Aug 10, 2017

Photos from Women Encountering Jesus Retreat in Manitoba

Women Encountering Jesus
A Spring Retreat offered by Mennonite Women Manitoba

Note:  I posted a write up about this retreat on August 8 and the following day received these photos from the event!  I've included the write-up and inserted the photos.

You could have heard a pin drop, as the 45 women who had gathered for this day of retreat, received the stories of women encountering Jesus. We were treated to stories drawn from Scripture, early Christian history and the contemplative tradition, along with stories from more recent history, all presented in simple and profound dramatic form.

Stories of women encountering Jesus (1)
Stories of women encountering Jesus (2)
Stories of women encountering Jesus (3)

Laura Funk, Guest Speaker
Our retreat director, Laura Funk, a local Spiritual Director and founder of Butterfly Journeys, crafted the day to introduce us to the voices of these historic women as well as to practices of prayer that have stood the test of time. Laura also prepared a resource booklet for participant in which she stated, “My hope is that if you sense the need for a change in your own spiritual journey, something here might help you along.” And the booklet provides many such helps; reminders of the practices we tried out, and descriptions of the ones we didn't have time to try.
Kathy Giesbrecht, Mennonite Church Manitoba




Our day together truly was a day of retreat as we engaged and selected and experienced a wide array of prayer practices. The prayer stations, created by Laura, included written introductions and explanations to each (in the provided booklet) that invited us to enter each practice.  Women from a wide variety of age groups waded in, sometimes on their own, sometimes with a group of others. Retreaters affirmed that being introduced to new ways of encountering Jesus was refreshing for them.  They also affirmed the use of storytelling as a way to ‘hear anew’ the words of Jesus. 

Prayer station - an array of prayer practices

Prayer station - an array of prayer practices

Lunch and snacks were included!
This Retreat looked distinctly different from the Sister Care Seminar we had offered in the spring of 2016. Both the ‘returning retreaters’ from 2016 and the new women who ventured into this years retreat encouraged us to keep providing such events.
Lunch and snacks were included!
As the MWMB planning group reflected on this event, it affirmed that allowing the Retreat to go in distinct directions served our hopes of offering differing spaces for women in our community. MWMB will continue to offer Spring Retreats, along with the other initiatives it is pursuing. Next year's event will focus on mental health. Watch for news about it this fall.
Laura Funk with Elsie Wiebe,
President of Mennonite Women Manitoba


Submitted by Kathy Giesbrecht

Aug 8, 2017

Mennonite Women Manitoba - Spring Retreat 2017

Women Encountering Jesus
A Spring Retreat offered by Mennonite Women Manitoba

  You could have heard a pin drop, as the 45 women who had gathered for this day of retreat, received the stories of women encountering Jesus. We were treated to stories drawn from Scripture, early Christian history and the contemplative tradition, along with stories from more recent history, all presented in simple and profound dramatic form. Our retreat director, Laura Funk, (a local Spiritual Director and founder of Butterfly Journeys)  crafted the day to introduce us to the voices of these historic women as well as to practices of prayer that have stood the test of time. Laura also prepared a resource booklet for participant in which she stated, “My hope is that if you sense the need for a change in your own spiritual journey, something here might help you along.” And the booklet provides many such helps; reminders of the practices we tried out, and descriptions of the ones we didn't have time to try.


    Our day together truly was a day of retreat as we engaged and selected and experienced a wide array of prayer practices. The prayer stations, created by Laura, included written introductions and explanations to each,(in the provided booklet) that invited us to enter each practice.  Women from a wide variety of age groups waded in, sometimes on their own, sometimes with a group of others. Retreaters affirmed that being introduced to new ways of encountering Jesus was refreshing for them.  They also affirmed the use of storytelling as a way to ‘hear anew’ the words of Jesus.

    This Retreat looked distinctly different from the Sister Care Seminar we had offered in the spring of 2016. Both the ‘returning retreaters’ from 2016 and the new women who ventured into this years retreat encouraged us to keep providing such events.
As the MWMB planning group reflected on this event, it affirmed that allowing the Retreat to go in distinct directions served our hopes of offering differing spaces for women in our community. MWMB will continue to offer Spring Retreats, along with the other initiatives it is pursuing. Next year's event will focus on mental health. Watch for news about it this fall.


