Women’s Ministry

  • Thank you for your interest in registering for the Women’s Gathering.  At this time, the planning group has decided to postpone the gathering for a later date.  We were and are looking forward to gathering together as God’s beloved daughters. We will post a new date for the gathering in April.
    Be well.  God Bless You.

    Women of Remarkable Faith

    (and the issues they face)
    with guest speaker Charlene Smalls
    Join us for the Annual Gathering for Eastern District & Franconia Conference Women!

    Saturday, March 28, 2020 (registration deadline: March 15)
    9:00 am – 3:00  pm
    Ripple Allentown (located in St. Stephen Outreach Center)
    1421 W. Turner Street, Allentown, PA 18102

    Charlene Smalls co-pastors at Ripple Mennonite Church in Allentown. She is has been married for her husband Kevin for 30 years.  She is a mother, grandmother and care giver to many. She has a deep love  for children and can be found at any given time working in her community, loving and giving guidance to the broken hearted, the sick and shut-in. Charlene is no stranger to human struggle and offers a wide range of life experience as a woman of faith. Her life scripture is they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength they shall mount up as wings of Eagles they shall run and not grow weary they shall walk and not faint; Isaiah 40:31

    Cost: $10 per person

    Sponsored by the Eastern District & Franconia Conference Sistering Committee, a branch of Mennonite Women USA (Lisa Quinones, Angelia Susanto, Marina Setyati, Marta Castillo, Leticia Cortes Castro, Charlene Smalls, Yesica Ramos, Bertha Salazar, Sulay, Ligia Canavan)

    Questions – Marta Castillo 484-868-0642

    *This meeting will be held in English, Indonesian, and Spanish.
    INFORMASI (bahasa Indonesia)

  • Sistering Committee is a local ministry of Mennonite Women USA, for women of Eastern District and Franconia Conference.

     This committee formed after 130 women from Eastern District Conference and Franconia Mennonite Conference came together in March 2012 for a Mennonite Women Sister Care Seminar, led by Rhoda Keener and Carolyn Heggen. Response to their presentations was very favorable and many asked for follow-up activities. Thus came the birth of the Eastern District and Franconia Conference Sistering Committee.

    The Sistering Committee’s mission is to provide gatherings for women to share about their lives and to sister one another — then to spread what they’ve learned to others.  The term “sistering” refers to a practice in carpentry in which structural repairs are made by attaching new wood beams to weak (sagging, cracked or twisted) joists to make the original stronger. All of us are strong at times and can help those who are weak; all of us find it difficult to make it on our own at times and need others to support us. Sistering is a gift that we embody as God’s women as we follow Jesus into the Church and the world.

    Committee members include: Marta Castillo, Letty Castro, Lisa Quinones, Angelia Susanto, and Charlene Smalls .

    The Sistering Committee represents Mennonite Women USA for eastern Pennsylvania (and the conferences’ outlying congregations) and looks forward to serving the women of our area.

    In 2017 Mennonite Women USA celebrated their centennial. The following video was created by the EDC-FMC Sistering Committee that speaks to the history of Mennonite Women USA and the Sistering Committee in honor of the centennial:

    Sistering Committee anniversary from Franconia Conference on Vimeo.

  • Each spring the Sistering Committee hosts a gathering for woman across Eastern District and Franconia Conference to share in one another’s lives and learn together. Here are past events that have been held: 

    2019: Building Compassion From Love

    Saturday, March 30, 2019
    9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Centro de Alabanza Mennonite Church

    From the foundation of God’s love for us as beloved daughters, we are able to build on the joy and sorrow of our life stories, experience healing, and grow to show our compassion for ourselves and others.

    (download a flyer here)



    Fall 2018: Cuidándonos Entre Mujeres

    Spruce Lake Retreat Center (Canadensis, PA) Viernes, 21 de septiembre, 7:00 p.m. al Domingo, 23 de septiembre, 1:00 p.m.

