Surprise! It’s a snow day! Even that didn’t daunt 300+ women from attending their Spring Enrichment Day. This year it was held on Saturday, April 20th at Tavistock Mennonite Church. Yes, it was cold outside, but so very warm and welcoming inside. We began our morning with coffee and muffins, and a lot of socializing. During the get acquainted and registration time, guests also previewed the display from Mennonite Women Canada, while enjoying a chance to speak with Liz Koop, the president of that group. Meanwhile at the Women of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada table, I too had a chance to meet some people while I handed out the Church Rep’s information packet. These contained WMCEC’s Annual Report Book 2012, the 61st Annual Report Book 2012 for MW Canada and a copy of Connections Vol. 3, Issue 1 – April 2013. Any that weren’t picked up that day were taken to MCEC’s event the following Saturday. Failing to connect there, they would have been mailed. By now, all should have been received.
Terri J. Plank Brenneman was the featured guest speaker. She is the author of the Bible Study Guide entitled Wonderfully Made; Women, Faith, and Self-Care. Terri broke her topic into two sessions 1) Remembering God’s Story, 2) Remembering Our Story. The following recap cannot do justice to this spiritually uplifting day, but I will try my best. I truly wish you could have been there.
Terri’s message began with a reminder that we are the resource for the world. Each of us is uniquely qualified to touch specific lives. She challenged us to list the Lord’s attributes as seen in various parts of the Bible: Genesis 1 as the Creator, Genesis 2 as the Parent, as the Promise Keeper to Abraham & Sarah, as the patient Teacher, as the Deliverer, as the Law Giver, etc. Of the adjectives/descriptors generated record 6 words that best describe God to you. Record them on a bookmark for later reflection. “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. Love your God with heart, soul and strength!” was the mantra for the morning.
The afternoon session’s mantra changed to “Hear, O Women of Mennonite Church of Eastern Canada! Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your strength. Learn to love your neighbours and yourself. Trust in God’s plan for you and your uniqueness!” With these powerful words, Terri encouraged us to write down 6 attributes, talents, or abilities that we possess on the reverse side of the bookmark begun in the morning. Those are gifts that come from God. She reminded us to embrace our own legacy and tell others of our faith stories. Not only will you fed and inspire yourself, but you will transform others, even as they transform you with their stories. We are “nourished and flourished by life.” Hear, O Women of Faith!
Acknowledgements and gratitude go out to the Tavistock Mennonite Church for being such gracious hosts, the ladies who prepared and served all the yummy food and beverages, the participants for braving the weather to attend, the hands that typed and copied the program, the pianist – Charlene Zehr, the song leader – Ruth Steinman, the devotional leader – Patricia Wagler, the special music group – Close Connection: Linda Holst, Brenda Wagler, Shirley Yantzi; WMCEC – Florence Jantzi for Welcome, Invocation and Scripture reading, Kathryn Good for chairing the business session, Lisa Blackburn for Annual Financial Report, Marie Assad for Personnel Committee Report and introducing Dorothy Hamm (Program) and myself, Linda Wiens (Secretary), MCEC – Brian Bauman for greetings, MW Canada – Liz Koop MW Canada Report, MSCU – financial assistance and, of course, our guest speaker - Terri J. Plank Brenneman.