and refreshing, gushes delight like a cool summer shower. Juicy!


A backyard barbecue fills the neighborhood with smoke, encircling family and friends. Savor it!


Conferences and conventions release both joy and sorrow as decisions are made, friendships are reinforced and Mennonites discern their identity and belonging. Grace!


Mennonite Women are everywhere, offering God's love, encouraging, learning, praying and supporting each other. Shine on! 


Enjoy your summer! 

Mennonite Women USA staff 

Bless the Work of Our Hands,
O God

by Carol Penner

Bless the work of our hands, O God. 


Bless the hands that move earth, plant seeds and harvest, hands with calluses and dirty fingernails, strong hands.


Bless the hands that drive cars and trucks and forklifts, hands that spend time on computer keyboards, capable hands.

Bless the hands that manufacture and create, 

working wood and metal and plastic, practical hands.


Bless the hands that wash, mop and scrub,

hands that know what to do with soap, determined hands.


Bless the hands that play instruments and hold paintbrushes, hands that are creative tools, artistic hands.


Bless the hands that cook and feed, heal and nurture,

hands with a gentle touch, loving hands.


Bless the hands that give away money or food,

hands that are always trying to be empty, Christ-like hands.

Our hands do the work of your hands, O God our Creator.

Copyright Carol Penner 
www.leadinginworship.comThis prayer is included in Spark:Igniting your God-Given Creativity by April Yamasaki. 


This brand new Women's Bible Study is commissioned by Mennonite Women USA and Mennonite Women Canada. 
Mennonite Women were at KC 2015 - Everywhere!

 At our Booth: 

  • We offered different, fun giveaways everyday! We ran out of our most popular one - temporary tattoos of the MW logo.  :)
  • Staff and board members happily greeted hundreds of women, from shy teenagers to fun-loving elders.  We listened and learned their stories, they shopped for T-shirts and resources.
  • Friday noon we raffled an incredible t-shirt quilt and two amazing gift baskets!


Denise Nickel, Goessel, KS and Linda Goering, Moundridge, KS model their tattoos.


Board and Staff (left to right): Front Row  - Marie Harnish, Denise Nickel, Tonya Detweiler. Back Row - Rhoda Keener, Berni Kaufman, Marlene Bogard, Kathy BIlderback, Peggy Martin, Claire DeBerg, Twila Yoder. Also present from at Convention but not pictured, Hyacinth Stevens



Mother -Daughter: Arlyce Friesen, Henderson, NE and Diana Schunn, Whitewater, KS

 Seminar Action:

  • Marlene Bogard led a seminar introducing the new Spark Bible Study Guide and Retreat Kit along with Amy Gingerich from MennoMedia. 
  • Rhoda Keener and Carolyn Heggen lead several Sister Care seminars.
  • Ruth Guengerich (former co-director), led a seminar on Pastor's spouses. 
Women creating prayer bead bracelets at the Spark seminar.

Lovely Mennonite Women dinner:
  • Marlene planned an informative, creative introduction to the ministry of Mennonite Women the video!
  • 220 women received inspiration from a group of Goshen College students who presented the Goshen Monologues. 
  • Three Latin American women shared their connection with MW USA through International Women's Fund and/or Sister Care.
From left: Alix Lozano, Colombia; Linda Shelly, MMN; Angela Opimi, Bolivia; Olga Piedresanta, Guatemala


Lydia + Miriam Circle Members enjoyed a lovely tea:
Read more about MW at Convention on 

Sister Care: Level 2

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. 


Register soon as space is limited and lodging accommodations are varied. 


Carolyn Heggen and Rhoda Keener will introduce new material building on the core concepts from the original Sister Care seminar.  The retreat will provide time for individual reflection, conversation, and guided activities in a beautiful setting. 


Helen Miller, Lancaster, is accepting registrations now


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

Sister Care Workshop 
at Mennonite World Conference

Ofelia Garcia, Mexico, (pictured front row second from the left) and Olga Piedrasanta, Guatemala (pictured front far right) will join Carolyn Heggen and Rhoda Keener to lead a Sister Care workshop at Mennonite World Conference.


SISTER CARE: GLOBAL CONTEXTUALIZATION AND TESTIMONIALS will be presented on Wed. July 22 from 1:30-3:00 p.m.  

Women from around the world will share how they have used the Sister Care materials in their contexts.  


Ofelia has adapted the material for children creating four lessons that have been translated into English by Milka Rindzinski, Uruguay. These will be available in English and Spanish at the workshop.


Timbrel Highlights  

 "At my seminary, there was a table outside of the library that had old books for sale. One day, I walked by and was taken aback because of something on the table. Along with the normal, old, musty, theological books was a sketch of Jesus. I stood and stared at the sketch for a long time, mesmerized, drawn into the magnetism of Jesus expressed in this artwork..."

IWF Spotlight 

"Yanett Palacios,
from Guatemala, displays a
deep pastoral spirit. 


She is an effective servant in her faith community. 


She has at least 2 years of study remaining to be followed by her thesis and final project.


Complete 2015 

MW USA Raffle

T-Shirt Quilt created by MW board member Marie Harnish was won by  Donna  Swartzendruber of Denver, CO (pictured above left).

The basket full of MW Resources was won by
Linda Goering of
Moundridge, KS.

The basket full of prayer retreat items was won by Cora Voran, Newton, KS. 

Funds raised by this raffle help support the International Women's Scholarship Fund

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

"Linda Gehman Peachey, a writer and editor, along with Mary Anne Isaak, a Canadian Mennonite Brethren woman in church leadership, are coordinating a gathering of women theologians at Mennonite World Conference (MWC) Assembly in Harrisburg, PA this week, July 21-26. This North American gathering is being organized in conjunction with the efforts of the other continental groups and their vision for a global network of women theologians.. "

by Claire DeBerg

"Storytelling is integral to every phase of fundraising, from making the case for support, to asking for gifts, to saying thank you, to building donor loyalty.

There are many ways storytelling inspires generous giving but the one that has stuck with me the most is how specificity over generality wins every time.

Statistics don't leave the kind of immediate impression a story can that zeroes in on the humanity of a single person or a single family. I get this because when I'm solicited to give to an organization, percentage signs and bulleted facts do less for my heart than a quote and a picture of someone transformed by an organization. That approach inspires me to pay attention. After all...a lot can get our attention but keeping that attention is another thing altogether..."


by Anita Hooley Yoder


The past few weeks have been full ones for me. I am grateful for connections made at convention in Kansas City and anticipate making more at World Conference this week. 


Read more.

2015 Sister Care seminars
  • 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 
To the recent college graduate
by Dominique Chew

On April 26, I, too, became a graduate. In my final semester of college, I observed that offering advice is one technique often used to comfort folks in a time of transition, which makes sense because transition is scary. Really scary. It seems like everyday I think of a new scary something. Things like, life ...


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:

Alice Hartman Jantzen in memory of Emma Jantzen.


Gifts given by:

     Barbra Gant in honor of Phyllis Baumgartner.


Give to Mennonite Women USA

Giving to MW USA online is so easy! Give today...transform tomorrow...

A Blessing for You


May the wind of the Spirit continue to inspire you, 

May Jesus walk with you from one creative step to the next,

May God the creator enliven and encourage you, today and every day. Amen

April Yamasaki, in Spark: igniting your God-given creativity

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