My Cup Overflows with Celebrations

Oh what a weekend!

I had the honor of helping launch the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations book this weekend at events in Abbotsford and Chilliwack, British Columbia. With me from MennoMedia were Publisher Russ Eanes and Director of Sales and Marketing Ben Penner.

The weekend kicked off Friday night at the House of James bookstore in Abbotsford.

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Owners Lando and Kathy Klassen prepared a fabulous event. For them the work started ahead of time by sending invites to customers and readying the sign. They then hosted a wonderful evening with piano music, giveaways, and pastries their coffee shop staff prepared using recipes from the new cookbook. photo (5) photo (4)

House of James

On Saturday, we headed to Winks—a home, garden, and gift store in Chilliwack—for another book signing. Owners Wendy and Dave Murray planned a delightful afternoon for the authors on their patio. As the authors signed book after book (there were stack and stacks of pre-orders from customers waiting to be signed when we arrived), guests noshed on tasty cupcakes and were serenaded by music from a violinist. (Both the cupcake baker and violinist are the daughters of cookbook author Anneliese Friesen.)

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Saturday evening it was time to take a break from the crowds, kick back, and celebrate this amazing group of authors from British Columbia, Manitoba, and Washington. This weekend of events brought them all together for the first time since July, when they gathered for photo shoots. It was high time to celebrate all the work they had done since then!


There was, in fact, so much relaxing that the authors proved “Mennonite Girls Can Race.” It was a wonderful evening of relaxing and deepening friendships.IMG_3034

Sunday morning we attended church together, then headed to Lepp Farm Market for the final book event of the weekend. Local Waltrude Gortzen (pictured below in green) actually had books signed at both the Friday night and Sunday afternoon events.


It’s always good to connect in a personal way with authors. And when working on a book with 10 authors, it can be hard to connect with all of them. A highlight for me this weekend was meeting so many members of their families—children, grandchildren, parents, and in-laws. Author Marg Bartel’s 101-year-old father-in-law even came to the Sunday afternoon event. IMG_3751

Three very different events. All smashing successes. And all showing how different kinds of celebrations bring people together around food and faith.

Thank you, Lovella, Judy, Ellen, Anneliese, Kathy, Bev, Julie, Marg, Betty, and Charlotte, for the excellent weekend. Looking forward to watching how this book of Celebrations continues to unfold.

Amy Gingerich, editorial director

Friday night at the House of James