October 2015

Happy October!

Invitation to Prayer! 
     History is in the making for Mennonite Women USA's ministry of Sister Care. I invite you to pray for the upcoming Sister Care seminars in Cuba: 
November 23-25 in Camaguey and November 26-28 in Havana.
     Carolyn Heggen and Elizabeth Soto Albrecht will present two seminars in Cuba over Thanksgiving to about 70 women. Rhoda Keener, Sister Care Director, will accompany them as writer and logistics coordinator. Midian Lobain and Raquel Suarez are organizing the local hosting. Funding to assist the Cuban women is provided by Mennonite Central Committee and CIM through the Latin American Women Theologians.
     Funding for travel to and within Cuba is provided by individual donor gifts and the Mennonite Church USA Sexual Abuse Care and Prevention Fund. This trip, like all of Sister Care International is funded above and beyond our general operating budget.
     This Thanksgiving please remember all of these women in your prayers for traveling safety, and for all to receive the love of God through training and healing. 

This is an historic moment!  
May God' Spirit be experienced!

Marlene Bogard, Executive Director

 Jesus - Healer of mind, body and spirit

There are so many tragedies in the world.
      Shootings at schools, collateral damage.
      Natural disasters, economic inequities.
There are so many at war,
It all seems so senseless and wasteful.
Yet, you are active, present, and generous in our
      everyday lives.

Your hand
Paints the burnished gold and crimson red in the fall leaves;
Holds the quiet hush of early morning;
Stirs the skies making loud and noisy storms;
Sends the watering rains replenishing the earth's dry places.

Our hearts yearn for you to free us.
We seek your healing touch in our dry places.
Through Spirit, Wind and Fire,
We learn to wait, just as we wait through the seasons.
We wait for hope,
We wait for change,
We wait for You.

Linda Dibble is a member of Albany Mennonite Church; owner/operator of a small farm in Albany, OR; student at George Fox Evangelical Seminary (MA Spiritual Formation), and grandmother to five lovely grandchildren. Linda serves as Chair for Albany MC Leadership Team and as Chair for Western Mennonite School in Salem, OR. 
Pray the above prayer individually or with a group.
* Savor it in silence.
* Share how you have learned to wait.
* Reflect on a  healing touch you have received.
Talk about your hopes for yourself, your community, your world. 

Watch for an upcoming conversation on Facebook and join in!
Part of our mission at Mennonite Women USA is to empower women and women's groups - so...

...Talk-About it and go for it! 
Have you discovered your 
A Bible study designed for women:
  • Ready for personal reflection on spirituality and creativity.
  • 12 sessions, very Anabaptist.
  • High quality, very affordable. 
  • Wonderful gift.
  • Appreciated by all ages of women.  
Spark: Igniting Your God-Given Creativity by April Yamsaki is sponsored by Mennonite Women USA and Mennonite Women Canada.  Order Spark here.
L to R: Rose Kennell,
Sandie Glunt, Karel Glunt
L to R: Emily Vogt,
Ellen Conrad, Karen Stoltzfus
Sister Care Level 2: "Going Deeper"
pilot retreat Camp Hebron,
Halifax, PA

On a rainy October weekend, 38 women gathered for a first Sister Care, Level 2 weekend retreat led by Carolyn Heggen and Rhoda Keener. The retreat provided space to process the Sister Care material in new ways - both individually and in small groups. Comments include:
"Sister Care gave me time to think about my passion and mission at this point in my life." 
"Sister Care gave me a chance to work on my issues so I can better serve others."
Participants attended from six conferences in Pennsylvania and New York. 

Sister Care for College Women
Goshen College


The Goshen College Sister Care weekend was successful! We were blessed with interactions with 20 young women who were eager to reflect on their own lives and the challenges they face as young adults. The presentations on stress and life direction were extremely practical, and the opening session on being made in the image of God was deemed life-affirming and inspirational. My hopes for the future of this program would be that as we get feedback from college women, we will be able to craft an event that continues to offer opportunities for input and conversation around important personal issues with a spiritual formation twist. -Marlene Bogard

Upcoming Sister Care for College Women
Feb. 6, 2016 - Bethel College
March 19 - Hesston College 

Carolene Jackson and Willie Stoltzfus enjoy a recent PREP.
Timbrel Teaser
Become a Sage

 "I propose that a new calling for Mennonite women everywhere is to serve as intentional Sages to younger women. How shall we begin?  Try any or all of these ideas that research has proven to work well:
  • Meet them at their starting points. 
  • Approach the relationship with open hands.  What happens next is up to the Holy Spirit.
  • Offer friendship, wisdom,
  • Offer non-judgmental listening with compassion.

