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Church hierarchy and 1. 1. Siemens. 40 Thus, while the Bergthaler Mennonite Church did not oppose co-operation, this dispute cost Sie mens and by extension the co-operative movement some credibility in the Mennonite community."
Through the work of the ladies' section of the Rhineland Agricul tural Society, women in Rhineland also became involved in the community building process. Courses conducted in food preparation and homemaking skills eventually led to the formation of the Altona Women's Institute in 1936. Women's Institutes were begun in Canada in 1897, in Stony Creek, Ontario, to help rural women in the spheres of homemaking and motherhood. Their central purpose, however, was to unite women in an effort to improve their homes and communities. Because of the non-sectarian and non-partisan nature of the Women's Institute, women from all religions and groups joined the Altona chap ter, easing some of the ethnic tensions in the area. Women's Institutes also did extensive community service work; in Altona it provided assistance to the needy, aided blood donor clinics, raised funds for the hospital and charities, along with other voluntary work."
One indication of the growing spirit of co-operation in Rhineland was the establishment of the Bethania Hospital in 1936. The necessity of a community hospital was widely accepted and a variety of groups co operated to bring this about. The Rhineland Municipal Council donated the old H. C. Epp property, townspeople and farmers contributed cash and produce, the Bergthaler Church Sewing Circle and Altona Women's Institute raised funds for the hospital, while others helped renovate the building. A board of directors was appointed to run the hospital in 1936 and included a member from the Municipal Council, the Bergthaler Lehrdienst, the Sommerfelder Lehrdienst and the Rhine land Agricultural Society: Abraham Janzen, 1. D. Giesbrecht, Rev. W. H. Falk, F. F. Enns, S. H. Sobering, B. 1. Klippenstein, and Rev. David Schulz.
The Hospital opened in 1936 with a staff of five headed by Dr.
Breidenbach and was run on the mutual aid principle. Instead of billing individual patients for the care they had received, the hospital sold contracts which covered services for an entire family, working in the form of health care insurance. 43
Religious revival movements, possibly arising in reaction to grow ing secularism and the hard times of the depression, also affected Mennonite Churches in Rhineland during the 1930's. Most affected was the Sommerfelder Church. A revival movement emphasizing con-