    Un Taller de las Mujeres Menonitas EEUU
    patrocinado por la Conferencia de Franconia y el Comite de Hermandad de las Conferencias Menonitas de Franconia y el Distrito Este. Vamos a disfrutar un fin de semana lleno de adoracion a Dios, oracion, enseñanza, diversion, y descanso.  La Pastora Ofelia Garcia (Mexico) va a presentar sobre las temas de “Cuidandonos Entre Hermanas” – Reclamando mi identidad como la amada de Dios, El cuidado de uno mismo y otros, Escuchar compasivamente, y Transformando la pérdida y el dolor.


    Spring 2018: Darkness Unfolding as Light: Journeying with Ruth and Naomi

    Towamencin Mennonite Church
    April 14, 2018; 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Come and reflect on the Biblical story of Naomi and Ruth, and hear our speakers share about their own journeys of grief and renewed hope.  Speakers will be Marilyn Handrich Bender and Rose Bender Cook.



    2017: Carrying Grandmother’s Purse: Accepting and/or Discarding Our Baggage

    Towamencin Mennonite Church
    March 18, 2017; 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    The British queen’s granddaughter played with her grandmother’s purse during an official photo shoot, clearly delighting in this privilege. Other children like playing dress-up with adult purses as well, not caring what they represent. Yet a purse can be a metaphor for our lives as women. We are handed down stories about ourselves and others, prescriptions for how to live, rules and commands, as well as messages of love and joy. Sometimes we are able to carry these with pleasure; sometimes they become toxic or too heavy, and we must sort through them and discard what no longer has meaning or a positive impact for us. Sometimes our “purse” belongs more to our grandmothers and mothers than to us and we must find what meets our own needs.

    Read a recap of the event here:  Carrying Grandmother’s Purse by Anne M. Yoder



    2016: Sistering For Life

    Towamencin Mennonite Church
    March 12, 2016; 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Join us for A Day Apart of worship, storytelling, reflection, laughter, learning, blessing!  Sharing our stories of being unique as well as different, of what shapes us at various stages, of what ties us together as women.

    View the Flyer for SISTERING FOR LIFE. (Espanol – SISTERING FOR LIFE flyer)

    Read a recap of the event here: Women Meet to Tell Their Sacred Stories



    2015: A Day Apart For Women: Shattering Our Mirrors, Reclaiming Our Selves

    SATURDAY, MARCH 7, 2015
    9:00 A.M. – 2:30 P.M.
    Nueva Vida Norristown New Life

    Speakers: Sandy Drescher-Lehman and Christine Waanders

    See the Womens Gathering poster here (Espanol Womens Gathering poster). View the Bulletin Insert here (Espanol Bulletin Insert).

    Read a recap of the event here:  Franconia Conference & Eastern District Women Gather



    2014: Nurturing Our Ties as Women Locally and Globally

    Saturday, March 8, 2014, Methacton Mennonite Church


    View the poster and bulletin insert.



    Fall 2013: Sistering: The Ties That Bind (Without Strangling)

    October 12, 2013
    Souderton Mennonite Church

    Participants will have an opportunity to share from their experiences with being supported, or supporting others, throughout their lives, and how we do this without choking the life from one another. We hope that all who attend will be able to identify areas in their own lives, and in those whom they know, where God’s invitation to “sister” one another, locally and globally, might be heard and responded to.

    View the invitation card.


    Summer 2013: Beauty For Brokenness

    June 1, 2013
    Salford Mennonite Church

    “Beauty for Brokenness: Growing toward Wholeness” – Sister Mary Julia McKenzie and Pastor Angela Moyer will share from their experience with encouraging recovery and growth in those who have suffered brokeness in relationships, in health, in faith, and in other ways. We hope that all who attend will be able to identify areas in their own lives, and in those whom they know, where God’s invitation to wholeness might be heard and responded to.


    2012: Sister Care Seminar

    March 23-24, 2012

    Speakers: Carolyn Holderrear Heggan and Rhoda Keener


  • Have a question?  Email Marta Casillo.