By Joanna Shenk
Have you had a mentor? Are you a mentor right now? What stories come to mind as you think about your experience of mentorship? Have you had good and bad and empowering and complicated experiences with mentorship?
As one initiative of the Women in Leadership Project, we are collecting stories of mentorship, as we think about mentoring in Mennonite Church USA. Particularly we are exploring what mentorship looks like for women who are called to leadership in the church, whether in the congregation or in denominational organizations. In your experience, do mentorship needs look different at the age of 24 than at the age of 42? What is the value of same-gender mentorship and opposite-gender mentorship?
We believe story-telling is an important way to start a project and we are eager to hear from you.
Following a call for a Women in Leadership Taskforce in the fall of 2011, four focus groups have been formed, to begin work on initiatives that have been affirmed by women across the church. One of these initiatives is mentoring, the other three are:
- Creation of women and girl empowering resources for worship and life
- Creation of a Mennonite Monologues publication and/or performance
- Creation of undoing sexism resources for women and men in congregations
Periodically updates will appear in Equipping about the progress of these groups, made up of women who responded to the call for the Taskforce.
For now, please send your mentorship stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. And let me know if you would be interested in a public forum for conversation about women’s experience in leadership. In the future, such a forum could facilitate more direct interaction, rather than input being channeled through my inbox.
We’re excited for your stories to help shape our continued work!
Each month this column of Equipping features input about women’s leadership in Mennonite Church USA. The column is an initiative of the Women in Leadership Project. If you would like to learn more about the project or get involved, please contact Joanna Shenk at email@example.com