God of the Cosmos
by Brooke Natalie Oyana

God of the cosmos
     God of each tiny babe
Creator of the hot shining sun
     and cool glowing moon
Creator of each of us
     fearfully and wonderfully made


May your Holy Spirit set a fire in us
     May a spirit of love burn in our hearts
And fill us to the brim with light
     Let it radiate out of us
     To cast out the shadows in this world
AMEN

Brooke Oyana, Philadelphia, PA, began serving as Administrative 
Assistant for Mennonite Women USA in December 
Report from Sister Care in Thailand

Rhoda Keener, Carolyn Heggen, and Memee Yang have returned home  following the Sister Care leadership training seminar with 55 participants held near Chiang  Mai, Thailand January 20-22. The seminar was taught by Heggen and Keener, with Me m ee Yang (Minneapolis), serving as interpreter; they are pictured with local leaders (l-r Carolyn Heggen, Mai Houa Yang, Areerat Banchasawan, Memee Yang, two committee members, Rhoda Keener). Yang invited 14 Laos Hmong women to join the 45 participants in Thailand.  One woman said, "I want you to know this is the first time that our Hmong women have had a teaching like this just for women."
 
Mike Sherrill, Mennonite Mission Network Asia Director, assisted with p lanning; Ponchai Banchasawan, Thailand District 20 president, translated the Sister Care manual into Thai and Hmong; and funding was provided by United Service Foundation, MCC, and individuals. Thailand is the 20 th  country where Sister Care has been taught and the Sister Care manual has been translated into 18 languages. 


Introducing Our New Administrative Assistant

Hello! My name is Brooke Natalie Oyana and I am excited to be the new Administrative Assistant for Mennonite Women USA. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you all.

I was born to parents Ron & Rhoda Blough and big sister Bethany in Hartville, Ohio and have been heavily involved in the Mennonite church my entire life. When I was five, my father felt a call to the pastorate and we moved to Harrisonburg, Virginia so that both of my parents could attend Eastern Mennonite Seminary. When I was eight, we moved to Pennsylvania and my father pastored at Spring Mount Mennonite Church. At age eleven, we moved back to Ohio where my father pastored Beech Mennonite Church. We lived there for nine years before my parents moved to Colorado while I was attending Goshen College. It was soon after I graduated from Goshen ten years ago that I moved permanently to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Brooke and her husband Emmanuel at their wedding in June 2019
Growing up as a pastor's kid, I always understood that church is so much bigger than just Sunday morning. My family was consistently involved in activities during the week and most of the people we socialized with were people from church. Church was our community, it was part of the fabric of my family. I also knew church was bigger than our congregation - that we were a part of something global. That we, as Mennonites, are part of a broad fabric of people connected by faith and calling.

While doing my internship at Oxford Circle Mennonite Church, I had the opportunity to participate in those behind the scenes aspects of church and recognized how vital they are to the church and broader community. As a member of my congregation, West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship, I have served as: worship leader, youth leader, youth Sunday school teacher, mentor coordinator and deacon; these roles have taught me a great deal about the importance of administration in church structures. I recognize that the administrative work is what allows the church to do
Brooke with her two favorite Mennonite women her sister and mom
good work. I desire to be a part of the good work of MWUSA in this way.

I once read an Onion article titled "Woman Devotes Life to Doing God's Busy Work." God certainly does work in mysterious ways because that satirical title gave me a name for my calling: doing God's busy work. I feel that this position with Mennonite Women is the perfect opportunity for me to pursue this calling.
Give to Choosing Sisterhood

Make a difference today! Give financially to MW USA and support our Choosing Sisterhood campaign.  Your gift will help to provide much needed respite for our women leaders who are under-resourced, overworked , and critical to Holy Spirit's movement among us. 

To give to Choosing Sisterhood, click here to give online. Or mail your check to Mennonite Women USA / 718 N Main St / Newton, KS 67114. 
Sister Care follow-up seminar in South Korea

On January 3-4, Sun Ju Moon, Anabaptist Learning Center director, taught a Sister Care seminar at the Jesus' Heart Church in Seoul.  Moon, who coordinated the November 2019 MW USA Sister Care seminar, wrote teachers Carolyn Heggen and Rhoda Keener, saying: 
"We enjoyed practicing what we learned from you and following the activities you had shown to us. One woman said to me after she saw the old mirror filled with many negative messages, 'you are always lacking something important'; as soon as she saw the other side of the mirror, she heard that God said to her 'You are perfect! I made you perfectly.'  And we also added some new activities that we are used to doing for Korean Mennonites.  We asked each woman to receive a new name before the closing blessing.  We had many colorful scarves and as we call each other the new given name, we put a scarf on their shoulders.  My new name became 'path of life and healing'. In this way, each person has a new name.  After the seminar, every participant confessed that it was really meaningful and touching. I experienced the power of the tool of the Sister Care Seminar."  Moon is pictured (center right) with participants.  


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Our Eternal Sisterhood

Mennonite Women USA invites you to honor a significant person in your life through a f inancial gift to this ministry. 


If you would like to give financially to MW USA in memory or honor of a specific individual, please contact the MW USA office. 
"I am about to do a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?"
(Isaiah 43:19)

Keep your eyes and ears open for MW USA in your area. 
  • Watch for our webinars "Women and Wealth" 
  • Celebrate International Women's Day with us the month of March.
  • Get your walking/running shoes out for upcoming 5Ks.
  • Keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram for more activity.

Our newsletter delivers great content straight to your inbox each month. Grapevine's name and design are intended to mirror the beautiful imagery that Jesus elicits in John 15:5, "I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing."
Mennonite Women USA | office@mwusa.org |  316.281.4394  | mwusa.org