Nov 26, 2012

The 2012 Sask Women in Mission Retreat

The annual fall women’s retreat sponsored by Sask Women in Mission was held on October 19 & 20, in the Timberlodge at the beautiful Shekinah Retreat Centre.

The retreat began on Friday evening with a fall-themed banquet. Following that great meal, we played a get-acquainted game where we placed ourselves on an imaginary line in answer to such questions as: Do you prefer dogs or cats as a pet? Would you rather watch a movie or read a book? and Would you rather watch curling or hockey?  It was a humorous way to get us moving before settling down to listen to the speaker. 

Our guest speaker was Dora Dueck, historian, editor and writer from Winnipeg. The intertwined stories of Jesus’ healing of the two women who interrupted his journey, (Mark  5:21-43) formed the basis for Dora’s presentations.  Jesus' words in Matthew 11:28-30 are God's call for us to rest and to be renewed: "Come to me and I will give you rest... Take my yoke and learn from me." 

For her first presentation, Dora explained what the needs of the bleeding women were and asked us to consider what our needs are. Her answer to the question, “What does the REST to which Christ calls us look like?” was that rest sees the big picture, listens, forgives, has done the most difficult thing, and believes that I am loved deeply by God. We sang, "Jesus, I am resting, resting in the joy of what thou art; I am finding out the greatness of thy loving heart.... For by thy transforming power thou hast made me whole." 

Friday evening ended with a discussion of Dora’s prize-winning novel, This Hidden Thing. Book club enthusiasts enjoyed the discussion and everyone was glad when the author herself read several selections from her book. 

Saturday morning began with stretching exercises led by Marian Hooge Jones. She made them fun with scarves and sing-along choruses. Through out the day, women could browse and buy from some craft tables and from Ten Thousand Villages. The crafters were Dora Wiebe from Glenbush with pieced blankets, some made of fun fur, Barbara Schmidt, Waldheim, who works with wool, and Lois Siemens from Superb with her calligraphy and prairie photos.  Nola Scofield, doing massages, replaced the pedicurist who was unable to be present. Her fifteen minute “back rubs” were a soothing delight for $10.00.

Barbara Schmidt with her felted and knitted items from angora wool. 

Calligraphy artist and photographer, Lois Siemens, with her cards and bookmarks.

In her second presentation, Dora invited us to consider what new or ongoing work and what challenges are before us. She continued to illustrate Christ's call to rest and renewal with personal stories. RENEWAL in Christ, she said, travels lightly, is not afraid of change, takes time (and space), usually grows out of dissatisfaction or crises and finds energy in the larger vision (and mystery) of God’s work in the world.  

Our final session on Saturday afternoon was given to prayers, lighting candles and offering each other bread and juice in a service of holy communion. 

Approximately fifty women attended, which was a disappointing number for us. A local woman had planned to attend only on Friday evening, but after hearing Dora she  rearranged her Saturday schedule and came back for the day. Her comments, plus other evaluations, indicated that those fifty women had had an inspiring time. One women appreciated the juxtaposition of rest and wrestling, another the reminder that she is God’s beloved daughter, that will be her mantra. 
And so we praise God for another wonderful women’s retreat. 

Nov 23, 2012

Books for Christmas

Christmas Ideas

from Mennonite Church Canada Resource Centre

$25 here

$12.99 here

$17.99 here

$19.95 here

$14.95 here

$5.00 here

WMCEC’s "Celebrating Women" Fall 2012

This year’s "Celebrating Women" event was hosted by the Niagara Cluster and held at Vineland United Mennonite Church.  The local planning committee consisted of Linda Wiens, Dorothy Hamm, Hilda Regier, and Yvonne Vanderlee, with special assistance from Bev Bless and Carolyn Odell who helped with catering the meal.

The auditorium was decorated with an autumn theme.  There were take-home centre pieces for the birthday girls, as well as individual gifts of spices for all attendees.  The spices, placed on every table, blended with the d├ęcor and created a pleasing scent that added to the good food and wonderful fellowship.  Our combined voices sang the Doxology as the table grace and set an uplifting tone for the afternoon.

As to the program itself, Linda Wiens introduced Florence Jantzi, WMCEC Program Committee Chair, who welcomed us on behalf of WMCEC and thanked the Niagara Cluster for hosting this event.  After an opening prayer, Florence introduced Liz Koop, President of Mennonite Women Canada, who shared briefly about the 60th Anniversary luncheon held in Vancouver, July 2012.  A time of looking back and looking forward was presented in a vignette written by Carol Penner and Naomi Unger.  Liz reminded us of some of the goals of MW Canada: to strengthen the connections we have, to make new connections and to restore/heal old connections.  Tools they are using for this are through their website, blog and “Connections” newsletter that is produced twice a year.  New brochures have been made up along with magnets that each woman attending received.  One of MW Canada's projects for this year is to help with the cost of the third “Mennonites Everywhere” video.  (see blog posted on Nov 2)  These videos are designed to dispel some common Mennonite stereotypes both within the Mennonite Church and in the broader community.
 Diana Lantin and Annie Schultz 

Annie Schultz lead us in singing “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee”, followed by special music by Diana Lantin, both from Grace Mennonite Church, St Catharines, singing “Morning Has Broken” and “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”  What great gifts these women have!

