Wisdom in legacy

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Women explore how generations pass on faith

Amy Dueckman, B.C. Correspondent

Recalling the legacies passed down through generations, women gathered on April 30, 2016, for the 77th annual Mennonite Church B.C. women’s Inspirational Day at Eben-Ezer Mennonite Church.

With II Timothy 1:3-7 as her text, speaker Ingrid Schultz used the examples of Timothy’s grandmother Lois and mother Eunice, who both passed their faith on to him. Schultz is currently chaplain at Menno Place in Abbotsford and former pastor of First United Mennonite Church, Vancouver.

Schultz talked of “Grandmothers, mothers and mentors: Reclaiming our legacy” in the morning. Mothers and grandmothers provide some of the most compelling models of what it means to be a woman of faith, said Schultz. She drew on her own family history, telling of her grandmother who had to support four children when her husband was taken away by the Soviet secret police; and of her mother who worked from childhood on to support the family.  “My mother the hard worker, the strong woman . . . knew that being loved was a gift, a grace of God,” recalled Schultz.

In her work as chaplain at a campus of care for elders, Schultz said she often asks residents, “What do you want to be remembered for 20 years from now?” A common answer is wanting to leave a legacy to future generations.

Gathered around tables, participants then had a chance to discuss questions about the legacy left by their own family members. What was most appreciated? What needed to be let go?

The afternoon session was on “Daughters, disciples and dreamers: Sharing our legacy of faith.” Schultz related how, in her work at Menno Place, she finds that many of the elderly tell the same stories over and over again, often in the area of their greatness. “These stories give joy to these residents each time they tell them, as they are reminded of the legacy they have to share. When they forget their stories, we can remind them of their legacy.”

Questions discussed around the tables in the afternoon included: “Who are the women who have inspired you to dream?” and “How do you want to pass on a legacy of generosity and faith?”

The day’s offering netted just over $4,400, with half going to Camp Squeah. The other half was divided between Mennonite Women Canada’s international ministries and Youth Unlimited, a local ministry among youth from the Punjabi community.

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