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Mennonite Women Canada luncheon


Approximately 50 women gathered for the fellowship lunch hosted by Mennonite Women Canada.

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July 16, 2010
-Donita Wiebe-Neufeld

A good conversation is a process where we give each other the strength to go on, to celebrate together, to be sad together, and to inspire one another.
- Henri Nouwen.

Correction: Erna Neufeldt remains the chair of the Mennonite Women Canada until July, 2011. Mennonite Church Canada regrets the misunderstanding.

Calgary, Alta.  “For me, this one sentence says what I value in my women’s group. It’s a value that goes beyond generations.”  Erna Neufeldt, out-going chair for Mennonite Women Canada, welcomed women to the luncheon with Nouwen’s words and her own obvious deep connection to Mennonite Women Canada.

Membership of women’s groups in the Mennonite church has changed dramatically over the last decades as groups dwindled and aged. In 2008, Women in Mission, (now called Mennonite Women Canada), initiated a task force to discern their future. In 2009, a survey of women in Mennonite Church Canada gathered information on the demographics, involvements, and needs of women who either were involved or might become involved in a women’s group.
Two motions, aimed at increasing the accessibility and relevancy of the organization, resulted from the survey and task force reports. The first changed the definition of membership in
Mennonite Women Canada to welcome all women’s groups or individuals from Mennonite congregations instead of limiting membership to those in provincial organizations. The second motion empowers the executive committee, in consultation with the Area Church, to appoint area representatives when there is no existing member organization or women’s ministry. Both motions received unanimous support.

In closing, Neufeldt encouraged women to take initiative in getting to know their Christian sisters. She said; “quite possibly there isn’t a women’s group in your congregation. If this is the case, why not start one? Our national survey shows 97% of respondents placed fellowship as the first reason for joining a women’s group.”