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Submitted by Kathy Giesbrecht

Jul 26, 2017

DIRKS UPDATE


For five years, Nathan and Taryn Dirks served as Mennonite Church Canada workers in Gaborone, Botswana, nurturing relationships with young people through a variety of efforts ranging from prison ministry to sports. Their term has ended, and they have now returned to Canada with their young son, Malakai. Thank God for the dedication of Nathan and Taryn, and pray for God’s blessing as they discern what the future holds. 
(from PrayerNet, July/August 2017)

BARKMAN UPDATE




The Barkmans have sent the following update:  Greetings, friends and family! Attached you'll find our latest newsletter ... and Peace Church's most recent Weekly Prayer Bulletin that Kathleen Limayo, Peace Church member and staff, has been putting together. 
Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we serve in the Philippines! 
With love,
the Barkmans

The newsletter and the prayer bulletin have been posted to our website at

Jul 21, 2017

Women Walking Together in Faith - July 2017 - "Letting all our gifts bloom"



The latest of our bi-monthly articles in the Canadian Mennonite was written by Ev Buhr. Ev has been the Alberta Rep on our executive for many years and is the office administrator at First Mennonite Church in Edmonton. She enjoys letting her gifts bloom through music and children's stories during worship.  

In her article she asks:  "How often do we hold back for fear of other people's inadequacies being heightened? How often do we minimize our efforts so the person praising us still feels worthy? How do we deal with an expression that seems to stem from jealousy or seems to be fishing for a compliment in return? How do we let our gifts bloom so others can bloom as well?"

You can read her article HERE.

Jul 11, 2017

Crisis in DRC ~ Prayer Request

I received the information below from the President of Mennonite Women Canada, Shirley Redekop. Her counterpart, Adolphine Tshiama, National President of the women's organization for Mennonite Church of Congo, wrote the following letter to Africa Inter Mennonite Mission (AIMM) sharing her grief and sadness at the violence which has affected many families. She herself has lost a number of her family to the violence.  
Adolphine Tshiama writes:  
"It is with great sadness that I share this sad news. When my husband was still alive, he purchased agricultural land on the road leading to Ndjoko Punda, 65 kms from Tshikapa at the village of Inga which is inhabited by the Chokwe ethnic group.
After his death, the land was divided in two, one part for me and one for the members of his family. My young brother decided to go live on my land in order to farm it and to help me as well as make a living for his family. In the troubles (the violence, sometimes between ethnic groups, currently happening in the Kasai region of the DRC) he was attacked by some Chokwe, and in that attack lost his 23 year old son, who left behind a widow and two children.
On Friday June 16, 2017 their farm was attacked a second time. My brother was killed and dismembered, his wife and his two daughters along with his son's widow were all killed. The two children of his son have disappeared and have not been found up to today.
I ask you to pray for me, placing me in the hands of the Lord. I am going through a difficult time." 

Rod Hollinger-Janzen, AIMM staff, encourages us to:
* Pray for Adolphine and her family, that the Lord would comfort and strengthen them
* Pray for the two children, traumatized and in grief, wherever they are, that the Lord would protect them and bring healing
* Pray for all families living in the Kasai who have experienced loss and grief
* Pray for an end to violence and hostility in the Kasai region
* Pray that the church might continue to play its role as the hands, feet and mouth of Jesus who gave his life to bring an end to hostility and to reconcile all things to himself

(Information from an email received from Shirley Redekop)

Jun 26, 2017

SGAF Application Deadline - June 30

Mennonite Women Canada offers scholarships to women who are studying Anabaptist theology at a Master's level through their Spiritual Growth Assistance Fund. This includes academic and/or practical courses in church related ministries (such as seminary, theology, peace and conflict resolution). Members of a congregation belonging to Mennonite Church Canada are eligible to apply.  Funding may be granted for part of the tuition costs (payable to the institution) at the discretion of the executive of MW Canada.  First time applicants are given priority, but applications for continuing support are also considered.  
The deadline for applications is June 30.
Applications can be downloaded from our website - CLICK HERE.