The women of Women of Mennonite Church of Eastern Canada gathered together for their Spring Enrichment Day at the St. Catharines United Mennonite Church on Saturday, April 12. For the more than 225 registered ladies the day offered something for everyone, from the practical to the spiritual. The theme of the day was FAITH, FOOD, AND FRIENDSHIP with the featured guest being Bev Klassen from British Columbia, one of the 10 authors of “Mennonite Girls Can Cook” and “Celebrations” their second cookbook.
The church was decorated with over 100 aprons and 5 quilts. In the welcoming words by Dorothy Hamm, we were encouraged that it was our responsibility to teach and to live hospitality. Dorothy, chair of the Program Committee and Linda Wiens, Communicator, led us at various times during the program of the day.
Bev Klassen stepped up to her table and had her audience sitting forward in rapt attention as she demonstrated how you can use a simple biscuit recipe to make a variety of delicious things to eat. Two separate pans of different biscuits were sent off to the kitchen to bake and these were given out later in single packages to ladies whose names were drawn from a box and to their delight.
Kathryn Good, one of our outgoing Co-Coordinators chaired the beginning of the business session. Our Mennonite Women Canada president, Liz Koop, brought greetings and updated us on projects of MWC. Our WMCEC treasurer, Lisa Blackburn presented the financial statements and the ladies approved a 2014 budget of $32,000. Our other outgoing Co-Coordinator, Florence Jantzi shared a few comments on her time of service with WMCEC. Both Kathryn and Florence were presented with a piece of pottery and a rose - symbolizing how pottery as well as our lives are shaped; the rose reminds us of the love we have for each other and of the fragrance of Christ. We were also told of the passing of Rita Bauman who was one of the founding group of WMCEC.
Lunch was a “typical Mennonite meal” of borscht and bread with baking for dessert prepared by the ladies of the host church and enjoyed by all along with the fellowship at the tables.
|Members of the outgoing and incoming Executive and committees.|
Bev Klassen then shared some of her life story and also told of the beginnings of the cookbook journey for the 10 authors of these books. She further told that the royalties of the sales of the books go to two projects her fellow authors have chosen: a greenhouse at the Good Shepherd Shelter in the Ukraine and for clean drinking water for school children in the WASH Program in Kenya. The cookbook ladies also have classes where the proceeds go to Matthew’s House in Abbotsford, where handicapped children can come for respite care. (CLICK HERE to go to their website)
A story by Helen Funk, Vineland, told of her mother’s laundry day in the 1930’s in Manitoba in the winter time.
Making the day extra special were our two musical guests: Diana Lantin and Shelley Magnus. Their music was a blessing to us all and gave a sermon of its own.
We were invited to next year’s Enrichment Day on April 18, 2015 at Listowel Mennonite Church.
Also coming up will be a retreat to introduce women to a new program called “Sister Care” which Mennonite Women USA has developed and presented across the US and overseas.
After a prayer and benediction, the ladies left with chatter and fond farewells – a day that we felt blessed in so many ways.
--submitted by Anne Hubert, St. Catharines United Mennonite Church