We arrived in all the ways a diverse group of women gather: lovely dresses, jeans, sweaters, jackets, short sleeves, long hair, short hair with colors of white, gray, black, brown and shades in between. Masks of all kinds, from the delicately embroidered one from Mexico to the multitude of light blue disposable ones, worn to keep each other safe. Each mask stretched a bit to contain the smiles and the voices that spoke forth in greeting. We came with energy, some moving fast and some slow, some with canes, one pushing a walker.
We were excited and grateful to meet in person for this first gathering of Mosaic Mennonite Women. We looked forward to our time together as sisters in Christ and Women of Faith. We prayed that the Holy Spirit would prepare the way for God’s God’s work through Jesus Christ in our lives. We believe that each of us is beloved of God and that God will meet us where we are. We also believe that we need each other, our sisters in Christ, to thrive and to survive.
On Saturday, September 25, Souderton (PA) Mennonite Church was the location. We met from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm around tables, singing, praying, talking with each other, doing a craft, sharing a meal, and listening to an inspiring message by Pastor Charlene Smalls of Ripple (Allentown, PA) congregation. Pastor Charlene spoke on the Conference’s theme, “Women of Remarkable Faith and the Issues they Face.” A Zoom option was offered from 10:oo am to 12:00 pm, with Indonesian and Spanish interpretations available.
Pastor Charlene shared a smorgasbord of insights, affirmations, and challenges. She read Proverbs 31 and highlighted the stories of Ruth and Deborah who were not perfect, but faithful followers and leaders. We laid a burden at the cross and took a diamond with us, multifaceted and beautiful to represent our God-given beauty and value. Relationship with God and each other is what powers our inner batteries as we were invited to check the status of our cell phones batteries. Pastor Charlene looked over the true mosaic of women present and affirmed our oneness and our uniqueness. What do we all have in common? We are all created in the image of God and fundamentally connected with God and each other. It’s about relationship.
The worship time was an invitation to grow closer and go deeper into love for Jesus. Prayer flags swirled and danced in colorful praise as we sang in English and Spanish. Later it was fun to decorate a prayer box, choosing scripture promises and adding prayers of our own.
As we gathered to say goodbye, women responded with highlights of this day for them. Many commented on the joy of being together, “juntos,” as one sister said, “Together in one room, in one language of love. I have joy in my heart. I’m very happy, muy contento. I want to come back next week!”
Others described a time of refuge, the joy of making new friends, deepening faith, an incredible experience, and many expressions of gratitude for all who made this day possible.
Pastor Letty led us in the closing and benediction as we found a partner and prayed for each other, anointing each other with oil for blessing and sending. She invited us into this exercise of grace by telling us that we may not understand all the words, but we should relax, feel welcomed, and deeply connected as Mosaic sisters. We lingered in the hum of prayers in different languages. These were shared moments of bonding, of tenderness and love and blessing. This is the living experience of mosaic.