Remember Your Creator - Story and Photo by Donna Schulz
"Remember your creator in the days of your youth," proved to be a poignant theme for Saskatchewan Women in Mission’s annual Enrichment Day, since the only women under 50 were the three guest speakers. Yet it was to hear the voices of young women that 75 members met at Nutana Park Mennonite Church in Saskatoon on April 26.
The day began with a business meeting. Nominating committee member Denise Epp reported that no candidates had been found for the four vacant executive positions. Nominations from the floor yielded one volunteer, as Marlies Patkau of Hanley agreed to serve on the nominating committee. However, the program committee is still one member short and the positions of secretary and president-elect remain vacant.
In light of the difficulty recruiting leaders, president Myrna Sawatzky suggested changing the organization’s name to make it more appealing to younger women. As the only women’s group in Mennonite Church Canada with its own charitable status, Saskatchewan Women in Mission would have to keep its name in order to maintain that status, Sawatzky pointed out, but the organization could adopt a new operating name. Given the group’s aging population, she wondered aloud, “Do we want to continue as an independent charity?”
A comment in favour of relinquishing charitable status and funnelling money through the area church was made from the floor, but no decision was reached.
Treasurer Ruth Heppner reported that the group’s finances are in good shape. As if to prove the organization’s viability as a charity, the women gathered an offering of just under $3,000.
|Particpants in Saskatchewan Women in Mission's |
Enrichment Day add their handprints and signatures
to a banner in an exploration of the theme,
'Remember your creator'.
Program committee member Lois Siemens led a time of worship and activity focused on the chosen theme from Ecclesiastes 12:1. Through prayer, singing, journalling and adding handprints and signatures to a colourful banner, the women explored what it means to remember their creator.
Laura Buhler addressed the theme from the perspective of her experience volunteering at Bethlehem Bible College in Palestine. Buhler said she finds Ecclesiastes 12:1 “an intimidating verse because it puts a timeline on your faith.” She would rather render the verse: “Discover your creator in your youth so that when you are older you will be able to remember.”
Meghan Wiens reflected on her nine-month adventure with Canadian Mennonite University’s Outtatown program in Canada and South Africa. Witnessing abundant joy juxtaposed against profound suffering in Soweto, Wiens said “Do not try and put God in a box because he will definitely breakout.”
Terri Lynn Paulsen brought her perspective as an agriculture student and gardener with a passion for community to the day’s theme. Paulsen sees God at work in creation and in his people. When asked what she would say to the women present, Paulsen replied, “Please be my friend. Sometimes as young people we don’t know how to ask for [friendship]. Share with me how you walked your faith.”
Perhaps as Saskatchewan Women in Mission members look for ways to remember their creator in the coming days, they will take up Paulsen’s challenge and share their walk of faith with the young women in their lives.