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Rooted Growing Branching


Women of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada

The Serendipity QuiltOpportunities are available for the women of Erb Street Mennonite Church to gather together for inspiration and fellowship as Women of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada and Mennonite Women Canada. This group meets the second Tuesday of September and then regularly the first Tuesday of each month until June. This is a workday for sewing and knotting of quilts and comforters. A highlight is our fellowship as we work together and share in a noon time bag lunch and devotions. (“Rediscover the joys of being created in God’s image and nurture your creative spirit”)

Women of WMCEC come together for an Enrichment day in April.  In February the K-W cluster of churches women enjoy a breakfast meeting.

In October, WMCEC hosted a retreat using MWUSA “sister care” materials.


A quilt hanging

A quilt hanging


Erb Street Women of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (WMCEC): Over a Century of Women’s Work

Excerpts from the article in The Community, Spring, May 30, 2010, by Marion Roes:

For the past 102 years the women of Erb Street Mennonite Church have met regularly to sew, cook, can, bake, make funeral sandwiches (the best in Waterloo Region!), bake pies; quilt for the Relief Sale, knot comforters, patch, raise funds… and they are still meeting monthly and still completing many of those tasks.

dscn0706rThe beginning of the group, whose name was the Waterloo Charity Circle, happened in 1908. In Erb Street’s history book, titled Path of a People: Erb Street Mennonite Church 1851-2001, Karl Kessler devoted 11 pages to the then 93-year-old women’s organization, starting on page 67: “And Still Do More”: Women of Action. He wrote that the church work of Ontario Mennonite women has a history of reaching back further than 1908, but that year does mark the beginning of organized women’s work in the officially recognized program of the church.”


dscn0709r“Sister” organizations

In 1916 the Junior Charity Circle was formed for younger women and met for 50 years. CHARITY was an acronym for cheerful, helpful, active, reasonable, interested, tactful, yoke-bearers. A girls club called the Cheerful Sunshine Band was formed in 1940. Sometime before 1976, Margaret Brubacher Good helped form the Beacon Mission Circle. Young women who couldn’t get away during the daytime met in the evenings and shared the work of the senior group until the Circle was disbanded in 1983.


dscn0708rSocial Committee

For years the Social Committee of the Women’s Missionary Service Auxiliary (WMSA) prepared and served at most of the church functions requiring food, such as funerals and choir events. Social Committee members, along with other women, also made thousands of pies for the Relief Sale, canned for the Ontario Mennonite Bible School in Kitchener, prepared and served Manna meals for seniors once a month – all in the old kitchen which was about one-quarter the size of our present wonderful facility – and there was NO dishwasher!



Records at Mennonite Archives of Ontario at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo

Path of a People: Erb Street Mennonite Church 1851-2001 by Karl Kessler

Willing Service: Stories of Ontario Mennonite Women by Lorraine Roth (Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario, Waterloo ON: 1992)