Oct 28, 2013

The Barkman's latest newsletter

Darnell and Christina Barkman along with their children Cody and Makai are Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers in the Philippines. They are current recipients of our Pennies and Prayer Legacy Fund.  Their latest newsletter was recently posted on our web page under             Stories/Interviews/Profiles.  They also have a BLOG where you can read more about their life as a family, their joys and their challenges.   

Oct 26, 2013

Saskatchewan Women's Retreat Celebrates Courageous Women

 "I Heard Her Voice: Courageous Women of the Bible" was the theme of the fall women's retreat sponsored by Saskatchewan Women in Mission, October 18 &19. The Timberlodge at the Shekinah Retreat Centre, Waldheim, was our location and was as beautiful as always.  Sixty-six women attended. The retreat began on Friday with much conversation over supper, then door prizes and an opportunity for everyone to get acquainted.

Elsie Goerzen, Director of MCC BC's End Abuse Program, was our guest speaker. In her first session, Elsie led a discussion about Hagar's courage and Hagar's naming of Abraham's God as "the One who sees me." Hagar obeyed and trusted in God even when the future seemed very dark, whether it was going back to Sarai or going into the desert. We agreed with Elsie that Hagar truly was the hero of the story.

In the second session, Lois Siemens dramatized the story of the bent-over woman in Luke 13:10-17. Elsie noted Jesus' call to the woman, his touch and his elevation of her status to a full member of the covenant. Elsie explained the woman's courage in allowing herself to be seen by Jesus and everyone in the synagogue, in her participation in her own healing by standing straight, and even in her praising God in front of a male audience.

Val Wiebe, Langham, was our song leader for the joyful singing we did before each session. She had written two songs as responses to the stories of Hagar and the bent-over woman and these she performed for us as well. There were requests from the women that she repeat "Hagar's Lament" at our closing session.

Additional aspects of the retreat included Saturday morning stretches, opportunities to walk outdoors, art and crafts displayed by Gwen Fehr, Hedie Borne, Barb Janzen and Lavonne Dyck to view and purchase. Nola Scofield was present to give massages for $10 and Dory Issac was present with Ten Thousand Villages items for sale.

On Saturday afternoon, Colette Baker (Lutheran pastor from Lanigan) explained laughter yoga to the women and led a series of breathing and laughing exercises. This was something different and before we knew it, the fake laughter was real. It was good exercise either way!

Our time together ended with reflections by Lois Siemens: Courage as hindsight that remembers and celebrates courageous actions in the past, as insight into where courageous actions are needed today, and as foresight  when we move forward in obedience, trust in God, and the support of others.
Braiding three strands of ribbon into bookmarks symbolized that courage.

Oct 24, 2013

Pigs in Mud ???

This wonderful dessert was created by Tony, the new chef at Camp Squeah, to the delight of the more than 80 women who participated in BC Women's Ministry Annual Fall Retreat, October 18-20.  The theme was "Peace by Piece" with guest speaker Rebecca Seiling from Waterloo ON. 

It was an amazing weekend!  Thanks to the planning committee - Waltrude, Cheryl, Rita and Gloria - for their time, energy, enthusiasm, creativity and commitment. And thanks for inviting me to be a part of it!
You'll hear more about the retreat here and on Facebook in a few days!  
So keep coming back!

Oct 12, 2013

A Thankful Thanksgiving!

The thoughts below are taken from something I found on the internet a few years ago.  The author is Jim Rohn and I have taken some excerpts from his writings.

If your home is like most, your Thanksgiving Day will be very busy, with either travelling to where you want to go or preparing your home to have others over for the day.  Either way,  that can be very hectic and emotionally trying, which doesn't particularly lend itself to preparing your heart to be reflective and thankful....

If we want to be the kind of people who are characterized by thankfulness, then we must make sure that we focus on it --- and not just on Thanksgiving Day but at all times during the year.  Here are some thoughts that are simple and practical to apply in your quest for becoming more thankful:

*TIME*   Set aside time regularly to be quiet, to reflect.
*THOUGHT*   Give thought to the many blessings you have.  Take time each day to think of one or two things you have taken for granted and then take a moment and give thanks for those.
*GENEROSITY*   Be generous to those with less and not envious of those with more.
*ASK*  Ask a friend what they are thankful for.
*ACKNOWLEDGE*  Tell those you love how thankful you are for having them in your life.  Let them know what they mean to you, and in return you'll begin to create the possibility of deeper, richer, more fulfilling relationships with those you love.

Let us do our best to be aware of the many great gifts that we have each and every day of the year!

Happy Thanksgiving!