December 2015

A Christmas Blessing Prayer
Dear Friends,

May the light of the Christmas Star
     illuminate your path,
May the warmth of home and hearth
     settle deep in your bones,
May the cheer and good will of friends
     bring a smile to your face,
May the hope of a childlike heart
     find you at peace,
May the joy of a thousand angels sing to you,
     May the love of God surround you.

Blessings from the Mennonite Women USA Staff, 
Marlene Bogard, Executive Director
Claire DeBerg, Communications Manager
Berni Kaufman, Executive Assistant
Rhoda Keener, Sister Care Director
The Housewarmer Project

Mennonite Women USA's Housewarmer Project provides quilted wallhangings to persons whose homes have been destroyed by disaster, and have received a new or rebuilt home through Mennonite Disaster Service.

Since its beginning in 2004, quilt makers from across the United States have sent nearly 250 handmade quilted wallhangings to individuals and families celebrating a new beginning in a new home.

Join in and contribute to this ministry!

Sister Care for College Women

Bethel College is hosting the upcoming Sister Care for College Women on Saturday, February 6.

Marlene Bogard will present and cover these pertinent topics to young adult women:
  • What to do with your one precious life?
  • When to say yes and when to say no (boundaries).
  • Faith formation & personal journey.
  • Stress management.
  • Caring for others.
With sponsorship from Bethel College Femcore, Western District Women in Mission and local Mennonite churches, this seminar is sure to touch, move and inspire college women.

Have you discovered 
  • A Bible study designed for women
  • Perfect for a devotional or study
  • Great for personal reflection or group conversation
  • 13 sessions written from an Anabaptist perspective on spirituality
  • Very affordable
  • Makes a wonderful gift
  • Appreciated by women of all ages
Spark: Igniting Your God-Given Creativity
by April Yamasaki is sponsored by Mennonite Women USA and Mennonite Women Canada.

Sister Care shared in the Conservative Mennonite Church

Janelle Glick from the Conservative Mennonite Church in Ontario led a Sister Care Study
weekend at Countryside Mennonite Church in October. Previously, Janelle attended the MW USA's Sister Care seminar in Ontario taught by Carolyn Heggen and Rhoda Keener. Janelle used the Sister Care DVD to prepare for teaching the study weekend.

IWF Spotlight 
Eugénie Maungala
Eugénie Maungala, Congo, is involved with Sunday School and sings in the choir at her congregation in the Bumbu Parish, Kinshasa. Tim Lind, Mennonite World Conference, says, "Eugénie hopes to be a pastor and to preach the good news of Jesus Christ."
Give the gift of inspiring, ethical content by and for Anabaptist women with our winter SALE!

Now through April 1, 2016 buy two NEW subscriptions to Timbrel for just $25:
  • one for you
  • one for a friend!

Feliz Navidad from Cuba

Thank you for your prayers for the Cuba Sister Care seminars held Nov. 23-28, 2015 led by me and Carolyn Heggen. Ninety women from 17 denominations attended the two seminars held in Camaguey and Havana. Midiam Lobaina from the Cuban Council of Churches coordinated the events. She was assisted by Ruth Castro pictured at right dramatizing the John 4 monologue.  

Responses from women included:

"I have felt loved in this workshop.  I didn't want to face before how much pain I have hidden in my heart. I thank God that you created an atmosphere where I felt safe to look at the wounds I have carried for many years."

"Come back soon. If you come back you will see how we have put into practice these skills you have taught us about how to help others heal."

"Life for women here is very difficult and you have helped us with some tools to know how to help others and to help ourselves."

Many women wished us a blessed Christmas. We send warm greetings, "Feliz Navidad" to our sisters in Cuba. 
Coloring as a Spiritual Practice AND Listen to My Podcast!
by Marlene Bogard

Adult coloring books are all the rage. They are relaxing and enjoyable, either individually or as a group. But have you ever considered how coloring might be a kind of spiritual practice? What? Doodling as a way to pray?

I have long been on a mission to help folks claim their own "spirituality style." Each of us gravitate towards connecting with God in different ways. Some of us love to participate in worship through congregational singing, others would rather be amidst ferns and trees on a woodsy path. Some of us spend hours in silent meditation and prayer, others of us thrive in group discussions, or when baking or cooking. Some of us read and ponder, others of us thrive in the midst of color and design with artistic tools.

