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This week at FMC

April 20-26, 2022

Table of Contents

A flowering cross powerfully captures the paradox of the gardens of our lives, filled as they are with sorrow and joy, death and life, planting and growing.  And it is one of my favorite moments at First Mennonite … watching the cross, an instrument of torture and death, transformed one hand at a time, one flower at a time, until it becomes an explosion of color, beauty, and fragrance. 

At the very end of our worship together on Sunday Maggie shared a poem written by Joy Crowley titled “Springtime Jesus.”  This was a rather late addition to the service, as I read in late in the week in a publication put out by the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation.  I’m including it here for your ongoing prayer and reflection this week on your own experience of the ways you allow, or resist, the movement of the Risen Christ in the garden of your life.  During the Easter Season we’ll be invited into several ‘post-resurrection’ moments where the Risen Christ appeared to various persons, in many ways meeting them in the ways they most needed him.  May we, too, be open to the ways the Risen Christ appears to us today (and make sure to note the invitation below in the DEEPENING section for “I have seen the Lord!” stories during the month of May!).

Springtime Jesus by Joy Crowley

You, Springtime Jesus,

just as I’d settled down for winter,

you broke into my heart

and danced your love right across it

in a mad excess of giving.

Just as I’d got comfortable

with bare branches and unfeeling,

just as my world was neatly black and white,

there you were,

kicking up flowers

all over the place.

Springtime Jesus,

I tried to find a way to tell you

that there were places

Where you could or could not dance.

I wanted to guide you on my paths

and have you sign the visitors’ book:

but you laughed right through my words

and sang to me your melting song,

causing sap to fire the branches,

causing the flames of buds

to flicker into green bonfires,

causing a windquake of blossom,

causing burstings, searings, breakings,

causing growth-pain,

causing life.

Springtime Jesus,

the fullness of life can be frightening

and I’m lacking in courage.

It isn’t easy to live with a heart

that’s wide open to invasion.

Teach me, Jesus, how to move with you,

step for step, in your love dance.

Touch my fears with your melting song.

Gift me with your laughter,

and, in the mystery of your Springtime,

show me the truth of the blossoming Cross.

(written by Joy Crowley. Printed in Caravan, an electronic publication of the Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation)

      —-Pastor Tonya

SUNDAY MORNING Worship In Person & Live Stream @ 9:30am

The link for Sunday morning worship (as well as archives of past worship services) is found on our website:! Join at 9:25am to see the announcements! 

FELLOWSHIP TIME is back with coffee/tea/juice between Worship and Sunday School!! 

A signup sheet is posted for you to sign up to host this social time.

SUNDAY, APRIL 24On the Road to Emmaus: Glimpses of the Church

Luke 24:13-49; Isaiah 25:7-9

  • Preacher: Heidi Regier Krieder, Conference Minister, Western District Conference (video presentation)
  • Worship Leader: Carol Moore            
  • Children’s Time: Tonya Ramer Wenger
  • Scripture Reader: Anita & Bryan Kehr
  • Pianist: Shelley Kauffman
  • Ushers: Dennis & Jennalee Boggs
  • Nursery attendant: Glenda Hooper
  • Sound Tech: Murray Reimer
  • Live Stream Tech: Sadie Nisly

SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES MEET @ 11:00am – EXCEPT ON 5TH SUNDAYS when there is no Sunday School!!


During each worship service, you are invited to text your prayer joys and concerns – usually to Pastor Tonya.  You are also welcome to send prayer joys & concerns during the week.  The recording of our worship service is public, so let us know if you’d prefer your request to only be shared via email during the week.


Announcements are scrolled Sunday mornings before (beginning around 9:25) and after the worship service.  There will be no spoken announcements unless there are pressing announcements that did not make it into the PowerPoint.  Please send any announcements you’d like to have included by Thursday each week. 


  • April 21 – Congregational Ministry Team (CMT) – 4:00pm
  • April 24 – Mentors & Mentees – 11am-12:30pm
  • April 24 – Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus – 7:00pm – Bethel College Memorial Hall, North Newton
  • April 28 – Faith Formation Coordination Team – 4:00pm
  • May 1 – Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus – 7:00pm – Bethany College Presser Hall, Lindsborg
  • May 10 – Pastor Congregation Relations Committee (PCRC) – 4:00pm


“We Sing That Others May Live.”  This motto of KMMC is an extension of MCC’s motto:  “Relief, development and peace in the name of Christ.”  KMMC seeks to raise funds for MCC as they raise their voices in praise to God.  You are invited to attend their concerts and give generously to the work of MCC.