Read all of Marlene's article, "In Motion" in the Fall, 2015 Timbrel

IWF Spotlight 
Prayers Requested! 
Mennonite Women USA board to discern scholarship recipients
A subcommittee of the MW USA board and Marlene will review the 31 applications received requesting funds from our International Women's Fund scholarships. 

The board has allocated $10,000 for this fund. This subcommittee will come to the board meeting, November 9, with a recommendation of names and scholarship amounts for board approval. 

Please pray for the board as they engage in this holy work.
PREP is coming!
PREP is coming!  

Mark you calendars for August 12-13, 2016 in Denver, Colorado for the next PREP (Preparing, Resourcing, Encouraging and Praising). 

This event is open to all women and will provide opportunities for networking, inspiration, and training from Everence staff. Rhoda Blough will lead a "Women, Faith and Money" seminar.
Teresa Boshart Yoder will lead a seminar on women and health. 

There will be additional time for conversations on new initiatives, personal reflection and spiritual formation.

Stay tuned. 
Peggy Martin, left, is MW USA board member from LaJunta, CO.
How to Challenge the Reluctance to Change
by Peggy Martin

Fall is definitely here. The date confirms it, my zinnias and cosmos are fading, as the mums and autumn joys are thriving and bursting with color. Days are fuller and more scheduled, and daylight is disappearing more quickly and coming later in the morning. I'm jealous every year of my friends who embrace this change and yearn for the cooler weather and all that fall brings. I cling to the 90-degree weather that continues these days, and miss the more carefree and unscheduled days of summer, with canning and freezing; eating fresh produce from the garden most meals; and having a freer schedule to visit grandchildren (and children too, of course).

Mennonite Women USA announces the newly launched online shop added to their website in late June 2015. It was created and developed in response to the needs and desires expressed by their supporters. Instead of having to call the office or send a letter indicating interest for particular materials, the Mennonite Women USA shop has all of their resources and materials available at the touch of a button.
The store is fully functional and responds to customers shopping from their desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone. Now you can purchase as many copies of the latest Bible Study Guide Spark: Igniting Your God-Given Creativity right online for your groups or Sunday School classes. Order Sister Care materials with bulk discounts and get the new Sister Care t-shirt!

History Project Update
by Anita Hooley Yoder
In the next few issues of Postcard and a Prayer, I will include a quote from one of the women I have interviewed in preparation for the writing of the Centennial book. 
"Today, women have a strong voice in the denomination and its publications. . . . But still, we need a figurative room of our own to do what women have always done among themselves. In our personal lives, we look to other Mennonite women for wisdom, inspiration, practical advice, and encouragement; a magazine by and for Mennonite women can provide the same benefits. . . . when we tell each other our stories, we grow in understanding, wonder, and faith." -Cathleen Hockman-Wert

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.


Shop all our Sister Care resources available on our NEW online shop!

2015 Sister Care seminars 
  • "Compassionate Care for Pastoral Care Leaders and Teams" in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Pennsylvania, October 23
  • "Sister Care International" November 23-25, 2015 - Camaguey, Cuba
  • "Sister Care International" November 26-28, 2015 - Havana, Cuba

2016 Sister Care seminars
  • Newton, Kansas :: January 29-30
  • Bethel College :: February 6
  • Hesston College :: March 19
  • Kenya :: April
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba :: May 13-14
From The Mennonite  Sara
Wrecked and Redeemed
by Sara Dick

When I first began working as a pastor, someone asked me what was most surprising to me about my new job. After a moment's thought, I replied, "How much I need to pray." I was on a sabbatical this summer and, looking back, it seems all roads led me to deepen and expand these truths about prayer and myself.
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:

Lelia Esch Schlabach in memory of Lugene Zehr.


Give to Mennonite Women USA

Giving to MW USA online is so easy! Give today...transform tomorrow...
A Blessing for You
May your journey into autumn be filled with color and texture.
May you generously share this beauty with others. 
May Christ, your companion, teach you to wait and to hope.    

- Marlene Bogard

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