Read the rest of my article or stay awhile and check out my podcast below:

The Gathering Place Podcast with Marlene Bogard
The Gathering Place Podcast with Marlene Bogard
For Gifts, Visit our Online Shop! 
Mennonite Women USA is happy to offer our online shop, created and  
brown_paper_gift.jpgdeveloped in response to the needs expressed you, our supporters.

Instead of calling the office or sending a letter indicating interest for particular materials, the Mennonite Women USA shop has all the resources and materials available at the touch of a button.

Visit us for Christmas gift-giving and purchase 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 Marlene Bogard
If you were writing a 100-year history of Mennonite Women USA, what would you include? 
  • Facts and figures? 
  • Analysis of how far we have come? 
  • Anecdotes and personal stories? 
  • Recipes and patterns? 
  • Photos of 100 different Mennonite Women? 

We are in a process of discernment on what kind of shape, length and focus this written project might be. We do know this: whatever "it" will be, it will be available summer of 2017! It could be a best seller, who knows!! Keep this project in your prayers and then send your ideas for what you'd include.

The Sister Care seminar is now available for purchase on DVD with 12 sessions for small groups, retreats, or Sun
day school classes. 

An easy to use 40-page facilitator's guide written by Rhoda Keener and Carolyn Heggen accompanies the DVD.

Each DVD session is 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.

2016 Sister Care seminars
  • Newton, Kansas :: January 29-30
  • Bethel College :: February 6
  • Hesston College :: March 19
  • Kenya :: April
  • Tanzania :: April
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba :: May 13-14
From The Mennonite 
God is listening, an advent reflection
by Osheta Moore

Osheta Moore lives with her family and serves at a church in Los Angeles. Osheta blogs at Shalom in the City and is a member of the MennoNerds blogging collective. Here she reflects on parenting and Jesus' presence with us even in the midst of struggle, loneliness and hopelessness. 
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 each gift honors or remembers a relationship. 
Gifts given by:
Kip and Carolyn Patterson in memory of Frieda Amstutz
Jocele Meyer in memory of Frieda Amstutz.
Gloria Lehman  in memory of Elaine Clymer.
Lois Shank Gerber in memory of Linda Hines.
Jeanne Heyerly in memory of Ruth Entz Buller.
Anne Yoder in memory of Anna Pauline Yoder and Miriam Hershberger.
Laurie Shaub Callan in memory of Doris Shaub.
Joyce Bomberger in memory of her mother, Lois.
Justina Neufeld in memory of Dietrich and Anna Neufeld.
Ramona Yoder in memory of Pastor Hal Shrader.
Betsy Headrick McCrae in memory of Clara Esch Headrick.
Kathryn Langford in memory of Kay Johnson and Irma Harder.
Rebecca Hauder in memory of Margaretha Ediger.
Lois Reimer in memory of Lena Unruh and Carolina Reimer.
Kathy Bilderback in memory of Ruth Buller.
Phyllis Baumgartner in memory of Donita Brookmeyer.
Jo Miller in memory of Kathy Roth.
Rachel Metzler in memory of Marian L. Horst.
Wilma Cender in memory of Sadie Ressler.
MariAn Nyce in memory of Ella Mae Landis.
Ruth Lapp Guengerich in memory of Edith R. Lapp
      and Marjorie Y. Guengerich

Gifts given by:
Elizabeth Goering in honor of Sara Janzen Regier and
Laurie Oswald Robinson.
Pat Goering in honor of Lu Neufeldt.
Delila Wedel in honor of Ruth Guengerich and Berni Kaufman.
Edna Kruger Dyck in honor of Jen Ceirene.
Linda Meyer Esh in honor of Irene Meyer.
Christine Waanders in honor of Janet Waanders.
Sarah Thompson in honor of Emelia Amanko.
Jan Showalter in honor of Twila Yoder.
Marie Harnish in honor of Florence Rheinheimer Harnish.
Marlene Bogard in honor of Ruth Lapp Guengerich.
Barbra Graber in honor of Carolyn Holderead Heggen.
Bethany Keener in honor of Rhoda Keener and Kay Fleming.
Melanie Springer Mock in honor of Esther Springer.
Esther Alampally in honor of her family.
Jeanette Harder in honor of Marlene Bogard.
Give to Mennonite Women USA

Giving to MW USA online is so easy! Give today...transform tomorrow...
Christmas Joy to You
"I came so that they could have life--
indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest."
- John 10:10

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