Dec 5, 2016

On being Martha - by Coreena Stewart

Coreena Stewart has written an article which appeared in the November 21, 2016 issue of the Canadian Mennonite. Coreena is Mennonite Church Canada's CAO (chief administrative officer) and director of church engagement-administration.  

The executive of Mennonite Women Canada has worked with Coreena over the past number of years as we have dealt with the many details involved in planning our annual meetings at Assembly. We really appreciate her cheerfulness and willingness to help us. Often it's the really small things that make a big difference! Her article begins "Hospitality makes my heart sing."

I enjoyed reading this article and her thoughts on the story of sisters Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. To read the article which is on the Canadian Mennonite website CLICK HERE.

Thank-you, Coreena!

Nov 30, 2016

Tom and Christine Poovong - International Ministry Project

The following in an excerpt from the Poovong's April 2016 Prayer Letter.  

We greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. It has been a very busy year for us in Thailand and also back in Calgary where we call home. We thank God for His grace and mercy to give us strength to continue this ministry. We would like to thank our partner congregations for your prayers and support, including First Mennonite Church of Saskatoon, Carman Mennonite Church of Manitoba, Mennonite Women Canada, and our home congregation Trinity Mennonite Church of Calgary, our brothers and sisters at the Lao Mennonite Conference churches, as well as our friends and family.

Last year, in partnership with two local families, we started Menno Nursery, an income generation ministry in a different neighbourhood. We have now closed that first nursery location and moved most of the supplies and materials to the church where we continue to provide a nursery service in our church neighbourhood. Now other families have joined us and we plan to start Menno Nursery again here at the church.  

To read more about their work click on April 2016 Prayer Letter.


Nov 25, 2016

Scootering to School in Manila

For Christina Bartel Barkman and her son Cody, switching from a car to scooters has pumped new energy and insights into their morning commute to school. Deborah Froese of Mennonite Church Canada writes about the impression this is making in Manila. Read the article here

Christina Bartel Barkman and her husband Darnell Barkman are giving pastoral leadership to Peace Church Philippines, a new Anabaptist church in Metro Manila. They have also been invited by the Integrated Mennonite Churches (IMC) of the Philippines to serve as mentors and provide regular resources for the youth programs of Mennonite churches in Luzon.

Christine and Darnell are recipients of Mennonite Women Canada's PENNIES AND PRAYER LEGACY FUND.

Nov 21, 2016

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

From CommonWord's Facebook page:  "November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Can and will your church speak against abuse? We have resources to help." 

CommonWord Bookstore and Resource Centre

On the average CommonWord adds 3 new resources to their collection every day. There are items to borrow, buy or download. Check their new listing regularly - - for the very latest in Anabaptist and related materials for home and congregation. 

Nov 17, 2016


Created by Elsie Rempel and Megan Kamei, the Advent At Home  series, originally produced by Mennonite Church Canada has been a well received Advent resource for families since 2002-03. Beginning in the fall of 2016, this resource will continue to be developed by the Anabaptist Faith Formation Network and the Central Plains Conference of Mennonite Church USA. This resource is called "Come, Walk in the Light of Day". You can download it at the CommonWord Bookstore and Resource Centre.   


Nov 16, 2016

Women Walking Together in Faith - November 2016 - "Making Diamonds out of us"

Our latest contribution to the Canadian Mennonite appears in the November 7, 2016 issue. Phyllis Ramer, Coordinator of WMCEC (Women of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada) shares about her journey through "darkness, discouragement and hopelessness" and how "God still gives me reminders and encouragement through 'morning songs'." If you missed reading the article titled "Making diamonds out of us", you can read the article HERE. Phyllis is pictured above with her husband, Jim.

Oct 17, 2016

Women as Peacebuilders

Mennonite Central Committee invites congregations to observe Peace Sunday on November 6, 2016 -- close to Remembrance Day -- or another appropriate Sunday. For Anabaptist churches, it is a time to remember that followers of Jesus are called to be people of peace.  Remembrance Day is a time when our country focuses attention on Canada’s military history and the sacrifice of Canadians who gave their lives in war.

This year’s Peace Sunday Packet focuses on the theme of “Women as Peacebuilders”.  It includes:
     - biblical reflections
     - worship resources (prayers, readings, a reader's theatre and a story for children)
     - stories of ten courageous women building peace
     - background information

CLICK HERE for more information or to 
DOWNLOAD the Peace Sunday Packet.

(Information from the MCC website)

Oct 10, 2016

Barkman's latest newsletter

Darnell and Christina Barkman, along with their children Cody, Makai and Teyah, are Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers in the Philippines. They are current recipients of our PENNIES AND PRAYER LEGACY FUND. Their most recent newsletters from September 2016 was recently posted on our web site under NEWSLETTERS

In an email to friends and family, Christina and Darnell wrote to friends and family as follows......... "I wrote about the thousands of extra-judicial killings endorsed by President Duterte, and today, as I'm about to send this update, we hear that the one person in Senate who has been speaking up against these unjust killings was voted out of her position. See this link for more about it. We are appalled and fear the loss of democracy here, as everyone seems to be giving 100% support to a president who is telling his people to kill all the drug users. 
Thanks for the prayers, and hope you are all well."

