January/February eNews
Gaby's Six-Month Update

Gaby _right_ with Eleazara_ Dora and Misael
Eleazara, Dora, Misael, Elizabeth and their daughter with Gaby (right) in Mexico.
Gaby Bandini is the ESPERA Business Facilitator for Mary's Pence, hired in June 2015. She has held this position for six months. Her first task has been building business capacity among pilot groups of twelve ESPERA businesses in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador. Here's what she's been up to. 

Visit one: Get to know the women. During her first visits with ESPERA businesswomen, Gaby built trusting relationships within the different ESPERA communities. She learned how the women were doing and how they chose to use the funds. 

Visit Two: Assess the resources available to each woman and community. Gaby looked into accountability, income generation, and any issues that came up during this more structured look into how the businesses are run. The women with whom Gaby works all engage in at least three economic activities, all working very hard to earn money for their families. Most of the women's businesses are informal, including agriculture, raising chickens or pigs, and selling food.  Gaby encouraged them to construct an economy using all of their resources, including human, physical, natural, financial, and social capital. 
Joan Haan 
co-facilitates the active nonviolence curriculum 
Creating a Culture  of Peace 
with Mary's Pence Executive Director Katherine Wojtan. Last July, Joan and Katherine led a group of local and international Mary's Pence staff and other local community members through this weekend-long nonviolence workshop.

Joan offers a guide of ways we might choose to respond to the racist comments and alarmist rhetoric that seem to be increasingly filling up our newsfeeds, happy hours, family get-togethers, workplaces, and neighborhoods. With Joan's guide, those of us who can no longer remain silent can learn to respond powerfully and peacefully in these situations.

What do you do when you hear someone make a demeaning comment about a person, whether it reflects racism, religious intolerance, or an assumption about a person's immigrant status? Often, we want to say something, but freeze. We might fear escalating the situation or we simply don't know how to respond in the moment.

Like many, I have relatives, acquaintances and Facebook "friends" who say things that qualify, in my mind, as Islamophobic or racist.  What I know from the active nonviolence curriculum I co-facilitate, Creating a Culture of Peace (CCP) is how important it is to practice and rehearse!

Help Mary's Pence invest in women!


Ways to Give to Mary's Pence
Join the Legacy Circle!
For information on making a bequest or naming Mary's Pence as a beneficiary on your retirement or life insurance plan, please  email katherine@maryspence.org or call our office at 651-788-9869.  Click here for more information on the Mary's Pence Legacy Circle.   If you have already planned a legacy gift for Mary's Pence, please let us know! We would like to be able to thank you for your generosity. 
If you are considering selling off long-term appreciated stock in order to make a donation, you may want to consider transferring the stock to Mary's Pence instead.  Contact our office  for the full information needed to make a stock transfer.
Employer Matching
Double your donation by asking your employer to match your gift. Your company's human resources department can provide guidelines and forms for their Matching Gift Program.
Compañeras- Monthly Giving
As a Compañera, you participate in providing a steady stream of support to our sisters throughout the Americas. Compañeras are key to making it possible for Mary's Pence to sustainably provide resources to women working for justice through poverty alleviation and social change.  Being a Compañera is rewarding and easy. You can make monthly or quarterly Compañera gifts via Bank Withdrawal, Credit Card, or Check. To sign up, download and mail this form   or call our office  at 651-788-9869.
April Board Meeting
Mary's Pence will hold a reception event for supporters and grantees during the April board meeting in Chicago.  We'd love to see you there!  Chicago area folks, look for more details coming soon. 
Board and staff at the October 2015 board meeting in St. Paul, MN.

We want to partner with your faith community! 
As leaders in your faith community begin planning for Lent, make sure they keep Mary's Pence in mind. We offer Lenten Soup Supper packets with prayers and readings to guide your reflection as well as delicious Latin American soup recipes.  To l earn more about this and other great opportunities for partnership with Mary's Pence, click here

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Watch the video or listen here
The band Page CXVI came into being with the idea of making hymns, and the messages they carry, more accessible to a wider audience.
Singer/songwriter Latifah Phillips rewrote the hymn "Joy" the night her father died. Acknowledging the ways joy and grief can be experienced together, she ended this version of "Joy" with lines from  the hymn "It  is Well With My Soul." 
She says, "God brings us peace. [God] even brings us joy when it seems and feels impossible."

Iʼve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart / down in my heart 
And Iʼm so happy, so happy, so very happy 
And I canʼt understand 
And I canʼt pretend 
That this will be alright in the end 
So Iʼll try my best 
And lift up my chest 
To sing about this... joy, joy, joy 
When peace like a river attendeth my way 
When sorrows like sea billows roll
What ever my lot thou has taught me to say  
It is well, it is well, with my soul

We envision a world where empowered women 

and their communities flourish in solidarity and justice.


Mary's Pence invests in women across the Americas 

by funding community initiatives and fostering 

collaborations to create social change.