Jun 19, 2009

Women's Resources for Loan

Celebrating Women: The New Edition, Morehouse Publishing, 1995.

The beauty and power of women's liturgical writing is celebrated anew in this expanded edition of a classic collection of prayer and worship material. Now triple the size of the original, and with more than 60 contributors, Celebrating Women, inspires women to create prayers, blessings, litanies and poems for personal meditation and informal group worship.

Here are psalms, hymns and prayers suitable for formal, corporate worship as well as less structured prayers and poetry that are poignant, imaginative and tough - even funny at times.

An essential reading for anyone who seeks open and inclusive ways of praying.

Borrow this title from the MC Canada Resource Centre online catalogue here.

Questions or suggestions?
Please contact the Resource Centre
or check our loan policy.

Loaned books are sent anywhere in Canada - free of charge - both ways!

We'll profile a new title at this blog every month.

Jun 17, 2009

Pennies & a Prayer

It's been 3 and a half years (2006) since I first heard about the "Pennies & Prayer Inheritance Fund" (PPIF) at BC's annual May Inspirational Day. In 2006 it was hosted by First United Mennonite Church, Vancouver, (FUMC).
Read the full story of PPIF by clicking on the full name just above.
Being actively involved with the Women's Ministry at Sherbrooke Mennonite Church (SMC) it was decided, that very day, that this fund was something that SMC's women would love to participate in.

Sooooo..... during the summer I got busy and prepared a little something for Sherbrooke's Women's Ministry.
I had heard of this great store called Essential Packaging.
How to pick from so many beautiful choices?
What would work best for the idea in my head?
In the end I went with a 3in. x 3in. square little, red box. See below!

It was fun decorating them!

The names of the 2 recipients are on the front of the box and a description of where and what they were doing is on either side with the PPIF logo on the back of the box.

When September came and the Women's Ministry started up again at Sherbrooke M. Church, the little red boxes were ready and waiting for them.
Each women was free to sign up and take a box. They were a hit!

Since then, my husband & I have moved to Abbotsford, BC and I don't know if this collection is still a part of the Women's Ministry at Sherbrooke but if any other women's group likes this idea, please feel free to use it. You can pick the packaging, colour and size!
But remember.... there is a NEW recipient and you will have to update the information on the little box!


Blessings to all of you!

Jun 9, 2009

New Name

On June 5, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the Annual Meeting of Canadian Women in Mission, we voted to change our name to Mennonite Women Canada. From East to West and North to South we are a "network of networks", women of all ages and all backgrounds.

Jun 3, 2009

Learning to keep an open-mind

It happened again the other day. A very normal conversation turned into a conflict, complete with hurt feelings and raised voices, over a simple misunderstanding. My spouse and I were talking calmly... then suddenly we were fighting. Hours later, after sorting through all the mess, we realized we had made assumptions and had neglected to check what the other meant. Instead of keeping my mind open, listening, and welcoming him in the space he resided, I immediately responded defensively. At that point, I no longer had space within me to welcome him or his perspective. It took a lot of time and effort to reverse what happened so quickly!

What does it take to be "open-minded?" I am currently a student at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. In classes and out, participants in this program talk about peace, conflict, reconciliation every day. While I listen to these conversations, it all seems to make sense. Just when I think I have opened my mind and can deal with any possible conflict constructively, though, something small arises and I cease to think.

In the article "The Role of Identity Reconstruction in Promoting Reconciliation" (Forgiveness and Reconciliation, Helmick & Petersen, ed., 2001), Donna Hicks writes about the process of human development as "increasing equilibrium" between our surroundings and our inner selves. When something disturbs this equilibrium, for example a traumatic experience, uncertainty or instability, or even just too many new things to take in all at once, our ability to learn shuts down and we freeze in a self-protective state. In "learning mode" we can be open to diverse perspectives, ideas, and experiences which may not exactly fit with our inner being. When this learning process stops, however, even the slightest differences appear threatening and a reason for defense.

I see this process at work in myself in my personal relationships. I also experience the difficulty this poses in work through conflict to a point of understanding and even transformation. Dialogue, at this point, plays a key role in creating a space for negotiating. According to Hicks, this negotiation does not simply mean trying to figure out a solution to the issues. At this stage in conflict, we negotiate "the conditions under which one would be willing to open oneself up to new information, information that could change not only one's existing beliefs about the other but of oneself as well."

Reading this, I feel a sense of reassurance. My close-mindedness may not be a fault of my own, but a natural process which has a purpose. Instead, if I can be aware of this shutting down in a conflict situation, I can give myself the appropriate space necessary to figure out what I need to be willing to open up again. I can let myself feel the natural emotions of defensiveness, but wait to act on them until I have appreciated that space.

It looks good in theory now. Can I remember when the learning switch shuts off?

I suppose marriage might be helpful in studying conflict transformation. I will always have many opportunities to practice!

Jun 1, 2009

Welcome to our Blog!

We have been up and running since January 12, 2009 and we welcome all of our who are visiting our site for the first time or are repeat visitors. In the May 11, 2009 issue of the Canadian Mennonite we issued an invitation to all Mennonite women across Canada to come and check us out. Since you have taken the time to get here, would you please share a comment, thought or idea here? Can you also let us know how you got here? (Where you found out about our blog?)

You may have also heard about the CWM Task Force and their challenge to find ways to reach out across all ages and backgrounds and connect with women across the country. (See blog posted last week.) The Task Force is planning to post a survey here withing the next month and we hope that everyone who accesses the blog will take the time to fill it out! Your responses are critical in our evaluation and final recommendations to CWM.

Thanks for taking the time to check us out!