May 26, 2013

SWM Enrichment Day - April 27

In the following weeks I plan to post write-ups about the various provincial/area meetings that have been held across Canada this spring.  For over 70 years women's groups from each province have met once or twice a year to discuss business, listen to a guest speaker and fellowship with one another.  In the past number of years the women who attend these meetings (and the ones in our local churches) are getting older and there are fewer younger women in attendance.   This has not gone unnoticed and Mennonite Women Canada is constantly being challenged to find ways to encourage the participation of younger women.  --Liz Koop 

Saskatchewan Women in Mission (SWM) celebrated their annual Enrichment Day on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at Eigenheim Mennonite Church with 87 women in attendance. In the foyer, bedding plants on a garden bench depicted the day’s theme – “Like a Watered Garden” – while water trickled through several garden fountains, adding an auditory element to the visual display. 
Hosted by Eigenheim Women’s Fellowship, the event began with refreshments and a time of visiting. Morning worship included hearty singing led by Gwen Ens and accompanied by Donna Schulz, and a devotional by Lois Siemens. SWM executive officers were commissioned for another year of service during the annual business meeting. They are Myrna Sawatzky, president, Marilyn Neufeld, vice-president, Ruth Quiring Heppner, treasurer, and Verna Olfert, secretary. Naomi Unger and Lois Siemens continue on the program committee; the third position on this committee is vacant. Kathy Friesen, Glennis Koop, and Denise Epp form the nominating committee.  

Following lunch in the fellowship hall, Melita Hildebrand, gave participants a mental workout with a gardening quiz, and Marian Hooge Jones offered a physical workout with a series of gardening-related stretches and exercises. The afternoon session began with a devotional by Naomi Unger and special music by the Eigenheim women. Kaytee Edwards, representing MCC Saskatchewan’s gardening project, described her work of teaching inner-city children to grow their own food. SWM designated a portion of the afternoon’s offering for this project. Featured speaker Lavonne Dyck of Glenbush eloquently shared what gardening has taught her about faith in Christ. Then four women – Verna Olfert, Kristen Fehr, Renata Klassen and Rosalind Epp – shared their “100-word stories” about meeting God in their gardens. This was followed by conversation in the pews around the question, “What have you learned about God through gardening?” A memorial service, led by the women of Zoar Mennonite Church, Langham, honoured women who passed away in 2012. Refreshments and more visiting brought the day’s activities to a close.

 - Donna Schulz

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