A Lament for Such a Time as This
by Brooke Natalie Oyana

Lent is the season
to consider our mortality.
But not like this.

Not with empty shelves and isolation.
Not with death tolls and deep fears
for the vulnerable.

The shadow of the cross
grows ever longer
and we dread the dark night.

Yet we remember that
even the shadow of death
cannot separate us
from God's care.

We trust that God is with us
through the disorienting night
to the uncertain dawn.
We have faith that God
can sustain us through
such a time as this.

Brooke is administrative assistant for Mennonite Women USA
We're here for you

We at Mennonite Women USA want you to know that we are here for you during this crisis. Our organization started as groups of women coming together to fellowship, support one another, and find ways to use their gifts to help others. We've always been about helping and today we stand on the shoulders of our foremothers as we face this current crisis.

As one way to help you stay informed, we have created this Pandemic Response Resources page that we will keep updated as more information becomes available. There you can find some links to information from the Centers for Disease Control, tips for managing this time from Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship, and resources for creating fabric face coverings. Mennonite Church USA has also created a helpful resource page.
Answering the Call
A note from our director

Hello Mennonite Women!

The call for non-medical face coverings and other protective gear has been sounded. Mennonite Women have been answering these calls for generations. Please pull out those sewing machines, dig out all your cotton fabrics, wash them, and begin sewing for our communities. 

This is a perfect time for mothers to teach their children how to sew. I see assembly lines of parents and children cutting patterns, cutting elastic strips, and stitching it all together.
We'd love to see and share how you're answering the call. Share photos of yourself, your work, and your family with us by emailing office@mwusa.org. Let us know how many you have completed and where you've donated them.

In God's Care,

Cyneatha Millsaps, Executive Director MW USA

Left: Karla Minter made these face coverings with the help of her 83-year-old mother.     Right: Tonya Johnson doing her part to help meet the need for face coverings.

The women who make up Mennonite Women USA have always been about helping those in need. From our beginning as a network of church sewing circles to the current crisis we are now facing - we are women who help. In this spirit, we're calling on our network of helpers to do what we can during this crisis. 

First, we are urging everyone who is able to stay home as much as possible. The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control say that this is the biggest thing we can do to slow the spread of this virus and "flatten the curve." As much as you are able, please stay home and, when you are out, wear a face covering, and keep at least 6ft. between you and all others.

Second, reach out to those in your community who are vulnerable. During such a distant time, we need connection more than ever. Call the elders in your neighborhood and church to see if they need assistance. Check in with immune-compromised and chronically ill people to see if they need help with errands. Text someone who is pregnant or a family with a new baby and offer to listen if they need to talk. There are many ways we can support each other from a distance. 

Last but not least, as mentioned above, we're calling on those who are able to make fabric face coverings. The Centers for Disease Control is now recommending that everyone wear a face covering while in public. There are many online resources that will guide you in learning how to make these face coverings (some available on our Pandemic Response Resources page) and you can find a pattern that works best for you. Once you've made them, you can give them out to family, friends, and neighbors and/or find someplace local to donate them. Some healthcare facilities, restaurants, and grocery stores are accepting donations to help keep their employees safe. 

We are able to safely keep our store open so long as the post office remains open. So, if you're looking for a new book to read or a bible study guide to lean on or want to learn more about Sister Care, we've got you covered. We've got several bundle deals and all previous years' bible study guides are half off. Check out our store here.
Follow us on Social Media!

For up to date information on how to help and uplifting stories, check out our Instagram and Facebook pages. We're excited to engage with you more in this way. If you don't already, click the links and follow us!
Mennonite Women USA |   office@mwusa.org316.281.4394  | mwusa.org