They also have a BLOG where you can read more about their 
life as a family, their joys and their challenges.

Oct 3, 2016

Saskatchewan Women's Retreat ~ 2016

When ~ October 14 & 15
Where ~ Shekinah Retreat Centre, Waldheim
Guest Speaker ~ Cynthia Wallace
More info ~

MCBC 2016 Women's Retreat - Oct 14-16

This gorgeous quilt will be auctioned off at the retreat.  13 Hmong ladies worked 
on the quilt for 7 months. There are other quilts too, but this one was especially 
made for our event because our guest speaker, Song Yang Her, is Hmong.

Sep 27, 2016

Women Walking Together in Faith - September 2016 - "Embracing transition in our lives"

Our latest contribution to the Canadian Mennonite appears in the September 12, 2016 issue. Liz Koop, past President of Mennonite Women Canada, writes about "Embracing transitions in our lives". You can read the article HERE.  

Liz is looking forward to being able to spend more time with her 92-year-old mother, Kay (Regier) Gortson, formerly of Vineland, ON, now of Niagara Falls, who is experiencing transitions of her own. Liz says, "I am being challenged as I walk alongside her."

Sep 23, 2016

Deep Faith Conference - October 6-8, 2016

Elsie Rempel, Mennonite Women Canada's Secretary-Treasurer, is chairperson of the working group which is planning the DEEP FAITH CONFERENCE being held at AMBS (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) October 6-8, 2016 in Elkhart, Indiana. Elsie is also one of the worship leaders and one of the workshop presenters. MW USA and MW Canada are sponsoring a display table and a break at the conference. You can find more information at the website CLICK HERE.

Here are a few of the workshops that might be of interest to you!

We will explore the life stage of Baby Boomers, along with their unique challenges, realities and expectations. What helps them connect with Christian faith? What draws them away? How can paying attention to their distinctive perspective on life help them be formed in their faith? Presenter: Marlene Bogard, director, Mennonite Women USA 

We will explore the power of women's friendships as a way to nurture faith in other women of all ages. Together, we will imagine how friendships offer wisdom, encouragement and companionship and serve as a catalyst for Christian discipleship. Presenter: Marlene Bogard, director, Mennonite Women USA 

It has become uncommon for congregations to include three generations of family, and many grandparents and their grandchildren have to make the best of long-distance relationships. But congregations often have lots of older and younger people who would do well to form deep friendships with each other. Come and explore the rich possibilities of spiritual grandparenting, whether or not it is biological. Presenter: Elsie Rempel, faith formation consultant, Winnipeg, Manitoba 

Faith formation happens around our tables and around The Table when we recognize Jesus as meal host. Come and explore the meals that Jesus hosted in the Bible and consider their potential for enriching the faith-forming potential of your congregation or camp’s tables. Presenter: Elsie Rempel, faith formation consultant, Winnipeg, Manitoba 

Late life is an intense and varied experience, often evoking new questions and challenging deeply-held beliefs. How might we develop a robust spiritual foundation that can help us face realities such as dependency, frailty and mortality and at the same time experience the joy of life as a graceful gift from a loving Creator? Presenter: Marianne Mellinger, coordinator of applied studies, theological studies, Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ontario

This workshop explores the ways in which our worship and faith formation are shaping our understanding of ourselves, our gender, our calling and our worth in God’s eyes. Genesis 1 affirms that all people are created in God’s image. Therefore, the gifts and attributes that both women and men bring are equally important to the life and ministry of the church, as well as to the witness that the church has within creation. This workshop seeks to give practical ideas for worship and faith formation that are affirming and life-giving for all who are created in God’s good image. Presenter: Katherine Goerzen, associate pastor, Tabor Mennonite Church, Newton, Kansas, and coordinator, AMBS – Kansas Center 

Using the theme of hospitality toward those outside of majority groups, how do we stay attentive to faith formation? Connecting with the text Making Room (Pohl), we will discuss the practices of Christ with attention to contemporary examples of hospitality and faith formation. Presenter: Shannon Dycus, co-pastor, First Mennonite Church, Indianapolis 

In the way we create programs and hire staff, churches often seem to separate formation and mission. In the missional church, formation and mission are easily integrated. Drawing from the writing of Lois Barrett and John Driver, we will consider the practical implications of Christian formation in a missional frame. Presenter: Shana Peachey Boshart, Conference Minister for Christian Formation, Central Plains Mennonite Conference.

Sep 15, 2016

Women Walking Together in Faith - May 2016 - "All about love"

I just realized that I forgot to post our bi-monthly article which appeared in the May 4, 2016 issue of the Canadian Mennonite. It begins:   

At the request of Elsie Wiebe of Mennonite Women in Manitoba, Mennonite Collegiate Institute graduating student Amelia Pahl interviewed Martha Epp, 77, of Morden, Man., who has been the primary caregiver for her husband Henry, 88, ever since debilitating arthritis set in all over his already frail body four years ago. Both Epp and Pahl attend Morden Mennonite Church. 
CLICK HERE to read the article. 

Martha Epp, left, shows off one of her quilts to interviewer Amelia Pahl.
(Photo by Larrisa Pahl)