2013 Roots & Branches

NYMW 2013

“Roots & Branches: Learning From Our Family Tree”

Connie Finney and company “taught” us about families
and gave us new insights into our families and ourselves.

March 8-9, 2013

A report from Anne Siegrist:

    Connie Finney, an educator from Houghton College and pastor of Sojourners, was the guest speaker at the New York Mennonite Women’s meeting held at Rochester Area Mennonite Fellowship on March 8 and 9. Her topic was exploring the relationships in our families of origin and learning how those relationships affect us, as related to Family Systems Theory.

    "Our family systems nourish us, move energy between us and give us ways to cope with the challenging seasons of life", or, as Psalm 1 states "They are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.”


    Friday evening Connie read an original essay, "Tales of the Welsh Aunts" in which she humorously shared about her family dynamics, including describing unique gifts given to her by her relatives over the years. She even brought some of these gifts to show us! We were encouraged to bring our own family heirlooms and had an opportunity to share with our table group what these precious items meant to us. These heirlooms were then lined up on a table along the wall and included a teapot given as a wedding gift, antique pictures and treasured pieces of jewelry. What a beautiful display of meaningful family pieces!


    On Saturday we drew genograms, showing our family lines and various relationships. We looked for recurring family patterns and then shared our discoveries at our separate tables. Some memories were painful and some were joyful, but all helped to shape us into the persons we are today, "yielding our fruit in season."

    We are grateful to Connie for providing us with this wonderful opportunity to gather together as women! Also many thanks go to the women of Rochester Mennonite Fellowship for hosting us in their beautiful space and for making us such a good lunch and tasty snacks. Special thanks to the great kitchen crew who served the lunch and manned the kitchen!

Hosted by Rochester Area Mennonite Fellowship