  • April 24 @ 7:00pm – Bethel College Memorial Hall, North Newton
  • May 1 @7:00pm – Bethany College Presser Hall, Lindsborg

FMC CENTENNIAL . . . LightHouse Giving Opportunity

The LightHouse addresses the growing need of transitional housing for youths ages 18 to 21 in Hutchinson. The property at 1005 N. Washington Street is currently being renovated into eight one-bedroom apartments. 

Interfaith Housing & Community Services is leading this community project.  Progress is underway thanks to the help of volunteers renovating this building, which was built in 1887.  The Centennial Committee would like for FMC to raise $22,000 by October 2022 to help with these expenses. These dollars will help with construction costs, furnishings for the apartments and ongoing maintenance expenses. 

A big thank you to those of you who have already donated! You can see the progress that has already been made on our LightHouse thermometer in the foyer. Checks may be made out to FMC, with “LightHouse” on the memo line.  Thank you for your support!

DEEPENING in Christ…


Our Easter Season worship will once again draw on worship resources provided by Worship-Well on the theme “Terms of Resurrection.”  The authors write:  “Easter is when everything changed. Like the events we use to map out the stories of our lives – births, deaths, joinings, partings – Easter is an event in the life of God and the world after which nothing was the same again. Nothing could be. In Jesus’ rising, death was unseated as the end of existence, the owner of the last word, and the hardest wall of absolute certainty. The empty tomb bears witness to a new truth. Now we live in a different world with different rules. Now we stand up. No longer bound by the limited laws dictated by death, we can live according to the terms of resurrection. We speak and sing and see the world with the language and lenses of this deep and destabilizing power that God has revealed In the risen Jesus. This takes some getting used to, friends. We need to practice. It’s why we celebrate Easter every year, and why we take fifty days to do it. It’s why we gather Sunday after Sunday to share the news and tell the stories of the ordinary people and extraordinary power that continue to flow from the dark morning of Jesus’ rising.”

Here’s a glimpse at a few upcoming worship services in this season:        

APRIL 24 – Taking a brief break in the Narrative Lectionary (Gospel of John), we’ll be “On the Emmaus Road: Glimpses of the Church” with a recorded (video) sermon based on Luke 24:13-49 provided by WDC Conference Minister Heidi Regier Kreider. 

MAY 1 – We’ll pick up the story again in the Gospel of John with THOMAS in John 19:19-31, exploring “Terms of Resurrection” reshaping the life of disciples of the Risen Christ.   Pastor Tonya preaching


The first words out of Mary Magdalene’s mouth, fresh from the garden where the Risen Christ appeared to her, were:  “I have seen the Lord!”  Where have you ‘seen the Lord’ in the garden of your life?  When have you realized, even just for a moment, you are not alone but rather accompanied by a presence and life much greater than you?  Can you recall a time when you expected nothing, and instead received a surprising sign or gift of renewed life? When instead of seeing emptiness, you saw angels?  Your story might be just a few sentences or a few paragraphs.  Your sharing might call attention to a relatively insignificant moment where you caught a glimpse of God.  Or you might reflect on a larger event in your life where you were bowled over by an awareness of God’s presence.  God draws near to us in many different ways, and we would love to hear your story in worship sometime during May.   If you’d be interested in sharing a story during worship, please let Pastor Tonya know ASAP ( to schedule a Sunday.  And if you are uncomfortable reading your story yourself, we can arrange for someone else to read it on your behalf.  Thank you for considering this invitation!!


  • A Prayer group meets Thursday mornings from 10-11am in the Prayer Room.  All are welcome. 
  • A small ecumenical Centering Prayer group meets on Tuesdays (ZOOM) and Thursdays (in person @ FMC) from 12:30-1:30pm.  If you’d like to learn more, contact Pastor Tonya. 


CHILDREN & YOUTH: Becoming Disciples (SHINE Curriculum from MennoMedia)

  • PreK-Kindergarten (basement, room 3 – or outside)
  • 1st-5th grade (basement, rooms 1-2 – or outside)
  • 6th– 7th grade (all the way upstairs in the Jr Youth room – or outside)
  • 8th -12th grade (all the way upstairs in the Sr Youth room)


Younger Adults Class – meeting in the basement adult Sunday School Room

Adult Bible Study/Discussion – meeting in the basement fellowship hall.  This group is using The Bible Project’s Reflections Bible Study to guide study and conversation, which includes a short video on a Biblical theme, topic, or book.  Check it out here: and feel free to watch the videos during the week if you choose in preparation for shared discussion. 

Adult Bible Study using Salt & Light – meets from 11:00-11:45am in the Prayer Room (right beside the elevator in the basement). 

Reminder: No Sunday School on the 5th Sundays of the month!!

