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Assembly tote bag maker goes extra mile


August 26, 2003
-by Dan Dyck

Anne Neufeld and some of her tote bags.

Winnipeg, Man.— Anne Neufeld of Coaldale, Alberta got into the spirit and went the extra mile by inserting a note into the bags she sewed for the Mennonite Church Canada annual assembly in St. Catharines this year.

The note promised a donation to MC Canada on behalf of the bearer. Her note read, “This tote bag was sewn for you with care, and with a prayer that God will bless you as you serve Him through Mennonite Church Canada.

“I will pray for the sessions, for those who are in leadership, and for you as a participant. May God grant you wisdom as various issues are dealt with and decisions made. May his blessings abound through you.”

When approached to sew the bags, Neufeld asked herself what she could do to help the church in a concrete way. “It gives me the joy of giving to the church, and somebody else perhaps gets an idea,” she said.

Out of the 25 notes inserted in bags Neufeld sewed, 4 have been turned in, but, “There’s no expiration date on them,” she added.

When asked what excites her about giving, she said “We need to belong to a larger (church) than just us… the local church… my heart is still with the larger church,” she said. “I prayed while I made the bags… and individually for whoever would receive them, that God would bless them and the sessions.”

Canadian Women in Mission volunteers sewed nearly 1,500 tote bags for assembly goers at St. Catharines. At $5 each, sales of the bags, raised over $400 for MC Canada ministries and mission. The majority of the bags were returned and will be recycled for use at future assemblies.