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 décor 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