Linda Wiens and Dorothy Hamm introduced the "Celebrating Women" part of the program by sharing what a difficult task it was to narrow the worthy recipients down to 4 women. The multi-generational recipients ranged in age from 22 to  90.  During the presentation we were reminded that we unknowingly influence others with our lives and actions.  The honourees were: Irma Kaethler, St. Catharines United Mennonite Church; Lorna Rogalski, Vineland United Mennonite Church; Sandy Rempel, Vineland United Mennonite Church; and Ellery Penner, Niagara United Mennonite Church.  These inspiring women were presented to the gathering along with highlights of their past, current and future aspirations.  All received flowers, chocolates, certificates and our admiration.  Well done ladies!

Front row:  Irma Kaethler, Lorna Rogalski, Sandy Rempel, Ellery Penner  
Back row:  Linda Wiens, Dorothy Hamm

Diana Lantin, accompanied by Annie Schultz, blessed us with a unique musical arrangement of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” to the tune of “The Rose”, followed by “You Raise Me Up”.  Truly inspiring!

Laura Mullet Koop
Linda Wiens introduced the guest speaker, Laura Mullet Koop from Quest Christian Community in St. Catharines.  Laura used the text from 2 Corinthians 4:7 exploring the image of treasure in clay jars.  She reminded us that we are like clay jars and the treasure that we carry is the presence of God.  As we experience changing times, Laura challenged us to slow down and pay attention to the treasure of God's presence within.  In doing so, we allow for greater wisdom and understanding to guide us. 

Annie Schultz led everyone in singing “Take My Life”.

Kathryn Good, WMCEC Personnel Co-ordinator, chaired the short business portion of the meeting.  She indicated a number of women have agreed to take positions on the executive as Personnel Co-ordinator, Communicator, and Program Committee Co-ordinator.  These names will be affirmed at the Spring Enrichment Day, in Tavistock, on April 20th, 2013.

This wonderful event was closed with a reading entitled “One Flaw” and singing “Blest be the Tie”.

Submitted by Linda Wiens, St. Catharines, ON

Nov 21, 2012

Prayer for Peace

With Christmas just over a month away, many of us have already started decorating our homes and thinking of what this Christmas season will hold for us.  

As we hear reports of the unrest and tragic loss of life in the middle East we cringe knowing that many of the places we so deeply associate with the birth of the Prince of Peace are ringing with air raid sirens, not carols of the infant king.

How do we celebrate the One who came to dwell among us, when missiles level the dwellings of our sisters and brothers?

The following prayer was written by Rick Cober Bauman (Executive Director of MCC Ontario) late last Saturday night after an especially grim newscast.  Thankfully all MCC workers and partners are unharmed, but deeply concerned that conditions may worsen. 

And when your prayer ends, and you return to thinking about Christmas, reach for the MCC Christmas Giving Catalogue, "Gifts of Love and Compassion". Choose ways to share the Love of Christ even in the face of war.

Prayer for Peace from a Distance

Lord of Heaven and Earth, even from a distance, we sense the blast of missiles and the stench of explosions.

Yet we cling to your promise of peace.

 Lord of Heaven and Earth, even from a distance, we feel the loss of children and mothers.

Yet we hold to your promise of never leaving us.

 Lord of Heaven and Earth, even from a distance we pray that all your children from Gaza to Syria, from Cairo to Jerusalem may sleep unafraid.

Yet we lament the tanks, and rifles and warplanes that explode the night with terror.

 Lord of Heaven and Earth, even from a distance we can hope, because we pray, that your peace will prevail, that your people will choose life, true life in you, Giver of all Life. 


Rick Cober Bauman
Executive Director, MCC Ontario

Nov 14, 2012

Simply Majestic

Well.... it took a while but I finally finished the 2012 retreat report and I might as well tell you up front..... it's l-o-n-g and it has l-o-t-s and l-o-t-s of pictures so it will take you a while to get through it. :-)

Please come and have a visit with all the MCBC ladies. 
They are waiting for you right HERE.

Nov 12, 2012

Remembrance Day

I had meant to post this earlier but didn't get to it until today.  
The message is important not just on November 11 but every day!

Nov 8, 2012

Let Justice Roll Down

In the prophetic books of the Bible, we hear a steady drumbeat:  return to God’s ways, remember who you are, seek justice.  The calls are persistent, and include harsh words of coming judgment.  Amos, whose name means "burden bearer", carried a message of warning to the Israelite people.

Let Justice Roll Down, commissioned by Mennonite Women Canada and Mennonite Women USA, is recommended for women’s gatherings, Sunday School classes, retreats, or individual reading and inspiration.  Twelve sessions examine the book of Amos, with topics that include the prophetic voice, the church’s witness in the world, consumption and generosity, and the relationship between worship and justice. 

Rebecca Seiling, writer of the Mennonite Women’s Bible Study, Let Justice Roll Down, has also written Plant a Seed of Peace and Don’t be Afraid, children’s books published by Herald Press. She has recently been hired by MennoMedia and Brethren Press as project developer for new Sunday School curriculum that will replace the Gather 'Round curriculum beginning in 2014. Rebecca and Derek Suderman live in Waterloo, Ont., and attend St. Jacobs Mennonite Church with their two daughters Zoe and Eden.

Copies are now available for purchase and can be ordered from:

* Kathy Shantz telephone 1-800-631-6535 or email
* Online at MennoMedia
* CMU Bookstore 1-877-231-4570 extension 339

For back issues contact Liz Koop at 905-562-5920 or 

Nov 2, 2012

Mennonites Everywhere - Odette Mukole L Mukanzo

It's done! It's done! It's done! :-)

WOW! Such exciting stuff!

A first for Mennonite Women Canada!

Check it out! 
The latest YouTube video in the Mennonites Everywhere series produced by Mennonite Church Canada but this one was sponsored by Mennonite Women Canada.

Now isn't that exciting stuff?

Enjoy! ! !