About 35 years ago, our ‘little magazine’, Sister Triangle, began to collect and publish articles written by and for Christian women. It was a pretty unsophisticated affair, so much that we’re not actually sure about the date! Our goal was, and still is, to encourage one another in love.
As part of this ministry we began a winter retreat, which too has changed and grown. Throughout the years there have been many changes and so many wonderful women involved.
And now another change; we are going online with the help of technology and talents that weren’t available back then. We’ve come a long way, but the goal of our ministry hasn’t changed. We’re still in the business of encouragement!
In the early months of 1981, several women spent time informally discussing the development of an avenue of encouragement which might result from writing and publishing original thinking – prose and poetry. This grass roots development was the foundation for a continuous publication over the next 35 years. The initial issue was published on 8-1/2 by 11 inch paper, printed with the use of a Gestetner duplicating machine, and was distributed through the congregations of Western Canada and the northwestern United States, to see if there was interest in continuing on a regular quarterly basis.
The publication’s name, “Sister Triangle” meant to bring to mind a visual representing our individual relationship with God, our Father, and our spiritual connection with each other. The theme which developed before too long was ‘Encouraging One Another In Love’. This theme has developed over the years into a banner for our organization as we reach out to the world around us in love. This year, the publication is thirty-five years old, and is moving more definitely into the technological age, now available on-line to all readers.
Over the years, it was subscriptions which financed the publication’s livelihood; initially $2.00 a year. Occasionally financial gifts were made to help keep the non-profit organization afloat. Stewardship was always important and the publication costs were kept low to make it accessible to all. The magazine was often sent abroad to missionary families free of charge to provide encouragement and moral support. From almost the very beginning Sister Triangle Inc. has been a registered non-profit.
Some women initially involved in the Sister Triangle included: Marge Roberts, Mary Muirhead, Lillian Torkelson, Loreen Husband, Hannah Bell, and Marilyn Muller. Marge, Mary and Marilyn carried the majority of the editorial work for almost twenty-five years, until Marge’s passing, and Marilyn’s eventual retirement. Many women have been involved in the physical work of typing, printing, collating, and mailing out each issue. Hundreds of women have written and allowed their writing to be shared. Many very personal accounts have encouraged others in their growth. We have always been particularly touched by the encouragement of those isolated sisters, geographically or spiritually.
In 1985 we initiated our first winter retreat, an opportunity for women to come away together to visit, pray, sing and drink deeply on spiritual subjects… lifting spirits to get through our Canadian winters. Retreat was located centrally and the weekend procured the fellowship which was often lacking as those without places of worship in their home towns or divided by miles were encouraged by this kind of gathering. This retreat has been held every February since that date. The retreat, like the magazine has grown in size and influence over the years and is now hosted, for the past two years, at the Temple Garden Mineral Spa in Moose Jaw, SK.
The beauty of fellowship and spiritual growth valued in those early days is still a priority as we enjoy the growing number of women now attending. We continue to innovate by providing women with opportunities to gain strong leadership skills and support evangelism. From workshops to prayer groups we seek out relevant speakers and respond to spiritual needs. By providing a spiritual weekend like this we have given many their first introduction to Christ. Our emphasis on encouragement sends attendees back to their home communities and families better equipped to serve.
Historically the efforts of this ministry were all voluntary, based on significant time in prayer. Subsequent planning was always based on, what does God want to happen here, and how can we, and those that write, be the most encouraging to others. God has blessed us richly over many years.