UPPER ROOM and REJOICE! devotional magazines

REJOICE! and UPPER ROOM . . . new issues are available above the mailboxes.  Please let us know if you would like a copy mailed to you. 

STRENGTHENING Community Connections…


Thank you for your participation on April 6 in the first of two conversations about resolutions to be considered by delegates at the MC USA assembly. Info about the remaining 2 resolutions, which we will discuss on April 20, are below. You are also encouraged to watch the webinars to learn more about each of the resolutions.  If you have comments to share, please speak with one of FMC’s delegates: Pastor Tonya, Pauline Buller, or Micah Wenger.

APRIL 20:  Meal served at 5:45pm & Discussion at 6:30PM


Pastor Tonya and Pauline Buller will lead a conversation about the remaining 2 resolutions coming to delegates at the special MC USA Delegate Session at the end of May: (1) Clarification on MC USA Polity and Role of Membership Guidelines in MC USA and (2) A Resolution for Repentance and Transformation regarding violence done against LGBTQI+ persons.  The first one is a resolution coming for a vote.  The second will first come to the delegates for a vote to determine if this resolution will be discussed and voted on at the special delegate session.

EB Resolution Membership Guidelines 2021

Watch webinar here:

This resolution provides a detailed background and history of the Membership Guidelines of MC USA formed in 2001 and concludes with this short resolution: 

     Therefore, we retire the Membership Guidelines as the active polity in Mennonite Church USA.

A Resolution for Repentance and Transformation

     Watch webinar here:

This resolution (which again, will first be voted on whether to actually consider it for discussion) begins with this opening paragraph:  Current policies of Mennonite Church USA do violence to LGBTQIA people by failing to affirm their full, God-given identities and by restricting their full participation in the life, ministries and rituals of the broader church. The rejection of LGBTQIA people by MC USA has silenced and denied ministry callings, torn apart families, forced parents to choose between their church and their child, and caused many LGBTQIA people to leave the church. In some cases, rejection by their faith community is a factor in LGBTQIA people self-harming or even dying by suicide.

CAMP MENNOSCAH YOUTH CAMP registration is open!!!

Check out the website and register online here!  FMC offers half tuition for each child attending camp.   The adventure of the unknown is before us! We do not know exactly what to expect for the 2022 summer, but once again we will build on the Rock and play in the sand. While we continue to hope for a summer with minimal restrictions, the pandemic may change by June and camp guidelines will change with it. Campers and staff may be asked to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test and/or wear masks when indoors.


Stay for lunch after our May 1 worship service and donate funds toward paying for our opportunity to worship and play out at Camp Mennoscah (near Murdock KS) on Sunday June 19.  Those interested in staying overnight on Saturday June 18 in cabins are welcome to do so (will need to plan/provide your own food).  Sunday morning will include worship and lunch (please watch for more information about lunch details!!!).  The cost for this event is not covered by our general budget, but is instead funded by donations from the congregation each year.  We appreciate your generosity in supporting Camp Mennoscah through our ongoing rental commitment, and in supporting the opportunity for those who wish to spend time together at Camp that weekend!

PCRC (Pastor Congregation Relations Committee) MEETS TUESDAY MAY 10

Members are Dohn Fast, Jolene Yoder and Peggy Stucky.  Contact any of them if you have feedback (concerns or affirmations) about any aspect of the relationship between Pastor Tonya and the congregation.


This fall Micheala Esau and Micah Wenger are both participating in Mennonite Mission Network voluntary service programs.  Michaela will be with Mennonite Voluntary Service (MVS) in Tucson AZ.  Micah will be with Service Adventure in Colorado Springs, CO.   We are asked as a congregation to provide various kinds of support for Michaela and Micah, including prayer and financial support.  Each are asked to raise $4000 to help cover the costs of participation.  If you would like to donate to either Michaela or Micah (or both!), you can send a check to the church (note in the memo line who the donation is for), or to donate on their personal fundraising pages: 


                Michaela (link coming soon!!)

NEW!!!   2022 FMC DIRECTORIES . . . pick up your copy in the foyer.

If you would like an electronic version, please let the church office know.

BEAUTIFUL SALT CITY PODCAST                                      

A future story tells us what we want (vision), why we want it (values), and how we will create it (resources). Our own Pastor Jim Unruh talks with people in our community to learn their life stories and to dream together for a future story for our beautiful salt city.  Find it here:  While new episodes are not being added right now, this is your chance to catch up on previous conversations!


  • Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00pm  
  • Wednesday 10am-1pm 


  • Monday: Sabbath Day
  • Tuesday-Friday: generally working 9:00am-5:30pm  
  • Office Hours:  9-2 Tuesday and Thursday; 10-1 on Wednesday
  • Available other times by appointment.
  • Available evenings and weekends (cell phone is most reliable)

REMINDER:  If you are last one out of the church building, be SURE the doors lock behind you when you leave.  Go out, watch the doors latch, give both door handles a tug, and make sure they are locked!  Thank you.

STRETCHING to Serve as Christ Served…


Pastor Tonya has been part of the formation of a new ecumenical working group in Hutchinson growing out of a shared concern for God’s earth and a desire to do what we can to help preserve and care for the little section of the earth we’ve been gifted with here in Reno County.  The group has settled on the name “Earth Matters” and this mission statement:  “To inspire, educate, and network with neighboring congregations and community organizations to respectfully and responsibly care for God’s gift of Creation.” Still in formation stage, the group is working on their own education alongside deciding on an action to promote to inspire and care for creation in Reno County.  One specific plan in the works to strengthen an ecumenical network is an outdoor ecumenical worship service (likely at Dillon Nature Center) on Sunday October 2. This is World Communion Sunday and also the Sunday nearest St Francis’ Feast Day.  Currently the group is made up of Presbyterians, Catholics, Episcopalians and one Mennonite (Pastor Tonya)!  The desire is to have at least two representatives from each group and so the invitation is open to any of you out there who might want to join this group in its work moving forward.  Meetings, right now, are Tuesday afternoons from 1:30-3:00pm.  Please talk to Pastor Tonya if interested or you just want to learn more.


Our donations to the Reno County Food Bank totaled 318 pounds during Lent.  Your generous giving through your spirit of love is greatly appreciated.    – with gratitude from the Reno County Food Bank


DURING THE MONTH OF MAY we invite your donations of pancake mix and syrup!!

Personal care/hygiene items such as these are appreciated anytime: toilet paper, laundry detergent, bath soap, Kleenex, deodorant, disposable razors, paper towels, shampoo, dish soap, hand/body lotion, tooth paste and tooth brushes.  Travel size – new & unopened – are desirable.


Thank you for your donations, your volunteer time, your contributions and your prayers for the sale and for the work of MCC.  Check out their website for information on sale results.     

MENNONITE MISSION NETWORK  (MMN) . . . note of appreciation

Mennonite Mission Network exists to equip and empower the church as we partner in God’s mission around the globe.  Thank you, First Mennonite Church, for your gift of $3,465.00 in 2021!  Your prayers, participation and generous support empower us to serve and collaborate with partners across the street and around the world, so that people may be transformed by Jesus Christ.  – Marisa Smucker, Sr. Exec. Of Ventures, MMN.


Women in Mission are inviting all women to a virtual “Meet-up” on Tuesday, April 26th, 7:00-8:30p.m.  Please join us as we hear from Barbara Gingrich, Cheryl Kaufman, and Cindy Thompson from Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church in Wichita about their Knit4Peace project.  Then, Sarah Augustine will discuss her personal life journey and book she authored called, The Land is Not Empty: Following Jesus in Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery, (Herald Press, 2021).  Sarah is a Pueblo (Tewa) descendant and founder and co-chair of the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition and Executive Director of a dispute resolution center in central Washington State.  Click here to learn more about this event and information on signing up – deadline Monday, April 25.

WDC Resource Library is hosting a book sale on Saturday, April 30 from 8am -12pm outside the WDC offices at 2500 Place in North Newton. There will be a large variety of donated books and books removed from circulation. Donations will be accepted for your selections. Hope to see you there!

WDC annual assemble will be July 29-31!  We invite WDC delegates, friends, and their families to gather with us at Camp Copass, Denton, TX. There will be lots of time for recreation for all ages, as well as sharing around tables about faith issues in our conference, congregations, and in our lives. Join us! More details coming soon.

CAMP MENNOSCAH announcements

Verenike Casserole fundraiser meal for Camp Mennoscah is April 30.   Click here to reserve one or more!   Reservations close at 6pm on April 24.  Pick up meals at Moundridge High School between 5:30-6:30pm on April 30.  Watch Camp Mennoscah’s Facebook page and check your email for any changes.  Requested donation per meal is $15. Additional donations are welcome!  This fundraiser is for Camp Mennoscah’s summer youth camps and retreats. Your donations will help campers Build on the Rock and Play in the Sand! The meal consists of verenike casserole, seasoned green beans, zweiback, and fruit crisp. Each meal is intended for one person.

Camp needs to prepare for groups using the dining hall and other main camp buildings this spring. Help is needed to make these spaces welcoming and ready for fellowship. We can work with your schedule, including evening and weekend hours. Tasks include basic cleaning, washing cookware and dishes and moving tables. Contact us at 620-297-3290 or

Other events and happenings at Camp Mennoscah: 

  • April 23 is a Work and Play Day at Camp Mennoscah!  We’re starting at 8:30am at the maintenance shed.  We’d like to complete the amphitheater project, but we need a crew with trucks and dirt haulers/diggers!  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 to register or for more information.
  • Nurses needed for Summer Youth Camps!  Your time and skill give campers a week of growing in Christian fellowship and experiencing God’s great creation.  Nurses need RN certification or equivalent.  Nurses are needed for June 12-18, June 19-23, June 23-25, July 3-9, and July 24-29.  Contact us at 620-297-3290 or
  • Kitchen helpers needed for Summer Youth Camps!  Your time and skill give campers a week of growing in Christian fellowship and experiencing God’s great creation.  Cooks need only willing hands and the ability to follow directions.  Kitchen staff is needed for June 19-23, July 3-9 and July 17-23.  Contact us at 620-297-3290 or
  • Getting ready for outside fun!  Camp Mennoscah needs to replace some outdoor sports equipment, including inner tubes, 4-square/Gaga balls, frisbees for ultimate, and inner tubes.  Check out the Camp Mennoscah Wish List on or the Wish List.  Challenge your Sunday School class or youth group to help meet camp needs!  We’ve got many more ideas. Contact us by replying to this email.


The McPherson Community Brass Choir under the direction of Jerry Toews will give a Sunday afternoon concert in the Church of the Brethren, 201 N. Carrie, McPherson, KS on Apr. 24 at 4pm.  FREE and FUN.  Everyone is invited.


Join the MCC Thrifty 50 Challenge! 50 years ago the first MCC thrift shop opened and now there are 85 shops that provide millions of dollars each year for MCC’s work at home and around the world.To celebrate, we’re inviting you to sign up for the Thrifty 50 Challenge to get one practical challenge sent to your inbox and have a chance to win a $25 MCC Thrift gift card every week. Visit to find a shop near you and learn more about MCC Thrift!

MCC response in Ukraine: MCC continues to be in communication with our program partners, many of whom have reduced capacity because of the conflict. Currently, partners are responding in some regions as they are able with supplies they can secure. This includes distributing food, blankets, medications and fuel as well as other emergency supplies. The changing situations in the various cities and regions in Ukraine where there is conflict makes this work difficult and at times dangerous. MCC will continue to determine how it can support short-term needs. However, MCC’s strength continues to be mid and long-term disaster response and we are working to formulate these plans for Ukraine. MCC has been working in Ukraine for 100 years and we will continue to serve in Ukraine long after the crisis disappears from the news cycle. Donate today to support these efforts at

Make your voice heard! Join MCC in urging President Biden to pursue peaceful solutions in Ukraine. MCC asks the United States government to continue considering approaches that do not rely on military intervention or military support. Engage with your elected officials on this topic and many others through MCC today!

RENO COUNTY COTTONWOOD COMPLEX . . . community response

The most tangible way to help the fire victims in our community is through financial gifts.  Checks and/or cash need to be directed to United Way of Reno County, note VOAD Fire Fund in the memo.  Funds and/or gift cards can be dropped off or mailed to: United Way of Reno County, 924 North Main, Hutchinson, KS 67501
Donations can also be made online at:  United Way of Reno County |

BETHEL COLLEGE announcements

Kauffman Museum at Bethel College is seeking, at three-quarter to full time, an organized, detail-oriented, creative individual to manage the museum’s bookkeeping and the museum store, plus other responsibilities as they align with the applicant’s qualifications related to the other five team members’ skills. For more information, contact Andi Andres at or 316-283-1612. 

For the job description and to apply, see

Bethel’s Summer Camp Registration is now open!

Summer Science Institute (high school age) and Kauffman Museum” Uncle Carl’s Camps (variety of ages), and Athletic Camps.  Check out this link for more information:

Tues., April 19 – Bethel College Orchestra concert under the direction of Kristopher Hilding, 7:30 p.m., Memorial Hall.

Sun., April 24 – KIPCOR Film Series presents The Revolution Generation (before its theatrical release!), 2 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College; audience talkback led by Jacob Miller-Klugesherz to follow.

Mon., April 25 – Bethel College Wind Ensemble concert under the direction of Joel Boettger, 7 p.m.Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center

Sun., May 1 – Masterworks Concert, 3:00 p.m.

Tues., May 3 – Steel Drum Band Concert, 7:00 p.m. Krehbiel AuditoriumWed., May 4 – Jazz on the Green, 8:00 p.m.